How To Travel With A Cat Safely By Car, Plane, or Train – Tips, Tricks, Storage, and Sedation

Leaving the country? Taking a road trip? Going on a vacation or visiting family? How can you travel with your cat and take him with you?

What are the dos and don’ts of traveling with your cat?

Cats are independent (but sometimes quite vulnerable) creatures and when it comes to the indoor cat, traveling with your feline pet can be quite tricky. Most cats will feel horrified by the idea of leaving their familiar  surroundings.

On top of that, the actual journey is quite scary for cats.

Few felines won’t be frightened by traveling, even if it’s in the comfort of your own car. There is no ultimate way to guarantee that your cat will be comfortable while traveling, but there are a few things which can improve the journey in significant ways.

For starters, you need to make your kitty’s surroundings as pleasant as possible. This means providing safety, comfort, medicine, food, water, and calm.

The key is to prepare yourself and your kitty.

If you’re going to be traveling by car, the trick is to train your cat into getting used to the car by applying the positive reinforcement technique of using verbal and physical praises, giving treats, and making the cat associate the car and the traveling with a positive experience.

Taking your cat on several short trips inside your car will help it get accustomed to the feeling and it will definitely improve the actual journey.

Equipping your car with the necessary essentials is also a crucial part of traveling with your pet. Purchasing a cat carrier or a cage, blankets and padding, leashes and harnesses, cat medicine, and food and water bowls should be your priority.

If you’re going to take your cat on a trip by bus or train, you’ll also need to prepare the kitty for the noises and unfamiliar surroundings. Taking it on short drives will help prepare it for the ride.

However, not all bus or train companies and drivers will allow you to travel with a feline, so you’ll need to make sure that you can bring your pet on board before the actual trip takes place.

Things To Do And Things Not To Do

It depends on the type of trip you’ll be taking, the type of transportation services, and of course – the cat’s personality and size.

How To Travel With A Cat In A Car

Most cats may experience motion sickness. You can get medication like Xanax, Benadryl, Bach flower remedies, and so on, which will help you relieve your kitty’s stress and anxiety.

You should feed your cat several hours before the trip and you’ll need to allow it access to its litter box in order to prevent incidents during the journey.

Don’t ever allow your kitty to roam freely inside your car as it may hide under the seats or bolt towards your pedals. You should never leave your cat alone in the car even if it’s for 15-20 minutes, because it could overheat, panic, or even die.

How To Travel With A Cat In A Bus Or Train

Instead of just showing up at the bus or train station with your pet, always check with the company and the drivers as to whether it’s okay to bring along a pet.

Make the carrier or cage comfortable with blankets or padding, cat toys, and even a small scratching pad just in case.

You should opt for a mild feline sedative if you’re unsure about your furball’s anxiety and motion sickness.

How To Travel With A Cat In A Plane

Never sedate your cat before boarding a plane! Airlines don’t allow for sedated animals to travel as it makes it difficult to tell if they are experiencing heat stroke or other types of health issues. Instead, opt for Rescue Remedies.

Don’t just leave your cat in the designated cargo compartment. If the airline allows you to take the carrier with you, go for it. There’s a huge chance the cat will feel anxious and scared in the cargo compartment, which may lead to severe health and psychological issues, or even result in death.

The carrier rule is also a must for traveling by plane – make the carrier as comfortable as possible for your kitty’s sake.

Additional Tips For Traveling And Vacations With Your Pet

Never forget to put a collar and an ID tag on your pet! There’s always a chance that your kitty might try to bolt, so opt for a harness if you think you may have to remove him or her during your trip. If you haven’t microchipped your furball and you’re planning on traveling with it, you should definitely get a microchip.

Water and high quality food are essential, but food and water bowls are also crucial. Don’t forget to get foldable plastic bowls for your journey!

Check that you have all the necessary medicine supplies such as Rescue Remedies, Feliway, and Benadryl.

Use treats and spacious carriers to make the experience more pleasant for your furry pal.

Before you schedule a journey, try to come up with other alternatives. Is there a way to leave your furball with a friend or a family member? Do you really need to travel with it? Can you use a programmable feeder to give it food for a few days?

You can even get an interactive pet camera to check in on it! Some pet cameras even play voice recordings so your cat can listen to your voice, and others offer interactive laser games.

If there’s an option for you to leave your pet at home or with a friend, go for it instead of subjecting your kitty to noisy and scary journeys.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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