Last Updated on May 23, 2020 by ellen
If you’re going on a vacation, your best bet is usually to leave your cat at home, either with a pet sitter or in a boarding facility near you. Cats easily get stressed when they experience changes, and traveling exposes him to hundreds of changes, from the first step you take from your doorstep to the moment you arrive at your destination. This post has been sponsored.
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Taking a Trip with Your Cat?
But, if you have no one to look after your cat, or if you believe that he is ready to travel, you’ll need to bring your pet with you during your vacation. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make the trip less stressful and more pleasant. Here are some of the things you can do:
Consult Your Vet
Inform your veterinarian that you’ll be traveling with your cat. Your vet will then advise you about the diseases that are prevalent in the area you’re traveling to and give you tips on how to protect your pet from them. He’ll also give your cat the required vaccinations and ensure he’s fit to travel.
Get a Cat Carrier
Having a sturdy carrier is important, whether you’re traveling by plane, car, or bus. By placing your cat in a carrier, you’ll keep him safe at all times and ensure he won’t be able to escape and get lost or hurt. You’ll also reduce his stress levels since he’ll be less exposed to the visual and auditory stimuli that come with traveling.
When buying a carrier, make sure that it’s well-ventilated and has enough room for your cat to stand, turn, and stretch. This way, he won’t feel too cramped when he’s inside it, and he’ll be comfortable while you’re on the road. See to it that the carrier is durable and won’t be easily destroyed by sharp claws, and confirm that it’s approved by your airline for pet travel use.
Weeks before you leave, acclimatize your cat to the carrier so he’ll feel comfortable getting inside it and staying in it for hours. Don’t force your pet into the carrier; this will only make him develop negative feelings for it and convince him that the carrier is not a safe place. Instead, put the carrier in a spot in the house where your cat usually hangs out, leave the cage open, and allow him to explore it at his own pace and time. Once he becomes comfortable, bring him on a short drive inside the carrier to get him used to the feeling.
Invest in a Leash and Harness
Collars can easily slip off, so it’s best to put your cat in a harness when you’re traveling. Of course, when you let him out of his carrier, make sure to attach a leash to his harness. Remember: it’s easier to grab onto or step on a leash than to catch a panicked cat who’s running all over the place. For added safety, bring two leashes so you’ll have another one on hand in case you lose or misplace the first leash.
Find a Pet-Friendly Hotel
Do your research and look for a hotel who welcomes cats and other pets. Once you find one, get in touch with the hotel staff and confirm that you can indeed bring your cat with you in your hotel room. Better yet, ask for a written confirmation (either through fax or email) so you’ll have a document to back you up in case something goes wrong.
Bring a First-Aid Kit
You can’t predict what would go wrong during your trip, so it’s better to be prepared than to be caught by surprise. Get your vet’s help when making a pet first-aid kit, which should contain antibiotic ointment (for cuts and wounds), anti-itch medications (for rashes and allergies), and bandages. If your cat gets carsick, ask your vet for the right medicine for motion sickness.
Use these tips now to have a smooth, stress-free trip with your cat!
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.