Taking our cat along with us on our travels can be very stressful for them. All of the new sights, scents, sounds, and being enclosed while moving can give them anxiety. This can be even more stressful for cats that like to be independant and come and go as they please. How can we make this less stressful for our cats? The following tips for traveling with your cat should help!
Get A Cat Carrier That They Like
Preparing in advance of traveling with your cat is always a good idea. Begin by choosing a crate or carrier that your cat can turn around in and one that has good ventilation. Make the carrier more comfortable by putting a towel or cat bed inside of it. Encourage your cat to get in it while home so they get comfortable with it. Treats or catnip can be used as an added incentive.
Take Your Cat For Short Car Rides Before The Long Ride
When your cat gets comfortable with the carrier, get your cat used to the car. Start taking short drives around the block and keep your cat inside of the carrier. When your cat seems pretty comfortable, slowly extend the amount of time in the car. This process will make the long trip way less difficult for you and your cat. Cat owners sometimes want to let their cats out of the carriers when they get distressed. This is very dangerous for both you and your cat while you’re driving though. This is why it is crucial that your cat gets comfortable in the carrier.
Pack Familiar Items To Take With You
Bring some familiar smelling products from home on the trip. Your cat will want to eat their usual food and use the cat litter box that they are familiar with. Add some of your cat’s favorite toys in the carrier if possible as well. If you are unable to bring the cat’s usual litter box with you, try to use the litter that they are used to. The more that stays the same the more comfortable your cat will be! If you have any room to take your cat’s favorite cat furniture with you that is helpful too.
Avoid Feeding Your Cat Before Traveling
If you can avoid it, do not feed your cat for a few hours before traveling to avoid any motion sickness. When driving, try to keep the cat as quiet as you can. Drive slow to avoid bumps, sharp turns, and stopping short. Many cats tend to urinate or throw up when nervous. This is another reason why it’s good to put a towel inside the cat carrier.
Calm Your Cats Nerves
If your cat tends to get very nervous in the car, you may want to give your cat something to calm them. There are many products that have a calming effect on cats and can reduce motion sickness. Calming drops can be put in their water or placed onto their tongue. Rescue Remedy is a flower essence formula that relaxes cats but doesn’t overly sedate them. There are also many air diffusers or sprays that mimic cats pheromones and make them more comfortable.
If needed, you can try to get prescription drugs from a vet if other natural remedies don’t do the trick. Remain calm as well so that your cats take emotional cues from you! If it’s safe, you can try to pet your cat while in the carrier and talk to them soothingly.
Follow These Tips For Traveling With Your Cat
Anything you can do to reassure your cat and to mimic home life will be beneficial for your cat and make the trip more bearable.