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8 Tips for Safe Car Travel With Your Cat

cat in carrier

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5. Secure the cat carrier on the floor of the back seat

The safest carrier to use is a plastic kennel-type carrier.  Don’t place the carrier in the front seat because of the danger of the airbag. The Center for Pet Safety recommends small carriers be placed on the floor behind the passenger or driver seat. Don’t place the carrier on the seat and secure with a seatbelt. The Center for Pet Safety warns that unless the pet carrier manufacturer has provided crash test videos illustrating structural integrity of the carrier, the seatbelt might actually crush the carrier in an accident.

Quote from Beth Stern



6. Never leave your pet in a parked car

In hot weather, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket in seconds. Even a car parked in the shade with the windows cracked open can get hot enough to cause heatstroke in an animal. If the weather is cold, temperatures can plummet enough to potentially cause your cat to freeze.

7. Feed your cat about four hours before leaving

Make sure your cat has eaten a light meal early enough and she has successfully used her litter box so the car ride will be more comfortable. If you’re going on a long trip you’ll have to provide access to a litter box during the ride. Don’t feed your cat in the car because it could upset her stomach.

cat eating

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8. Create a comfortable set-up for your cat at your destination

Whether your destination is a hotel room or grandma’s house, set your cat up in a small, safe area so she doesn’t escape and can get her bearings. Arriving at an unfamiliar location will be stressful so create a comfortable set-up so she can relax and feel secure.




Need more information?

For more specific information on traveling with cats by car or air, refer to the books by Pam Johnson-Bennett.

For more information on cat behavior and training, refer to the articles on our website and the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. If you have a question about your cat’s behavior or health, contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a medical diagnosis nor is it a replacement for your cat’s regular veterinary care. This article is for general information purposes only.