Thursday 28 January 2021

Picture of a cat on hiking trip. Is it an unrealistic dream?

I'm asking the simple question whether it is a good idea to take your cat hiking. You put your cat in a backpack and off you go. The picture looks great. You are stimulating your cat to the maximum. Your cat has got used to it and therefore 'behaves'. It has taken some time to achieve this. Because at the beginning your cat wouldn't cooperate. 

You tried a lead and she just fell over so it's taken months and months to get her to the position where she cooperates and comes along with you on a hiking trip. But when you go for a walk along a hiking trail she wants to go left and right and stop and sniff. So you make about a mile of progress and consider that to be a great success. Then you go back to your campervan.

Picture of a domestic cat on a hiking trip. Is it an unrealistic dream that is being sold? Pic in public domain.

It is a good idea? That's why I have put the question inside the picture. Because it looks really good but we do not know what happens behind the scene? You see some wonderful photographs of cats in beautiful places on Instagram. You might see a cat with a dog and they have been carefully arranged. The background is magnificent with mountains and lakes or a superb forest. A lot of work goes into this photography and the distinct impression is 'great success'.

But is it just a dream that is being sold to people? It's a dream to people who live in the urban environment. Who struggle with day-to-day living. Their cat is a full-time indoor cat because it's unsafe outside. The owners of the cat love their cat and want to do more for them but they struggle to earn a living and therefore are not at home enough.

They worry that their cat is stressed and they want to enrich the life of their cat. The pictures on Instagram of a beautiful Bengal cat in front of a lake switches them on to the possibility that they could give their cat this kind of life.

But, and this is the big but, is it really feasible? Is it too complicated? Is it workable? Is it viable? Are the people who publish these photographs on social media simply doing it as a business to make money and to become influencers? That is probably what is happening but they are inadvertently or deliberately selling a dream. A dream that is probably and possibly unattainable for the vast majority of people. It may be impractical and probably is.

If my assessment is somewhere near correct then I don't think the social media cat hiking picture stories are helpful to people. Because it will lead people into believing that they are a failure in respect of cat caretaking.

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