Are you thinking about taking your cat with you on a vacation trip? Travelling with a cat – how does one even do that? Well, it’s not as tricky as it sounds. Some cats might get a tad nervous, but many actually enjoy the ride once they get used to it. Yet, let’s face it, unfamiliar places can stress out your usually well-behaved cat. But hey, don’t worry; we’ve got some useful tips to make your cat’s travel experience less bumpy, and keep both of you happy on the journey.
Cat’s Travel Options: Plane, Train, or Automobile?
Airlines and train companies often let you bring your cat along, of course, for an extra fee. But here’s the thing – you should choose your mode of transport based on what suits your furry friend best. If you’re just heading a few states away, hitting the road with your cat safely tucked in their carrier might be a smoother ride compared to the fuss of planes or trains.
But wait, what if you’re planning a long-distance journey with your feline friend? We’ve got some tips for you, no matter where your journey leads.
Travelling Internationally With a Cat
Now, if you’re venturing beyond the continental United States (or bringing your pet back home after a globe-trotting stint), be ready for a load of regulations and paperwork. Sometimes, this paperwork dance begins months in advance – so, don’t procrastinate; check the requirements early.
Domestic travel within the U.S. is a tad easier, but paperwork isn’t entirely out of the picture. Check the rules of your final destination and any states you’ll pass through; some might want health certificates or proof of rabies vaccination.
Airplane Travel Tips with Your Cat
Flying can be nerve-wracking for pets, especially in cargo. So, if possible, make arrangements to have your cat with you in the cabin. Check your airline’s carrier requirements – they might want it to fit under your seat.
If cargo is your only choice, get an appropriate carrier with your info and destination clearly labelled – just in case your furball goes on an unintended adventure during your journey.
Safety First: ID Collar and Microchip
When you’re out and about in new places, mishaps can happen. So, prepare for the worst. An ID collar with your contact info is a good start, but remember, cats are escape artists. That’s where microchipping comes in handy – it’s your safety net.
Travel can be unsettling, but a crate can be your cat’s safe haven. The trick is to make your cat see it as a cosy spot, not just a vehicle for vet visits. Put their favourite blanket or toy inside, and leave the door open – no accidental scary door slams!
Pack Right for the Adventure
No matter how you travel, pack smart. You’ll be far from home, so bring everything your cat needs. Think litter box, food, toys, blankets, a comfy cat bed, carrier, enclosure, medications, and don’t forget the collar, ID tags, harness, and leash.
Cozy Carrier Setup
Make her career a comfy haven. Toss in her familiar bedding and toys, but don’t overstuff it. She should have room to stand and turn comfortably. And let her get used to the carrier by leaving it out a few days before the trip.
Here’s a big one: if you can, bring her as a carry-on. Cargo can be loud, dark, and downright scary for pets. They might not know where you are, and that can freak them out. Plus, some pets have tried to stage daring escapes from their carriers in cargo.
If carrying her on isn’t an option, do some airline research. Some airlines go the extra mile to ensure pets are comfy in cargo, so choose wisely.
Tips for a Smooth Car Ride with Your Cat
So, you’re thinking about taking your cat on a car ride, but she’s not exactly thrilled about it? Here are some easy steps to ensure a comfy and stress-free journey.
Get a Cat Carrier
First things first, consider getting a cat carrier. It’s like a safe little car home for your feline friend.
Let Her Get Familiar
Some cats can be a bit cage-shy while others may get anxious once you put them in the carrier. For example, Savannah is a rare African cat breed that loves to move freely in its natural environment. It may easily get anxious in a carrier as it is not used to living in a close environment.
Once you bring her home, you will get to know the Savannah cat breed within a few days. So, don’t try to put her immediately in a cage. Instead, let her check out the carrier at her own pace. Keep it around, so she can explore it during her daily routine.
Talk to Your Vet
Before you leave for your trip, ensure your cat is in tip-top shape. Travel stress can worsen health issues, and let’s not forget how cats can get jittery on the road. If your cat gets anxious even on short vet trips, you can bet longer journeys will be a real test.
Talk to your vet about anxiety solutions and sedatives to make the ride smoother. They can also give you tips on keeping your cat safe during travel.
Tasty Treats and Familiar Stuff
Here’s a pro tip: toss some treats in the carrier every now and then. It’ll make her realize that the carrier isn’t such a bad place. And before you hit the road, don’t forget to pack her favourite things, like her cosy bed. Bringing a piece of home along can keep her feeling happy and relaxed during the journey.
If you’re planning a long car trip, try a few short practice drives first. It’s like cat car training. And during those test runs, give her treats to create positive vibes about car rides. Skip those vet trips for now; you want her to associate car trips with fun, not fright.
Find a Collapsible pet tent
Hotels often don’t roll out the welcome mat for pets. Do your homework and find pet-friendly lodgings before you set off. It ensures a clean and comfy stay for you and your feline friend.
In your hotel room, set up a collapsible pet tent or an enclosure to give your cat a secure space when you’re not around.
Travelling with any pet can be a challenge, but cats, in particular, can be a handful. They like their routines and aren’t thrilled about strange places. Yet, with some training and steps to ease their anxiety, your cat can become your travel buddy, making your getaways even more memorable.