September 05, 2022 | Cat Health & Wellness
Your cat may be the quietest, calmest kitty in the world, but during a car ride they may transform into a meowing, anxious travel companion.
How do you make travel as smooth as possible for your kitty? Try these tips to make travel smoother and more peaceful—for both you and your cat:
As creatures of habit, most cats like to stick to their daily routine.
The average feline doesn’t appreciate being put into a carrier, then transported somewhere entirely new—let alone all the new sights, sounds, and smells they’ll experience during transit.
For vacations it’s important to consider whether your cat will be more comfortable boarding, staying with your friend or family member, or even staying home with a pet sitter.
However, if you’re moving or need to bring your kitty along on your trip for some other reason, here are some important things to consider so your trip is as smooth as possible:
Do your research ahead of time, especially if traveling by plane. Many airlines have restrictions, such as:
If you’re looking into another travel method, such as the bus or a train, you’ll also need to check their rules regarding pets on board.
Most airlines require health certificates. And international travel (including travel to Hawaii), may take several months’ worth of paperwork and planning!
Even for interstate car travel within the continental US, you may still need a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination.
For your pet’s health, it’s also a good idea to ask your veterinarian about recommended vaccines and parasite prevention prior to travel.
A microchip is a permanent form of identification—a small chip placed under the skin between the shoulder blades.
Microchips don’t have tracking capabilities, but a chip can help your pet get returned to you if they ever become lost. A special “scanner” (found at most veterinary offices and animal shelters) reveals the chip’s number—which is registered to you as the owner, so you can be contacted.
If you’re not sure if your pet has a microchip—or if your registered contact information for the chip is not up to date—ask your veterinarian's office for assistance.
Cats can slip out of collars, but a microchip will always be with them.
During the trip, you’ll need the following items:
You can either place the box in your cat’s carrier if the carrier is large enough, or let your cat use the box during stops (and place your pet back into their carrier before you start driving again). There are even disposable and travel litter boxes available
Your cat shouldn’t be allowed to roam free in the car. Not only is this distracting, but your cat could crawl under the car pedals.
So, keep your cat in the carrier. A travel buddy or family member can also be helpful to monitor your cat and stay with them at rest stops or other times when you may need to leave the car.
Trying to force your cat into a carrier right before your trip is stressful for your cat and a headache for you.
So, make the carrier a safe, comforting place by leaving it open in the home for several weeks before your trip. Place toys or treats to encourage your cat to play and sleep in the carrier.
When your cat is used to the carrier, you can also take them on short car rides around the neighborhood, so they’re used to a moving car.
Offer treats and praise, so it’s a positive experience.
During your travels, you may need to find pet-friendly hotels, rest stops, restaurants, and other places.
It’s always a good idea to call and confirm pet policies ahead of time. For hotels, ask about pet fees.
Also, consider looking up nearby veterinary clinics on your route in case of any emergencies.
By planning ahead you can keep your kitty as comfortable as possible…
For anxiety medications, give your cat a dose before your trip to be sure it works for them—occasionally, these medications can cause agitation rather than relaxation.
Also, for safety reasons, anxiety medications aren’t allowed on plane rides (they’ll affect your cat’s body temperature regulation).
Remember: Only use medications your veterinarian recommends, because not all medications are safe for cats!
With these tips in mind, you can make travel as stress-free and enjoyable for your cat as possible—which will make it easier for you and your feline friend to settle into your new destination together when you arrive.
From our family to yours,
Fromm Family Pet Food