Kitties on the road? Is it even possible? What to do? How can your cat be a better traveler? Huh! If I had the precise answers to these questions, I would be a millionaire! However, I can give you some tips on how to organize traveling with your beloved furry friend and make it as much comfortable as possible for both of you. Then, you can only hope that your cat will appreciate your efforts. Nothing more than that! Let's go!
From My Experience
If you have ever read some of my articles, you know that I have three cats. The fact is that they are so different that there is no rule I can apply to all of them, including their attitude toward traveling. It is undoubtedly true of all cats, including yours.
For example, Clementine is definitely my baby. She can't wait to jump into a car and feel the smell of the gasoline just like me. Sophio is entirely indifferent. It is enough to give him a comfortable bed, and she will be ready to sleep all the way, even if I take her to New Zealand.
However, Josephine is a hard case. I made her a window perch a long time ago and she loves it alot. She enjoys her company alone and doesn't want to leave our house at any cost. Whenever I need to take her somewhere, she freaks out and keeps screaming restlessly. I have tried all possible tricks and finally decided to give up. She is not a candidate for the journeys, especially not for the long hauls.
Traveling with a Cat by Car
What to do related travel directly depends on your cat. Let's see how to help it become an excellent travel companion if it decides that it wants to travel at all!
The bond between a cat and its owner
The way your cat treats an activity vital to you, including the journey, will depend on your relationship. Since my Clementine hates when I am away from home, she will endure the discomfort of traveling to avoid staying left alone. Or, maybe she really likes moving. Who knows?
Always assume that your cat won't be delighted with an idea to move around. So, if you want to take it with you, start with shorter trips. That way, you will see how it behaves in a newly created situation and whether any trouble will appear.
Never force the issue
If you see that your kitty won't tolerate traveling, you should try to make another arrangement. It may include friend help, fosterage, hiring a cat sitter, or finding a suitable cattery while you are away.
Visit the vet
Different countries have various requirements regarding specific treatments and vaccinations. Therefore, you should consult the vet and prepare your kitty for a trip abroad adequately.
Talk to him or her about the documents you need depending on the destination. Be aware that you will need more papers when you travel with your kitty abroad. Take care to prepare all documentation at least a week before the trip to avoid stress and nervousness.
Also, discuss sedatives and anti-nausea medications your cat may need during the driving. Ask for advice on the necessary prevention of worms, fleas, and ticks.
Don’t forget to bring a copy of a medical history of your pet and first-aid kits with antibiotic ointments, anti-itch medication, and bandages, just in case.
Water and food
Always provide water and a bit of dry food for your cat while traveling. If your kitty can't stand cat diapers, you can use old towels or clothes if needed. If you travel by plane, keep in mind that the USDA forbids giving food to the pet within at least four hours of the flight.
When you plan to spend a holiday with your kitty, always make sure that the lodging you have chosen is pet-friendly. Also, make reservations on time, especially in peak season.
The number of passengers
Most cats are reluctant to travel, especially if there are too many people traveling in the car. Using a carrier may prevent the unwanted escape of your pet.
A collar with your phone number
As a precaution, put a collar with your phone number around the cat's neck. That may help you in a case that your furry friend goes astray.
Toys and favorite stuff
Bringing a favorite toy, pillow, and a blanket smelling like home will help your furry friend feel safe and protected. It may reduce the stress and fear of the unknown.
Since driving can be quite tiring for pets, you should make shorter breaks from time to time. However, it would help if you considered making at least one long pause while driving, as well. That way, you will give your kitty a day off to take a rest.
Take care of traffic not the cat
It would be best if you didn't spend time taking care of the cat in the car instead of paying attention to the traffic. Therefore, please keep it safe in the carrier and be concentrated on driving. Never allow your kitty to go near the dashboard, as well as brake and gas pedals.
Traveling with Cat by Plane
Before taking your cat on airplane travel, you should make sure to organize everything in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. Call the airline and confirm that they allow entering a kitty in the airplane cabin. Even though the USDA has established rules about cat's transportation, every company has its own policy, as well.
Then, ask for the precise measurements under the airline seat and purchase airline-approved transport carrier of adequate dimensions. Determine what documents you need for travel, including health certificate and vaccination records.
The price for bringing the pet into the plane may vary depending on the airline and the pet's weight. In any case, be prepared to pay at least $100 for the safety of your kitty.
Always try to avoid transporting your furry friend in the cargo since the low temperatures there may cause stress, hypothermia, and even death. Keep in mind that the worst situation is on United Airlines in recent years, including 2017, with the most horrible score ever.
Air travel is particularly dangerous for Persian cats. Therefore, most Airlines have special rules about traveling brachycephalic pets, including this particular cat breeds.
Even though the number of cats dying in the planes is small considering the overall death of domesticated cats per year, I am sure that you wouldn't like your kitty to become just a number in statistics of the airline.
How to Prevent Negative Reaction to Travel
Bay making regular breaks during the journey, you will help your kitty to overcome motion sickness. If it is not enough, give it adequate medications to help settle the stomach. Luckily, most cats can travel without the aid of medical assistance.
Sometimes, it is necessary to sedate a hyperactive kitty while driving. Talk with the vet and pick out the best sedative to make the journey more comfortable for your furry friend. Keep in mind that 10% of cats won't respond to a particular tranquilizer as expected.
Instead of Conclusion
No matter what the circumstances are, never leave the cat alone in the car. If the temperatures inside increase, your cat will be at risk of getting a heat stroke, following by symptoms such as rapid breathing, vomiting, fever, sweaty paws, bright red gums, and collapse.