Cats can be very finicky when it comes to traveling. They are not always good travelers and can get stressed out if it’s a rough, bumpy ride. They often like the comfort of being in a secure space, so most cat owners avoid taking their cats outside on a long journey. Sometimes, travel is unavoidable, so here are some hacks for when you are traveling with your cat.
Traveling by car
Prepare your cat before the journey begins.
If it’s your cat’s first long road journey, then start familiarizing your cat with the car. Start with shorter car rides (or even just hanging out in the car) to help your cat see the car as a safe space where it can relax. You can also facilitate this by giving your cat treats.
Getting cats settled in the car is only part of the battle. Cats are also prone to motion sickness. If you find out your cat gets car sick, you can consult your vet about anti-nausea meds or try ginger. The signs of motion sickness don’t just present as vomiting, so stay keen to any signs of discomfort.
Long distance journies can require special arrangements. For longer rides, you should consider using a disposable litter box. You can place this litter box in your car and train your cat to use it. Again, start teaching your cat before you leave for the actual journey. It’s important for your cat (and you!) to get some fresh air, so if you can, walk your cat every three hours and always have it on the leash or in a carrier.
In case of emergency, be sure to visit the vet before you begin your journey for any important shots or booster, and carry all your cat’s medical documents with you. Every state has different laws for animals and pets which might require you to carry your pet’s vaccination paperwork. It’s highly unlikely that anyone will ask you to show it, but you should still carry it. Printing out photos of your cat will come in handy if she happens to get loose as well.
Traveling via air with the cat
Air-travel with a cat on the air is easier than with our canine friends because there is a lot of room for the cat in the cabin. By paying an extra fee, you can bring your cat with you. Airlines in the US charge $125 to $200 ( for international flight). Unless you are going to the UAE, UK or Iceland, you can carry your cat in the cabin. If you are flying on a domestic flight, you don’t need any documents. However, if you are flying internationally, you will need documents and paperwork.
You can call your airlines before booking the tickets to confirm if they allow cats in the cabins. It shouldn’t be a problem; however, there might be a limit on the number of pets you can carry per person.
What happens you get a seat next to someone allergic to cats?
If you wind up sitting next to someone allergic to cats, you don’t do anything. According to the official airline rules, the attendant will help that person find a better seat away from the cat.
Make sure your cat is always on leash, even inside the carrier. You will have to take the cat out of its carrier for security check and take it through X-Ray screening. It can be stressful for your cat to come in close contact with so many people. The cat might try to escape or run away, so it is always better to have it on the leash at all times.
Points to remember
- Carry a cloth to cover the carrier. The less they see what’s going around them, the less the stress out.
- Cats can contain their urine for 24-48 hours. If your cat urinates in short spans, you should make arrangements for that. Cover the carrier with some absorbent pads and consider putting two to three layers of crocheted blanket on top of it. The blanket will keep your cat warm and the surface dry.
- Turn up early for the flight. Airlines have a limit to the number of pets it can carry. If the airline is booked with too many pets the entry will be on the first come first serve basis.
- Make sure you have an airport approved carrier.
- Make sure your cat is wearing an ID or some kind, a collar or harness with your name, address, and phone number attached to it somewhere.
- You should consider getting your cat Microchipped.
- Avoid feeding your cat up to 10 hours before you leave. By doing so, you will minimize the chances of vomiting.
- If you are traveling during the summer, carry ice packs, enough water and never leave your cat inside the car when you’re outside.
- While traveling during extreme winters, carry enough blankets to keep your feline friend warm.
Checklist for the journey
- A good quality carrier
- Towels to clean up
- Disposable litter box
- Water and food dishes
- A cloth to wrap the carrier
- Leash and harness to keep your cat secure
- All the health documents and paperwork required if you’re traveling abroad.
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