First Consider - Do You Need To Travel With Your Cat?
Do you have a big trip, house move or holiday coming up?
Travelling can be a big adventure for humans - but our kitty friends aren't always so excited! For cats, any change in their normal routine or environment can be a cause of stress or concern. For that reason, though we always want our pets to come with us, it's important to consider if the journey is really best for your cat or if a cat sitter or kitty hotel may be better!
If you're going on a short break such as a holiday, leaving your kitty is often best - though you will miss each other! But if you're making a one way trip, of course, your cat will need to come with you!
With lots of considerations to make, planning for kitty travel in advance is important. But with the right support and preparation, it's possible to reduce kitty stress and make the journey easier - however you plan to travel.
Tips to Keep a Cat Calm While Travelling
Start with the cat carrier
However you plan to travel with your pet, they'll need to stay safe inside their carrier! So to help reduce any travel related stress, help your kitty develop a positive association with their cat carrier. If the only time they ever see it is on a scary visit to the vet, it's no surprise that they may be a little wary! Instead, during time at home, place your pet's carrier in an area of the house that they feel safe in. Leave the doors open and place cozy blankets inside - then let your cat explore it in their own time. Putting the occasional kitty treat inside can encourage them! With time, your cat should be confident enough around the carrier and they don't mind you closing the door. Gradually work with your pet in steps to help them feel calm while inside the carrier, with the door closed, and when you pick up the carrier and move it.
Using FELIWAY Classic Spray on blankets inside the carrier can also help your cat feel safe, secure and happy while around their carrier!
Check with the vet
Before travelling anywhere, make sure your cat is fit, healthy and able to cope with the stress of moving! If your kitty is sick or has any underlying health concerns, be aware that travelling may make them worse. Always check that your pet is healthy and well enough to travel before making any trip. Keep in mind that your cat's vaccinations should be up to date before travelling to reduce any risk of infection - and if you're planning to travel by air, your particular airline and arrivals destination may require certain health and vaccination certificates. Make sure you are prepared for this well in advance!
Calm cat travel tips
When travelling by car, you should also:
On public transport:
Other Travel Considerations To Keep In Mind
Always travel with ID and paperwork!
Make sure your cat is wearing ID the entire time that they are travelling. This may be a collar or harness with your name, number and address.. You should also have your pet microchipped, if this has not been done already. Keep copies of your pet's travel documentation and certificates with their carrier at all times, as well as with you. Especially for air travel, make sure to check with a vet in case certain vaccinations or a health certificate are needed ahead of travel.
Check with your destination
If you're staying somewhere - whether it's at a hotel or with friends or elsewhere, always check in advance that it's ok to bring your cat, and safe to do so. Never try to sneak your cat in! Hotels tend to accept pets more than they used to and some advertise that they're pet friendly so they'll even provide some of the resources your pawsome pal needs!
Once you arrive at your destination, it's a good idea to do a quick cat safety check before you let them out of the carrier. Make sure there are no windows or doors open unexpectedly, and look high and low around the room to make sure there is nothing that could harm your pet - such as an open cupboard they could get trapped inside. Once you're sure everything is safe, set up a safe space for your pet - such as a quiet room or corner - with some water food and their bed (or carrier) then allow your pet to come out in their own time. Don't worry if they take a while, they may still be feeling shaky from the journey and need a while to recover!
If you can't take your furry friend with you there are other options available - consider getting a cat sitter in to look after your kitty in your home or you could take your cat to a cattery.
Using a FELIWAY Help! Diffuser plugged into the space (such as your hotel room) can help your pet feel safe and secure as they adjust to a new location. With a 7 day supply of comforting messages, it can help to support and calm your pet.