Updated: Mar 10
Adventuring in different parts of the world and in different times of the year can be rather tricky! Aries and I can only speak to our experiences which have been limited to Texas and Arizona so we haven't really experienced long periods of cold or snow, but we HAVE experienced long periods of hot and dry. So, let's talk HOT.
The day we moved to Arizona in August, it was 117° F (47° C) and it stayed over 100° F until mid-October! Rather uncomfortable weather for anyone to bear. But Aries was adamant to spend time outside, listening to birds and rolling in the dirt. Here were the Top 3 Things we did to survive the heat:
Go out in the early morning. I'm talking 6:00am early! It's not always easy (i'm not exactly a morning person) but Aries would wake me up at that time and we'd harness up either just hang out around our complex or go to a nearby park. I'm sure it isn't surprising, but Arizona is quite vibrant at that hour in the summer because the outdoors gets pretty unbearable very quickly.
Make sure there's shade. Honestly, if there is shade and dirt, Aries flattens down and cools off using the earth. But, if there's no shade (a scarce commodity in the Sonoran desert) they don't have a way to cool off and continue the adventure! Shade is important.
WATER. I'm sure you all know how important this is but just to be safe - pack EXTRA. Aries and I used a backpack that didn't have any pockets and only used a 24 oz. hydroflask. We quickly ran out and that was one of the most challenging hikes we've ever had. Now, we use a different backpack that has plenty of pockets and we attach a camelback pack to the side for extra water haul for longer adventures. More info on our backpacks here.
Another question we get asked a lot is concerning the fact that Aries is .... very, very black! He's basically 50 shades of the black. (but boy, he's gorgeous, isn't he?!) So, yes, as a black cat, he does tend to attract more sun and his coat can become extremely hot very quickly. We're going to share 3 things to do for your black cat in summer:
WATER: We mentioned this above but to be honest - cats don't drink very much when they're hiking. (At least Aries doesn't) so, instead we use treats that provide some hydration. With the water, I have poured some over his head and body to bring his temperature down when he gets too hot. He doesn't freak out and I think he's usually grateful for the refreshing feeling!
Little Fan: Do you remember those little fans you took to Disneyland or on roadtrips or wherever? They are small, battery powered, and provide a slight breeze making them a perfection addition to our summer pack! Here is one we use: Tripole Mini Handheld Fan
Cooling Scarf/Vest: We haven't actually purchased/used one of these yet but we plan to for when our hot season begins again. These are accessories that you can dip into cool water and wear to keep your cats body temperature down. Again, haven't tried them personally, will update this when we do! Here are some that our friend Percy recommended: Cooling scarf from KiloninerPets; Cooling vest from TrendyLittlePaws.
We've survived a few months of Arizona heat and two years of Texas heat and we seem to be doing alright! Always plan ahead, pack more water than you think you'll need, and don't start with the longest, toughest hike. Take small steps towards a goal, learning about yourself and your feline friend as you go!