Cats are creatures of habit and they feel most comfortable in their own homes. But sometimes it’s necessary to take them on the road with us, so here are a few tips to help you ease the stress.
Check with your vet
Before going on a road trip with your cat, book an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure Kitty is up to it and up to date with all of their shots. Travel can cause your cat to freak out a little, not knowing where they are and being in strange surroundings. So they must be in good health before setting out. Also, it might be a good time to ask your vet for something to calm Kitty down during the trip, should you need it. If you’re crossing borders, you’ll also need a copy of your cat’s medical records.
Get your cat crate ready
The only safe way to travel with your cat is to keep them in a crate. You will also want to secure the crate with a seatbelt or strapping in case you have to brake suddenly. If your cat is not used to being in a crate, introduce them to one by tempting them inside with toys and treats and letting them poke around. Make the crate as comfortable as you can so Kitty can stretch out and go to sleep.
Get your cat used to the car
Once your cat is crate ready, it’s time to introduce them to the car. First crate them and place them securely in the car. You might want to just sit in the car a few times before heading out to minimize the initial stress. Gradually, venture out on short trips a few times every week before your planned road trip. This will help to acclimate your cat to the car and the idea of travelling.
Update your cat’s ID tags
Before the big trip, make sure you update your cat’s ID tags and secure them to his or her collar. You’ll want to invest in a harness and leash as well, in case Kitty tries to make a run for it.
Be prepared, pack a Kitty bag
Make sure Kitty has all his or her food, toys, medications and you’ve packed something for anti-stress and first aid. Being prepared will help keep stress under control for both of you.
Take regular breaks along the way
If your trip is going to be more than an hour long, you’ll have to plan a route so you can let Kitty out for a stretch and pee-break. This is where the harness and leash come in handy. Before letting your cat out of the car, make sure you have a hold of them so they don’t make a dash for it.
Book into a pet friendly hotel
It’s easier now to find hotels that allow pets. Cats are usually not a problem, but make sure before you book. Rushing around at the last minute trying to find a pet friendly hotel will only add to everybody’s stress.
Feed your cat at the end of the day
Just in case your cat decides to get car sick, it will help if you don’t feed him or her before getting into the car. Keep Kitty hydrated, but wait until you’re at your hotel or destination to introduce food. It could contribute to Kitty’s travel sickness. Ask your vet what is safe to give your cat to relieve motion sickness.
When you arrive at your final destination, keep an eye on Kitty for any signs of stress or sickness. Make sure they are safe and secure inside the new place and don’t let them venture outside on their own. Above all, be safe and have fun travelling with your cats.