Can I Take My Cat to the Beach? Our Best Tips and Tricks

tips for taking your cat to the beach

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It’s not often a common sight to see a cat on the beach, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. There are people who take their cats to the beach, and you (and your cat) can be one of them!

If you are thinking about taking your cat to the beach, there are a few things you should do to prepare. In this article, we’ll show you the ways you can set yourself up for success when it comes to taking your cat to the beach.

We’ll also guide you towards some quality products you can bring with you to make the day at the beach even better.

Are you ready to plan out a beach trip with your cat? Let’s get started.

How to Find a Pet-Friendly Beach

One of the first steps in taking your cat to the beach is finding a beach that will allow both you and your feline friend to be there. While beaches may be open to the public, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll allow your pet to come with you.

If you’re not sure if your local beach is pet-friendly, you can always call and ask. Signs may also be posted regarding the rules of the beach, which include whether or not the beach itself is pet-friendly. Cat owners should never assume.

You may be thinking that beaches that allow dogs will also allow cats, but this may not always be the case. Even dog-friendly beaches can restrict what other animals are allowed.

Plus, if there are a lot of dogs around, this could be a recipe for disaster when bringing your cat along for a beach trip.

Plan Ahead for Best Results

Preparing for a trip to the beach starts long before you actually step foot in the sand. Here are a few things you’ll want to do before making the trip to the beach with your cat.

Check the Weather

It’s a pretty simple concept, really, but checking the weather can actually help you avoid disaster early on. A day at the beach is best spent in the sun with a little breeze, not in the pouring rain with fierce thunder and lightning. That goes for cats and humans!

Cats may have a lot of fur on their bodies, but when it’s cold, they get cold too. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep them inside and warm when it’s near or below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Even if you bundle up your furry friend, the cold will get to them eventually.

Scout It Out

Visiting someplace new can be stressful for both you and your cat. Reduce both your cat’s anxiety as well as your own by scoping out the beach you’re thinking about visiting first. This will help you to get an idea of where to park, what spots you can set up at on the beach itself, as well as where any emergency help might be located if necessary.

This is also a great way to judge how busy the beach is when you go. If you know your cat gets overstimulated by so many people, other pets, and everything else that goes on at the beach, you may want to see when the beach is least busy and try visiting then.

Leash Training

With the chaos of the beach enough to drive anyone a little crazy, it’s a good idea to have your cat on a leash at all times. That said, it’s not a good idea to introduce them to the leash the day you visit the beach.

The best way to prepare for the beach is by leash training your cat beforehand. This will allow them to get used to the leash in a safe environment, where they’re surrounded by familiar objects (besides the leash, of course). In some cases, your cat could even begin to see the leash as a familiar, comforting element when you do travel to the beach.

If you’re not sure where to get started, check out our 10 Steps to train your cat how to walk on a leash. It might take some cats a bit longer than others to get used to the idea of a leash, but keep at it and you’ll reap the rewards.

You should also invest in a quality cat leash. Purchasing one with a harness will help keep your cat secure while still allowing you to contain them if things get out of hand.

Cat Harness and Leash for Walking
$17.98
  • This real comfy cat harness will snugly fit your feline friend's body, while still keeping him or her cool with its breathable air mesh.
  • This adjustable kitty harness features 4 adjusting straps which allow a just-right fit for your flexible cat.
  • For safety, you can attach the long, sturdy nylon leash to the metal leash clip on the back.
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09/11/2022 12:11 am GMT

Gather Supplies

We’ve got a full list below of beach essentials you’ll want to pack for your trip. You can also invest in a cat travel kit, which includes quite a few of the items we mention on the list in one package. Investing in some cat calming paw gel could also help ease the stress of taking your cat to the beach.

Cat Essentials for a Beach Trip

Here are some essentials you should invest in if you’re planning a trip to the beach with your favorite feline friend.

Cat Carrier

Transporting your cat safely requires the use of a cat carrier. This useful tool helps keep your cat contained and safe during the car ride, but can also be a safe place for them to come back to when you get to the beach as well.

There are many types of cat carriers out there to choose from. If you’re not sure which size will fit your cat, check out our guide to choosing the right size cat carrier. Picking out the right size will go a long way towards helping your cat make it a safe place no matter where you are.

Pet Carrier
$21.99
  • small animal carrier for quick trips to the Veterinarian, pet store, dog park, etc.
  • Pet carrier is available in 3 fun & fashionable colors & the design provides proper air circulation/visibility for your pet.
  • Our pet carrier assembles much easier than competitor carriers that use “nut & bolt” assembly.
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09/11/2022 12:09 am GMT
Airline-approved Pet Carrier
$23.99
  • With an airline-approved design, you can take your pet to go to everywhere.
  • The adjustable shoulder strap helps you hands-free carrying and makes it a safe and more convenient pet carrier bag for your travel.
  • This cat carrier is made of durable and lightweight polyester fabric.
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09/11/2022 12:15 am GMT

Besides the actual cat carrier, you may also want to include a blanket or towel inside, too. This can help dry your cat’s paws off after a swim, or even just give them something soft to rest on. With your cat sitting on something plush, they’re sure to start purring.

Some people who bike to the beach may want to take their cats along. In this case, a bike basket may not necessarily cut it. Bike baskets can be tricky for some cats, who would prefer to be in a cat backpack instead (more on those in a few sections).

Even bike trailers and front bike baskets can give your cat anxiety, so it might be a good idea to invest in a soft carrier that can fit in these spaces and still keep your cat contained.

Sunscreen

Most cats are covered in fur, so we don’t often think they need the type of sun protection we do. However, even cats that don’t belong to a hairless breed need a little sunscreen to keep them protected.

Sunscreen for All Breeds of Dogs and Cats
$13.99
  • Allow your pet to have fun in the sun with Bodhi Moisturizing Sun Spray made with pet-friendly ingredients. 
  • Includes shea butter and jojoba butter to not only protect from the sun but also moisturize while your pet plays. 
  • Simply spray our pet sunscreen using the quick and convenient non-aerosol bottle 15 minutes before sun exposure.
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09/11/2022 12:10 am GMT

Applying sunscreen can be a challenge in some cases. Remember to apply the sunscreen to your cat’s ears, as well as any other delicate spots that are not completely covered by fur. Alternatively, you can also buy a pet shirt to put over their torso to cover most of their body.

Umbrella or Beach Tent

Having a cool place to rest after playing at the beach can help your cat feel more at ease. We recommend investing in an umbrella for shade, not only for your cat but for you as well. You can also set up a beach tent, which will allow you some rest from other beachgoers.

Just because you have your cat in a beach tent doesn’t mean you can leave them alone. Leaving a cat unattended is asking for trouble, as they’re bound to get bored and want to roam around. Make sure you stay with your cat at all times.

Canopy Umbrella for Beach and Sports Events
$49.99
  • Canopy, Made of 190 D Polyester with side flaps for Full shelter Protection
  • UPF 50+ sun and weather Protection and Water repellent, protects from UVA and UVB rays
  • Canopy Supported by 4 millimeter steel ribs and a 4 millimeter steel stretcher
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09/11/2022 12:08 am GMT

Cat Backpack

Depending on your cat’s personality, they may or may not be social. If your cat is a bit timider, you can easily bring them around to see the beach sights without having to drag them around on a leash. The solution is a cat backpack.

Most cat backpacks are clear so that your cat can see out but still feel safe and protected. These backpacks work just like any other backpack, with the exception of the cargo. Your cat will certainly enjoy the beach without creating more stress than necessary.

Backpack Carrier for Small Cats
$24.99
  • Easily fits cats, small dogs, and most other small/medium-sized pets!
  • Three sides are made of PVC mesh for the carriers. Well ventilated design for optimal airflow and checking on a pet.
  • This cat carrier backpack comes with chest buckles which help to reduce the burden and keeps the shoulder straps from slipping while the pet move.
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09/11/2022 12:11 am GMT

If you had something else in mind when you saw the words “cat backpack,” don’t worry. There are actual backpacks for your cat as well.

Strawberry-Designed Back Pack
$14.99
  • Ideal for daily walks, outdoor trips. Also works as a canine emergency kit to hold medicines and other essentials.
  • Made of durable nylon oxford combined with breathable polyester-cotton, and is equipped with a soft mesh cushion to protect your pet’s skin and ensure dry and breathable.
  • Three straps ensure that the cat's backpack is firmly and stably attached to the back to ensure that your pet is comfortable.
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09/11/2022 12:15 am GMT
Froggy Backpack
$27.97
  • made of durable nylon oxford and padded with a soft cushion to protect your pet's skin.
  • The main bag with a zipper design on the back matches with cute green frog shape, which is eye-catching and large capacity.
  • the pet harness is both adjustable on the neck and chest part, for a comfortable fit.
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09/11/2022 12:09 am GMT

This strawberry design is super cute, and the froggy backpack makes any trip an adventure.

Water Bowl

Bringing fresh water is essential for any beach trip. This is especially true if your cat likes to drink from the ocean waves, which will only dehydrate them further and can actually transmit harmful diseases.

The best water bowls are those that can fold up. This collapsible portable water bowl can be used for both cats and dogs. Plus, it includes a carabiner to easily attach to any backpack or belt loop.

Collapsible Portable Water Bowl
$5.99
  • Convenient collapsible design for saving space, simply stretch and fold away, which are good for traveling, hiking, and camping.
  • It can attach to a belt loop, backpack, leash, or other locations.
  • These pet bowls are made of high-quality silicone, odorless, durable, and friendly.
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09/11/2022 12:13 am GMT

Comfort Food/Treats

A good rule of thumb when it comes to traveling with your cat is to pack only food that they are sure to eat. In addition, you may only want to bring food if you plan on being at the beach for a few hours or more. Many cats have sensitive stomachs, and too much stimulation paired with a full stomach can spell disaster.

Resist the urge to purchase new cat food or pack traditional hard food. Instead, go with food that’s easy to eat. Treats are a convenient way to provide a beach snack for your cat, but don’t go overboard. Be extra careful to watch how much your cat is eating the entire time, and have that disposable litter box ready.

Bug Repellent

The same bugs that go after you at the beach may have a taste for kitty fur as well. Choose a quality bug repellent to keep the insect wildlife away from both you and your cat.

Quality Bug Repellent
$34.99
  • A preventative and a treatment, this pet-safe insect spray kills and repels indoor pests and keeps your home pest-free.
  • This versatile bug control spray is also an indoor flea treatment and flea killer for your home. 
  • Pet-friendly, this spray is gentle enough to use several times a week around your loved ones.
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09/11/2022 12:12 am GMT

Litter Box

If you plan on bringing food and water to the beach, you’ll definitely want a way for your cat to use the litter box. Purchasing a disposable litter box is the easiest way to do this since you can simply throw the box away as you leave the beach.

Disposable Litter Box
  • Includes a litter box with a scoop, one pack of 4 cat pads, and 1 bag of 3.5 lb. litter pellets, giving your cat one month of refills
  • Disposable cat litter pads lock in moisture so the box remains dry and are designed to last for 7 days for one cat
  • Anti-tracking cat litter pellets for Breeze system are 99.9% dust free and cut down on tracking around the box. 
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First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit handy ensures you’re prepared for the worst if it happens. A traditional first aid kit you’d pack in your car for emergencies works, but we recommend this one from Certified Pet Friendly. It’s got all the essentials you’ll need if anything goes wrong.

Certified Pet First Aid Kit
$32.79
  • 60 PIECE FIRST AID PET KIT gives you everything you need including bandages, gauze, gloves, antiseptic and more. Our kit is Certified Pet Friendly!
  • Our Certified Pet Friendly pet first aid kit is designed to help you have the tools and equipment you need to handle accidents and injuries before you’re able to get your animal to the veterinarian.
  • A must-have accessory for every pet owner and animal lover.
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09/11/2022 12:10 am GMT

Safety Tips for Your Beach Trip

Safety at the beach should be a priority for both you and your cat. The following is a list of tips you can refer to in order to keep you and your cat safer at the beach.

  • When approaching the water, use caution. Your cat may or may not like water, so don’t force the issue if this is their first experience. You should also keep an eye out for large waves, sea life, and any other hazards on the beach such as broken glass shards.
  • Certain beaches may have dangerous tides to watch out for as well. Keep an eye on the water’s behavior to make sure you don’t get into a bad situation.
  • Before throwing your cat right into the water, check the water temperature. Create a positive experience that will make your cat want to come back to the beach for another trip.
  • Stay with your cat at all times. Unattended cats can get into all kinds of mischief, especially in the beach environment.
  • Be sure to pick up after your cat. It’s a bad idea to assume that cats can pee in the sand without consequences. The beach is not your cat’s litter box. Instead, bring pee pads, a disposable litter box, trash bags, or some other method of picking up after your cat.
  • Invest in an umbrella for shade. The extreme heat of the beach can easily get to your cat, potentially faster than it will get to you. Having a cool place to rest can also alleviate heat from the fragile front and hind paws.
  • Under your umbrella, you should also have a water bowl ready with fresh water. The ocean water will dehydrate your cat further and could potentially transmit harmful bacteria. Avoid an upset stomach by bringing your own water both you and your cat can share.
  • As fun, as it might seem to your cat, chasing the wildlife at the beach, is a bad idea. Other animals certainly call the beach their home, so be respectful.
  • Speaking of wildlife, you should also avoid shallow bodies of water. Leeches can live here and they’ll latch onto your cat just as easily as they’ll suck your blood.
  • Your cat may enjoy walking on the beach, but you won’t enjoy stepping on granules of sand when you get home. Wash the sand out from your cat’s front and hind paws, as well as their fur. If it’s a really hot day, you could get rid of all the sand by giving your cat a quick rinse. Most cats hate water, but in this case, they may welcome the refresher.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats like sand?

If you bring your cat to the beach, you might wonder if they’ll like the sand. Many cats may be fine with the new ground type, since it resembles the texture of their litter box. However, if they do end up making a cat mess, make sure you clean up after them.

Other cats may not be as fond of the beach. Sand can easily find its way into cat fur, causing it to be scratchy and itchy. If your cat’s fur is shorter, however, they may enjoy the scrub that sand gives their skin.

Are cats allowed at the beach?

Cats are allowed at certain beaches that are designated pet friendly. A pet friendly beach typically also allows dogs as well, but just because a beach allows dogs does not mean they allow cats.

Should cat owners let their cats swim in the ocean?

If your cat likes to swim, you should gently introduce them to the ocean. However, cats react differently to familiar situations when they’re in a new environment, so be cautious.

If you do let your cat swim in the ocean, ensure they are properly leash trained so that you can be right there with them. Dangerous tides can easily pull a cat out to sea as much as they can a human being.

Do they make sunscreen for cats?

Yes, there are certain products out there that act like sunscreen for cats and dogs. Most are spray-on applications, but they all help to protect your pet’s delicate skin from sunburns.

Final Thoughts

Taking your cat to the beach can be a rewarding experience, as long as you’re prepared. Hopefully, this guide has helped you to plan out your next trip to the beach so that you can spend the time making new memories, and not regretting your decision.

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