Traveling with your cat, what you need to know
So you have a trip planned with your beloved furry friend, how can you make it comfortable for them too? To make sure they also have a less stressful time, remember to first with a quick trip to the veterinarian. Make sure all booster shots are up-to-date. You may also need to get a health certificate if leaving the country such as in Europe. Other countries including Australia are very serious about inoculations including rabies shots. With that in mind you also need to prepare food, water, dishes, toys, treats and such. Don’t forget litter, a litter box, litter-scoop, plastic bags and paper towels. Last but not least, don’t forget the cat carrier.
So you are ready to go?
The second most important thing to remember is to not even think about ignoring this requirement. Take the shoulder strap for the seat belt, run it through the top handle of the carrier and latch the carrier into place. This means using a seat in the car where there is good ventilation—not stuffing the carrier underneath the luggage in the back. You wouldn’t let a child be bounced around in the car; same goes for your furry friend.
Keeping kitty cool – compulsory advice
The very first and most important thing to remember is safety. This is vital for the entire journey with your cat as it can be very dangerous to have a cat loose in the car. Always travel with your cat in a secure cat carrier. Cats will feel much more secure if confined to a cat carrier. This is true especially if you include something that smells like home. Remember that for summer travel, leaving an animal in a car is a big No, No. During summer travels, it’s important you don’t underestimate how rapidly the temperature inside a car rises. Do not leave your cat unattended in the car. Even what feels like a couple of minutes can make the car rise by many degrees.
During summer travels, it’s important you don’t underestimate how rapidly the temperature inside a car rises. Do not leave your cat unattended in the car. It’s common sense not to leave your cat in an empty car, and many states have laws that prohibit this. Lastly, do not feed a huge meal in the morning of the trip. If their digestive systems are loaded down, it is more likely they might get carsick or need to eliminate. That’s why you’ve packed the plastic bags and paper towels in a handy place.
Choosing the right cat carrier
Size isn’t always everything. A bigger cat carrier is not always better. The carrier should be a comfortable size so your cat can get up and turn around. Consider a kitty harness and leash in case the cat must be taken from the carrier for some reason, like a transfer or accident clean up.
While you never like to think about an accident or an unexpected event, they can happen. With an open window or door, your cat could escape and become lost or injured. It’s not worth the chance. Don’t fall for the pitiful meows and think that your cat will be happier out of the carrier. That’s just a clever ploy by some cats to hide underneath a car seat, making it totally impossible to retrieve them safely at the final destination.
Whether your destination is a hotel room or grandma’s house, set your cat up in a small, safe area so she doesn’t escape and can get her bearings. Arriving at an unfamiliar location will be stressful so create a comfortable set-up so she can relax and feel secure. Make sure your cat has eaten a light meal early enough and she has successfully used her litter box so the car ride will be more comfortable. If you’re going on a long trip you’ll have to provide access to a litter box during the ride. Don’t feed your cat in the car because it could upset their stomach
You may also consider soft cat carriers. These carriers are nice for a few reasons. They aren’t bulky or heavy which makes them easy to carry. They also usually come with a shoulder strap which is also great for easy transport. Since soft cat carriers aren’t bulky, they are easier to store and take up less space. They usually have plenty of openings, which can make removing a cat easier. Bare in mind, you get less space in these typically. Also, if they get soiled by a frightened cat, they can be harder to properly wash out.
Even if your cat is calm and very well-behaved, it’s not safe to have her loose in the car. A pet loose in the car is a distraction to the driver and can cause an accident. Additionally, if an accident does happen, a loose pet has a greater chance of injury and getting thrown from the vehicle. Line the cat carrier with a towel and pack some extras in case that one gets soiled.
So what is the ultimate cat carrier
That’s a tough one. It really depends on what you are looking for. Bare in mind short travel may suit one version while long haul requires another. The most important factor is to pay attention to the requirements. You don’t want to even consider putting a cat on a plane in a soft carrier. Being crushed by other luggage is a big no-no. On the other hand hard cat carriers are more bulky but easier to clean out. They also help to reduce the impact from shocks. Consider a balance between comfort and safety.
A major requirement is to get your little guy used to it in advanced. Leave the cat carrier out for them to climb into. This is where the natural nosy nature of cats helps to acclimatise them. When the time comes for travel it will be less scary to enter the cat carrier and hopefully a more relaxed journey.