In recent times, the question “how to travel long distances with a cat” has been so rampant. Traveling a long distance with a feline friend could be so exciting, especially if it’s going to be a long-distance journey where returning may not be too soon. It is of no doubt that cats are good companion of man, so, many cats owners would always love to travel most places with their cats with them.
However, in the case of many cats, traveling or leaving their domain or territory can be so threatening to them. So, many cats do not travel or move from their familiar area to places that are totally strange to them. Although, there are some brave cats that it doesn’t bore them to travel, but majorly, most cats do not like it. Hence, the knowledge of how to travel with a cat arises as a result of looking after the welfare of the cats.
Even with all the challenges that can surface as a result of traveling with a cat, especially on a long-distance journey, there are still answers to how to travel with a cat. Basically, proper preparation ahead of traveling date is the secret behind the successful involvement of cats on a long-distance journey.
It is also of great importance to know that cats hate traveling by cars even if they’re going to follow their owners on vacation. The reason cats do not love car journeys is because of their first experience with a car, which mostly used to be bad. In the case of many kittens, they probably must have left their first family to their present home via this method of bringing them in a car. Whenever the experience comes up, it becomes something so scary to them that they’re losing their present family too.
At this point in time, how to travel with a cat in a car has now become a great challenge for cat owners. Mostly, cat owners are advised to leave their cats behind while going on a long journey or get pet sitters to look after them while they are away, but in the case whereby owners do not have any option than taking them along; a situation like owners moving from one apartment in an area to another apartment in a distant area, there are few tips to look at and put into practice. Below are some tips to be considered if you’re to travel with your cats in your car.
- Adapt your cat to traveling: this is more or less a pre-journey tip, and it’s so important if your cat has not traveled before. It should be practiced several weeks before the traveling date. Here, the driver engages the cat in a short distance journey of like 30 minutes or thereabout to make sure the cat acclimate with driving in no time. There should be the availability of a travel cage that will eventually be used for the trip so that he can be used to the car’s motion, the noise and smell of the cage.
While doing this to make sure the cat gets to journey on a car, you should give special treats to your cat, this memory will enable him to always love to be there. Be sure of the cats’ comfort during the short period of the journey before engaging the cat on a long-distance journey.
- Proper medical check-ups before the journey: it could discover during trial ride if your cat is prone to motion sickness. Seeking medical attention is the best option for you at that point. Your vet can administer or prescribe drugs that can be used if such an occurrence repeats itself during the proper drive. Medications generally used to be an option to help cats feel more comfortable in an anxiety situation. Chlorpromazine, an anti-nausea drug, can be a good one to control sickness base on motion. Carsick is also another challenge you can encounter, drugs can also be used to correct this.
How to travel with a cat in a car is not any way an easy task. You must be able to observe everything concerning the cat while driving to avoid losing your great friend to unserious sicknesses. Crying of the cat, making a continuous sound, drooling, being afraid to move, constant urinating, stooling and vomiting could be signs of motion sickness. It is also medicinal to travel with ginger as it can be used to treat nausea in cats as much as it does in humans.
- Try sedative at home before traveling date: this is best done at home before traveling date as there will be time to talk to the vet if any negative result is observed. Sedative drugs can have different impacts on different cats. At this point, your vet can have alternative drugs to use. Although, most sedatives break the cat down, but if the drug is overreacting or not reacting enough, it is advisable to contact your vet before your departure from home. It is also a good sign if sedated, the cat is still in good shape and order in the surrounding. During this process, the cat should be put in the carrier to be driven on a trial process. Ensure you have enough medication from your vet to sustain you on your journey.
- Emergency and parks/hotel location on traveling path: do a thorough research on where vet emergencies are located in the route at which you want to travel. During your packing, be careful enough not to leave behind your cat’s tag, medical and vaccination records. Make a research to know hotels that allow cats into their buildings. Many hotels do not welcome cats, so it will be the cat owner’s duty to have asked and checked to know those that will accept in stay of cats. You can make use of the internet to carry out some of your pre-journey investigations.
- Get enough toys and food for the cat: avoid boring the feline creature’s boring journey, make sure to have packed enough toys that can engage the cat, and make it comfortable embarking on the journey. Avoid giving the cat just anyhow water; they have experience stomach ache as a result, but rather pack some milk in bottles and some clean water to feed the cat with.
- Proper feeding for the cat earlier on traveling day: it is advisable to have properly fed the cat well in about 3 to 4 hours before journey time. This is because the food ingested by the cat has to settle down properly in them so that they won’t experience stomach disorder on the way due to potholes or galloping on the road.
- Make the cat feel like at home during the journey in the car: cats like other animals too do smell things very well. You can surround the cat carrier with a home blanket; the smell from the blanket will make him feel at home. By doing this, the cat will be less afraid of losing his home but rather enjoy the journey alongside the owner.
- Do not lock the door of the cage or carrier: it is also of great importance to understand that the door of the cage has to be left open so that the cat will be comfortable going in and coming out without force from the pet owner. Cats generally love the freedom of movement, they prefer going to places they wish without anyone compelling them. This practice should be considered even before the journey so that the cat can be used to it during the drive time. Please note that the carrier should also be placed in the car so that it won’t be strange on them when it’s time for the journey.
- Avoid them to see you taking them to the car: this is an important tip to consider among the tips on how to travel with a cat in a car. While carrying their cage to the car, cover them with a blanket or a towel so as to avoid them from seeing it as it may give them a bad memory which they had in time past. The blanket or towel can later be removed after when they are placed in a good spot in the car. It is safe to strap the carrier with a seat belt, so place it on a seat that has a belt. In some cases, the carrier can be too big for a seat belt to hold, so you can use bungee cords or rope to hold the carrier firm in case there is an emergency that may be due to accident or sudden stops.
- Take precautionary measures during the drive: opening and closing the car door have to be with extra care, cats are skillful in escaping, and may get bored with the long journey which will make them want to flee from the carrier. You can allow your cat to roam about the car, it can make them stretch their legs and void them of fatigue. In the case of stopping by at a relaxation center or hotel, crate your cat so that you can take them into the carrier’s hotel room. It is also important for you to know that at no time should you leave the cat inside the car when the engine is off, and the air conditioner is not working, it may be hot inside the car and can harm the cat.
- Excretion easiness: it is advisable to buy some of the disposable litter boxes; it will help the cat to easily excrete whenever they want to. During the journey, your cat may need to use the litter box, you can place the litter box on the floor of the car where the carrier is placed. To avoid unpleasant smell and irritation in the car, you can dispose of the waste.
- Consider the traveling season: travel with many ice packs or frozen bottles of water if you’re traveling in summer. This will help to keep the cats in a cooler state. Fix your car air conditioner if it’s faulty. Also, if you’re traveling during winter, don’t forget to go along with extra blankets for your cats to avoid cold.
- Do a thorough safety investigation in the hotel room or apartment: it could be so tasking to keep your cat with you while traveling, but it’s always fun. Inspect the room you’re lodging with the cat and the surroundings to confirm there are no dangerous objects around the house that could harm your cat. Check the walls for sharp objects like nail or its likes and holes that can accommodate the cat to escape from the room. Watch out for traps made to harm rodents in the apartment like poisoned food and disallow the cat from getting there or better keep it away.
Moreover, for you as a cat lover to know how to travel with your feline pal, especially a long journey, you must be able to take note of the above tips. Getting medications in advance in case of any medical emergency on the way is a key point to assure the safety of the cat. A cat may suddenly develop one ailment or another as a result of anxiety during the drive time. Making the cat comfortable during the journey, at the hotel to relax and at the destination of the journey is also important, so get fascinating toys for the cat, get blankets that the cat is familiar with should in case there is cold and ice block or freeze bottles in the case of hot weather, and put enough water and milk in the car for the cat. Also, being careful to open the door or window of the car at parks may lead to the loss of the cat, as cats may be tired of staying in the car and want to escape from the car. You will definitely have a good time traveling with your cat if these tips can be duly considered.
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