If you love road trips and you love your cat, it’s quite possible that at some point you will want to combine your two loves and take a road trip with your cat. While it can be a great bonding experience to travel with your cat, it will be the most rewarding if you are prepared ahead of time and take some precautionary measures to make sure both you and your feline friend are happy and safe.
The following are a few tips that can help make this a trip to remember!
Create a Safe Environment – To make sure your cat is as comfortable and safe as possible, transform your back seat (or wherever you plan to keep your cat during the trip) into the perfect travel space. If you plan to use a crate, securely strap the crate to the seat. If you plan to use a bed and a seatbelt, make sure there is enough leeway so your cat can turn around to get comfortable, but not enough to be able to jump from seat to seat. Surround the space with familiar items like blankets and toys as well.
Make Practice Trips – If your cat is not accustomed to car travel, set up your car early in the manner it will be set up during the trip and take a few short trips around town with your cat. Your cat will be able to get a sense of what to expect and realize that the trips are fun (and that you are not headed to the veterinarian or other place your cat may have animosity toward).
Pack – Make a list of all essential items to pack before the day of the trip arrives. It’s easier to remember everything when you are not rushed at the moment of departure. Some essential items to remember are food, treats, purified water, dishes, leash, harness, copies of vaccinations, and favorite toys.
Remember Identification – It’s important that your cat wear proper identification at all times during any trip. In the unfortunate circumstance that your cat get loose and run away, you need to make sure anyone who finds him or her will be able to reach you immediately. This is why it’s also important to use cell phone numbers instead of home phone numbers on I.D. tags.
Keep to Current Schedule – When possible, it can be a huge benefit to stick to any schedule your cat is currently on at home. For example, if you always feed your cat at a certain time, make sure to stop the car and let your cat eat at that same time. Some semblance of routine will let your cat know that this trips isn’t too out-of-the-ordinary.
Traveling with your cat has a lot of benefits, including saving you money on kennel costs or pet-sitting. But more importantly, it can be a lot of fun! By taking a few simple steps, you can make sure you approach your trip in the right way to make the experience a great one.
Have you traveled with your cats in the past? What are some of your best tips?
Heather Kalinowski is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion, North America’s fastest growing pet insurance company. Trupanion offers 90% coverage of veterinary bills with no payout limits. Enrolled pets receive lifetime coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications if they become sick or injured.