Tips and tricks for traveling with cats

Tips and tricks for traveling with cats

Hitting the road with your cats is more fun than paying the pet groomers and worrying about them while you’re away! With these tips and tricks, you’ll all enjoy your next adventure together.

When we adopted our first cat, Fish, we knew we wanted to include him in our travels. So, right from the start, Fish started traveling with us. We learned a lot, and we’re happy to share our tips and tricks for traveling with your cats!

Traveling with cats

The most important tip when traveling with cats is to plan ahead. This doesn’t mean you need to specify every detail of your trip – we rarely do. But it’s best to have some ideas about where you’ll be staying and what you’ll be doing along the way.

Accommodation planning

For us, there are five main options when considering where to stay: camping in the car, tent, trailer, hotel or vacation accommodation. Each of these options comes with its own hurdles and benefits when stumbling on the road with cats.

If you plan to sleep only in a tent or in your car, keep in mind that you will be limited to activities that include your cat. When we travel by car, we often book a night or two at a hotel along the way. This allows us to safely leave the cats while we are doing some shopping, eating out, or watching a movie.

However, staying in a hotel with a cat brings its own challenges. In some places, it can be difficult to find suitable accommodations for cats. And when you find them, they often charge extra for pets. Also, some hotels do not allow pets to be left alone in the room. So, be sure to check pet policies before making your reservations.

Another option is to buy or rent a small travel trailer to tow on your adventures. Although it is less convenient when driving around cities, cats feel very comfortable in our country. Once you’re done setting up, it feels like you’re right at home. It is relatively easy to find camps that welcome cats and rarely charge fees for pets.

Vehicle comfort and safety

The safest way for your cat to travel is to use a safe, crash-tested carrier. To avoid backtracking from distress, make sure your cat is acclimatized before leaving. Choosing the right pet carrier will also allow her to double your cat’s bed while traveling.

Cats, fish, and chips have been traveling with us since becoming a kitten, so they are both comfortable in the car. However, the chips get motion sickness on winding roads. We have found that raising his bed to the height of the windows so he can look outside helps.

When we plan to sleep in the car, we take the extra precaution of covering our things with a blanket that is easy to wipe. This way, if Chips get car sick or have something sickening on their paws, they will be easy to clean.

Pack the right equipment

Getting stuck on the road with your cats means you’ll need to pack a few extra items. We use a compact litter box that stays in our car, with a trash scoop and scented trash bags. You don’t need to keep a litter box in your car, but if you travel with your cats a lot, this is more convenient.

Pet wipes are key, too. You can use baby wipes, but I don’t like the smell, so we buy baby wipes that are specially designed for pets. It is very gentle and has a lovely coconut scent. They are great for cleaning up all kinds of messes.

Having a cat travel bag full of Fish and Chip gear means we’re ready to go whenever you want. Our bag contains collapsible food and water bowls, extra leashes, cat jackets, wet wipes, treats, and dried cat food.

It’s also a good idea to bring nail clippers if you’re traveling for more than a few days. Maintaining our cats’ nails means we don’t have sharp claws digging into our shoulders on our hiking trips!

Finally, you should be sure to put a copy of your cat’s vaccination records in your carry-on. If you need a vet, or decide to use a daycare or boarding facility, it is essential to show that your cat is up to date in her shots.

Respect your cat’s boundaries

Before you get on the road with cats, it’s essential that you understand what they comfortably do. Fish and Chips have been traveling for a long time, they see the car as an extension of our home.

If your cat has only rode to the vet, you will have some work to do before embarking on a road trip.

Begin by acclimating your cat to harnesses. Then start with short trips to fun places, like a park. Keep increasing the length of your rides until your cat is comfortable, no matter the distance. Finally, practice sleeping in the car or in a tent in your backyard. Being patient with your cat while it gets used to these new behaviors will save you sleepless nights on the road.

keep it cool

The last thing to stress about is never leaving your cat in the car on a hot day. This is why advance planning is so important. If you book an activity that you are not allowed to bring with you, you will need to find a pet sitter or kitty nursery where your cat can comfortably stay.

Even grocery shopping has to be done around cats. We do these errands in the evening when it’s cooler, or one of us stays in the car with the cats.

Traveling with cats means making some sacrifices along the way. However, we find it more enjoyable and increases our bond.

We hope this article helps you to have adventures on the road with your feline friend too!


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