Taking a Feline Along

6:46 p.m. on August 15, 2010 (EDT)
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I am interested, being a cat person, with a special one (Smelly Elley, 13 yrs senior, tough as nails,) if any one would even consider bringing a cat along for a 2/3 day hike.

I fantasize about it, but have been told by the wiser one (my gf) that it is lunacy.

My argument is that a/ she can take care of herself pretty damn good

b/ Why should a dog owner have the right of way and put a crimp in my style.

I bring this up in a theoretical sense, as I am not about to do it,

But would love it if I could.

Years ago when I was a deckhand Salmon fishing,

We had occasion to tie up to a boat with a cat on board,

And I loved the whole concept.

8:29 p.m. on August 15, 2010 (EDT)
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I don't see a problem as long as the cat was always on a leash and tied up while camping. Otherwise, no.

Feral cats, and all Felis silvestris catus are potentially feral, are an invasive species that does great harm to native birds and rodents.

1:09 a.m. on August 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Overmy, I think you are off on the wrong track from my idea.

I have walked with my cat within a mile of my home.

She is spayed, and fully devoted to me.

If I was solo, she would be in my Hennessy Hammock,

Which she has shared with me on my deck at home a few times.

She is not going hunting.

She is concerned with me, and being with me.

My only concern is the loose dog we come across.

And why does a dog owner have power over me and my choice to travel with my pet?

How far could I go to protect her? A face full of Mace?

I say my benign cat's life is worth more than an untrained dog's

Any day,

And her right to the trail is as valid as any pet.

But then,

I have been mauled twice by Shepherds.

Again this is hypothetical, and not about to happen.

9:21 a.m. on August 16, 2010 (EDT)
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I met one guy in my life who brought a cat along backpacking. The thing was a huge Maine Coon (sp?) breed of cat and it looked more than capable of taking care of its self. It rode on a piece of rug on the top of his external frame backpack when it felt like riding. Otherwise it just walked behind him.

I agree, dogs are the issue. A very remote hike or a leash might be the trick to pulling it off. Of course you know your cat best but, at thirteen, your cat might not be into new experiences and might react unpredictably.

I wish you luck and hope you try it and write to us to tell how it went.

10:56 a.m. on August 16, 2010 (EDT)
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I don't understand how a dog owner has any rights above, or impeding on your right to take a cat?

If you are referring to the concern you have of encounters between your cat and dogs on the trail, I understand.

It is my understanding that in my area at least, a cat is also required to be on leash for many of the same reasons a dog is. The feral dog / cat problem is a legitimate one.

I would support your desire to take your pet along as long as it can be done safely and in accordance with the rules in that area. I also think you would have every right to protect yourself, your cat, or your belongings on the trail from misbehaving or dangerous dogs.

I used to take a dog backpacking, he was well trained, and I made sure he behaved properly around other hikers, he was not allowed to run around and bother people.

If I have a strange dog run up to me, and I am not sure of its intentions I will yell STOP, if the dog continues then I will take whatever measure I feel appropriate.

If you truly feel endangered by a loose dog, then yes, mace it.

11:17 a.m. on August 16, 2010 (EDT)
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I grew up with dogs and by marriage I am now a cat person as well. My experience is that cats are absurdly more set in their ways than dogs ever hoped to be. If you've trained your cat to wear a collar or restraint already and will accept a leash, you're halfway there. That being said, our two indoor gibs (the proper term for formerly male, neutered cats) screamed bloody murder when we tried to collar them at just past 6 months old. They both were able to remove the collars on their own several times and we eventually stopped trying.

Point is, if you haven't collar trained your friend by now, it isn't likely to happen.

6:59 p.m. on August 16, 2010 (EDT)
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As a one time cat owner, I would be concerned about the specie's independence streak, and having kitty decide it wanted to "take a walk" and fail to return. It happens in the city all the time; no reason it may not happen especially in a unfamiliar place.

1:26 a.m. on August 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I had a cat that LOVED to go for car rides, and I even took her car camping a time or two. I worried the entire time that a hawk or eagle was going to swoop down and grab her. She even used to follow me on walks in the little town where I lived.

Even with such a great companion, I would have never ever considered taking her hiking with me. I have a hard enough time making sure my decently behaved, and reasonably well-trained Golden Retrievers behave. I would not have trusted my cat...

1:12 a.m. on August 30, 2010 (EDT)
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I guess I'm wondering how you expect to convince kitty to "hike" with you. Every cat I've known over the past ... ummm, "many" years has been of the mindset of: "I'll do what you ask, if it happens to be convenient for me, and if I just so happen to feel like doing it, and if I do, it'll be on MY terms, not yours".

Do you plan on carrying him/her while you hike? :)

6:34 a.m. on August 30, 2010 (EDT)
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Unless you plan on carrying it, which is interesting in and of itself. Otherwise your cat is 13 years old, that would be like taking your 90 year old grandma to hike. Old, set in their ways, probally almost impossible to leash train at that age(not saying you need to leash train grandma), I would say probally not a good idea.

12:13 p.m. on August 30, 2010 (EDT)
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I know someone who has a pet cheetah. She sometimes takes it hiking in some of the local parks. I hasten to add - always on a leash. She (the cheetah is female) is well behaved, but gets quite a reaction from other hikers. Dogs tend to bark, then cower behind their owners. She (the owner) does avoid equestrian trails. And yes, she (the owner) does have an "exotic animal" permit.

9:46 a.m. on August 31, 2010 (EDT)
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There's another hot button issue; keeping exotic pets. Hmmm. Wonder if we will get any bites. I knew someone with the University Wildlife dept. with a rescued bobcat. Mom got run over (bobcat's mom). The thing was impossible and attacked everything in sight. I wouldn't have wished that little tornado on any but the most dire of enemies.

I was exterminating a den of problem coyotes once and had a vet euthanize the litter. A taxedermist bought them for a special project but I couldn't believe how many people later wished I had sold them one of those pups instead. One guy wanted to breed it with a border collie to make the ultimate sheep dog. God help us.

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