More and more places are becoming pet-friendly, which is awesome for us because it means we can bring our cats! We know that most people want to take their dogs along, but why is it weird to bring our kitties? If you feline friend has a love for traveling, or if you’re unable or unwilling to spend the money on boarding and/or pet sitting, taking your cat with you might be the best option. But what do we need to bring when traveling with our cats?
#1 – Collar & ID Tag/Microchip
Things happen, and sometimes our cats might slip away. For that, we highly recommend using both a collar with ID tags and a microchip. Because a collar with tags is readily available for anyone to see, it’s a great way for someone who finds your kitty to be able to give you a call as soon as possible. However, collars are often easy to fall off and get lost. If someone finds your cat, they can have a veterinarian or shelter scan for a chip and get your information from the microchip company. Microchips are a much more permanent option of identification, and it’s perhaps the better idea. The reason we like collars also is because you can never have too many IDs, and someone who sees a cat without a collar might assume it’s a stray.
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#2 – Carrier
This might seem obvious, but many cats love going for car rides outside a carrier or for walks on a kitty harness. For this reason, we recommend having a carrier available to put your cat in for times you won’t be able to be in complete control of her. Cats also get scared easily, and a carrier will help them feel safe and secure. Don’t forget that when traveling, it’s much safer to keep your cat in a carrier in case of an accident.
#3 – Veterinarian Information
Your veterinarian’s information is important to have on hand, even when you’re traveling far away. If something happens to your cat, your vet will be able to send all medical records over to the new veterinarian you’re seeing away from home. This ensures that no contraindications happen with medication, or your kitty isn’t given any treatments that have caused problems in the past. It’s also a good idea to put your veterinarian’s phone number on your cat’s ID tags, so if he gets lost anyone that finds him will have someone else to contact in case he’s been hurt.
#4 – Food & Water
This should seem obvious, but we’re posting it here anyway. Sometimes when we’re packing all the essentials we might forget the basics – food and water! Your cat needs food and water to survive, just like you. Even if you’re going somewhere that will have food for your cat, it’s important to take some when you travel as well. Packing extra food and water will protect against any emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. The last thing you want is to be stranded somewhere without food or water. Even if you are able to get a different type of food during an emergency, a sudden change in diet combined with the stress of traveling will likely result in digestive upset in your kitty – which could further lead to dehydration. Furthermore, felines are more susceptible to a liver disease when they go without eating for an extended period of time.
#5 – First Aid Kit
It’s not uncommon for a traveling pet to become injured or sick, so it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment on hand to buy time before getting to a veterinarian. Since many human medications and treatments are actually deadly to cats, it’s important to make sure you speak with your veterinarian about preparing a first aid kit for your feline friend. While you can read a lot about which medications are safe for cats, we recommend checking with your vet to make sure your kitty isn’t at a higher-than-average risk for side effects. As always, if your cat does get sick or injured and you need to rely on your first aid kit, seek veterinarian advice as soon as possible.
#6 – Litter Box & Litter
While it’s easy to use poop bags to pick up dog poop, cats have a little more particular requirements. Since most cats don’t want to potty on a walk around the neighborhood, it’s important to bring their litter box and regular litter on your trip with you, or at least make sure you have access to a clean, fresh litter box at your destination. Cats can get upset easily about changes in their environment, so expecting them to share with a stranger kitty is not a good idea.
#7 – Health Certificate
There are many times a health certificate is a requirement for travel, but if you’re driving and staying within the country it’s not usually necessary. However, it’s a good thing to have on hand in case your kitty manages to get into any trouble. Health certificates can help ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations, should anyone ask, and ensures that your cat was free of any infectious diseases when you left for your trip. There are some people out there who just don’t like cats and will make sure to give you the hardest time possible for bringing your feline around, so having a health certificate handy will ward off any unnecessary problems.
#8 – Toys
Cats get bored just like people, and keeping them entertained in a new environment might be a challenge. Bringing some of their favorite toys will not only help make them feel more at home, it will give them something to do with your and while you’re away. It will even help make them feel more comfortable interacting with anyone you happen to be staying with, and they can have a positive experience being a house guest.
#9 – Collapsible Bowls
These are a dream for traveling! Collapsible water bowls are easy to pack as they just fold away into a flat piece of rubbery or cloth material. They are pretty sturdy when popped up and filled with water, and are a quick and easy way to make sure your kitty gets the hydration and nutrition she needs. Because they’re so easy to pack, it’s simple to take multiples of all different sizes if you’re taking more than one cat! But don’t worry, if you forget bowls, you can certainly compromise with a glass of water!
#10 – Leash & Harness
Since cats scare easily and are often difficult to keep a firm grip on, putting a leash and harness on your kitty when you take her out of the carrier is an excellent idea. This not only ensures that she can’t run away and get lost or injured, it will help you keep track of her if she’s hiding in her new environment and make it easier to get her out of a hiding spot should you need to. Make sure to use a harness and not a collar, because collars can slip off easily and even injure your cat’s neck or choke her – clearly causing more harm than good.