Traveling with cats in a car can be very difficult, especially if they are not used to being in a moving vehicle. Cats can become frightened and stressed very easily while outside the familiarity of their home. It may be challenging to travel with a cat, but it’s not impossible.
If you can’t get a friend or neighbor to check in on your cat at home, then you need to prepare them for the journey. Using a few of these tips and tricks, you can help keep your cat comfortable and calm.
Traveling with cats in a car – Use a travel crate
A travel crate is both good for you and your cat. You’ll be able to drive without any distractions and won’t have to worry about getting distracted by an agitated pet. Secure the carrier with a seatbelt assuring that your cat stays calm and in one place.
If your cat isn’t used to a carrier, then do little exercises at home where you encourage them to get inside one with sweet talk and treats. Practice this as much as you can so that by the time you’re ready to go, stepping into the crate will be second-nature for your cat.
For trips longer than 6 hours, take a break and let your cat out for a short while to stretch their legs, drink water and use the litter box.
Traveling with cats in a car – Mini car rides
Before embarking on a road trip, you can try acclimatizing your cat in a moving vehicle with a few short rides around the block. Figure out what makes them comfortable and least stressed. For example, if the carrier moves too much, place some extra padding at the bottom of it so your cat doesn’t experience all the jerky movements. At the end of the drive give them a treat as a reward for good behavior.
Traveling with cats in a car – Get anti-motion sickness medication
If your cat has vomited in a past ride and or seems depressed in a moving car, they may be experiencing motion sickness. You can ask your vet for motion sickness medication to give your to your cat before hitting the road. To be on the safe side, take a towel and some cleaning wipes with you just in case your cat throws up on the way.