Unlike dogs, cats may not travel very often with us when we go away from home. The most common reason for pet cats to travel is for a visit to the veterinarian. Other cats may travel on family visits with their humans, or need to travel when their human is moving away.
As cat families know, cats are creatures of habit and generally do not do well with change. Some cats are star travelers, but most can be frightened and upset by any irregular travel. So how can we help our cats travel more contently, and with less stress and fear?
First, choose a good carrier. A good carrier has the following features:
You can make the carrier a more comfortable, less fearful place for your cat by:
Cats don’t get to travel in the car very often. As a result, they are often stressed by the trip. In addition, since they often visit the veterinarian after car travel, they may have added negative associations with the car.
You can make the car ride more pleasant, with fewer negative associations by:
When planning to fly with your cat, contact your airline well in advance of booking your ticket to find out their policies on flying with cats. Your airline may offer the option of having the cat in the cabin with you, or may require that your cat be in the cargo hold with other pets.
There are strict rules surrounding the care of pets during air travel. While we sometimes recommend low-level anti-anxiety medications or sedatives for pets for air travel, the airline may not agree, particularly if the pet is travelling in cargo.
Contact your veterinarian and seek out his/her advice once you have determined how your cat must travel with your airline of choice. Plan ahead for any medications allowed, as your veterinarian may suggest trial dosing to ensure the drug and dose has the desired and safe effect on your pet before the day of travel.
Cats can travel too, and it shouldn’t just be to the veterinarian for needles! Ensure all of their travel experiences are positive and reduce their travel anxiety for future trips by following our cat travel friendly tips!
For more information on cat carriers, visit https://www.catvets.com/public/PDFs/ClientBrochures/Cat-to-VetHandout.pdf