8 Tips to Make Travelling with Your Cat Less Stressful
Cats sometimes lack options but to travel in cases where the trip is one way. A lot of people do not delight in the thought of bringing their cats with them on a vacation. Although there are a few fearless felines that are not afraid of traveling. Just like human beings, removing a cat from its comfort zone or familiar environment can easily cause stress and anxiety. Cats like routine and comfort of their homes. However, it is possible to travel with your cat without huge amount of problems if you only prepare them ahead of time. Here are some tips that make travelling with your cat less stressful.
- Visit a veterinarian prior to the trip.
You want to make sure your cat is fit for travelling. Your veterinarian should take several tests and examine the cat. Some of the things your cat should be looked into are:
- Your cat should be properly vaccinated. Your veterinarian may sometimes need to complete a health certificate for your cat, certifying that she is healthy enough for travel and has all of the required vaccinations. It is a requirement that traveling cats must be healthy ones.
- If your cat is ill or on medication, the veterinarian should tell you how you can manage or treat it while on the trip.
- Some cats are prone to motion sickness and so you should ask the doctor to prescribe some medicines for example the anti-nausea medication such as chlorpromazine or ginger.
- Familiarize your cat with its Carrier before the trip.
In case you have not traveled with your cat before, you may need to purchase an approved pet carrier. The carrier should be well ventilated, made of durable material and have a door.
It is advisable to make the purchase of the carrier at least a month before so that you can give the cat some time to get comfortable with the new environment. Place him/her in the carrier and as times goes by, gradually increase the time it spends on the carrier until it becomes comfortable.
- Take your cat out on rides before the trip.
Cats should be taken out on rides to allow them to acclimate to traveling. When the cat gets comfortable staying in the carrier, put them in and take them on rides.
Start with short rides and as he gets comfortable, proceed with longer rides. Be patient with them. Cats tend to take a bit of time to figure out their surroundings.
- Keep your cat hydrated.
This should be done before and during the trip. Bring plenty of water with you but only give it to your cat while you are parked. Do not leave a bowl of water in your cat’s carrier during the drive or a flight. The cat will make a mess and you will end up with an uncomfortable wet cat. A funny fact is that cats won’t always drink water that tastes different so you need to carry some from home.
- Carry disposable litter boxes.
If you are going for a long distance and think that your cat might need to make use of the litter box, then the effective way is to purchase the disposable litter boxes. When traveling litter can be a mess, and smell, so using litter box to deposit litter into and later thrown away makes work much easier.
You can place this on the floor of the car/airplane for your cat to use and when they are through, you can dispose of it in a trash. The most important thing is never making your cat stay in its carrier for longer than eight hours without providing it with a chance to use the litter box.
- Allow the cat to stretch.
Your cat would feel uncomfortable when it stayed all day in its carrier. Allow your cat to come out of its carrier for about twenty or so minutes.
First and the most important rule of letting your cat out of the carrier is to make sure you are parked. If you allow your cat to go around the car while you are driving or while on air, it might lead to an accident. While driving, your cat can get in the area of the foot pedals and scratch or bite you while you are driving and that could be enough for you to easily cause a car accident.
- Carry the necessary documents.
Bring paperwork with you that indicates your cat’s current vaccination status. If you are planning to travel over state lines, according to the law, you also need to have a health certificate from your veterinarian.
Consider having a harness with identification on the cat for the duration of the trip. This would be easy if you get your cat used to wearing the harness for several weeks before your trip.
When you check in the airport, they will definitely require you to take your cat out of the carrier so they can inspect it. If your cat is wearing a harness, you will be required to snap a leash onto it just before you take your cat out of the carrier. However, do not leave it with the leash when in the carrier because your cat could easily get tangles and start to panic.
- Carry Bags of dry food for your cat.
Although it is necessary for cats to travel on an empty stomach to prevent vomiting or elimination of waste during the flight, it would be a good idea to give your cat a few bites of food if your flight gets delayed for several hours, to keep her from getting too hungry. If your cat is in the cargo hold for a very long flight, attach a bag of dry food to its carrier with feeding instructions.
If you have done all these, yet your cat still stresses you during car rides and yet you don’t have any other option but to travel with your cat, you can buy a sedative from your veterinarian.