Traveling with a cat
You have made up your mind, and you are bringing your cat with you on the trip. That’s just fine. With proper planning and preparation, the trip will turn out just fine.
Cats are not as travel enthusiasts as dogs. They are territorial and safety-conscious animals. You need to be psychologically prepared and make the necessary plans before the big day.
Most people are dog friendly, but when it comes to cats, not many are sure. As you decide to travel with your cat, put that into consideration.
Before embarking on your trip, you need to consider the following.
How to Prepare When Travelling with Your Cat
You need to know your vet’s word for it. Does he recommend having some stabilizers and sedation tabs for your cat, especially if your cat is the active type?
How about the cats’ health? Is the vet ok with you traveling with your cat in its current health status? Since the vet has the cats’ health history, he is better positioned to guide you on any health concerns.
Additionally, have the cat’s health certificates in place, especially if you will be using air travel. This is a requirement for many airlines.
Organize Your Cats’ Favourite Toys
When planning to travel with your cat, make sure you bring along the kitty’s favorite stuff. It will enable you to have an easier time during your journey as the cat will be comfortable with its usual stuff.
You should consider bringing along the usual stuff, including toys, blankets, and other play items.
If you are going on a day’s trip, you should consider having in place the cat’s favorite foodstuff. With this in place, your cat’s comfort is enhanced and stubborn episodes reduced.
However, if your travel will take more than a day, pack enough foodstuffs or research in advance whether the stuff is available in your destination.
Train the Cat to Sit in a Crate
Long before embarking on your trip, train the pet to relax in a carrier or crate. It will be necessary as you tag the cat along the journey.
It will help you mitigate the risk of having your cat jump off the crate the first time as it feels like unfamiliar territory.
Cats don’t like new environments. Introduce the carrier gradually till the cat gets used to it.
Also, take the cat with you on the small errands you make days before your travel. Have the cat in your car, let it meet new people, this way, it won’t be a shock when one day you are on the subway or in the airport with strangers.
Research on Airline Rules
As a protective measure, if you will be traveling by air, you need to research in advance about rules governing traveling with cats.
Some of the issues to research on include:
- Does the airline allow the cat to sit with you in the cabin
- Are there extra costs you will incur for the cat
- What are the documents that the airline require about the cat
- What are the rules regarding the cat’s crate or carrier
This information will guide your choice of the airline you plan to use. It will also guide you on the cost implication that traveling with a cat may bring.
Most airlines have an age limit for the cats they allow on board. Some will allow only cats that are above ten weeks old, while others are more lenient.
If possible, book a direct flight. Avoid layovers if possible. This will reduce the chances of the cat throwing tantrums following unfamiliar territory.
Some cats are so affected by air travel due to climate change that they throw up upon disembarking. Carry a waste scoop to handle the waste.
Get a quality standardized crate to avoid running into problems in the airport or as you transit through different countries. Let the crate be spacious enough for the pet to turn, stand, and lay comfortably.
Still, on air travel, ensure you have the right identification tags for both your crate and the cat itself. Ensure the tag on the cat is sufficiently detailed. This allows you to locate your cat easily if a stranger locates it after jumping off from the carrier.
If your cat will be traveling in the cargo area, inform the cabin and cargo crew. Making the crew aware will ensure that they take care of the kitty in case of delays or unforeseen emergencies. Also, they will assist in feeding and deplaning the cat when possible.
Traveling with Your Cat by Road
Several aspects come into play when taking a road trip with your cat.
Get a Pet Safety Gate
When traveling by car, you can’t by any chance have your cat on the front co-drivers seat. You will not only be endangering yourself but also the cat.
What if the cat gets stuck on the foot pedal or scratches your hand while driving? Not good at all.
Have the cat on the back seat and fix a baby gate to prevent the cat from disturbing you while driving.
Don’t Leave the Cat Alone in the car
When you stop on your way for whatever reason, don’t be tempted to leave your kitty in the car, especially during extremely hot or cold temperatures.
High temperatures may lead to organ damage of the cat, whereas during cold temperatures, the car can act as a refrigerator, which means the possibility of the cat freezing to death is high.
As you travel, most states require you to show a vaccination record for your pet. Be on the safe side and carry with you all health records regarding your pet.
Fully Equipped Travel Kit
Get all your pets’ essentials in a travel kit, from waste scoops, disposable litter boxes, first aid essentials, hygiene, and grooming products. All these will come in handy in enhancing the comfort of your travel and that of your pet.
Taking the first trip with your cat may not be very easy; teach the cat to travel by tagging it on short errands, and eventually, the cat will get used.
Go easy on strangers who are uncomfortable around your cat. Remember, not everyone is a cat lover.