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Can I Take My Cat to the Beach? 6 Vet-Reviewed Tips and FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 27, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

woman and her cat in the beach

Can I Take My Cat to the Beach? 6 Vet-Reviewed Tips and FAQ


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

A fun day at the beach is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, and it’s common to see dog lovers with their furry friends on the beach running along the shoreline. We know that some beaches don’t allow dogs, and others only require they be leashed at all times. But what about cats? Can you take your cat to the beach?

You’ll generally find that beaches that allow dogs will generally allow cats as well. However not all cats will enjoy a trip to the beach. Read on to find out what to consider before hitting the sandy shores with your cat.

Cat ball divider 1Can You Take Your Cat to the Beach?

Dog-friendly beaches are common in areas with coastlines and dog lovers, particularly in California and Florida. Like the rules and regulations surrounding dogs in these areas, cats must follow the same rules. Cats must be leashed at all times, which is recommended for the cat’s safety.

You should avoid busy times and, most importantly, peak sun hours. This is between 10 AM and 6 PM (depending on your geographical location). So, if you plan to take your feline friend to the beach, ensure the beach allows pets, check where the cats are allowed, and check for any stipulations regarding their time there. Also, be sure to pack everything you need.

Image Credit: SakSa, Shutterstock

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The 6 Tips for Taking Your Cat to the Beach

If you live in a coastal area, taking your cat to the beach might seem like the most natural thing in the world. Getting up close and personal with nature seems like a great way to bond with your cat. But even if you’re ready to hit the sand with your kitty, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are, too.

Some cats don’t adapt to new environments very well. If you have a shy or cautious feline friend, it’s not advisable to bring them along on your next trip. But if you think your cat would enjoy a day at the beach, here are some tips for taking them there safely.

1. Make Sure Your Cat Is Up to Date on Vaccinations

cat walking in desert
Image Credit: AltArt, Shutterstock

It’s critical to keep your cat healthy and protected against diseases, even if they stay indoors. Cats should follow the vaccination plan recommended by your vet. Core vaccines include panleukopenia, feline calicivirus, feline herpes, feline leukemia virus, and potentially rabies, depending on where you live.

If your cat is not up to date on their vaccinations or has never been vaccinated, don’t take them to an outdoor area where they could be exposed to diseases.

2. Don’t Forget the Essentials

Every time you take your cat on a trip, you must pack all the essentials: food, water, any medications for your cat, and a litter box. If you expect to be at the beach for an extended period, you should also bring enough food, water, and litter for your cat.

Some outdoor cat water fountains are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, but bringing bottled water for your pet is always a good idea.

3. Don’t Force Your Cat to Do Anything They Don’t Want to Do

orange cat wearing red harness
Image Credit: NINA IN SANTORINI, Shutterstock

Cats are very sensitive to their environment and their owner’s mood. If you’re feeling excited and eager to explore, it’s possible your cat will get swept up in the general excitement of the trip. However, if they seem unsure or apprehensive, don’t force them to go along with it.

As your cat gets older, they’ll probably be less inclined to go out and about. If your cat is old, take them out for short periods and handle them gently.

4. Use a Carrier or Leash and Harness

Cats are much different from dogs regarding new experiences, people, and places. Unlike dogs, some cats are spooked by the unfamiliar sounds of the beach and might run away. If you suspect your cat might bolt, take them to a more secluded area of the beach where fewer people are around. As a precaution for their security, use a cat harness to keep them from running away or getting lost.

You can also use a cat carrier to keep your pet safe and close by. If you use a carrier, make sure that it’s well-ventilated and large enough for your cat to be comfortable and enjoy their time at the beach.

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5. Don’t Leave Your Pet Unattended

Even if your cat is the friendliest and most sociable feline in the world, never leave them unattended. If your cat is in a carrier, always keep it near you to avoid theft. And if your cat is on a leash, keep them close by. Even well-behaved cats might get into trouble while you’re not watching them.

Watch out for the sand, which can be very hot at times. If you the sand is too hot, go to an area with shade. There are products you can use to protect your cat from the heat of the sand, like a cooling mat, cat-friendly sunblock, and paw socks. Also, be careful to avoid areas recently washed out by the tide.

6. Watch Out for Other Animals & People

Cats are territorial creatures who are not comfortable sharing their space with unfamiliar animals. Avoid busy times, and if you’re at a beach and there are more people or animals than expected, keep an eye on your cat and ensure they’re securely attached to the leash and harness.

Some dogs might see your cat as prey and attempt to attack them, and the leash will allow you to move your cat away from them. You also don’t know how your cat will react to another animal sniffing or coming up to them.

divider-catclaw1 About Cats and Water FAQ

Why Do Cats Avoid Getting Near Water?

Most cats avoid getting wet. It may interfere with their cleaning and grooming habits, and they are not known for their swimming skills.

Should I Let My Cat Get Into the Ocean?

You can take your cat to the beach, but never consider putting them in the water. The salt in the seawater, the waves, the currents, and the fact that your cat may panic are more than enough reasons to keep your cat away from the shore.

Is It Ever Dangerous for Your Cat to Be Wet?

While a few drops of water won’t harm your cat, there are risks associated with getting wet. The main one is hypothermia. When cats get wet and their body temperature gets too low, they can suffer serious consequences.

Cat ball divider 1Wrapping Things Up

Cats are natural explorers drawn to the outdoors by their curiosity and desire to hunt, but many cats don’t enjoy car rides and unfamiliar environments. If you’re planning to take your cat to the beach, make sure they are used to being walked on a harness and comfortable with car rides.

Secondly, ensure you follow the previous steps so your cat can explore the wild while providing them the affection and comfort they crave from their owners. Taking your cat to the beach should be enjoyed by both you and your feline friend. By following these tips, you can keep them safe and secure.

Featured Image Credit: KIRAYONAK YULIYA, Shutterstock

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