When you travel, it can be comforting and fun to take your pets with you. But while many people travel with dogs, it is not as common to travel with your cat. However, there are situations where you may need to bring them with you. If you are moving house, going on an extended vacation, or leaving town to care for a sick family member, you can bring Kitty with you. Also, your cat needs to go to the vet on a regular basis, so getting her used to the trip is helpful.
In general, dogs tend to be easier to transport than cats, simply because most dogs are not as hesitant about car trips or traveling. Cats should be trained to travel. The more conditioned your cat is to travel, the better. That way, common trips such as vacations, visits to family or friends and veterinary visits become routine. If you need to travel in an emergency, your cat is already used to his carrier.
Provide familiar comfort. You can relax your cat by having things with the familiar smells of your home and their favorite toys. If you have more than one cat, fool around with a larger carrier and put them together.
Clip its claws. Clip your cat’s claws so she doesn’t hurt herself or scratch you. If you don’t know how to do this, it may be best to let a veterinarian take care of it, as it is a delicate process and most kittens struggle. If you do it yourself, avoid the pink part inside the nail: it’s flesh, and you can hurt it if it’s cut!
Update information and vaccinations. Include updated identification on your cat’s collar or microchip, so that it can be returned if it gets lost. If you are stopped for transporting cats across country borders, it is important to have up-to-date vaccination records to prove that your cat does not carry disease.
Train your pet. Before traveling with your cat, it should be accustomed to a leash and harness. If he is out of his crate, you want to be able to control him and keep him safe.
Prepare your cat for the carrier
Choose a good transport crate. Crates are a must if you plan to travel with your cat. The type of crate you choose should be determined by the cat. Hard crates (plastic or other) are easier to clean, more robust and have better ventilation. These crates are good for cats that may have problems with vomiting, urine or poop during the trip. Softer fabric crates are darker and may be better for shy cats. Make sure it has a frame.
Train it to the carrier. Experts agree that it is important to train your cat to be in a crate. Make sure your cat is already used to being in a crate. That’s half the battle, because many cats are not properly trained to accept being transported in the crate. Prepare your cat to stay in a crate at home, because your cat will be more comfortable. “Practical, practical, practical”. Start by placing the crate on a chair or couch and let your cat explore it. Place a soft fleece or cushion that has the scent of a person or another animal that the cat likes. Every few days, do a little more, and provide positive reinforcement with food at each step. When your cat becomes comfortable with the process, close the crate door for a short time, put her in the car without starting the engine, start the engine and don’t drive, make a short trip around the neighborhood and finally get out of the neighborhood a little to go further. With this type of progressive training, your cat should be less resistant to travel.
Travelling with your cat in a car
Keep your cat safe. When driving with a cat, always place it in a carrier in the back, secured with a seat belt or other type of harness to prevent the carrier from moving. This way, your cat will be safe in the event of an accident, and you won’t be distracted by a wandering animal in the car. Leaving your cat loose in the car is incredibly dangerous, especially if he is scared. Cats gravitate to low, seemingly safe places, and may try to get under the pedals and under your feet, it is extremely dangerous .
Provide plenty of water. Travelling with a bowl of water in a vehicle can lead to a big mess and get everything wet. Instead, use a large bottle of hamster water in the crate. Your cat may need a few tries, but the drip bottle is always a treat for thirsty cats. It also allows you to monitor your cat’s water consumption and offer a bowl of water at stops if necessary.
Create calm. Keeping most cats quiet during car rides is not always easy, as it is with your children. Veterinarians can also provide sedatives that can be helpful. But something light. This allows your favorite feline to just relax a little bit, avoiding the meowing that so many cat owners know and… don’t like. Also, don’t put on music if you can avoid it. All this extra noise adds stress to the cat.
Train your cat to eat human food. Especially if you use any type of medication to keep your cat calm, provide wet food that you have acclimatized your cat to at mealtime, instead of hard food. Cats are more likely to eat whole meals this way and less likely to get sick from medications. That said, keep plastic bags and a roll of paper towels on hand just in case. If you know your cat gets sick easily, talk to your veterinarian about anti-nausea medication.
Travelling with your cat on an airplane
Bring your cat into the booth. Flying with your cat can be difficult. The safest and most humane way is to bring your cat into the cabin with you. Find an airline that accepts pets in the cabin (which may include a small fee) and make reservations in advance. You will also need an approved airline and a health certificate signed by your veterinarian.
Anticipate emergency situations. For air travel, bring extra towels for the transport crate in case the cat vomits or eliminates. Pack a few plastic bags in your carry-on luggage, so you can discreetly store dirty towels without causing inconvenience to your travelling companions. And bring wipes in case of accidental mess.
Any owner loves to take care of their cat. Travelling with your cat should not be a traumatic experience for any of you. By preparing your cat and getting her used to being comfortable with traveling, you will be able to carry her in her crate at all times. Use the above tips the next time you travel or go to the vet, and it will be a whole new experience.