[ads1] [dropcap]L[/dropcap]et’s face it – we’re all hit with the travel bug every now and again. We want to get away, soak up the sun, chill out in the sand, explore new places, try new food. You just want to get away from it all.
Or maybe there’s a new opportunity for you to pack up and move. Maybe you’re just looking for a fresh start.
But before you hop on that plane or in that car and (almost) never look back, there’s one thing that’s keeping you back.
A four-pawed bundle of sass and cuteness to be exact. You have a fur baby!
And just like that, the bags are put away, internet tabs are closed, credit cards are back in safe keeping.
You can’t just jet off somewhere without a care in the world! You have a mouth to feed, a baby to take care of!
Or can you?
What if you took your cat with you? They are your baby after all – wouldn’t you want to share these amazing experiences with your cat?
Of course you would!
We all know when it comes to cats, they’re the boss. That means we must trick them – I mean convince them, to come along with us.
Especially if you’re moving. Your cat’s going to have no choice but to tag along.
This is going to be a delicate operation. Before you start scheming, here are 12 tips to consider traveling with a cat.
1. Have Your Cat Microchipped
If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to microchip your cat.
In the unfortunate event you are separated from your beloved fur baby, they have a greater chance of being returned to you if someone found them.
With that said, make sure all your contact information registered to their microchip is up-to-date!
2. Go On Short Rides
Before you take that long haul trip, start traveling with cats in short bursts.
This will allow your cat to get used to the feeling of being in a vehicle and see how your cat is going to behave in your car.
They might freak out, they might be totally hyper, they might be curious, or they might enjoy it. These are the mysteries we’re looking to unravel.
You’ll also find out if your cat gets motion sickness! Surprise!
3. Consider a Crate
Ah the beloved crate. If you say the word crate, suddenly they can understand perfect English.
As soon as you even think about using a crate, your cat already knows and gone. A natural Houdini.
Good luck cornering your cat and keep some band-aids on standby.
As much as cats hate them (and we don’t blame them), it’s an option to consider for their safety.
If they ride regularly in a crate and no matter how much they cry, there’s a built up familiarity with the cat travel carrier. This may make your cat a little bit more comfortable for the journey.
To help give them familiarity, consider putting a piece of your clothing, like a shirt, into the crate.
4. Talk to Your Vet
Depending on how riding in a car and riding in a crate has gone, you may want to speak to your vet – they may be able to help.
In more extreme cases, it may be necessary to sedate your cat to make traveling easier on them.
Or if you’ve discovered that traveling with cats makes them sick, they may need medicine for motion sickness.
A vet may also be able to help with selecting the best pheromone spray to help your cat de-stress.
5. Make Pit Stops
Traveling with cats means you’re going to need a lot of breaks depending on the length of the journey.
If you do not have a bladder of steel, this may work in your favor.
Try and give your cat a break every 2-3 hours. This allows them to not be in constant motion and allow them a potty break, too, if they need one.
Peeing while balancing in motion is an art and not the easiest art to master.
6. Pack Extra Supplies
Sometimes part of the fun of travel is not knowing where you’ll end up or how plans can change at any moment.
While spontaneity might be fun for you, it might not be when you’re traveling with cats.
The last thing you want is to run out of something your fur baby needs.
Always make sure you’re prepared. Bring extras of everything – their food, litter, and any medication they may need.
7. Do Your Homework
If traveling with cats is going to be by air, you need to make sure you’re well prepared before the flight.
Don’t put your research off until last minute.
You’re going to want to book a direct flight, for starters.
Make sure you know what the airline will require of you before you try and get your cat on the plane.
They may need their vaccinations up to date, for example. Or you may be able to have your cat with you in the cabin under the front seat.
If that’s the case, you’re going to need to know the regulations and carrier sizes allowed.
Do your homework. Your cat will thank you for it. Eventually. Maybe.
8. Keep Your Kitty Hydrated
It might be something you don’t think about, but you’ll want to make sure your kitty has access to water at all times.
Even if you never, ever see your cat drink water, they do. They need water to survive just like you.
Try to keep your cat’s water as similar as possible, too. They may not drink water that tastes different.
Different brands of water bottles do taste different. If you can taste the difference, so can your cat.
9. Get a Leash and Harness
Train them indoors and then gradually introduce them to your backyard if that’s not something you do already.
This way, your cat can actually be a globetrotter with you.
Most importantly, you’ll cut the risk of your cat bolting off due to nerves because the leash will be (firmly) in your hand.
10. Make Sure Your Cat’s Vaccinations Are Up-To-Date
With fancy globetrotter plans, make sure your cat is up-to-date on their vaccinations before heading out.
You never know what bugs, insects, and other animals might be carrying.
You never know what’ll happen when you’re out there hiking the alps or scarfing down delicious Chinese food with your kitty. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
11. Reward Your Cat
Traveling with cats is not only hard on you but hard for your cat, too. But you probably already knew that.
Make sure to reward your cat with their favorite treats when they’re on their best behavior.
They’re doing their absolute best considering the change. These are well-deserved treats.
Treats are also helpful when you’re working to get your cat adjusted to:
- Their crate
- The car
- Their leash
- New surroundings
Speaking of rewards, maybe you should get some treats for yourself, too. That will make the journey much better.
12. Take Advantage of Pet-Friendly Hotels
Speaking of hard travels, it’s OK to check into a hotel for a break! Just make sure it’s a pet-friendly hotel.
They really are out there and are more common than you think.
I know you might want to push onward – you’re nearly there, it’s only a couple more hours.
You might be able to handle it, but your cat might not. Six or more hours in a car is hard on people so it’ll definitely be hard on your cat.
You may be able to push through, but they might not.
Take a load off and let your cat feel the ground in solid form.
Bonus: Be Patient Traveling with Cats
Remember how the cat is the boss and that you’re tricking them into a trip?
Some cats might take very well to traveling, change, and new locations.
Others, not so much.
It’s going to be trying with your cat. They’re scared, upset, and stressed. Some cats don’t like change.
This means you might have running, hiding, hissing, crying, and clawing to deal with.
Traveling with cats is not always an easy feat.
Remember to be patient and comforting with them. You’re going to be the only familiar thing for them, really.
There’s an adjustment period, but they’ll get there.
Globetrotting or Moving?
After considering these tips for traveling with cats, have we left anything out? Is there a technique that works like a charm for you?
Do you travel regularly with your cat or are you considering it yourself?
Share with us your traveling with cats secrets!