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Do Cats Actually Like Going to the Beach? The Interesting Answer

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

a cat sitting on the shore

Do you want to vacation with your cat? You’re not alone. About 21% of people travel with a cat, and a day at the beach sure sounds nice. But will your cat enjoy it as much as you do?

The answer is yes—sort of. It really depends on the cat. Generally, cats love being outside as long as they feel safe and secure. The real question is, are cats even allowed at the beach? Let’s find out.

Are Cats Allowed at the Beach?

Cats are allowed at the beach as long as the beach is pet friendly. Not all beaches allow pets, so it’s best to do a quick Google search and find a beach that accepts dogs and cats.

We recommend calling the beach and double-checking that you can bring your cat. Sometimes the term “pet-friendly” only entails dogs.

Off-Leash Hours

As a word of caution, many dog beaches allow off-leash hours. This means dogs can freely roam on the beach. The hours vary for each location, but that could pose a problem for a nervous kitty surrounded by prey-driven dogs.

A small, portable cat tent is worth looking into if you’re going to a beach like this. Your cat can still enjoy the salty sea air and feel safe in an enclosed environment.

Should I Take My Cat to the Beach?

Calico cat lying down on a beach towel
Image Credit: Basje3990, Pixabay

It’s nice to know that you can vacation with your cat. But is it really a good idea?

The answer depends on your cat. We don’t recommend taking a skittish cat to a beach full of wild dogs and people. You’re asking for trouble at that point. But if your cat is a social butterfly, it could have a blast in the sand.

There are a few other things to consider before you put your cat’s swim trunks on.


Ensure your cat is vaccinated against rabies. Some beaches may request vet records for proof of vaccination to be sure. Other vaccines may not be necessary, but rabies is a biggie, so carry that information.


Some cats love car rides, and others will inform you of their dissatisfaction throughout the journey. The car ride may be fine, depending on the distance. Still, ask yourself if it’s worth the stress.

Leash Training

Leash training your cat is an excellent idea. Your cat knows something good is about to happen when you whip out the leash and harness. It’s a nice boost of confidence.

Leash training also provides a sense of security. Your cat can’t run off and hide somewhere impossible to find. Like dogs, you can control your cat and quickly diffuse a situation because you’re within arm’s reach.

Cat-Friendly Beach Activities

What exactly does a cat do at a beach? Besides using the sand as a litter box, that is. There are several activities you can do with your cat at the beach, such as:

  • People watching
  • Sun-bathing
  • Climbing rocks
  • Climbing trees
  • Digging
  • Eating treats
  • Playing with toys

The fun has already begun once your cat steps outside. It won’t take much to keep your cat entertained once you arrive.

a cat standing on the shore by the beach
Image Credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969, Pixabay

Keeping Your Kitty Cool

The beach is hot and humid. There’s not much natural shade dispersed on the sandy shores, either. Keep this in mind when taking your cat. They only tolerate the harsh sun as much as we do.

The best times to take your cat are in the morning and early evening. The sun isn’t as harsh during these times, and the sand isn’t scolding hot. You and your cat can have a little more fun without overheating.

No matter the time of day, always bring your cat food, water, and shade, and never leave your cat in the car so your cat doesn’t risk heat exhaustion.

Signs of heat stress include:
  • Panting
  • Sweaty feet
  • Drooling
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Redness in the mouth and on the tongue
  • Loss of balance

You can help by drizzling fresh ocean water on your cat, but don’t drizzle ice-cold water on them or allow them to drink the salty water.

Additional Beach Safety Tips for Cats

When you’re vacationing with your cats, a safe time is a fun time.

Follow these additional safety tips to avoid stress:
  • Bring a Leash and Harness: Never let your cat free-range on the beach.
  • Bring an Enclosure With a roof: Tents, umbrellas, or cat carriers are good options.
  • Bring Poop Bags: After all, the beach is the world’s largest litter box.
  • Bring Items With Your Kitty’s Scent on Them: Your cat will be nervous at first. Something with its scent will help keep it relaxed.
  • Steer Clear of Crowds: If possible, avoid busy times of the day so your cat can enjoy itself and stay safe.
  • Don’t Force Your Cat: Your cat will be nervous but don’t force it into anything it doesn’t want to do. Howling, scratching, and hissing are clear signs of stress. Take your cat home and try another time.


Do you think it’s worth taking your cat to the beach? You won’t know unless you try, so why not give it a shot?

Sure, it will be a learning experience. But a trip to the beach can boost your cat’s spirits when done correctly. Follow the tips in this post, and your cat’s beach experience will likely be positive.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969, Pixabay

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