Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
As most of you probably know, cats and traveling don’t make a good combination. In general, most felines aren’t the happy travelers that dogs are. They – cats – need their safety and comfortable space and their well known territory in order to be content. But there are ways in which you can bring your cat from point A to point B without much troubles. So read on to find out how to travel with your cat.
While there are cats out there who are more than comfortable with traveling around, those are mostly exceptions, so you’ll need to put in some work into training your cat to become less stressed about traveling, being it by car, train or airplane.
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How To Travel With Your Cat
The main point is to make the cat feel comfortable in her temporary mobile home. You surely won’t make a nomad out of your cat but at least you’ll be able to travel anywhere with her and without headaches. And no, sedating her doesn’t count. In some situations, that may actually make matters worse, as some cats might become more agitated, or even adjust harder to the trip due to drugs and altered environment conditions, like the ones inside an airplane.
If you really must sedate your cat, have a talk with your vet beforehand to find out which medication fits your cat, what are your cat’s reactions to medication and the right dosage. This needs to be done well before the trip, as you wouldn’t like to find out the result only minutes before.
Traveling By Car
A loose frightened cat inside a car on a highway is not something desirable, as the possibility for her to cause an accident is very high. As it’s probably the case most of the times, cats associate traveling in a car with visits to the vet. And most of them don’t like those visits, so they won’t like being in the car either.
The best option when traveling with your cat by car is to have a crate or carrier. Make sure it’s a solid one and has a lot of vents for a good air flow but it’s easy to clean at the same time. Too large a carrier is not a good idea either, because cats love – and feel more secure – to sit in one small place, not moving around too much.
Another good idea is for you to be the one traveling with your little friend, as your presence will help her be more comfortable with the trip. Talking with her during the trip in a calming voice will also help a great deal.
Traveling By Train
When traveling by train, it’s even more important for your cat to be secured in a sturdy carrier. She must not escape from it, but it also needs to be light enough for you to carry around. Depending on the space available, in some situations you might even need to hold the carrier on your lap.
Traveling By Plane
Traveling with your cat by plane is a little bit more complicated than other means of travel because you need to plan well in ahead. Firstly, you need to find out which flights are licensed to carry animals, and if they are, under what conditions. Some airlines only allow small pets under a certain size and weight, so be careful with those details.
Also, some airlines will not allow the cat inside with you, but only in the hold. Besides that, the carrier for your cat should match the conditions specified by the airline. If possible, you should take a direct flight in order to minimize the troubles that could appear.
When traveling to other countries, make sure to read the regulations concerning traveling with pets from one country to the other. There are also health requirements which differ.
On the way, make sure you’ve got food and medications for your little friend and also her blankets or whatever she makes her feel at home. That will do her trip a little bit easier.