The two most important points to consider when traveling with cats are their safety and comfort. Here are some tips on how to travel with a cat that to ensure your cat is safe and comfortable while traveling!
Tip #1: Vaccinations. You should make sure your cat is vaccinated before traveling to protect him from diseases he could be exposed to on the trip. Also, if you’re traveling to a different country or even out of state, you’ll need to have up-to-date vaccination records with you.
Tip #2: Identification. You should put a collar on your cat with a tag attached showing your cell number and the cat’s name. You can purchase a tag at www.pettags.com. Use your cell number, not your home phone number (does anyone have land lines anymore?) You might also consider micro-chipping.
Tip #3: Use the right carrier. No cat should travel without being a carrier. You should pick the right size carrier – one that your cat can easily stand in and turn around in. You can get the best prices and selection of cat carriers HERE. And always make sure the hinges are closed correctly – cats can easily drop out of carriers that aren’t latched correctly (I had a friend who lost her cat this way).
If you’re traveling with your cat in a car, keep your cat in a carrier in the backseat, fastened with a seat belt or harness to keep the carrier from being thrown in case of an accident. Never take your cat out of the car without the carrier! Your cat can easily be startled and jump out of your arms and run away.
Tip #4: Provide food and water. The best way to provide water in the carrier is to use a hamster water bottle. Make sure you do a dry run at home in the carrier before the trip so your cat will know how to use the water bottle. For food, remember that cats are more likely to eat a full meal, when you want them to, if you give them canned food.
If your cat doesn’t already eat canned food (they should, by the way – they need the moisture in their diet), then start serving canned food sometimes at home before traveling so your cat can get used to it. While traveling, try to feed your cat as close to their regular schedule as possible.
Tip #5: Keep your cat calm. Bring along your cat’s favorite toy and blanket, and their own bed if possible. Try to keep things as quiet as possible, and don’t constantly interact with your cat. If you feel your cat will not stay calm while traveling, talk with your vet. There are mild sedation medications that can help. But remember, if your cat seems to be in distress when traveling, then traveling with your cat may not be a good idea.
For much more information about traveling with your cat, read my article (includes video), Tips for Traveling with Cats – Plan Ahead. I hope you found this helpful! Please comment below if you have more tips! Debra
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