How can I take our cat with us on weekends to camp?

  • Would like to be able to take our cat with us on weekends to camp. It's an hour and a half drive each way. How to help the kitty assimilate to the ride and the different house space.

  • Hi Susan,

    Distance travelling with your cat is a great way to keep the family together and create fun memories. However, some cats condition to this better then others. To get started, be sure to invest in a suitable carrier that allows her plenty of room to comfortably move around in. A hard-sided carrier are usually recommended for long distance trips in a vehicle. Distances of 60km or more. 

    Here are a few tips that may help before you hit the road:

    - Whether it's an old one or new, leave her carrier out for her to explore and spend time in. If need be, use catnip to entice her inside. 

    - Equipt the inside with her favourite blanket and toy(s). 

    - 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. 

    - If the carrier has a top half opening, allow her to spend time with it open and closed. This ensures time for her to be comfortable with it from the get-go and not surprised by it's sudden change once on the road, if you need to make adjustments. 

    When it's time to leave on your trip:

    - If you are not providing her with a litter box while enroute, be sure to allow her an opportunity to use the litter box before you leave. And then set one up for her as soon as you've set up camp. 

    - along with her bed, blanket, food bowls and toys - bring along a small scratching post or board to allow her to use if need be. 

    - If she is accustomed to one, place her in a comfortable leash during your time outside of camper, tent etc. for while you are at your campsite.

    - Bring along her favourite wand toy to provide her some interactive playtime to allow her to expel her excess energy and demonstrate her excellent hunting skills. 

    As a friendly reminder, never leave her in a hot car unattended. Have someone with her during a rest/gas stop and keep the AC running. Cracking a window will make no difference as temperatures will still rocket to deadly levels. 
    Also, be sure to have her ID tag updated with her name and yours, phone number and a recent photo (preferably a photograph in case your phone is out of service) of her - should an unforeseen situation occur during your travels. 

    Happy travels! ;)




  • My cats despise the car, and you can be assured of a yowl-fest for most of the trip, both ways. I usually only travel with one. At the last minute, I grab them, and once in the car with the doors secure, I say "HA HA" it's car time. To be on the safe side, I put a litter box behind the passenger seat, in a cardboard box (open top) just in case there is a 'miss'. Our trip is about 45 minutes to Mom's house, where we have a separate room that they can be alone in, and sleep with us; the kitty box gets placed in a corner on a blanket to catch any enthusiastic litter digging (which ALWAYS happens), along with some sort of night light for navigation in the dark. Both cats have actually used the litter box while we are driving. Usually they somewhat give up with just the occasional MEOW, just to make sure we are aware of their displeasure. After going a few times, once they are there, they realize the familiarity and relax (until the dreaded ride home). I just let them roam free in the car or SUV (always windows closed), and typically they will wind up on the back seat, or on a lap or sometimes behind my neck as I drive looking out the window. I always have a harness on them and a leash when out of the car. My worst fear is they take off when not home. But once they are 'there', they seem to relax and consider it second home, and all is good.

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