As most of us know pets get quite anxious when taken out of their comfort zone and this goes double when it comes to cats. Travelling with cats is difficult since you have to think about their wellbeing while still having some control over them and if you want to travel by car things get even more complicated.
Many heard some horror stories about traveling with cats in automobiles and if you haven’t done this before you are probably quite anxious, but if you are prepared accordingly then everything should go smoothly.
The problem is that preparation should begin from the first moments you have the cat, the earlier the better. Once cats grow older they are more and more comfortable in their own environments and any disruption can cause them a great deal of psychological harm, so if you don’t start early then you might have a problem for the rest of the cat’s life.
When they are kittens around two and seven weeks of age the cats are much more open minded and interested in trying out new experiences so that is the ideal time to get them accustomed to car travels. Of course, if your cat is older than this then there are some other options available, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever take your cat for a ride.
Ask For Help
Your vet might have some helpful ideas about how to make the trip more pleasant and there are certain medications available for things like anxiety or motion sickness to reduce their stress. It’s helpful to have some around even if you don’t plan to use them for every occasion just in case things get worse than usual.
Start by making the pet accustomed to the car and going on very short trips to see how they react. Make sure you always have things they feel tied to close by such as their toys as a way of making them more comfortable.
If you have a long drive ahead and have to take the cat with you then you have to expect a longer trip with many stops for stretches. At least once every two hours the cat should have a break, stop in a safe location and let the cat out for a few minutes.
This should be done with a lot of care since if the pet is really stressed out due to the ride the first instinct might be to run away from the whole experience and this isn’t something that you want. To prevent things like this make sure the cat always has the ID tag on.
The places where you should stop mustn’t be in direct sunlight with the windows rolled up because this will do even more harm to your pet then when you are driving, so never leave them alone in a car like this.
Checklist for Travelling With Cats
Just like it’s the case with a baby, travelling with a cat means that there are many additional things that you have to take with you and you should make a list to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything. We already talked about the medicines from the vet and some of the cat’s favorite toys.
The bedding from home might also help increase the comfort of the pet since it is really familiar to the cat and thus it might be a good idea to bring it along. For long trips you should bring the same cat food that the pet is accustomed to, the same water and some bowls for the pauses to make sure your companion is well fed.
This process isn’t always a good idea, since it depends on the problems your cat has. Some get too sick from the motion and start vomiting so feeding them isn’t the best thing. If this is the case with your pet then the motion sickness medicine will make the trips a lot more pleasant for both of you.
The litter and other accessories are probably too large to carry around with you in the car but there are disposable litter trays or non-disposable litter trays that are made for cars. Make sure the brand of litter you bring is the same one you use at home because it will cause additional stress for the pet to have to get used to another one.
We have left the most important item for the end and this is the cat carrier. The idea of having a cat roam free through the car is something you should never try because the accidents it could lead to might be fatal.
Cat carriers are designed specifically for car rides and they are spacious enough with good ventilation so you must always use one. The only things you have to worry about are not to leave them in direct sunlight and to make sure they are properly secured in the vehicle.
Following these steps should make the trip at least tolerable for your pet and much more pleasant for you, but it you are considering a really long trip ask yourself if it is really worth it to put your cat in such a stressful situation.