ViviPet | How to Travel with Your Cat

ViviPet | How to Travel with Your Cat

ViviPet | How to Travel with Your Cat

When it’s time to pack a bag and hit the road or hop aboard a plane with your feisty feline, there are some things to keep in mind to help the trip go smoothly. Whether you’re moving across the country or going on vacation, give yourself plenty of time to prepare with our tips to keep your kitty comfortable and safe.

If you have traveled with your cat, you’re probably well aware of how well your cat copes with the experience. Most cats do not enjoy the traveling process. If your kitty falls into this cat-egory, don’t fret, but you may want to consider using a pet sitter instead of bringing your cat along if you are traveling for vacation. You can also opt to board your cat or find someone willing to let your kitty keep them company while you’re away.

  • General Tips for Traveling with Your Cat

Traveling in a crate is safer for your cat and can help your cat be more relaxed on the journey.

Plan on bringing a lightweight blanket or towel to put over the front of the carrier to keep your cat from scoping everything out and becoming more nervous. You will also want to make sure the carrier is comfortable and has some of your cat’s familiar toys that smell like home.

Most cats love the comfort of their homes. It’s no surprise that they can become stressed and anxious when they travel away from that comfort zone. Before you leave, you will want to ask your vet if he or she would recommend sedatives for your cat to help keep the kitty calm.

It’s wise to skip your cat’s dinner the night before your trip. This will cut down on her upset tummy and reduce the risk of her throwing up in her crate.

Always bring your cat’s veterinary records with you and research vets nearby where you’ll be staying, just in case.

Make sure your cat is microchipped. Most cats can magically slip out of hotel rooms, rental cars, or even their crates at times. Microchips can help your cat find her way home. 

You should also keep your cat’s ID tag up-to-date and securely attached to a collar or harness. A collar or harness is a marker right away that your cat is not a stray and having your phone number on the tag can save you a lot of stress.

Some cat parents swear by pheromone collars and sprays to keep their kitties placid.

How to travel with your cat

  • Air Travel with Your Cat

Before you even book your flight, you should read reviews and the airline’s pet policy. Most airlines (but not all of them) will make you choose if your cat rides in the cabin with you or in the cargo hold. The cargo hold can be uncomfortable for cats, so if you have the choice and financial means, opt for the cabin.

Make sure your cat carrier is approved by the airline. You can check the guidelines on their website. For the most part, it should be able to easily squeeze under the seat in front of you.

When the day arrives for your trip, arrive early to the airport and don’t forget your veterinary records and health certificate. When you go through security, your cat will need to come out of the carrier, make sure you have her leashed in case she decides to make a run for it.

How to travel with your cat

  • Car Travel with Your Cat

Safety is essential when it comes to bringing your cat along for a long car journey. This means she needs to buckle up. Strap her carrier in with the seatbelt before you begin driving. This will protect her in case of emergency and keep the crate from launching forward if you brake hard.

Cats can comfortably stay crated for about 6-7 hours. If your trip is longer than that, let her stretch her legs in the car while you’re parked for lunch or a restroom break. She can drink some water at this time.

Bring a disposable litter box for kitty potty breaks and make sure your cat stays hydrated.

Pay attention to the temperature. If it’s extremely hot or cold out, direct the heat or A/C towards your cat.

Book a pet-friendly hotel and inspect the room before letting your cat out of the crate. It’s also easier to set up the litter box during this time, too.

How to travel with your cat

As you travel with your feline best friend, keep in mind that cats aren’t the best travel companions. Do your best to reassure her that everything is ok and setup a private spot for her to adjust when you arrive at your destination. When you get to your landing spot, don’t force your cat out of her crate, simply open the door, and she will come out when she’s rested and ready to explore. Keep her crate open for her to slink back into if she needs a little space, privacy or sense of protection.

Bon voyage and have a wonderful trip!


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