5 Tips When Travelling With CatsOur cats love their home comforts! They love to curl up on the sofa, find the perfect hiding spot, and stretch their claws on their favourite scratching post! However, there will be times when they need to travel with you in the car. Perhaps for a visit to the vet - or if you are going on holiday, you may need to take them to a cattery or sitter.
So, what can you do to help your kitty adjust to travelling? Here are 5 tips to make the journey less stressful for both you and your kitty!
5 Tips When Travelling With Cats
1. Help Your Cat Get Used to the Car
A car is not a normal place where your cat will hang out. In fact we want to keep our cats away from roads and cars most of the time! However, if you can help your kitty associate travelling inside a car as a non-stressful experience, you will have a smoother journey.
Firstly, for safety reasons, your pet will need to be in a carrier when travelling - so make sure they are familiar with the crate and not frightened to go inside, before you even introduce them to the car. Lots of soothing noises, comfy blankets and treats will help them relax.
Introduce them to the car a little at a time and perhaps just start the engine first. Once your pet is happy with this, try taking them on a few short journeys - all the time talking to them, reassuring them and making them feel relaxed. After a while you can start to make the journeys longer.
2. Choose the Right Travel Carrier
Make sure you get a carrier that will suit your cat. Don’t try and fit a fully grown cat into a small crate, they need to be able to move around a little to make themselves comfortable. The crate should not be too big either, otherwise your kitty might hurt themselves if they move around too much and bang against the sides.
Try to make the carrier cosy, with lots of blankets and some favourite toys. Although the crate should have plenty of air passing through, it should have restricted viewing, just in case your kitty gets motion sickness.
Our post on What Is The Best Cat Carrier For Travelling With My Kitty? will give you more tips on choosing the right travel carrier.
3. Check Your Kitty is Healthy Enough to Travel
If you plan to travel a long distance with your kitty, it’s best to have them checked over by your vet before you embark on your journey. You may be taking your cat on holiday with you, or you may be moving to a new home, so you need to make sure that there are no underlying health issues that would be aggravated if your kitty gets more stressed than usual. Then, if they do show signs of sickness or being very stressed, you can put it down to the journey knowing that there are no health issues.
4. Cats Like Familiarity
Cats are creatures of habit, so make sure their carrier and surrounding environment are as familiar as possible. Place their normal cosy blanket or bed in the carrier along with their favourite toys so that they have familiar smells around them during the journey to help them feel at home!
5. “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”
This saying applies to cats too! Cats need to familiarise themselves with new smells and sounds before they are comfortable with new environments - car travel is no different. Start introducing your kitty to car travel in short periods; take breaks during the journey and make sure your pet is comfortable. Reassure them with soothing sounds and cuddles when you stop!
To avoid motion sickness, don’t feed your cat for a while before you travel, and don’t drive fast but keep the journey as slow and smooth as possible. Don’t have loud music playing - remember cats like peace and quiet! When you stop the car, be sure to make a fuss of them and reward calm behaviour! Praise them for being relaxed and give them a little treat.
FELIWAY CLASSIC Spray, can help you and your kitty on your journey! Use it to create a calm and comforting environment throughout training and when travelling. Spray 8-10 pumps of FELIWAY CLASSIC in the car and in each corner of the carrier 15 minutes before the cat comes into contact with it. You can also spray on blankets, clothes and bedding that you put in the crate or car with your cat. For extra long journeys of over 5 hours, you may need to spray again.
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