Exploring the Outdoors With Your Cat

My wife and I recently became residents of Washington State and are very happy about this exciting new chapter of our lives. Shortly after settling into our apartment in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle, we agreed our new little home felt a little empty and needed a new little pet, so we ventured on over to Tacoma Humane Society to look at potentially adopting a puppy. The universe has a funny sense of humor — because we wanted a dog, but (happily) left with a cat. I’ve never been a cat person, but when I first saw Cosmo, I felt an instant connection and knew that he had to come home with us. We were overjoyed to have this little bundle of adorableness join our family, but since we didn’t end up getting the dog we originally wanted, we decided to just try and do “dog things” with our new kitty instead to see how he reacts to various outdoor activities. Lucky for us, Cosmo has the same sense of adventure as his parents, and he loves to explore the PNW with mommy and daddy. 

From the first day Cosmo entered our lives, we realized he enjoys riding in the car, so we’ve been able to take several road trips together to go hiking at some of our state’s most beautiful national parks and scenic spots. Whenever someone sees us outdoors with Cosmo, a surprised look is usually quickly followed by, “awwww, how cute” and “can I pet him?” Another wonderful thing about Cosmo is that he is as lovable with strangers as he is with us, so he quickly makes new friends with everyone he meets.  

travel cat

Traveling With A Cat

One of the main questions we get asked is how we travel with our cat (or how our cat tolerates traveling with us) since it is very uncommon to see cats outside with their owners. Most people tend to think that it’s impossible or difficult to do those types of activities with their cats, but with a little practice and patience, it’s definitely possible to have your feline friend eagerly wanting to join along on outdoor adventures. While I’m no expert with cats since I’ve only been a cat owner for about a dozen weeks, here are some tips and tricks that helped me make sure my adventures with Cosmo are safe, successful, and comfortable for both of us. 

When we first welcomed Cosmo into our family, we made sure to have a routine of regularly bringing him outside so he could get used to the world beyond our apartment walls. The key to doing this successfully is slowly introducing him to new environments in baby steps at the pace that he dictates he’s comfortable with. Even though we live right in Seattle, we make sure to bring him to spots of the city that aren’t too overwhelming or chaotic so he can feel comfortable exploring his surroundings. In my experience, the more often you take your cat outside, the more they will get comfortable with it as part of their routine, and the more comfortable they are outside, the more enjoyable the exploring will be for both you and your new adventure buddy.

man holding cat
adventure cat

Outdoor Adventure Accessories 

If you would like to explore the outdoors with your cat, it’s important to invest in some good-quality accessories. A leash/harness is good for short walks but I would recommend a travel cat backpack for longer adventures. The good thing about these backpacks is that it keeps the cat attached (by a short leash) inside securely, yet they are still able to stick their head/upper body out a bit to explore the area around them. It’s the best of both worlds for the cat because it gives them the comfort of having a home base to retreat to if they get overwhelmed, but also allows them to check out their surroundings if they are brave and curious enough to explore. These packs are also comfortable for the human wearing them, and give you peace of mind knowing your precious cargo is safe and happy right behind your shoulders. Since Washington’s weather is also typically pretty wet and chilly, investing in some good pet jackets/sweaters/blankets is essential to keep your fur baby toasty warm. 

cat at space needle

Cats are great companions but they are capable of so much more than just staying at home all day. Sure, cats like their comfort zone, but they are also curious creatures that like to check out anything new to them, so bringing your cat outdoors in a safe and comfortable setting can be a fantastic way to bond with your best friend. I hope that my outdoor adventures around the Evergreen State with Cosmo will inspire you and your cat to help shatter some stereotypes and enjoy exploring the outdoors together as well!

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Edward Homick

Greetings! My name is Edward, a new resident of Washington state who is proud to call Seattle home. My biggest passion is traveling and I’ve been to all 50 US states as well as 26 countries. When I’m not wandering around the world, my cat Cosmo makes a pretty adorable hiking buddy and we have some pretty epic outdoor adventures around the PNW.  Follow Edward on his Instagram Follow Cosmo on his Instagram


  1. Avatar photo Alpha Shashinka on December 23, 2021 at 12:16 am

    This article is fun to read, informative for cat parents who may feel timid about bringing Kitty along, and very entertaining.

  2. Avatar photo Sheryl M on January 8, 2022 at 8:56 am

    I love this article! I would love to see more articles sharing Cosmo’s adventures

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