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Home > Cats > How to Travel with a Cat Litter Box (5 Tips)

How to Travel with a Cat Litter Box (5 Tips)

travelling with pet cat

Traveling with animals is almost always stressful. It’s already a lot to handle between their food, bowls, leashes, carriers, and other supplies. Many cat owners agree that one of the items that give them the most anxiety is a cat litter box. Our cats have to do their business regardless of if they’re in a car, plane, or train. How are we supposed to have them relieve themselves if they don’t have a box to go in? After all, not all cats are leash-trained. Some never even go outside. If you’re forced to travel with your pet cat, it’s best to prepare in advance and use some of our best tips for traveling with a litter box.


The 5 Tips for Traveling with a Cat Litter Box

1. Purchase a Portable Litter Box

We highly recommend purchasing a portable litter box before your big trip. Traditional boxes are too big and clunky. They don’t fold down, and they aren’t suitable for packing. There are quite a few quality litter box options on the market. Look for ones that break down for simple storage, are easy to wash, and are the right size for your cat.

If you’d prefer to toss the entire box after your cat has used it, disposable litter box options are also available. These are better for short trips in the car because they are often biodegradable and might leak if allowed to sit for too long.

kitten and the litter box
Image Credit: Ekatsyerina Kostsina, Shutterstock

2. Stick to Their Regular Brand of Litter

Traveling is more stressful for the cat than it is for you. There is a lot of change, movements, and loud noises all happening at once. The best way to make your cat feel more secure is by keeping as many familiar items as close to them as possible. If you change the litter, they might not even use the box.

3. Don’t Feed Your Cat 4 Hours Before Travel

Imagine how it would feel if you drank a ton of water right before a flight and then the flight attendants told you that you couldn’t use the restroom for the entire time in the air. Most veterinarians recommend stopping your cat from eating or drinking around 4 hours before a flight. This minimizes the times they must go to the bathroom and reduces the chance of motion sickness. Of course, bring extra food and water for them if going on a long trip.

Image by: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

4. Schedule a Visit with the Vet

Most airlines require clearance from a licensed veterinarian before flights. This isn’t always necessary when traveling by car or train, but we still recommend it to make sure they’re in good health and that it is safe for them. If your cat has anxiety, this is also a good time to discuss medications that could help your cat relax until you’ve arrived.

5. Line Your Cat Carrier with Pee Pads

Run to your nearest pet store before your trip and line your cat’s carrier with a couple of pee pads to protect the material in case they have any accidents. These are easy to change out multiple times during a trip and save you from having to wash their waste out of the carrier.

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How Do I Prepare My Cat for Traveling?

Try to make your cat’s trip as stress-free as possible. This requires taking steps before the trip to acclimate them.

  • Start by putting your pet cat in the carrier with the door open. Allow them to move in and out, sleep in it, and play in it. You want them to associate their carrier with happy feelings. You could also add a comfy blanket and treats or catnip inside as well.
  • Once your kitty is used to the carrier, close the door with them inside it. Pick up the carrier and take them for short walks around the house for a few days. Always praise your kitty and tell them how good they did.
  • When your cat becomes accustomed to the movements, move the carrier into your car and let the car idle for a few minutes before turning the car off and going back inside. Repeat this until ready to take them for their first ride. Extend the amount of time in the car slowly until prepared for your trip.



Traveling with cats isn’t easy. The trick is to keep them calm and secure until the trip comes to an end. While nobody wants to carry around an entire litter box, there are ways to make the trip run smoother for both you and your fur friend. With the right preparation, you’ll arrive at your destination with a smile on your face and one relaxed feline.

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Featured Image Credit by Lightspruch, Shutterstock

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