Traveling with cats can be quite tricky, especially when they are as temperamental as a baby. However, if you are prepared, and know what to expect, you’ll be able to handle anything.
All animal lovers have an unexplainable attachment to their pets. So, it’s not surprising when you want to take them on road trips and family vacations.
When you are on the road or flying to your destination, there are a lot of things on your mind. For example, having enough cash for gas on road trips or making sure you have your flight ticket.
With your mind in so many different places all at once, it can get overwhelming having to cater to your feline’s sudden bout of mood swings.
However, don’t lose hope yet!
I have outlined here a few tips to help you prepare for traveling with your cats. Let’s see what they are:
Take Your Feline for a Practice Run
I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase, “Practice makes perfect.” If you are planning on traveling with your cat by road, make that phrase your new mantra.
What I mean is, take your cat out for car rides to get it to adapt to being in a moving vehicle.
Start out stationary, so that your cat is accustomed to being in a car. After, move on to small distances then gradually lengthen the time on the road. It will help your cat get accustomed to the motion as well as let you know how it does when confined.
You need to ensure you are patient and caring if the cat gets frightened; any negative feelings from you will surely upset it further.
With continual practice, your cat is sure to be a pro at travel.
What You Should Pack for Your Cat
You and your furry friend might be classified in the same animal kingdom; however, you both have different needs (at least in some aspects.)
When traveling with your cat, there are certain extra things you need to pack for the feline.
Food and Water
You need to food and water so does your cat.
So, make sure you have packed treats and the preferred cat food as well as water bottles; if you can keep food and water bowls, it’d be a plus for you.
It might seem like much, but there is no harm in spoiling your kitty a little and making the journey as pleasant as possible for both of you.
We’ll come back to the litter box issue later, but for now, let’s see…
Amount of Treats Packed
It depends on the length of your vacation and how long you are going to be on the road.
Time of Year
If you travel in the middle of summer, you are going to need more water bottles to stay rehydrated, mainly because cats cannot regulate their temperature via sweating the way humans do.
If it’s a long trip you are planning on, then some entertainment is a necessity for your little friend.
The unfamiliar surroundings are bound to scare your cat and make it restless. Plus, you need to focus on the road if you want to get to your destination safe and sound.
Therefore, pack your cat’s favorite toys, blankets or bed that it likes to sleep in or play with; even if they don’t play with them, the familiarity of the objects will keep him/her calm and happy allowing you to make your journey in peace.
Leashes or Harnesses
When you are on the road for a long time, you need to stretch your legs from time to time and so does your cat.
However, you don’t want her wandering around too much and then getting lost.
So, I suggest you keep two to three pairs of leashes or harnesses around.
Always be prepared just in case you misplace one or lose another; you can’t be too careful.
Also, harnesses can be much more preferable than leashes for cats.
They are much sturdier than leashes, for one.
Second, you don’t end up choking your cat; just in case it pulls at it too hard.
So, pack harnesses or leashes, if you prefer, for a little outdoor excursion with your cat.
Unlike you, your little furry friend can’t hold it in when it wants to use the litter box.
So, what are you going to do when traveling with your cat?
Remember, that even if your cat didn’t need to go, the anxiety of being in a moving vehicle might also upset its stomach.
Therefore, firstly, you can keep extra towels, paper towels, and pet cleaning supplies to clean up any accidents.
Keep in mind that many stores provide those disposable litter boxes that you can purchase for your trips. They have cat litter already inside so you can place them on the floor of your car for your cat before throwing it away in the trash.
Simple, convenient, and hassle-free!
If you’re worried about added expenses, then use coupons from Pennysaviour and prepare for travel without overspending.
First Aid Kits
You know the importance of keeping an emergency kit around your house; sometimes people even have more than one.
Well, same is the case for when you are traveling.
Whether it is for your feline or yourself, you should always have a first aid kit with you.
You don’t know when your cat might start feeling frustrated; whether it is due to the motion of the car, the anxiety of being confined or merely an upset stomach, you need to be prepared for anything.
Plus, there is also a chance of it getting hurt during pit stops.
Thus, keeping a first aid kit around you will help you aid in cuts or any other medicine your cat might need.
Now you might wonder, which medicines to bring on the road or a plane.
For that, you need to…
Consult the Vet – Is the Cat Medically Fit for Travel
Before you go traveling with your cat see your trusted veterinarian.
Getting your feline a complete check-up will help you know if it is medically fit to be on the road or in the plane for such a long time.
Plus, if you know of any ailments, you’ll be better prepared to handle them if you do travel.
I previously mentioned that you should pack a first aid kit for your kitty…
Visiting the vet will let you know which first aid you should include. Not just for the current condition, but also for if it gets car sick, nauseous or irritable.
An unhappy kitty is sure to make the journey unbearable. So, I suggest you get the doctors opinion before you hit the road.
Also, keep a copy of the cat’s medical certificate for if you need to make an impromptu visit to the vet during travel.
You are not going to be on the road, locked in a car, or in the sky on a plane all the time.
Therefore, a collar for your cat with your information engraved in the tag is what you need to prep for before heading out. That way if you and your cat happen to separate then you can find it more efficiently at the animal shelters.
Just think, having to drive off without your kitty cat just because you forgot to put a tag on it? How disheartening that will be.
I suggest, keeping your contact information, name and address somewhere on the collar or harness, because even though a microchip might be more feasible, it won’t work unless your cat ends up in a shelter or at the vet.
Keep Your Kitty in the Carrier
Safety first, even for kitty cats!
Having your cat roam freely inside the car when driving is dangerous as it puts you at the risk of an accident; what if you hit a bump in the road, it could scar furry friend, and it runs off to hide under the pedals.
You can’t keep your eyes on the road as well as on your feline; therefore, it is best if they travel inside crates.
Padded crates lined with soft fabric will be much safer and efficient in protecting your cat on uneven terrain, than those plastic or wire crates.
Plus, if they are large enough, then it gives them the freedom to stretch their feet without endangering either of your lives.
Additionally, you can strap the crates with seat belts to keep it secure in the back or front seat and prevent it from jostling too much.
The same can be said for if you are traveling via airlines. You don’t want your cat roaming the whole cabin of the plane and then getting lost in the sea of people, or worse, get trampled. Even if your cat is in the cargo hold, it’ll be a much more pleasant journey for the feline if the wires or plastic don’t cut him if jostled.
Plan Pit Stops
If you travel by car, then you need planned pit stops to stretch your legs and a little exercise for your cat. Not only for resting, but also for when you feed your cat or give it water, you need the car to be stationary; otherwise, you’ll end up with spilled water and an unhappy, wet cat.
Remember to enjoy unwinding from the stress of travel by playing with the toys for your kitty that you had packed. Pit stops are perfect for you and your cat to relax; plus, if the kitty needs to use the litter, then it can easily do so. However, a point to remember is that you don’t let it out of its crate without a leash or harness attached. Otherwise, it’s going to wander off, also because it is much easier to hold onto the trailing strap than it is to grab a frightened cat.
Is the Weather Too Warm; Too Cold?
I first mentioned that depending on the time of the year you are traveling, you are going to need more than a few water bottles and a cooler to keep them cold.
Additionally, you also need to ensure you don’t leave your cat alone in the car with the windows down. If the car heats up too much, it puts your cat at risk of heat stroke in a matter of minutes. Even their exhaled breath is at a higher temperature than the average body temp; and if the car is under direct sunlight, it will speed up the process, putting your cat’s life in danger.
Rolling down the windows would help cool down the interior but only if there is wind blowing. In arid, dry weather, the air will be just as hot, not helpful in the least. During winter, the cold winds would lead to frostbites, stiff limbs, numbness, not ideal either. Therefore, it is best you don’t leave your cat unattended in the car.
Where you stay the night at a hotel during your journey or already made it to your destination, make sure they are pet-friendly. It’s pointless arguing or pleading your case after you reach your residence for the night.
Therefore, research the motels or hotels en-route to your destination and book your room beforehand. Furthermore, after you check in, be sure to look around the room to make sure there are no hazards for your pet before you let it out of the carrier.
Regardless of whether you travel via air or road, all you need to travel with your cat is a little patience, tolerance, and whole lot of preparation for any occurrence.
So, are you ready to hit the roads with your feline?
About the Author:
Haziqa Ishtiaq is a content writer for PennySaviour– a coupons provider website for many of the top brands of the world – with interest in Genetic Counseling and literature. She has written many blogs covering a range of topics including technology, fashion, business, and more.