If you listen to some of the stories cat owners have told, cat and car travel can be a nightmare. I’ve heard stories of cats going crazy while travelling in a car. This can be very distressing, especially if it causes an accident.
There are a few tips to make this experience a lot less stressful both for you and for your cat.
- Start preparing early. Ideally you want to use a cat carrier, which is the right size for your cat to be comfortable. A few days before, or even up to a week before the trip, put the carrier in the living area, with the door open and allow you cat to explore it and become familiar with it.You may even want to put the cat into the carrier from time to time to “experience” it, but also to experience being let out of it. The aim here is to acclimatize your cat to the carrier, and make them feel comfortable with it.
- On the trip itself. Ensure the carrier is strapped in. Take regular breaks if possible. If the trip is less than about 5 or 6 hours then the cat should be OK to stay in the carrier, but no longer than eight hours without food, water and use of litter tray. If you do decide to let the cat out of the carrier during the trip, then always wait until the car is parked, you use a harness and lead, and your cat has an ID tag. It is possible that you cat may be stressed and try to escape from you as soon as you open the door, so be prepared for this.
- The things to take with you. This is more for the cat to feel comfortable when it is away from home. The idea is to keep things as familiar as possible. These things include:- Their regular water bowl and food bowl
– Their bedding
– Their favorite toys
– Same sort of litter they use at home
- Stress. If you are concerned about the stress levels that your cat might experience then consult with your veterinarian about sedatives, pheromone sprays and other natural remedies that you can use.
- Car Sickness. Be aware that your cat could experience travel sickness. Things to look out for include excessive vocalizing – usually more than a few minutes. Of course always look out for vomiting, urinating and defecating. Once again, you may want to talk to you veterinarian about ways of treating this if it happens.
These are just a few tips to help you understand car travel with cats and to prepare for the journey. Not all cats are the same. Some will travel better than others, so you need to learn from your cat, but at least you know what to do to get ready. Check out this video from Howcast.com which nicely summarizes this.
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