Discover more from The Adventure Cat Newsletter
What To Know About Desert Camping With Your Cat
Watch out for the rattlesnakes!
Last week, Missus and I took a break from life on the road to start building our eco-dome in New Mexico. We did live in the desert in Mexico (the country!) for five months. But, proximity to the beach and being in a small city removed the need for most of our usual precautions.
Now that we're back in the rural desert, it’s time to prep for Mother Nature again. This morning, one of the neighbors knocked on our door to say he had found a rattlesnake under his motorhome. So, what do you need to know before taking your cat into the desert for camping?
Provide Extra Water
I admit it: I am a naughty little booger. I like to splash and play in my water bowl. Sometimes, I knock it over completely. Since I was a kitten, Missus has tried to stop me from doing this, but nothing has worked.
Consequently, in the desert, she has to check my water constantly. Even if you don't have a splashy kitty, keep a keen eye on the water. You'd be surprised at how easily we run out when it's 9% humidity indoors and out!
Watch Out for the Wildlife
We are building in a tiny home development in rural New Mexico. When we first visited in November, the developer warned the Missus:
I bet you love your kitty, so keep him inside. The rattlesnakes aren't out right now; it's too cold. But, you can bet the coyotes will come sniffing later tonight.
Sure enough, we heard the coyotes howling by twilight. They didn't scare me! But, Missus wasn't taking any chances. She kept me in the rooftop tent the entire time.
Well…I recently developed a penchant for leashed outdoor time. Missus usually goes outside and checks the area before allowing me to explore: including under the camper and the truck. I like pouncing on creepy crawlies, so it's a toss-up about who she's protecting with this!
But, it’s not all scary out here. The desert is also teeming with the wildlife I love to see! You never know what might hop out of the brushes: from birdies to bunnies saying hello. You might also see wild horses, bighorn sheep, and donkeys if you're really lucky.
Prepare for Pitch-Black Nights in Rural Areas
When the moon is full in the desert, the views are spectacular. The stars don't shine as brightly, but you can see for miles and miles—even at midnight! Most nights, however, are pitch black.
The darkness can stem from several reasons:
Few or no streetlights near your lot or campground due to zoning or reduced budgets
Dark sky ordinances that compel or encourage nearby property owners to dim lights or have no exterior lights at all
Distance from your neighbors
If you have a black cat, this can be a recipe for disaster. I once slipped out behind Missus to watch the stars with her in Arizona. She only noticed me when I brushed up against her feet. I was letting her know I wasn't going anywhere and that I was watching her back from any creepy crawlies!
Create Multiple Plans for Warm at Night
After dark, temperatures can fall unexpectedly and drastically in the desert. We have seen 30-degree temperatures at night and 80s in the daytime before. We had two freezing nights in the RV due to technical troubles. We also had no shore power, so Missus couldn't plug in her space heaters.
Luckily, Missus has tons of big, fluffy blankets that she somehow fits in the RV. We cozied up on the bed with bottles she filled with hot water. It wasn't as nice as having a working furnace, but it ensured I didn't get the shivers or catch a cold. Always have a backup for warmth in your rig!
Are you planning on taking your kitty camping or RVing in the desert? You and Mister Whiskers are in for a real treat! If you'd like to know what camping or adventure cat gear I use, I've got a list ready for you!