Tips on taking a kitty travelling?

  • Our first few trips with our cat we're totally uneventful, after she broke out of her carrier and settled in. We drove 12-14 hours with her blissfully relaxing. The most recent trip had her yowling for the first few hours so our vet gave us tranquilizers to help. We'll, no yowling but she peed through the carrier and onto the car seat. Not good. I don't like using meds on her but don't want her being in distress either. Should I open the cap and divide it in half? 

  • Hi Deborah,

    Long distance traveling with cats can take some time for them to become conditioned to. And some cats condition better to it then others. Some cats will be okay with their first experience inside a carrier but realize after that they didn't like the experience and may react negatively the second time around. Using meds and/or tranquilizers can certainly help keep her relaxed in body but not in mind - which can lead to the urination to occur. 
    The best thing you can do is to keep her as comfortable as possible. Before you leave for your trip, here are a few tips that can help do so:

    - Leave her carrier out for her to explore and spend time in, both for sleeping and just hanging out. Use catnip to entice her inside. 

    - Equipt the inside with her favourite blanket and plush toy. 

    - Feed her meals beside the carrier, allowing her time to become comfortable with its presence - as if it's part of her everyday routine - much like her cat bed, litter box and food bowls already are. 

    - Try opening the cap and dividing the carrier in half before leaving. Allow her time to spend in it both enclosed and open. This ensures time for her to become comfortable with it from the get-go and not surprised by the opportunity (and weird change) once on the road. 

    When it's time to hit the road:

    - Continue using her favourite bed and/or blankets and toys inside the carrier. 

    - Provide a litter box, food bowls and a scratching board.

    - During time at your rest stops, use a wand toy and provide plenty of daily interactive playtime to allow her to expend excess energy and keep her happy. 

    As a friendly reminder, never leave her in a hot car unattended. Have someone else in the vehicle and keep the AC running. Cracking a window will make no difference as temperatures will still rocket to deadly temperatures. 
    Also, be sure to have her ID tag updated with her name and yours, phone number and a recent photo of her - should an unforeseen situation occur during your travels. 

    Bon Voyage! 

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