All cat lovers know how territorial cats can be. Basically, they don’t enjoy traveling in any form, so you should respect it and go on vacation alone whenever possible. However, your kitty will need to tolerate transportation if you plan a one-way trip. In such a case, you need to figure out how to help your cat travel better and organize the whole thing in the best way possible. Let’s take a look at this issue.
Going anywhere with a cat is an adventure that requires a lot of planning. If one part of the organization fails, you will find yourself in big trouble. There are two real possibilities:
Short trip – If you move within the same town, you can put your cat in a carrier and go to the desired destination. Even though your furry friend won’t enjoy it, you probably won’t face any significant difficulties.
Long trip – This is a whole different story that requires a lot of preparation. You need to take care of both the journey and a safe place to stay at the final destination. Sometimes, you will need to organize a place to spend the night if the road is very long.
It is not an occasion to be spontaneous since some accommodations are not pet-friendly. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere during the night with a nervous cat in your car.
Help the Kitty Get Used to the Carrier
Buy a separate carrier for each cat a few weeks before the trip. Ensure it is comfortable and large enough for your kitty to lie down, turn around, and stretch.
If you have multiple cats that get along well, you can consider buying a dog kennel to accommodate all of them. It can be comforting and less stressful for them to spend time in a familiar company.
Always put a towel, blanket, or a piece of your clothes inside. It is crucial to use something that smells familiar and provides a sense of security. Train the cat on time to accept it as an ordinary and comfy space.
For example, place food next to the carrier and move the bowl inside over time. Once your furry friend is used to spend time in the carrier, move it gently or pick it up from time to time. That way, you will teach it to stay calm during the drive. Rewarding the kitty will also help for best cat food check catcaveco.com
Help the Kitty Get Used to the Car
The next step includes getting to know the car. Once you put the carrier with the cat into the car, you need to fasten your seat belt to protect both you and your pet.
Ask someone to help you. One of you should drive and the other to talk, pet, and praise your furry friend. In some cases, this will help. In my experience, that depends on the cat and the reason for driving.
Somehow, my kitties exactly know when it is time to visit a vet, and they meow and roar as if I am trying to rip the skin off their backs along the way. The same cats are calm, relaxed, and curious about the surrounding on other occasions. It is a real mystery, and I have no advice about that.
Sometimes, an interactive toy placed in the carrier may help, but don’t count on it to be a long-term solution for a multi-hour trip.
On Your Way
I don’t know how, but your cat will understand that you want to take it out of the safety of its home. Therefore, don’t be surprised when discovering that nasty creature hidden in some hard-to-reach place before the trip.
Let your cat eat and drink as usual the night before the journey, but avoid this step at least 5 to 6 hours before it. If you need to spend hours on the road, you can try Pet Remedy, an herbal product that may help your kitty reduce stress.
Consult your vet and give the kitty a sedative or tranquilizer when necessary. Some owners use Benadryl to sedate cats for long car trips. Even though FDA hasn’t approved it for animal use, it is considered safe for cats in small doses.
If your trip is under six hours, it will be fine for your kitty to stay in the carrier all the time. Don’t feed it during the drive, but you should offer it some water from time to time, especially when traveling in summer. It is wise to place an absorbent diaper on the carrier’s floor even though cats can hold urine for 24 to 48 hours.
Ensure that the carrier with the cat is the last thing to enter the car to reduce its nervousness. Be prepared that your furry friend meow for a while. How long it will take depends on its temperament.
My Sophio patiently tolerates the trip without complaining, while Josephine screams non-stop for at least an hour. If your kitty is upset, you can partially cover the carrier, play soothing music, and talk gently with it to help it feel more calm and secure.
Traveling by Plane
If it is necessary, you can also travel with your furry friend by plane. There are two ways to do that:
- Take the cat in the cabin with you
- Put the cat in the cargo hold
Keeping your kitty with you is safe and comfortable but also an expensive solution. Plus, some airlines don’t allow keeping pets in the cabin. In any case, you should prepare everything thoroughly.
Airline-approved carrier – Since it needs to fit under the seat, it needs to be small.
Health certificate and vaccination information – Most airlines require these documents, so keep them at your fingertips.
Sedative or tranquilizer – Consider applying medicine to an anxious and stressed cat. Never decide for yourself, but ask your veterinarian for advice.
Come to the airport on time – Be aware that most airlines have a limit regarding the number of animals allowed in the cabin. In other words, you will need to delay your departure if that number has already been filled in on the desired flight.
Inspection – You will need to take the cat out of the carrier for a check-up while checking into the airport. So, it is wise to use a harness and leash to prevent escaping.
Conclusion – How to Help Your Cat Travel Better!
Always prepare your cat for the trip on time. Let it get used to the carrier and car. Feed it a night before traveling, offer it some water before the trip, and tranquilizer when necessary. I wish you luck and a nice trip!
About Bio Jovanka Panic: I am a writer, translator, veterinarian, humanitarian, and passionate traveler. After playing with white bears and elephants in the Belgrade ZOO and dealing with the Rabies virus in the Institute Pasteur, I enjoy writing. My five beasts are my ultimate love, including three cats (Clementine, Josephine, and Sophia) and their ‘mom’ American Stafford Terrier (Malena).
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