There are times when you will have to travel your cat in a car, whether it's for a check-up at the vets or away on holiday to a pet friendly hotel or other establishment. These can be pretty stressful times for both owners and their feline friends because if there is one thing cats don't like very much, it's travelling and change to their routines. Cats are creatures of habit, they don't like their routines changed, neither do they like going to new places.
However, some cats do take both travelling and new places in their stride, which makes life a lot easier for their owners all round. With this said, these characters are in the minority with the majority of our feline friends not really liking it at all. Below are some tips on how to travel your cat safely and to do so with the minimum amount of stress.
As previously mentioned, there are some cats out there that really don't mind being put in a pet carrier and then taken for a ride in the car whether it's on a short or long journey. However, it would be fair to say that most cats only accept this because they have no choice in the matter. They will, however, let you know about their displeasure by meowing the whole way.
If your feline friend doesn't like car rides, it's really important to get them used to it because there may well come a time when you need to get them to the vet for whatever reason. A good way of doing this is to take them for short rides with you whenever you can. However, you should never leave your pet in a parked car, not even when the weather is cold.
If you find your cat suffers from motion sickness, which many cats do, you may have to come to terms with the fact your pet would be much happier if they are left at home. However, if they don't mind being in the car, getting them used to it is great because if you do decide to take them away with you on holiday or for a long weekend, life is made that much easier.
The things you would need to take with you are as follows:
Cats often suffer a tummy upset when travelling which is why it's a good idea not to feed them before you go. Instead you should give them something to eat as soon as you arrive at your destination which will reassure them too.
If you are planning to take your cat somewhere by plane, you need to check with the airline about the type of pet carrier they accept on their flights and whether or not your cat would have to travel in the cargo hold which naturally would need to be pressurised and temperature controlled. You also need to get to the airport that bit earlier to make sure there are no issues at check-in .
You may find that you would need to buy a specific type of pet carrier for your cat to travel in because many airlines stipulate a certain design. The size of the carrier has to be acceptable so it is comfortable for a cat to travel in. Booking your flight early is crucial because like this you can organise everything you need to comply with the airlines regulations on carrying pets on their flights and this applies to both internal and international flights, although taking pets to other countries requires they need pet passports and lots of other paperwork which has to be prepared well in advance.
You may need to travel your cat with you by train which means you need to make sure the pet carrier you use is both comfortable and safe for them to travel in. The last thing you would want to happen is for your cat to escape from their carrier during the journey.
It's important to check with the train service to see if there would be an extra charge for taking a cat on a train journey with you. Some train services and journeys require that you buy a ticket for your pet and they all insist that cats and other pets are able to stand up in their carriers or pet baskets.
Most cats don't particularly like travelling to new places whether it's in a car, plane or train. Just the sight of their pet carriers being brought out of a cupboard can send them running to hide in places their owners have trouble getting them out of - namely behind furniture or under a double bed. There are cats that just don't like travelling because they suffer from motion sickness and if you own such a feline friend, it's just not worth putting your pet through all the stress if you don't have to. With this said, if your cat accepts it, then getting them used to being in a pet carrier and travelling in a car will certainly help reduce the stress and anxiety they have to go through.