How to Travel with a Cat

Most kitties don’t like to travel. They don’t understand or enjoy moving vehicles. Below we’ll talk about how to travel with a cat, and not scar the kitty, or yourself.

How to Travel with a Cat in a Car

Maybe you’re cat is one of those that tends to act possessed, or terrified, or both when the car starts rolling.

There are things you can do to help.

Here’s 11 Things You Can Do Before Traveling with Your Cat in a Car

  1. Talk to your vet
  2. Practice short trips to get the cat acclimated
  3. Use a crate
  4. Bring its favorite toy or stuff
  5. Take precautionary measures (make sure the cat can’t escape or crawl into undesirable areas in the vehicle)
  6. Make sure it has ID tags (Your cat is a born escape artist, be prepared if it makes an amazing break for it)
  7. Don’t leave it in the car (regardless of the temperature outside, your cat is stressed, and temperatures can change rapidly)
  8. Take pit stops every couple of hours (give the cat food and water, let it use the litter box)
  9. Accept that things can get messy, take longer, and will be stressful(bring cleaning supplies, vomit and potty accidents are common even for housebroken cats)
  10. Make sure your destination is cat friendly
  11. Play, exercise, and give food and water before the trip

How to Travel with a Cat on a Plane

What’s it like to travel with a cat on a plane? Can you just carry them on in a crate?

Let’s look at the best practices for both you and your cat.

You have two basic options for boarding your cat.

1. Carry on

If the cat is in a crate or carry-on of some kind, and can fit under your seat, and is under 20lbs, you can bring it on with you. If you don’t want to keep your kitty under the seat, you can invest in buying an extra ticket for the seat next to you.

The carry on option is typically cheaper. Contact whatever airline before hand for preparation.

2. Cargo

You can also bring your cat on as cargo, as you would with checked luggage. Airlines usually offer pressurized, temperature controlled cargo storage.

Again, different airlines have different rules. Be sure to check in with them ahead of time.

How to Travel with a Cat Across Country

Is your cat up for a long road trip? Are you?

It can be done without stressing you and your cat out.

Cat’s are adaptable, just like people. Make your cat a world traveler with two basic steps.

  1. Pet your cat used to the crate.
  2. Practice short trips

Cats are territorial creatures of habit. A totally new experience in a new place is naturally going to upset the cat. Get it used to the crate and the vehicle you’re travelling in. Different breeds and personalities take to these things at different rates. Be patient, be prepared.

Here’s a short video of everything you need in preparation for traveling across the country with your cat.

Transcript: hey guys it’s Naren a and Pippin who is too busy chewing all the straps to say hello okay hey but I am in the car today because I want to talk about five things that I have learned tips and tricks of traveling with cats just as a notes we have been moving from Georgia to California so it has been about a three and a half day drive and we only have two to three hours left before we get to Northern California so this is all the stuff that we planned on and has kind of worked the things that I would change and all of that all wrapped up into one so if the drive is nearly over so I would figure you know this this is probably the end LVL with this decision hey you’re not in the camera shot but I have my handy-dandy little notebook and I have five things to tell you guys and maybe pathan will come back and pray there she is there she is here’s Pippen so first thing which I’m sure you guys are all wondering about with a cat in the car for you know 10 hours at a time maybe 12 hours sometimes where do they go to the bathroom because it’s not like a dog admittedly I’ve never traveled with a dog but you know there’s rest stops and you can get out and walk the dog and they can do their business there but cats are a little bit different she’s right here right here hello sorry this is really weird in a car kind of awkward I am recording goodness all the things hey um so yeah I’ve never traveled with a dog but I assume that you can just you know get off at rest stops and let the dog do their business but with cats it’s a different story because most cats are not outdoor cats Pippin is an indoor only cat but we do occasionally walk her on a leash outside we have not trained her at the moment to go in public areas outside so you know strangers freak her out cars freak her out kind of freak her out she’s more interested than anything but I do still worry about her getting away from us so we haven’t let her outside the car except in her carrier to and from the hotel and that kind of thing so litter box all this Rambo talking about the litter box without talking about the litter box but we have a litter box inside the car and that sounds kind of gross it kind of is but Pippins poop is on a bodily schedule luckily enough she poops in the morning and we can usually catch it and be able to clean it within a couple of minutes so she goes in the litter box and we’re able to stop and clean out the poop and the litter box just holds the pee for the rest of the day so we have a couple of litter pants any less in your shoe stores and places like that they sell kind of single-use plastic litter pans already full with litter which is very useful we have a couple of them the one that we use I mean it’s not ideal I wouldn’t do it again but yeah they’re useful for the car what I would do instead if I could do this over again is to have just a normal litter pan one of those plastic tubs and have sorry Pippins going on an adventure and have just normal litter because this litter for this particular brand is dusty and both Pippin and brujah are allergic to dust and the dust has gotten all over the car and it’s working for our purposes it’s only you know three and a half days in a car and we can kind of live through that but if I were to do this again I would have just a normal plastic tub you know normal litter box tub with our own litter but ideally the litter would be larger because it gets all over the car Pippin tracks it everywhere so it’d be large kernels of litter and dust free so moving on we’ll talk about food and water because you know three and a half days she’s going to need to eat and drink so what we do is we feed her at night and this was before we left for the trip and you know when we get to the hotel we give her a can of food and you can actually see the little cans right there we give her a can of food at night and she has all night to eat it and I just it and poop in the morning and we also have water at the hotel we have a cup of water out for her at all times and in the car itself when we’re driving during the day it’s not the best to have a cup of water out for her all the time just with the current setup of the car so every time we stop at a rest area or things like that we have a little and we had a cup and we can fill it with a bottle of water every time we stop and then put it back in the bottle and seal that up when we move so she’s kind of trained herself that when we stop she gets water if she’s thirsty so that’s what she knows that she knows the drill by now she’s kind of rather trained let’s see so comfort and calm this depends a whole lot on your cat’s personality my mom’s cat would have a panic attack and probably kill herself if she had to spend three and a half days car but not kill herself intentionally but you know she would have a heart attack because she’s so terrified of driving she she drools and poops and pees on the way to the vet and that’s only like a 20 minute drive so Pippin is much more easygoing than that it all depends on the cat and usually what the cat experience is at a young age we’ve had Pippin since she was about eight months old and she’s been in the car fairly often and she’s used to kind of the drill she’s an easygoing cat and she likes learning and new experiences it’s just kind of weird to say for a cat but yeah she’s a very easygoing cat and she’s gotten used to this drill when the car is moving she is on this console asleep which is great so another thing is that she does somewhat panic she doesn’t really like the close confines of the car it’s kind of unfamiliar let’s unfamiliar now because she spent so much time in it recently but she she works herself up she starts panting an open mouth breathing this was one particular experience that we had but as long as we have a cool air vent pointed towards her so we have vents here and in the center console as long as we’re pointed towards her towards the back she is happy as long as it’s cool air and it can cool her down and all of that she is quite happy um let’s see yeah so that’s that’s about it for keeping her calm and we’re getting a weird sunray I apologize it’s kind of an impromptu car vlog at the rest stop when we could so that’s I guess it’s for comfort and calm hi you know who you supposed to be so speaking of her not being where she’s meant to be we’re going to talk about car boundaries so if you didn’t know if you couldn’t gather from the rest of this video Pippen rides outside of her carrier in the car so we have our carrier back here I can show you in a little clip to the side we bring her in the carrier to and from the hotel or any buildings that we bring her inside and then we let her out in the car so that means that she can roam free however for safety she is not allowed in the driver’s area so anywhere around the seat or the footwell where she is now which is not a very good thing but I’m kind of distracted at the moment and generally it’s okay when there’s no one in the seat but as long as someone is in the seat she is not allowed in the driver zone in the seat on the person’s lap in by the pedals down below or anywhere up on the dashboard and she listens to that pretty well and it works pretty pretty well so another thing is for boundaries there’s no other real boundaries around and we are kidding here we go hopefully that’ll fix the rainbow I’m sorry this is kind of a weird setup but other than that four boundaries she doesn’t really have any she’s allowed anywhere else inside the cabin and so I guess another thing about boundaries is she has all her cloths she did not have her front claws removed so she likes to scratch and you know when the cat is somewhere for 12 hours a time they want to stretch so she scratches the upholstery we try to keep her from doing it and she knows that she’s not supposed to but it doesn’t prevent her from doing so it just reduces the amount that she scratches there’s not too much damage to these seats which is pretty nice um Tuesday she’s been pretty pretty good about it so number five the last thing is hotels because we’re kind of taking it easy on this drive we’re not driving through the night we’re not doing anything insane this three and a half days includes you know three nights staying in places so we stay in hotels and we in particular stay in hotels that allow pets we I mean I want to be honest and you know honor the fact that we do have a cat that we are taking into a hotel some people are allergic to cats and you know Pippin could in theory destroy a hotel room so some of the hotels that I found work are lakita lakita is a hotel chain at least in the u.s. I’m not quite sure where else but they allow pets to stay in most of their locations for free there’s no additional charge whatsoever another hotel is Best Western a lot of their properties allow pets there is a pet deposit which can be up to 20 bucks last night we paid $15 extra to EPIP but you know I mean you got to do what you got to do and I’d rather us all be comfortable and all of that so another note about the hotel is that we also stayed in the hotels that she’s not in a car 24 hours at a time it gives her space to run around she can stay up all night and sleep during the car all day so that’s that’s pretty pretty much it yeah and if you see anything in particular any brands in this video like they had two hotels that I mentioned or anything like that we are not endorsed or sponsored or anything this is just my experiences and all of that and yes so sorry Pippin has not been in the video like I planned she is sleeping but yeah thank you guys for watching and I will see you next time for the mo Pippin we’ll see you next time goodbye oh girl are you having fun in the car are you having a fun time are you having a fun time and it’s kind of um cramped because we are moving so we have all of our stuff we have a you know roof top bag up at the top we have fights in the back and our computers are here and you know this whole backseat is a little cramped for space but we left some space for her she likes to sit here and on the center console um here is her carrier which we use to kill you in between buildings in the car and here’s her litter box for a nice dirty litter box which actually used to be a little bit better so this is one of those um kind of single-use trays uh I don’t know if you can see but there was a dust plume when I’m hoop the litter but it’s nice large chunks which is easy to clean up Oh another thing that I would recommend if you are taking a cat on a clock are leg with a litter box is to bring one of those little hand vacuums to clean up we don’t have one yet but we need to get one all right thank you guys for watching and we will see you next time goodbye

How to Travel with Cats in a Car Long Distance

The cat yowls and is on constant freak-out mode in the car?

It can chill in the car just like it does on its throne (your sofa).

For long trips you’re definitely going to want to get your cat microchipped. Talk to your vet.

You’ll also want a litter box. It’s not going to ask you to pull over on the high-way when nature calls.

How to Travel with a Cat Litter Box

Does your backseat have to be a litter box?

There are several options.

Cat Sedation for Travel

Cat not having it? Need something stronger?

It may be worth it to give the kitty sweet dreams while you travel.

Consult with your vet first for the best option. Once you do, be sure to give it a test run at home before you hit the road. Some common sedatives for cats are:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Gabapentin
  • Alprazolam

Traveling with Cats & Hotels

Plan on staying overnight at a hotel?

You don’t have to sneak your cat in.

There are certain chains of hotels that allow for pets. Always double check, when you make the reservation, with the front desk of the specific hotel you are staying at.

Here’s a good site to help you make travel plans with your cat. Travelling with a dog?

You want to travel the world, but you don’t want to go it totally solo? Have a look at this.

Got a cat that needs travelling with? This short article will cover how to travel with your cat in various situations and distances.

And here’s a cat that has better vacations than most!

Looking for a pet transport service or a pet friendly airline?

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