In a cool, partly cloudy day in October 2017 Malaya Fletcher was going to go hiking around the cabin in Pennsylvania. The only thing he had to do was bring his cat in a belt. When Miss Fletcher secured the belt, the cat became stationary and pushed to the ground.
Ms. Fletcher had recently accepted the confident and curious Cockpit. He seemed to have the perfect combination of features to enjoy outdoor adventures.
He was accustomed to the harness and the strap in the open, but when Mrs. Fletcher checked the waters in the wild for the first time, it seemed that Kopurnix had forgotten how to be a free roaming cat. Fletcher is among the many owners of cats recently inspired to train their cats to go on adventures, including hiking, canoeing, or climbing. More than 285,000 entries in Instagram bear the label #adventurecat ̵
[ Like Science Page on Facebook. | The trend of re-wild cats to become adventurous cats and outdoor cats in general, "shakes you from the feeling that cats are just pets and are totally excited about it because they are not, "says Frank McMillan, a cat researcher at the Best Friends Animal Society
" Cats are more capable than you think. "Add Laura Moss, who writes" Adventure cats : Living with the Nine Life of the Most Adventurous, "A Guide to the Training of Adventure Cats, Which Some Own and kittens say they have inspired them to bring their pets outdoors It's a good idea to put a cat on a strap and a harness when they're used to moving on their own agenda Can the urge for a cat to take a role similar to that of a dog can be harmful to the animal?
Literature is scarce about whether to take a cat for a walk or for more intense outdoor activities. good experience for cat or man. "We have to rely on what we know about household development, socialization, and territoriality to help us know if this is a good idea," said Michel Delgado, Cat Cat Research at the University of California at Davis. 19659015] Each cat has its own interests, personality and background – all contributes either to the desire to be out or not, said Dr. McMillan.
A cat owner in Portland, Ore. – who asked not to be identified in order to preserve her privacy from the patients she worked with – tried for one year to go with her "bad guys." tree and others who want to go back inside.
Ollie, a well-socialized two-year-old rescue cat in Washington, was happy to wander outside at the owner's private courtyard, Laurel Hamers, after snow was falling. But when Mrs. Hammers set her up the same day later, Ollie acted as if she did not have any interest in going outside, and she even looked frightened by the snow.
Cats are known to be independent. It is believed that they were tamed thousands of years ago instead of being purposefully tamed by humans. So putting them in walking belts can be especially challenging if it's not something they do not want to do. Some cats seem more inclined to hold on the harness, said Dr. Delgado. Usually they are well socialized and able to withstand the changes in their environment without much excitement by strangers. When they are very young, between two and nine weeks old, cats can most easily be socialized to be more open to new people and experience. Cats after this age can still be socialized but may be more difficult and require more time.
Cats are also territorial and common. So the "idea to take cats in different territories at different times" – whether it's different places in the neighborhood or in the mountains – "is the opposite of what we know about cats," said Dr. Delgado.
This means that cat owners have to be adapted to signs of stress. But cats can be difficult to read. Some stressed cats can retreat to the hiding place and remain absolutely silent. Others may turn to the other extreme and act hyperactively. When people do not know there are different ways for the cat to express a sense of suffering, the signs of excitement can be misunderstood and it can harm the cat, says Denis Turner, a cat psychologist. – such as strangers, delays in eating or less time to play – can cause medical and behavioral problems in cats. Even healthy cats began to vomit, change their eating habits, or stop using their box when stressed. damage to the animal. It is important to start slowly, said Dr. Delgado. Place the harness on the floor so the cat can smell it and leave the plantations nearby. Lean him over the cat's body so he can get used to his weight. Cats can initially attach the harvest to the rapture. Remove it and give some treats to desensitize it to the weight of the harness. Then walk around them before taking them out. Some vets and researchers claim that this can take time and tenacity. If your cat never adapts, the owners can create a more stimulating indoor environment by building vertical space or playing games.
Despite initial concerns, Copurrnicus is accustomed to the harness. Since her first campaign, Ms. Fletcher has brought him to a camping site, kayak and rock climbing.
She says it's not just about companionship.
"It was great to notice such things and see the world through its perspective," she said. "But I could also say it's really comfortable: he thinks the tent is at home.