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 Post subject: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:55 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:40 pm
Posts: 1586
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
KITTY KAMPING 101!!!!

I'd like this thread to be a place for information on taking your cat outdoors, hiking, and of course Kamping :D
Its an amazing bonding experience for you and your cat, everyone should at least try a day in the forest with their Bengal!
I'll go over tips and tricks on how Pouncey and I survive the great outdoors together.
I'm not going to post any of our Kitty Kamping Adventures here but I ask others to post pics of their cats in the great outdoors and share there experience and tips. If you want to see pics of my "Kitty Kamping" there's threads in the gallery, or simply click the link in my signature.

Prerequisite
First you need to get your cat used to walking in a jacket. When I first got a jacket for Pouncey I let him play with it and put it in his bed so he slept on it. First time I put it on he got the zoomies and loved it. He wore it around the house a few days before venturing outside.

Second is car rides. I don't use a carrier but I should. A nice compromise is a SEAT BELT clip you attach to the walking jacket. Its up to you what is best. To make the cat comfortable in the car I like to go for longer rides without many stops , turns or bumps. Stop somewhere quite without alot of people and take a walk. Others have suggested short rides without a destination and returning home. Maybe this works for some and that's how I tried in the beginning. It wasn't till we went straight and far that he had time to calmly explore the car. Taking someone along to comfort your cat and make sure they stay out of trouble is a good idea too. Also keep the car as cold as you can turn he AC on before you get in, your cat won't freeze. When there nervous they get hot, when there hot they get nervous its a viscous cycle.

Things you'll need

A quality walking jacket: I'm very proud to introduce Pouncey's new walking jacket from Happy House Cats. Pouncey is named after Maurkice Pouncey who plays football for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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I've gone through alot of different leads and my favorite is also the cheapest. Its got a quick clip that is sooooo easy to use. It weighs nothing so its not pulling down on the jacket or your cat/arm. I don't use a lead much but keep one with me, its small and fits nicely in the pocket. Here's their website and store locator or you can order online
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The above picture brings us to the next necessity locating your cat.
When I first started Kamping I put a small keychain light on his collar, make sure you get one with a on/off switch not just momentary. I recommended these they come in RED and WHITE. Be advised shipping from DX is 2-4 weeks. The difference is white is easiest to spot but red doesn't effect night vision, its why submarine go red in an emergency so they can see better if the lights go out. I collect flashlights and if I'm using a red light I can see things around me not just what's illuminated by the light. Your cat can't point the light so it might be blinded with the white. Also alot of animals don't see red so predators may not see your cat. Personally I like the red but its harder to see...or get both :wink:
I also change the batteries in those keychain lights. There very bright but you don't need them to be. I removed the 2xCR2016 cells and replaced them with one CR2032 doing this makes it glow dim for 20-30hr instead of bright for 2hr.

One thing I thought of but never tried was a keychain locator. You put a tag on a keychain or TV remote control and it beeps when you press a button on a handheld unit.

Now the ultimate in Kitty locating the Loc8tor its a homing tag. It leads you to your cat up to 400ft away. Its a must have IMO. I can't think of a better purchase I've ever made. I got mine off AMAZON its made in the UK and can be purchased direct from THEIR SITE.
The hand unit is very small I keep it in a Ziploc bag while hiking so it doesn't get wet.
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And thin (next to a credit card)
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Original I attached it to his collar but some forum members pointed out it is not a breakaway.
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Through 65 emails, not all on topic :) and 3 months I'm proud to introduce "Pouncey's Loc8tor Pocket"!
A BIG THANKS to Louise from Happy House Cats for making this possible. She asked I post this disclaimer since I don't often use a lead.
Happy House Cats wrote:
Personally I would not recommend a jacket for an unteathered cat, The jackets are even harder to escape than a collar and if the worst came to the worst then it would likely be fatal.

I can see a benifit to a locator tag in a jacket as a double safeguard, I have had the leash pulled from my hand once or twice so if that happened the tag would be a double failsafe, but I absolutely would need a declaration from anyone buying a tag pocket jacket that they are fully aware that the jacket is for use only when connected to a leash and the tag pocket is a double safeguard in case of leash failure.

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Its inside
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Can't even tell he has a homing tag :wink:
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Food
I'm a huge advocate of a 100% raw diet but its not always possible. Kamping I choose Grain Free cat food in pouches. There easiest to carry and I can burn them in the fire. This keeps me from storing stinky cans and attracting other animals to my site. I don't have a preference I just get fish flavored ones from Weruva, Wellness, and Natural Balance. Also before a long hike I feed him so he's less grumpy and I take food for breaks. This is important because he's using more energy and will get hungry and want to go back to eat.
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Home Base
I set up home base in the tent or camper. Another member uses a screen tent I think that's a great idea.
I don't leave food out initially because it'll just get knocked over and probably not eaten. I do leave water out. Bring your cats scratching post this is important its covered in territory sent. I also bring a blanket I use or even my jacket for him. For a litter box I use a locking storage bin.
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Its easy to carry and doesn't stink in the car actually I just use them at home too. I would put some old litter in so it smells like your cat the first time. I also use biodegradable litter because its lite and easy to carry.
Two common brands are "Worlds Best" and "Cats Best(UK)". Personally I get "Horse Bedding" from a Tractor Supply Store. Its pine pellets and there soo cheap a 40lb bag cost $6, it doesn't clump but turns to dust and falls to the bottom. There is no smell of urine with it. Whatever you chose make sure you cat likes it before you go.

I don't keep to much at home base no toys just necessities you want him to get board and explore. Leave your cat at home base ALONE and slowly let him come out on his own. This way he can feel safe, even you trying to calm him it might make it worse. Let him go at his own pace. At first Pouncey took hours now its minutes. He like "ya I got it lets go exploring".

I found this site about Kona a cat that goes camping. I don't like how she does things but a good read.

Please share you experience and pictures here! Ask questions if you have any!!!
Good luck and HAPPY KAMPING!!!!


OUTTAKES
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Side Note
I've received several inquiries about his spiked collar.
Its a dog collar I got from PETCO I had to cut part of it off and drill new holes. Its the 12"L X ⅜W
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Best of Pouncey click HERE the ORIGINAL Kamping Kitty!


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:42 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 728
A really useful and informative post, Viperkeeper.
I like reading about your camping adventures with Pouncey. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:25 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:41 pm
Posts: 2367
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
We're not going on our camping trip till the last week of August, so will post any info we get from that trip there! The tips about making home base and the pet safety night light is a great idea! Those and bringing along scratching facilities weren't things I thought of so they definitely will come in handy!

Having taken Tigger out on walks for 20 months and Nala for 8 months, I'd say the most important thing in any situation is to judge your cat's reactions, know what stresses them out and react accordingly, but no matter what, stay calm. We bring our two out with us almost every weekend and we take the same path to the places we go so they know where they're going and they feel more confident walking in doing this. For example, going up the hill to OH's parents' every sunday, we turn left at the end of our street and go up the same path every time. To go to the nearby shop, we turn right at the end of our street and cross the street. To go to OH's garage nearby, we turn left at the end of our street and keep to that side of the pavement.

Even though it's ideal to let them wander where they will, we've done basic training with our two and this means trial and error with your cats when you're out to see what they respond to best. For Tigger, it's a lock on the lead and releasing this so it makes a clicking noise, this prompts him to keep walking unless he's absorbed with sniffing something. Nala responds better to verbal prompts so it's using the same phrases so she associates these with actions, we've taught her 'walk past' when she lingers at gates and open spaces part of private property. With both of them, they will stop in the middle of the road when they hear people coming by or cars coming close by. This is a seriously dangerous situation for them because they won't move until the source of the noise is far enough away for them to feel safe. In situations like this, we always make sure their leads are locked when we come close to a road so they don't get off the pavement, walk no more than a foot away from them so that if cars come by, they'll see us even if they can't see a cat crouched in the middle of the road and with the combination of the lock and release clicking of the lead, we accompany this with the phrase 'quickly quickly!' which both Tigger and Nala have now learned that this means urgency and not just a phrase we use to try and get them to walk.

Always watch and judge your surroundings to see what might disturb your cat, stay alert and never run after them if they escape or if you drop your lead. Loud footsteps behind them when they're already anxious makes it worse, so speak to them in a calm voice and walk after them, reassuring them there's no source of danger. If this source of danger is a dog, make sure the owner has control of the dog or make sure somebody else is able to do this, it'd be quite difficult to keep track of where your cat is going and control the dog at the same time!

As Viperkeeper already pointed out, make sure they've got plenty of water, especially in the heat and that you've got places if you're sitting somewhere, where they can get shade from the sun.

In the car, we always go together (OH and I) whether we're out with one or both of them. OH is the designated driver while I'm responsible for holding the leads and Tigger and Nala sit in the back. We don't use seat belt holsters, only because occasionally they like to prop themselves up on the back windows to look outside. We stopped using the carrier when both of them were trained to their jackets. We realised that the confinement of the carrier with the loud noise of the car and from the road traffic etc amplified the noise and added to the fact they can't see where they're going and they have no source of escape or place to feel safe, this made them anxious. They're a lot happier now with just their jackets and leads on in the back seat, where Tigger can hide under the footwell of the front seats in the back and Nala is quite happy to rest on the back seats.

One important thing also about the jacket is they will try to escape it when they're distressed: by trying to back out of the back of the jacket. When this happens, speak to them so they are reassured there's no need to worry and try to quickly but quietly move towards your cat if you're some distance away. Make sure if you're in front of them that the lead is loose - if it's tight it makes it easier for them to come out of it because you're pulling the jacket from the front while they're pulling themselves backwards. I've found the best way is, where possible, to pick them up and anchor them under their bums (where I wear a jacket, I put them inside my jacket) and loop a finger through the D-ring so that when they pull forward, they can't jump down. Holding them and speaking to them in a reassuring voice helps calm them down.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
PS I love the story of how Pouncey got his name and his walking jacket is WICKED! it's definitely up there with Tigger's custom car seat jacket :lol: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:58 am
Posts: 83
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
Hi Viperkeeper We haven't been camping yet we were supposed to go camping well caravanning in a couple of weeks but the campsite is underwater so we've cancelled :o
We have taken Tino to the beach, I got his jacket from Mynwood Cat jackets & an extendable puppy lead from the pet shop.
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By parrissnpo at 2012-08-11
A couple of days after we'd been to the beach there was a discussion on the radio about guide dogs being attacked by other dogs. They said that sometimes the owners of the other dogs encouraged them to attack the guide dogs. It made me worry even more about there being dogs about when I take Tino out on his lead. I just wouldn't want anything to happen to my little man. :( Having said that, when we went to the beach, if he wasn't happy he climbed OH's leg & hid in his jacket.
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By parrissnpo at 2012-08-11
He goes in the car in his carrier quite happily. I take the kids to ArtClub once a week & now Valentino comes along too.
I wanted to get him used to going in the car so that he doesn't think he's going to the vet's everytime the carrier comes out & also get used to being about other people. I've just ordered a jacket for Xena (it looks quite like Nala's) so when that arrives we'll be able to take them both out together. The people at ArtClub are looking forward to meeting her too.
I don't think I'll be taking them in the car without being in their carriers because I normally have the kids with me too & knowing them they would be encouraging the kits to run around the car :)

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:52 am
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Location: Vancouver, WA USA
Excellent thread! LOVE the advice and stories shared thus far! Looking forward to reading everyone's tips and adventures (& of course pics!). +1 everyone should spend at least a day in the forest with their Bengal! A whole new side of Max comes out in the woods. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't done it.

Viperkeeper- excellent advice and killer jacket! The outtake pics are so cute! I bet he helps you with everything!
Alison- Are you taking both furkids? Sorry your campsite's flooded! Tino is adorable. Great pics! Can't wait to hear more!
Michi- Great pics & as always your tips are my cat walking 101. (highly recommended!)

We are new to kitty kamping, and to Bengals as Max is only 8 months old. As far as big outings go, we've had day trips to the national forest, 1 overnight tent camping adventure and 1 overnight at the beach. Most of the information that got us started was advice from the BCF! :) Pics and stories of our big adventures so far can be found in the "Menagerie of Max Marvelous" in the gallery. I will try to include some new ones here also! We hope to go on another camping trip very soon. :) 

I've already splattered our adventures all over the BCF so forgive the repeats but I wanted to try and include the highlights here for anyone new to kitty kamping.

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Morning snooze. (I'm in the tent with him so that's why his collar and walking jacket are off.)

+1 Prerequisites are key!
Harness, leash, and car ride training are the foundation these adventures build upon. Michi's walking tips are spot on! For car training the only thing I would add is to be quiet if your cat is making a lot of fuss, and comfort your cat gently when they are quiet. I did it backwards on our first long car ride and I made him more upset. The other way around made him calmer.

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What is that?!?

Take it at kittys pace!
Max loves action and adventure but is very cautious under new circumstances. As we introduce him to more new situations and experiences, he adapts to each one more quickly (going from cautious to "Lets explore!") than he did in the beginning. In the beginning his cautious nature me very nervous that my dreams of kitty kamping may not be his. :( We slowed things down and took it one step at a time. This has worked very well and has been good for both of us. He is able to enjoy the experience more, and we are sharing an experience that really energizes us both. It is building a bond like I have never had with any pet. Hard to describe without getting extremely sappy.

(Speaking of sap.....
Anyone got good tips for sap removal from a cat? We improvised with a Clorox wipe to cut through the sticky and then rinsing with water but would love to find a better / safer solution. )

Back to Kitty Kamping training.....
While introducing Max to new things, staying calm is so important. He requires me to stay in the moment. By staying in tune to what he loves and what's freaking him out I can better respond to him and also learn things about him that benefit our relationship at home too.

Max has a "flying squirrel" string toy he loves. (First toy we ever bought him.) We keep it on us so when he's out there we can pull it out if needed for distraction, reassurance, or redirection. Works wonders to get him to go where you want if he's choosing not to come along too. :roll:

We consider our trips with him right now his training. It is more work than it probably needs to be, more exhausting, intense, crazy, but more rewarding than I ever imagined as well. These trips are not a vacation yet, we have to train him what vacation is first! :)

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Home Base-
For any outing we set up his home base first and make him stay there and soak in all the sights, sounds and smells like Pouncey. Max gets too upset if we leave him alone at home base so instead OH or I sit with him and ignore him unless he seeks reassurance. It helps him settle in faster. At his home base he has his scratcher, bed from home that smells like him, a favorite toy (a security thing more than for playing but toys for in the tent are good too), litter box and water. No food yet. After he has really checked out home base, we can go explore but it happens when the humans say its time. This is like at home. We take him out on our schedule. He is spoiled but we don't want him getting too bossy!

Sometimes home base is just an area on the ground, sometimes it's the tent. We were going to use a screen room but he didn't need the extra room and our tent has screen on all sides so he can see well from inside. If we do longer camping trips we may still try this. He would rather be outside than in there without us but for kitties who like feeling secure inside it may be good to have a room just for kitty.

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When you gotta go... You gotta go!

Kitty Gear:
Max has a Happy Housecats walking jacket. (We just ordered one with reflective stripes to increase his visibility in the woods in hunter orange so he won't be mistaken for a wild animal. After seeing the locator pocket in Pounceys jacket we inquired and Louise will be adding one for us! So excited. We dont let him off lead but I have butter fingers and in the dense forest the backup of a locator would be great. Thanks VK & Pouncey!) We have an extending leash like the others posted and a fixed leash. For new places with dense brush I use the fixed leash to have better control some doesn't get tangled.

For our overnight trip (&nightwalks) we added little night lights used to walk dogs (Viperkeeper tip) to his collar and harness d ring. This was essential or he would have disappeared from our vision! We could also see what he was getting into because the one on his collar lit up in front of him. We used a red one as it doesn't interfere with vision as much (another VK tip). In the tent we used some glow sticks in the pockets so it was like a night light. That way we could check on him and he could easily see us. Maybe more comforting? I will continue the glow sticks. It was pretty fun to watch him watching our campsite "visitors" I'm the night or to see him crashed out.

We use a 4 person tent for the two of us and Max. That leaves plenty of room for all his essentials and ours. IMO any smaller would be tight especially with litter paws. We don't leave Max in the tent without someone in earshot at camp just in case. I'd be scared he'd get the tent open or something could rip it open trying to get to him. I'm a bit overprotective too though.... Or so I'm told. Our vehicle can be turned into a Kitty Cabin in case of emergency. We also take his collabsible carrier just in case something happened but he doesnt use it otherwise.

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Overnight trip:
When we stayed at the beach with Max the hotel had grounds like a park or resort (play areas, open spaces, paths etc.), and the room was enough like a house he adapted quickly. It was an easy transition. All he needed were his home base supplies! Make sure your hotel is pet friendly and knows you are bringing a cat! Many places will say pet friendly but only allow dogs. :(

Getting used to the gear......
Since a tent is very differnt from a house or room with real walls we wanted him to be familiar with it before we got int he woods. We got Max used to the tent and basic camp gear in our backyard before going to the woods. He was out there for set up and take down too so it didn't scare him. We played and napped in the tent.

Woods test.....
We took him on a day trip to the woods where we did everything we would do on a camping trip except sleep over. We had the tent, grill, cooler etc. That way we could see how he did with most of the aspects and get him used to them before adding the stress of sleeping in a tent in the woods overnight.

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Dealing with dogs & wildlife:
We camp at very primitive campgrounds or just in the national forest but not an actual campground (yet?) so we rarely see people or dogs. When we dealt with dogs at the beach we followed what many of you do in the city! :) your advice has been great!

Max won't jump on shoulders like Pouncey but I do have a small shopping bag he likes to jump in and ride around in. It wads up into my pocket and if I see something that may scare him I get it out and he will often climb right in and let me scoop him up. (he taught me this at home!) Just feeling protected inside works for him. I recently got a pet sling that I am going to try and train him to use in the same manner as I think it would be safer.

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Other small animals have been FUN for Max but just like in the city, the human must be vigilant at all times. Even the chipmunks and birds are more brave out there and will actually go after Max instead of just running. I don't know what those critters could do or be exposed to so when they get too close I step in. They still run from humans. For the big bad critters who don't, I have the pepper spray for self defense. (never used....thankfully) I'd be interested in alternative solutions and am hoping someone may have ideas, especially since I think there's no mace allowed?

Max still isn't sure how he feels about dogs anywhere yet. Since we try and expose him to new things as gradually as possible we have looked for places where we know dogs must be well behaved/controlled (& plenty of space for Max to feel like he's avoiding them) or places where it is highly unlikely we will see another person or dog. Campgrounds, parks etc. that have good security patrols and high fines for off leash violations seem to be good bets. We just found a college campus nearby with trails and streams that will be perfect for walks.

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Sorry this was such a long one. I'm sure I forgot things so if you have questions please ask! Hope this helps anyone interested in Kitty Kamping get started. Let the adventures begin!

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:43 am 
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Hoorah! I support this thread! Take your cats outside, people, they're animals, not furniture!

I'm kind of uncertain as to why the jacket is such a danger off the lead. Doesn't it secure with velcro? If it got caught on something, the velcro wouldn't undo itself...? Is velcro some kind of super-substance? Because anything I've ever seen that's velcro undoes with a few pounds of force.

Oh well. I know she has to give a disclaimer, but I always have something snarky to say about leads. "In the case of leash failure." DUN DUN DUN! :roll: Not like the tag will keep them out of the street if they do break free. Oh well. I'm just snarking. She does a great job with the walking jackets and it helps so many people take their cats outdoors, which is great. But it's like...you try and do the right thing by moving away from a collar so as to prevent strangulation and still have the locator on him, and then it's like this big thing because the jacket is a danger too. May as well never let them off the lead and lock them indoors, because everything is a risk. : /

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:55 pm 
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PhelanVelvel wrote:
I'm kind of uncertain as to why the jacket is such a danger off the lead. Doesn't it secure with velcro? If it got caught on something, the velcro wouldn't undo itself...? Is velcro some kind of super-substance? Because anything I've ever seen that's velcro undoes with a few pounds of force.

Oh well. I know she has to give a disclaimer, but I always have something snarky to say about leads. "In the case of leash failure." DUN DUN DUN! :roll: Not like the tag will keep them out of the street if they do break free. Oh well. I'm just snarking. She does a great job with the walking jackets and it helps so many people take their cats outdoors, which is great. But it's like...you try and do the right thing by moving away from a collar so as to prevent strangulation and still have the locator on him, and then it's like this big thing because the jacket is a danger too. May as well never let them off the lead and lock them indoors, because everything is a risk. : /

Sorry I've been busy and I'll be back to commenting on everyone's replies as soon as I can. But I have to take a break to reply to this.
I asked Louise if it was OK to to do a write up featuring her jacket and if she wanted a disclaimer. She said no its fine. I replied INSISTING a disclaimer because I don't often use a lead and how it has angered other members in the past. The Velcro is very strong especially resistant to parallel forces just like a magnetic is very residents to perpendicular forces. It may seem easy to peal off but you can't slide it apart and that's how your cat is trying to get it off.

I'm not suggesting you open the door and let your cat run free then use the loc8tor to find him late. A jacket would make that scenario worse. There are more places to get hung up on a jacket. I'm suggesting supervised walks TOGETHER I actually think there is a greater possibility your cat gets caught on something or in a tree wearing a jacket over the collar. But the jacket buys you more time to assist your cat as I don't see choking being as much of a threat.

Put yourself Louise's shoes imagine a cat died stuck in a tree wearing her jacket because some moron Googled the loc8tor because he keeps losing his cat then finds HHC jackets have a pocket for it. He assumes this is the best safest way to attach the loc8tor.

Louise and I also discussed designs for a break away jacket system. I personal didn't like the ideas because I walk on busy roads sometimes and if the jacket released he may run into traffic.

For Kitty Kamping the Jacket is a step forward. Used inappropriately in a manor other than how Louise or I intended it could be more dangerous. I'm strongly against letting your cat roam free. I'm trying to make the compromise between "indoor" and "outdoor" not a compromise but the desirable choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:19 pm 
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viperkeeper wrote:
PhelanVelvel wrote:
I'm kind of uncertain as to why the jacket is such a danger off the lead. Doesn't it secure with velcro? If it got caught on something, the velcro wouldn't undo itself...? Is velcro some kind of super-substance? Because anything I've ever seen that's velcro undoes with a few pounds of force.

Oh well. I know she has to give a disclaimer, but I always have something snarky to say about leads. "In the case of leash failure." DUN DUN DUN! :roll: Not like the tag will keep them out of the street if they do break free. Oh well. I'm just snarking. She does a great job with the walking jackets and it helps so many people take their cats outdoors, which is great. But it's like...you try and do the right thing by moving away from a collar so as to prevent strangulation and still have the locator on him, and then it's like this big thing because the jacket is a danger too. May as well never let them off the lead and lock them indoors, because everything is a risk. : /

Sorry I've been busy and I'll be back to commenting on everyone's replies as soon as I can. But I have to take a break to reply to this.
I asked Louise if it was OK to to do a write up featuring her jacket and if she wanted a disclaimer. She said no its fine. I replied INSISTING a disclaimer because I don't often use a lead and how it has angered other members in the past. The Velcro is very strong especially resistant to parallel forces just like a magnetic is very residents to perpendicular forces. It may seem easy to peal off but you can't slide it apart and that's how your cat is trying to get it off.

I'm not suggesting you open the door and let your cat run free then use the loc8tor to find him late. A jacket would make that scenario worse. There are more places to get hung up on a jacket. I'm suggesting supervised walks TOGETHER I actually think there is a greater possibility your cat gets caught on something or in a tree wearing a jacket over the collar. But the jacket buys you more time to assist your cat as I don't see choking being as much of a threat.

Put yourself Louise's shoes imagine a cat died stuck in a tree wearing her jacket because some moron Googled the loc8tor because he keeps losing his cat then finds HHC jackets have a pocket for it. He assumes this is the best safest way to attach the loc8tor.

Louise and I also discussed designs for a break away jacket system. I personal didn't like the ideas because I walk on busy roads sometimes and if the jacket released he may run into traffic.

For Kitty Kamping the Jacket is a step forward. Used inappropriately in a manor other than how Louise or I intended it could be more dangerous. I'm strongly against letting your cat roam free. I'm trying to make the compromise between "indoor" and "outdoor" not a compromise but the desirable choice.


I understand. You know that Fandral doesn't roam free, I'm always with him, so I agree with what you're saying. And he is on the lead when we're on the street, definitely. I just didn't see the jacket as a huge danger just because it's not attached to something. It could get caught, yes, but if you're supervising them anyway, I just didn't see why it would matter if a lead was attached, they could get caught on a branch or something while they're attached to an extended leash. For me, the key was more supervision and less being tethered. What I mean is, she's saying only use it in case of leash failure. But you're saying that you don't even use it for that, so it kind of didn't make sense to me in terms of what you're advising to people. I'm for people using leads less (where it's safe obviously), so I don't see how the disclaimer is basically saying "always use the jacket with a lead" when you're saying "I use mine when he's off the lead with me." Sorry, I'm probably reading into it way more than anyone else is. >_<

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:40 pm
Posts: 1586
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
PhelanVelvel, I put a lot of work into this thread. I asked this to be a place to share outdoor adventures, tips and photos of your cat enjoying the great outdoors. No where did I suggest you take your cat off its leash, in fact I recommended one. Because I chose not to use a leash except in certain scenarios and very few of my photos show a leash Louise and I felt there should be a disclaimer.

I don't want this to be "MY" thread but a community thread where people can come to share and ask questions about taking their Bengals in the great outdoors.

"You know that Fandral doesn't roam free" that is true but this thread is not for me. Please share you experience/photos and how this helps you bond with your cat or ask questions. But a quote of a quote of a quote on an agreement that isn't relative to this thread just clutters things up. No matter how you look at it removing the leash is dangerous and should be done at your own discretion.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:40 pm
Posts: 1586
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thanks everyone I finally got a chance to read through everyone's stories its exactly what I was hoping would happen.

PhelanVelvel, sorry if I was harsh I really would like you to contribute on how you and your cat get along outside as its not the normal way most walk their cats AFAIK we're the only two.

neoow, thanks for the compliments any chance of seeing Pixel and Widget in the great outdoors?

michi_30885, he loves his "WICKED" jacket 8) Your urgency commands are something we do to, but its more tone because its the same "come here" or "stay" I just say them different. Managing two Bengals must add alot of responsibility. Good luck on your up coming trip I expect lots of pics.

Parrissnpo, could you explain "caravaning" I only think of it meaning driving in a large group. Bummer about it being canceled. I like the beach pic besides the thumb :wink: the color schema of the cat, jacket, rocks sand everything together looks very frame able hint-hint. I don't understand why there's guide dogs or why people would want to hurt them. Is it part of the caravan? When Pouncey is scared I kneel down and he runs up to my shoulder. RabbitREW mentioned how Pouncey does this but its not trained just a natural reaction like "climbing OH's leg" when he's scared and on the leash I calmly kneel tap my shoulder and call his name, then stand up.

RabbitREW, Thanks for sharing your details, story's, and pics help alot. I don't see how anyone wouldn't want to go camping now. When I said "alone" for home base, I didn't mean like leave and go for a walk :) I think "ignore" would have been a better choice of words. The litter box picture was funny because its on top of the best litter box of all....earth.
You said you use glowsticks :? I'm a flashlight nerd I can suggest much better alternatives :wink:
I don't know why you'd want an alternative to pepper spray its so effective but they make ultrasonic devices or get an air horn. Mace is illegal for civilian use in the US and both are illegal in the UK. I'll look into it but they do make a pepper spray for animals not sure on the strength or legal status in the UK.

You mentioned a fixed leash the one I posted is great if Pouncey goes through a bush I drop it and pick it up on the other side it, he doesn't even know I let go. It doesn't tangle or snag like other leashes I've tried, the clip is so nice I can easily attach it while he's moving because it hooks on and the mechanism is a squeeze motion. My second favorite is a retractable one but I find I just fully extend it anyway and he can't drag it through a bush.


I've gone through so many walking jackets and this is my first from HHC. Ever other jacket I've bought shared one major design flaw, usually more than one. :roll:
I don't want to point it out because someone might copy it. But HHC has a solution for it.
This is the absolute truth, if I were to have gotten my jacket from HHC in the beginning I don't think Pouncey would have ever been off his leash-> no loc8tor->very different and boring camp experiences. I'm glad I only found them now but like so many others have pointed out they're ABSOLUTELY the best walking jackets. Even with shipping from UK-US its not the most expensive jacket I've bought.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:09 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:52 am
Posts: 363
Location: Vancouver, WA USA
Would love glow stick alternatives as I hate that they only last one night. It was a fluke I discovered them. I had bought a funny glow stick wand for something else (impulse buy from the 99 cent bin around the 4thof July). When I got it out to be silly ehrn we were camping (OH didn't know I had it), I saw it was really just several very small glow sticks that go into a handle. :roll: :cry: They wouldn't even stay in the handle so I just put them in the mesh pockets of the tent. They ended up being very useful during the night! :) By continuing them I really mean continuing some kind of very subtle night light. Bring on the suggestions! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:52 am
Posts: 363
Location: Vancouver, WA USA
Anyone heard of Pikachu the traveling kitty? Pikachu the traveling kitty
Quote:
Pikachu and Ted are raising money for the SPCA-- bicycling across USA, Canada, and possibly even Mexico! We are filming everything we do as we travel watch at http://www.youtube.com/user/itwasstinky?feature=mhee or http://thetravellingkitty.tumblr.com/
Came across this and thought I would share since it was in the spirit of outdoor adventures with kitties. He has some very cute videos.... Even if he's not a Bengal. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:40 pm
Posts: 1586
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
That video of Pikachu and the fire ants reminded me about the time Pouncey used and ant mound for a little box :lol: We have an ant species very specific to our region called "Allegheny Mound Ants" the make these large mounds out of sand and plant material they have stingers they use to kill plants and carry them back to the nest when they die. They can't sting animals but they are aggressive and bite but don't let go. Really their harmless. Pouncey went to use his newly found litter box, I yelled but he was like "in a minute!" Then he went flying off and I had to pull the ants off his toes for him:)

On the flashlights its like asking me my favorite snake. It depends on how much you want to spend. People lie about specs and reliability so don't trust what you read just trust me :mrgreen:
I could go on forever so PM if you have question actually maybe a phone call might be necessary.
But for you I'm recommending a Xeno E03 with an T5 XM-L emitter.
the cheapest site that sells it in the US has it on sale now I promise you'll like it. Get it first ask questions later before they sell out. http://www.illuminationgear.com/354924.html
Then get a diffuser to turn it into a candle http://www.ebay.com/itm/XENO-TW15-flash ... 2573915fea

The light I picked is amazing for the price the beam is bright and natural for hiking it doesn't look like an LED its actually closer to sunlight. Uses rechargeable batteries their actually far better for the light. In a pinch you can still use regular AA.
You won't understand but the following this is why this light should cost more. Constant Current,/Constant Voltage regulation, CREE XM-L, 5000k, No Pulse With Modulation, AR Glass, square cut threads, can tailstand, compatible with Li-on 14500, multi-mode, waterproof to ANSI standards.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Kamping 101
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:18 pm
Posts: 1212
Location: Portsmouth, England
Merlin takes over my tent for about two weeks when I have been away camping, and refuses to come indoors! Breakfast, lunch and dinner al-fresco! I have to sneak the tent away when he goes for a roam, otherwise he creates merry hell! I suppose the good thing is, it gets a real good airing....

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He also has his own mini tent, that he 'camps out' in when it's cold indoors! Daft sod......!
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