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Home > Cats > How to Travel with A Cat: 10 Vet-Approved Tips

How to Travel with A Cat: 10 Vet-Approved Tips

Cat Travelling

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. Help your cat associate leaving their home with fun and positive experiences. A great tool is to use positive reinforcement. If you want a few tips given by cat owners everywhere, we rounded up 10 of the most-needed bits of info you should have.

The 10 Tips for Traveling With Your Cat

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. Make sure you get the cat carrier well in advance so that your cat gets time to adjust to it so it is a familiar environment for them.

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 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.

cat inside a carrier
Photo by: Okssi, Shutterstock

2. Find a Suitable Harness

Your cat may want to go on walks outside of its carrier while you travel. To achieve this, the safest option for your cat is to get them used to wearing a harness.

Before you even start traveling with your cat, it’s best to see how well they walk with restrictions. Practice makes perfect, so train your cat until they grow acclimated to the process. Be patient, as 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.

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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 who 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, 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 where you and your feline can rest your heads.

cat boarding at a pet hotel
Photo by: Bussakorn Ewesakul, Shutterstock

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.

Products we thought might be really useful are the tiny 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 stationary 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 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 Litter Boxes

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. To avoid causing any toilet stress to your kitty, ensure you bring the same type of litter that they are used to.

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.

Photo by: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

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 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 display unusual behaviors, such as vocalizing, vomiting, diarrhea, or over-grooming. You can reduce these triggers to create a good experience for both you and your feline.

Holding Cat
Photo by: Ann Kosolapova, Shutterstock

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. You can also grab the kibble bag or you can buy individual packets of food for your cat to enjoy as well. Regardless of the type of food you usually feed your cat, make sure that you feed them what they are used to throughout your trip. 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.


Final Thoughts

As long as you plan accordingly, taking your cat traveling can be a very rewarding experience. Cats that have learned through positive reinforcement and that have made good associations with traveling have higher chances of having a wonderful time. 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.

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Featured Image Credit: Brian Goodman, Shutterstock

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