Do you have an upcoming trip planned with your adorable but sensitive cat? Cats love routine and hate change, but with a bit of planning and preparation, there’s no reason you and your bestie can’t have a safe and sane journey!
Whether you’re going on vacation or making a move, journeying by car or plane, preparation is the key to traveling with a cat. Here are the major considerations you need to keep in mind before you and Fuzzy depart for greener pastures.
Prior to leaving, buy kitty a roomy, sturdy, well-ventilated carrier. You want to let him get used to his new home away from home by allowing him to explore, and sleep inside, the carrier. Place it next to his bed, with a travel blanket and his favorite toy inside.
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Make sure your cat has an ID collar on, and consider using a harness for outdoor break times. Also check with your vet for any needed vaccination or medical records. If you’re thinking of medicating your cat prior to travel, always consult with your vet, never try to “play doctor!”
If you travel by car, feed your cat three to four hours beforehand so his stomach has time to settle. Make sure that your cat can see you from inside the carrier, securing the box with a seat belt if possible.
Never let your cat roam about the car—a stressed animal will run around causing distraction to the driver, especially if it gets beneath the pedals.
Depending on the length of your trip, research emergency pet clinics along your route, and be sure to book pet-friendly hotels.
Air travel with pets is a bit trickier. Check with your airline’s pet policies: can your cat travel in the cabin with you, or does he have to wing it in the cargo area? Inquire about carrier and vaccination record requirements, and by all means try to book a non-stop flight!
If kitty is going cargo, alert the crew that an animal is in the hold, and have your name, phone number, and kitty’s picture attached to the carrier. Write, “Live Animal” on the box, with arrows indicating which direction is upright.
It’s best to withhold food starting the night before airline travel, but always provide fresh water.
Lastly, the adage to, “Show up early,” applies doubly when traveling with your cat since most airlines restrict the number of pets allowed on board.
Good luck and happy trails, with a little planning and a lot of love, your cat will be just fine!
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