Cats are not known for their excitement when it comes to traveling. Unlike dogs, cats prefer to stay put in their territory. If you are planning to take your cat with you on your next adventure, whether it'd be a vacation or a move across the country, here are some helpful tips on how to travel with cats:
Plan Your Trip
When you travel with your cat, it’s important to plan your journey. Here are some things to consider:
- How long is the trip? A short trip to the vet or moving across country?
- Will I need to take any breaks?
- If it’s a long trip, have I packed enough food and water for me and my cat?
- Do I need to stop anywhere along the way?
- Will I be traveling in hot or cold weather?
- Do I have a copy of their medical records and any applicable DOT records if I am crossing state lines?
Making a plan and having some contingencies will be helpful in the event something goes array!
Use A Comfortable Carrier
Your cat’s comfort should be priority when it comes to travel. When selecting a carrier, you should look for not only comfort, but also human accessibility. A soft or hard carrier that allows you to easily retrieve your cat is preferred. I especially like carriers that have soft mesh windows so that you can talk to your cat and they can see what’s going on during the ride.
Have A Comfortable Environment
The cat’s environment should be super comfortable while traveling. Not only is a spacious carrier important, but as equally important is having a warm and inviting environment. Before placing your cat into the carrier, prime their carrier and your car with a pheromone calming spray such as Feliway . Allow to dry before placing your cat into the carrier and car. A nice blanket from home or your pillowcase in the carrier will also comfort your cat. You can also include some of your cat’s favorite toys inside the carrier. While driving, minimal noise and some soft music such as classical or coffeehouse acoustics will ease your cat during the ride.
If you are going to the vet, a short practice ride may not be necessary, but if you are planning on something more than 30 minutes such as a long move or vacation, practice rides are highly recommended. Practice a few times before your long journey so that your cat doesn’t get stressed or sick from the long trip. This will show your kitty that a carrier and a car ride isn’t very scary, but an exciting journey!
If you recently adopted a kitten and plan on taking your cat on some adventures, do it as soon as possible. Starting young will help your cat get used to the carrier and car rides as they get older. That’s not to say that you can’t start with an older cat!
With just these simple tips, traveling with your cat can be stress-free. Have you traveled with your cat and if so, what other tips can you provide? We would love you hear from you!