Lots of people love to travel, so it’s no surprise that many also love to travel with their pets. Whether you just enjoy the vacation or you weren’t able to find someone to care for your cat while you’re away, traveling with your cat is a unique experience. While some adjust quite nicely, others have a much more difficult time handling change. Here are 6 tips to help keep your cat calm during travel time.
#1 – Use a Crate/Carrier
Not only is this the safest way to travel with your cat, it’s guaranteed to make her feel much more secure. Cats like to hide, especially when stressed, so having a comfortable place for your cat to stay will help keep her calm. That said, be sure to get your cat comfortable in the carrier before you travel, because if she’s never been crated before and is suddenly put in their, she might stress more.
#2 – Practice
If you’re traveling by car, try taking short drives with your cat in his carrier as a practice test. The more you practice and the more he learns that traveling isn’t scary or dangerous, the better your trip will be come time for the real thing. Make sure he’s used to being in his carrier first and start with very short trips before you make them longer.
#3 – Feed 3-4 Hours Before Departure
A hungry cat will likely be an unhappy cat, but you don’t want an overly full tummy on a long car or plane ride. Not only could this bring discomfort to you kitty, you might get stuck cleaning up some yucky diarrhea or vomit. Motion-sickness does happen in animals, so be prepared and feed your kitty 3-4 hours before travel time.
#4 – Secure the Carrier
Once your cat is in the carrier and comfortable riding in it, make sure it’s secured so it doesn’t bounce and move around. Even if you’re not in an accident, hard turns and stops will send the carrier flying all over the seat; something that’s definitely scary if you’re the cat inside! Make sure your cat feels secure and isn’t troubled by too much movement.
#5 – Use Calming Products
Certain pheromone products are on the market that help keep your cat calm. Pheromone products mimic your cat’s own personal smell that she would leave to make a place her territory. So spraying this product on the bed or blanket you put in the carrier will help her feel more at home. Some even offer plug-ins that you can take with you and plug in to the room you’re staying in.
#6 – Never Leave Your Cat Alone in the Car
Not only can leaving your cat alone during a car ride make him feel frightened and abandoned, it can also be dangerous. Cars heat up very quickly in hot weather even with the windows cracked. Not only is it uncomfortable for your cat to experience extreme heat, it can quickly lead to illness and death. If you need to stop, try and do it when it’s colder out or you can bring your kitty with you.