Traveling by car can be a stressful experience, even when you are headed to an exciting destination.
Between navigating and finding directions, traffic building up at the worst possible time, and the
constant cries of, “are we there yet? This is a chore which is made ten times more difficult when you
have to bring your cat along.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to help reduce the stress and make the experience more
manageable. Whether you are moving house, visiting family, or enjoying a well-earned vacation,
here are the top tips for traveling with your cat.
A secure carrier
The most important investment you will need to make is a secure and safe cat transporter. You must
never allow your cat to travel loose while in the car. They could become distressed and distract the
driver, increasing your risk of being involved in an accident.
The chances of escape are also higher if you leave a window or door open. You need to ensure that
the carrier is large enough for your cat to be comfortable, but not so big that they feel lost or
overwhelmed. It needs to be comfortable, strong, and secure enough to prevent even the most
determined of Houdinis. The best materials are a wire mesh, wicker or plastic. These materials are
tough enough to keep your cat contained, but will withstand any accidents which may occur as a
result of stress or anxiety.
Acclimatize your cat
Before placing your pet in the carrier for the journey, it is vital that they are familiar and comfortable
in the space. Take the chance to get them used to the carrier, but adding catnip, treats, and familiar
smells into the box. Leave it open close by to allow them to explore it, and this will help them to
perceive it as a safe space, rather than a threat.
Make plenty of stops
Give your cat plenty of opportunities to try and eat and be offered fresh water. They may refuse to
eat until you have reached your destination, but keep giving them the option and encouraging them.
This is also the chance to encourage them to use the litter box automatically if required.
Be careful with your driving
Once you have your cat in the car, it is important to be cautious with your driving to make the
journey as comfortable as possible for them. Read the road well ahead of time to avoid any sudden
braking, and pay attention to changes so that there are no uncomfortable lurches as you change
gear or speed. Avoid any bumps or potholes which may cause discomfort, and make sure you turn
well in advance to avoid sudden sharp changes of direction. Allow yourself plenty of time for the
journey, so there is no need to rush, and you can enjoy a calm and relaxed environment which will
encourage your pet to stay calm.
Most cats are not keen on traveling, and hearing your voice will provide reassurance that they are
safe. A low, calm voice will help to keep the situation calm and relaxed and will let your cat know
that you are there. If they talk to you or complain, answer them to let them know you are still there
and they are safe.
Regulate the temperature
Remember that your cat may feel the temperature differently to you, so keep the windows open to
ensure they have a steady supply of fresh are and are not at risk of overheating. Check them
regularly and make sure they are comfortable throughout the journey.