If you’re planning to travel with the cat this is the post for you!
Traveling with your four-legged friend is certainly pleasant and fun for you, but is it the same for your kitten? Unlike dogs, cats are very close to their home, which consider ” their territory ” and are extremely habitual; they are not big lovers of changes and therefore even a short trip can cause enormous stress for them.
When you have to go on a trip, think of possible solutions to leave it at home: ask a friend, family member or neighbor to look after your friend or consider other options such as hiring a cat sitter or entrusting the cat to an animal boarding house. In this way, your cat is never in good shape, you are calm and so is your four-legged friend. But if instead you are forced to bring the cat with you because you are moving or are planning to stay away from home for a long time, it is necessary to take small steps to ensure that the journey is not traumatic for your cat.
Especially on long journeys, preparation (yours and the cat’s) is a fundamental element, otherwise, you risk the trip proving to be a nightmare for you and your feline friend. The important thing is to try to keep the cat’s habits unchanged as much as possible and to prepare for any eventuality. Before leaving, follow these steps:
a). Talk to the vet
Consult with your veterinarian, inform him of where you are going and ask him for information on possible diseases that the cat may contract while traveling with the cat, on any vaccines, etc. Bear in mind also that airlines require a certificate of good health of the cat which must be issued in the 10 days before departure, while for travel by car a certificate issued within 30 days before is sufficient. It is also good to inquire about any conditions and restrictions planned for the entry of animals into the country you will visit. If your cat hates the idea of traveling with the cat by car or plane, you can also consider together with the veterinarian the possibility of giving him tranquilizers, even if many doctors are against it, but in this way, the cat and you will be more relaxed.
b). Buy a suitable pet carrier and a leash
Choose a pet carrier that is made of a shock-resistant material and large enough to allow your cat to turn around, lie down and stretch, as the cat will have to stay there all the way. When buying the pet carrier, pay attention to the front door: your cat must not be able to pass its head through the cracks otherwise it could get hurt. Put a soft blanket on the bottom of the carrier so that it is comfortable, even better if it is the same one you use at home so it will be wrapped in a familiar scent. If the journey is long and the cat will need to go out now and then, buy a leash.
c). Bring a disposable litter
In particular, if you take a long journey, disposable bedding is the ideal solution, so if necessary you can use it and then throw it away.
d). Let the cat “get to know” with the pet carrier
Do not buy the pet carrier the day before departure, but let your cat get used to it; place it in the living room and let the cat explore it and maybe sleep in it or, if you make the trip by car, do some small tests taking your cat around the city along short distances, so he will get used to traveling with the cat by car.
Find out about the presence of veterinary studies in the destination of your trip and along the way if you travel by car and write down the address and telephone number; in this way in case of emergency you will know where to turn.
f). Choose cat-friendly accommodation
When choosing a hotel make sure it accepts cats; surf the internet and ask the various associations or kennels in the area where you are directed to recommend the most suitable accommodation. Find out about any supplements or conditions provided by the hotel and ask if it is possible to leave the cat in the room alone.
g). Prepare the suitcase for your feline
Prepare a small bag with everything you need before departure, including the veterinary booklet and all medical certificates; bring your favorite toys, food, water, and medicines in your suitcase if you take any medications. If your cat has a bunk or blanket where he usually sleeps, bring it with you.
h). Buy an identification collar
Before departure, put an identification collar on your four-legged friend with a plate on which you can write your name, address, and telephone number. Some choose to equip their kitten with a microchip, which however is only useful if whoever finds the cat takes it to the vet or the kennel, so consider yourself the best solution.
Now that your cat is ready, you are ready to go! Depending on the type of vehicle you use, there are some tips and indications to follow.
If you travel by car this tips for you, make sure that your cat is comfortable, but at the same time safe, so never let him out of the pet carrier for any reason when the car is moving: leaving him free to go by car could get closer to the pedal area and cause an accident or, in the event of a road accident, it could be injured. In addition to this there are other precautions to be taken:
1. Leave the cat on an empty stomach
For at least three or four hours or an entire night before traveling with the cat; in this way you will prevent the cat from feeling sick and vomiting in the car.
2. Position the carrier well
Make sure that it is firm in the event of sudden turns or braking.
3. Set up pit stops
Stopping along the way to feed the cat and maybe let him play a little: so you and your feline friend will rest. If you want to let him out, put the leash on him and let him get some fresh air; if instead, you leave it in the car (always in the carrier) while you get off, remember to leave the window slightly lowered to circulate the air, especially in summer and, if possible, park the car in the shade. In any case, it is absolutely not recommended to leave the cat alone in the car for too long.
4. If you travel in summer
Bring instant ice or gel or cold water bottles with you so if the air conditioning does not work or if it is too hot you can wrap them in a cloth and place them in the cat’s kennel to cool it.
5. Traveling in the winter
Bring extra covers instead to cover your cat in very cold weather. Here you will find winter traveling and camping tips
6. Cat is Sick
Have a veterinarian prescribes a special drug and take the medicine with you to give it to you in case of long journeys.
Once you arrive at your destination, wait until you are at home or in the hotel to let your cat out of the pet carrier. If your friend has traveled in the hold of the plane, examine it well checking that it has no injuries; Or You see something wrong, take it immediately to the vet.
If you are staying in a hotel, take a look at the room to check that there are no dangers for your cat and give your cat time to get used to the new environment: at the beginning, he will perhaps be a little strange and will turn in the room to explore the ” new territory ”, but don’t worry, it’s a normal attitude.
Agree with the hotel staff for the cleaning time, so you can take your cat outside while they are making your room and you will not run the risk of the cat running away or being frightened by the noises. If, on the other hand, you are staying in an apartment or at a friend’s house, try to reduce the cat’s stress by limiting its space to only one room, better if it is the room where you sleep so you will be as close as possible.
When he finds himself in a new environment, the cat becomes agitated, is led to exploration, and may begin to go around madly. Leave him in a quiet and peaceful room and give him time to settle down; as soon as you arrive, avoid opening your suitcases and arranging your things in his presence, the movements and noises could shake him even more.
Finally, one last piece of advice I would like to give you is not to abandon your cat! Even if you are on vacation and you will spend most of the day traveling around the city, do not stay away from your friend too much or he will feel neglected; if you visit attractions that are in the vicinity of the hotel or apartment in which you are staying, make a jump in the middle of the day to see how the cat is doing and in the evening take time to play with him and pamper him. If you are planning a walk in the park, bring your furry friend (always in the pet carrier), so he too will enjoy the holiday!