Are you planning a road trip? Here’s an even bigger question… are you planning on taking your cat with you? For many cat parents, bringing kitty along on out-of-town trips is sometimes the only option. If that’s the case with you, here are some tips to help make the travel experience safer and a little less stressful.
1. Take the time to get your cat used to being in a carrier
Leave the carrier out and start conditioning your cat to become comfortable going in and out as well as having the carrier door closed. Work up to taking the cat (in the carrier) out to the car and then for short trips down the road. Every step of the process should be gradual because even just turning the car engine on could be upsetting to a cat who has never experienced travel.
2. Have identification for your cat
No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen and your cat can escape or get lost. The safest form of identification is to have her microchipped. This is a quick procedure your veterinarian can do. In addition to microchipping, it’s also a good idea to have a collar with identification. Cell phone numbers are the best ones to have on the identification rather than your home number so you can always be reached when on the road.
3. Pack a travel bag for your cat
The bag should include a supply of any medication your cat is currently on, food, water, bowls, plastic bags (for soiled litter), litter scoop, litter, travel-sized litter box (can be a disposable one), grooming supplies (very important for long-haired cats), treats, toys, pet wipes and towels (for clean up).
4. Keep your cat in a well-ventilated carrier
Even if your cat is calm and very well-behaved, it’s not safe to have her loose in the car. A pet loose in the car is a distraction to the driver and can cause an accident. Additionally, if an accident does happen, a loose pet has a greater chance of injury and getting thrown from the vehicle. Line the carrier with a towel and pack some extras in case that one gets soiled.