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How To Keep Your Cat Safe During Bad Weather
Bad weather can suck, even when we're indoors!
In November 2021, my missus purchased land in New Mexico. It sits in a valley surrounded by three mountain ranges. This valley is occasionally a wind tunnel. We then chose to start improving the lot during the spring, the windiest time of the year in most desert areas.
Since being here, we have withstood some of the worst windstorms and sandstorms we have ever seen. We have had sustained winds of up to 30 mph with gusts up to 70 mph. We have also weathered Arizona storms in the rooftop tent, including one that took down our ground tent and sent it flying across camp and SMACK! Right into the truck!
So, what can you do to ensure your kitty stays safe and happy during these and other types of inclement weather? Here are a few tips based on what my missus does for me!
Check the Weather
The worst time to weather a storm is when you don't know it's coming. Being ill-prepared for a storm can lead to severe consequences, such as not having adequate power to work from the road or getting caught in a flash flood. Always check the weather and plan accordingly.
Plan for the Weather
So, what exactly does "plan accordingly" mean? It depends on the weather. For example, if you have a wedge rooftop tent and it's windy, ideally, you don't park under trees, and you point the vertex corner of the tent toward the wind.
If the warning is for potential flash floods, you stay away from washes and reconsider a ground tent. For warnings of potential fires, try to stay clear of brushes and map several ways out. Sometimes, you might decide to book a hotel instead.
Here are some great ways to figure out what to do:
Ask other people who have camped in that area or experienced similar weather.
Ask the locals what to expect and create a plan that includes their suggestions.
Check the campground website for information.
Check the boards at the campground for information.
I like most storms, but some are terrifying. The scariest one was in the rooftop tent on Tucson Mountain. It was especially frightening when the ground tent slammed into the side of the truck below. I was terrified, but Missus petted me, sang to me, and assured me we were okay.
After that, I enjoyed the storm from the big windows. Little did I know, she was freaking out on the inside, wondering if the rooftop tent would stay put. If you visibly freak out, you'll only make it worse for your pets. Stay calm and keep both your anxiety levels down!
Bring Your Kitty Inside
This one is pretty obvious, but I'll say it anyway. If the weather is horrible and your kitty is used to spending time outdoors, bring him inside! It's much better to be safe than sorry.
You don't want to wait until wind gusts have hit 70 mph to wonder where Mister Whiskers is. Us cats are very good at finding good hidey holes to wait out the worst weather. But afterward, you might not be able to find us, and we might not know how to find you.
Batten Down the Hatches!
No, this doesn't mean it’s time for your feline friend to get sailing lessons―although, that could come in handy one day! It means making sure everything is secure before the storm hits:
Shut all the windows and doors facing the wind in a wind storm.
Bring in all your outside furniture or securely tie them down.
If you have an RV, lock all of your outdoor compartments.
Ensure everything at camp is secure and won't topple over during high winds.
If you have a ground tent, stake it down well and ensure the guy lines are taut.
If you have a rooftop tent, remember that it needs to be vented, or you can literally suffocate in there!
Make sure your vehicle is in a safe place, away from trees that could fall on it.
Bad weather doesn't have to put a damper on your camping trip! With a little bit of planning, you can weather any storm―and convince Mister Whiskers that there's nothing to worry about. Stay safe and have fun!