Making Travel With Cats Enjoyable: 5 Tips

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Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

I will admit that the longest distance I have traveled with my cats is to and from the veterinarian’s office which is about 10 miles away. My kitties are rather vocal about their displeasure at not only being in a travel carrier but being in a moving vehicle. I can’t imagine what it would be like to travel with, and hear them, for a cross country trip! As evidenced at BlogPaws 2014 (and the previous traveling with cats conferences as well) many people have traveling cats!

As we wrap up Travel With Your Pet Month, and if you’re planning a trip with your cats this summer, here are some tips I’ve uncovered for making travel with cats enjoyable for all family members — furry and non-furry:

  1. Take trips prior to the long trip. Consider that many cats only get into a vehicle to go to the vets and you can understand why they equate the car with scary sounds, sights and possibly vaccinations. Pack up the kitty and take some short road trips. Make frequent stops to give her some petting and perhaps a little treat. If she eventually figures out that not all road trips end up at the veterinarians’ office, she may better accept a road trip.
  2. Your cat should always be transported in a crate. There are well-behaved cats, I’m sure, that will simply ride along on a seat next to their owner, but if you have to slam on the brakes, your kitty could be injured. If there is an accident, you don’t want to take a chance of someone opening your car door and your cat bolting out into unfamiliar territory. Crate travel is the safest and most responsible way to transport your cat.
  3. Make the crate a home away from home. If your cat has a blanket or a toy that he likes, put that in the crate. It might also make sense to bring the crate into your home to let your cat get accustomed to it prior to the trip. Place treats and toys in the crate to get him to equate it with happy thoughts rather than caged travel. If your cat can be in the crate and rub his scent around in and on it, it will help make him more comfortable when it comes time for the family road trip.
  4. Travel ready meals. It may make sense to get your cat accustomed to eating her meals in the car. When you take her for short trips do it around meal time and bring food and water with you. If your cats are anything like mine, they are very much creatures of habit and don’t like it when their food dish is moved; you don’t want your kitty going on a hunger strike on the family vacation.
  5. Collars and microchips. If your cat is used to wearing a collar, make certain she has one that has a tag with her name and your contact information on it. If your cat doesn’t wear a collar and to be even more protected, you may want to talk with your vet about microchipping her prior to the trip. A microchip can be a lifesaver whether you are a constant traveler or if there is a chance your kitty could dash out of the door at home — it happens!

What are your best tips for traveling with your cat? We’d love to know!

(Photo: Shutterstock: Kittens in a car)