Fairweather has arrived and that means road trip season is upon us!
And when cat parents get away, they often want to take their kitty on the journey too.
But most cats are homebodies, so car trips can prove stressful for both kitty and person. There are some cats who love adventure, but if your fur darling isn’t one of them, hopefully, these tips can help your cat enjoy the ride. And if not enjoy, then at least be comfortable.
And we can hope, just maybe, one successful car trip can convince your kitty adventure isn’t all that bad.
Practice Makes Purrfect
Cats do well once things become more familiar and routine, so practicing for the big journey by taking small trips first will help your cat learn the car and its noises.
Start with sessions of sitting in the car with the engine running while your cat hangs out inside a carrier. One thing to remember, “Please be sure to always secure the crate so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.”
Once your cat is comfortable, take a drive around the neighborhood. On the next trip, add a few more streets. Keep this up until you’ve got a cool cat cruising around the city with you.
During this learning time, encouraging words and cat treats will do wonders to help your cat realize everything is okay!
A Carrier for the Long Haul
Cats like boxes, but the cat carrier is a different story.
When choosing a carrier for your cat, consider size and buy accordingly. Cats should be able to stand up, lay down, and turn around easily inside the carrier. Also, be sure carriers, whether hard or soft, have proper ventilation mesh that allows cats to breathe easily.
Many carriers have components for food and water, but the ASPCA recommends not feeding your cat while the vehicle is moving. Do have food and water packed for stops, though. Remember, never leave your cat alone in a parked car.
Pack a Kitty Comfort Kit
On top of food and water, cat parents should pack a bag of all the things a kitty might need on a journey from home. Things to include for optimal kitty comfort:
- Any prescribed medication, as well as anti-anxiety medicines to help with travel worry
- Favorite beds or blankets
- Harness and leash
- Veterinary records, including immunizations
- Litter box, litter, scoop, and disposal bag
Also, include emergency preparedness info on your phone or with your kitty’s bag.
Most importantly, don’t forget to pack love and patience!