How to Travel by Car with a Cat

Traveling with a pet is becoming more frequent, and many people cannot imagine a vacation without their feline friend. However, loading a cat in a car and setting off to a journey requires certain precautions. Pets, as well as humans, require preparation and some adjustments before the trip. Therefore, every cat owner who wishes to bring their furry friend to a trip and keep them safe must follow a couple of rules that will ensure their pet will travel safely, and enjoy the trip.

Prepare the Pet

Cats are not so fond of traveling. They prefer to be in a familiar habitat, and every separation from home is a bit stressful for them. This is why you should accustom your feline friend to a car environment. Start gradually by having it stay in the car with the engine off, for some time. Then turn on the engine and see how it will react if you start moving the car. Later take the pet to short trips, and eventually start driving to a longer distance. This will be the best preparation for the long drive to a holiday. Additionally, you’ll be able to see if the cat will experience any motion sickness, whether it will be restless or it will be perfectly calm and sleep through an entire trip.

The Equipment

Be sure to prepare a crate in which you’ll place your cat during the trip. It’s unsafe for the cat to walk around the car and distract you from driving. It might become hyperactive, which could endanger both you and the other drivers. Therefore, invest in a comfortable sturdy carrier. It’s crucial that the crate is large so that the cat can easily move, stretch and stand up in it.

Leashes are also a necessary part of travel equipment, so be sure to bring at least two. You never know if you’ll misplace one and you don’t want to risk losing your four-legged friend. Harness is the secure alternative to collars, because cats like to play tricks on you and can easily escape the collar.

If you’re planning a long trip, your cat will need a litter box. Therefore, invest in a couple of disposable ones. They’re very practical because they already contain the litter inside, and they’re easy to set up. If you don’t have time to make many breaks, put a litter box on the floor of the car, let the cat use it, and just toss it in the nearest dumpster. Quick and easy.

Food and Supplies

Always have plenty of water with you when you travel by car. This is especially important if you’re traveling in the hot summer months, when you can face a car malfunction and be stranded on a blazing sun. Give water to the cat only when you’re parked. Bowls with water are not suitable for carriers, so be sure to give the cat water when you’re not driving. 

If your cat needs to be amused at all times, make sure you bring cat toys so that it can remain calm and satisfied during the ride. Additionally, some cats really can’t handle the drive, so if you haven’t managed to keep the pet at home, and you had to bring it along, don’t forget to buy motion sickness medication. Talk to your vet before you decide for any particular one, and prevent any discomfort for both you and your pet. What’s more, be sure to consult the veterinarian on whether the cat needs to get some new shots. Also, if you’re traveling abroad get a health certificate from your vet.

Traveling with a pet can be both exciting and challenging. Make sure you’ve prepared the cat for the trip, packed all the supplies, equipment and other essentials, take the pet to the vet to get its vaccines, place it into the crate and you are ready to go. It will be the safest trip you’ve ever gone to.

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