Tips for Traveling with Cats

By: Kendra Martin

Cats are generally not the best with traveling. They are very keen on staying in their environment and don’t like to be moved but sometimes they need to travel. Here are some tips to help out.

1) Carefully select a carrier
There are many different types of carries available. Select one that is rugged, with padding on the bottom and front and top openings for easy access. Always keep them in the carrier while traveling so they don’t get loose. The safest place in a vehicle is behind the drivers seat with a seat belt.

2) Leave carrier out at home
Cats are not fond of getting out of their routines especially being put into carrier for travel. The carrier doesn’t need to be a scary place. Leaving the carrier out all the time allows it to become part of their home and even a warm, interesting hiding place. It’s best to try to keep it in a peaceful part of your house away from noisy objects like washer and dryers.

shutterstock_2682729713) Create Positive Associations with the carrier
Cats like feeling safe, secure and happy. A lot of the time being with their owners help with that. You can put a piece of your clothing in the carrier with them to keep them calm. Leaving the carrier around the house allows you to even play with them in the carrier and put fun things like food, treats or even cat nip in them to keep them a happy place.

4) Practice Rides
A lot of the time cats aren’t good with travel is because it doesn’t happen very often and they usually end up going to the Vet when they do. If you start to take your cat on short frequent rides it will help them get used to the ride. You can also try covering the carrier with a towel or blanket so they don’t get over stimulated or scared from the outside. They also feed off our emotions so try to keep your voice soft and calm and the music in the vehicle quiet and peaceful.

5) Ask Your Veterinarian
Some cats no matter how many times you try to get them used to their carrier and travel they will still become very stressed or even nausous. That’s when you want to look towards your Veterinarian for help there are some over the counter remedies that can help along with prescriptions medications that can help your little one calm down.

6) Travel Precautions
Always check your cat’s carrier prior to taking them outside every time to make sure there is no rips or tears to the carrier and that everything is still hooked together properly. Also if your cat allows it collars and tags are a good idea to just in case they do break free but if your cat is like so many it’s a good idea to look into getting your cat microchiped. Microchips are little devices placed under the skin that holds all of your information.

7) Be patient and have fun
Cats will take time with any type of change so don’t give up quickly. It doesn’t happen overnight but by taking these steps into consideration you can cuts down on stress for your feline friends making traveling easier. Also by making traveling easier makes the likelihood that they will have yearly exams and will allow them to live happier and healthier lives.