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How to Travel with A Cat (10 Things All Cat Owners Should Know)
When it’s time to hit the road, can you feline tag along for the adventure? Of course, your cat can join you for a wild ride! You just have to make the proper accommodations to ensure your kitty stays comfortable, safe, and stress-free.
Traveling with your cat can be quite a fulfilling experience. You just need to cover all your bases first. If you want a few tips given by cat owners everywhere, we rounded up ten of the most-needed bits of info you should have.
1. Have a Proper Cat Carrier for Your Cat
Before you set off on your travels, you need to make sure you have a suitable pet carrier for your beloved feline. They need a comfy space as you are going from here to there.
It isn’t a good idea for a cat to be out and about in your car when you’re traveling. If you were ever in an accident, your cat could suffer from horrible wounds, broken bones, and even meet an untimely demise—so proper protection is essential.
If you’re traveling by plane, you obviously need a carrier for them to fly in as well. Airlines have particular measurement and tagging requirements, so make sure you buy an air travel-friendly carrier. Most products will have this information in the description, so shop responsibly.
The differences will depend on the method you’re using to travel. Always make sure that the carrier is the proper dimensions and your pet is comfortable inside. Also, safety is paramount. The carrier must have secure latches that can sustain use without breaking or malfunctioning.
2. Find a Suitable Harness
Your cat will need to go on walks outside of its carrier while you travel. Unless your cat is incredibly obedient and listens to commands (which is highly unlikely), you absolutely must have a harness for them to keep them safe on a leash.
Before you even start traveling with your cat, it’s best to see how well they walk with restrictions. Practice makes perfect, so walk with your cat until they grow acclimated to the process. They might resist at first, but watch their attitudes change once they find out they get to explore.
Also, you want to buy a harness that is completely fitted to your feline. If the harness is loose or does not fit properly, your cat will likely escape by backing out or pulling from the protective restraints. If you were in an unfamiliar place, it could be a huge risk to take. After all, your cat might not come back.
Each product will size differently, so shop with your kitty’s accurate measurements on hand—and test the product before you travel to make sure it will hold up when you need it most.
3. Find Pet-Friendly Hotels
Not all hotels allow animals or pets of any kind. You might get lucky and stay with family members or friends that will welcome your cat with open arms. However, if you have to find somewhere to stay on the road, pet-friendly hotels are a must.
Unless your cat is an emotional support animal, it can be nearly impossible to find places that allow you to bring them inside. Plan ahead, as it is essential to know which places to stop.
Also, there might be additional fees associated with keeping a pet in a hotel, so you must plan that in your budget as well. Always call ahead to double-check so you aren’t aimlessly searching in the middle of the night for a place you and your feline can rest your heads.
4. Consider Other Gear
There is plenty of gear on the market specifically for your adventuring cat. Whether it is a backpack carrier allowing them to see all of the sites or a safety harness for car rides, there are plenty of things that you can add to your shopping list.
One product we thought might be really useful or little cat pop-up tents. These tents contain your cat safely inside while allowing them to see all of the sites around them. This could be terrific for park visits and other outdoor endeavors when you and your family will be pretty stationery and what you’re feeling to stay safe.
Get creative and look online. There are tons of ideas from cat lovers everywhere. You can even get them their own little raincoat for inclement weather. It’s interesting to see all of the things you can find. Check out some of these ideas on Pinterest.
5. Consider On-the-Go Litterboxes
Travel-friendly litter boxes are designed specifically for your cat to do their business. However, they close up nicely to prevent any smells from seeping into your cargo. You can leave these litter boxes open when you’re at a hotel or another stationary place.
But in the car, your cat needs to be able to use the bathroom when needed without you having to suffer the whole ride. After all, those litter box smells in a condensed space can get more than a little stinky.
Your cat is going to need somewhere to potty on the road. Make sure that you buy a suitable litter box for on-the-go trips. You won’t want litter boxes tipping over in your car or otherwise causing a mess. Remember to allow your cat access to the litter box every few hours to prevent travel accidents.
6. Know Your Cat’s Limits
Some cats are more social and outgoing than other cats. If you take your cat on the road and plan to have them in places with crowds or lots of people, you should really get to know them first. Some cats will not respond well whatsoever to a situation like this.
Others will thrive on the new sites and the attention. If you have an anxious cat that does not do well in social settings, it might be best to find other arrangements while you travel or avoid high-stress predicaments entirely.
7. Avoid Stressful Situations
The last thing you want to do is make your cat uncomfortable as you travel. To avoid any triggers or stressors, make sure to keep your cat’s environment as peaceful as possible. Loud noises, crowded spaces, and other animals might upset your cat, especially if they can’t figure out what is going on.
A cat who is not used to traveling will be a little bit more sensitive to these outside stimuli. Frantic kitties might experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, hair pulling, and other negative symptoms.
You can reduce these triggers to create a good experience for both you and your feline.
8. Make Meals Easy
Before you head out, it’s best to make a meal plan for your kitty. It shouldn’t be tough to do, but it might take some prep time. You can individually place meals in some storage containers for easy access. Or you can buy individual packets of food for your cat to enjoy as well.
If you just want to grab the kibble bag and throw some in a bowl as needed, that’s always a plan as well. However, it might get messy if you don’t put the proper reinforcements in place. Also, make sure to bring plenty of fresh water for your cat to drink as well.
9. Collapsible Food & Water Bowls
You aren’t going to want bulky bowls taking up space when you are on the go. Many companies make collapsible food and water bowls so that you can fill, refill and store away when they’re not in use.
Not only do these products take up less space, but they are also generally very easy to clean, jump out, and wipe down. Most of these collapsible products are made from highly durable, soft materials like silicone.
10. Implement Safety
Regardless of what you plan to do on your outings, your feline safety should be your top priority in every category. Cats can get extremely stressed, scared, rambunctious, and hungry on the road.
Having the proper safety measures put in place will allow a carefree experience for you and your kitty. It will reduce a lot of the headaches you might have.
Test any products before hitting the pavement to make sure everything is satisfactory And in working order. Most of all, make sure to enjoy yourself and consider this time well spent.
As long as you plan accordingly, taking your cat traveling can be a very rewarding experience. Cats have a very great sense of wanderlust and will love the new sights, smells, and situations. Of course, some kitties are a little more reserved than others, so consider personality, too.
As long as you make sure that you have all the gear you need and you map your trip out properly, your adventures won’t be anything less than positive—kitty in tow.
Featured Image Credit: Brian Goodman, Shutterstock
Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.