If you’ve ever taken your cat for a ride to the vet, or home from the shelter when you first got them, you probably know how little they enjoy driving in the car. Despite their dislike for vehicles, there will be times in their life when you, as their owner, will have to travel with them for either short or long distances and you need to be able to do it right.
The key to making the journey more comfortable for both of you is a simple matter of planning. These days, there are many products and useful bits of information that you can use when traveling with cats that will make it stress-free for everyone involved, especially your cat.
When you put your dog in the car for a ride, they’ll gladly get in without question and appreciate the journey, even if it’s to the vet. For cats though, the mere sight of the car can send them into a state of panic, and it can be hard to get them to calm down for even a moment of the journey.
What makes cats and dogs so different in this regard is still an anomaly, and even scientists have tried to figure out why they hate it so much. There’s some thought that they don’t like the change in routine that comes with a car ride or they might even get motion sickness, but the real answer is still unknown.
A car ride with a cat is usually filled with loud meows, panting, and perhaps even some vomiting, so it’s something that most owners avoid at all costs. However, if you have no choice but to take your cat along, the good news is there are some things you can do to make it easier.
Learning how to travel with cats in a car long distance or even just on a short ride to the vet is something that all pet owners should know. The most important thing about the journey is how your pet is secured, as this will make them feel comfortable even when they’re being moved out of their usual space.
A cat carrier is an essential item when you own a feline and having one that allows them to breathe and also see what’s going on in their surroundings is important. You want to avoid a completely open carrier though, as they might want to retreat without having to see everything go by the car window.
It’s best not to go for too long in the car each day, aiming for around six hours maximum if you’re taking a longer trip. You’ll need some snacks and water handy, and there are plenty of great pet accessories that offer these specifically for travel circumstances, so they’re an ideal investment.
Don’t overfeed them while you’re on the road, waiting until you’ve stopped for the night for larger meals.
Finally, you’ll need to take care of the litter box situation which can be hard to do at first. The best approach is purchasing a disposable kitty litter box and then having stops every few hours where you give your cat a chance to use it. Time these with your own breaks and give them some space to do their business.
Traveling with a cat doesn’t have to be as nerve-racking as it once was, as long as you know the right way to do it. Here are some tips to keep in mind that will ensure your trip is stress-free and comfortable for both of you.
Cats are creatures of habit and doing anything that takes them out of their daily routine can be quite distressing for them. If you do have to travel long distances with your cat, you’ll likely find that after the first hour they begin to calm down, so try to not stress if it seems they’ll never be okay with it.
Do everything you can to keep your cat comfortable, which includes light snacks and adequate hydration. They’ll do best in a cat carrier made specifically for travel, but don’t be afraid to let them out to stretch their legs when you’re stopped somewhere, either with a pet lead or just by letting them explore the interior of the car.
There’s no need to stress about traveling with your cat these days, thanks to a few ingenious inventions and the knowledge that has been handed down by those before you. Whether it’s a short trip down the road to the vet or a longer road trip that will take days to complete, your cat and you will be comfortable enough when you plan correctly.