How to Travel With a Cat in a Car
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Sometimes you might find it necessary to take your cat with you on a trip. While it might seem that cats and cars do not mix well, you would be surprised at what you can accomplish with a little patient practice and the knowledge of how to make your cat comfortable with riding in your car.
In this article, Part 1 talks about the importance of using a cat carrier, Part 2 mentions the possibility of using sedation, Part 3 stresses the need for practice, Part 4 describes the importance of pit stops, Part 5 mentions some of the supplies you should take, and Part 6 deals with the importance of talking to your veterinarian for pointers on keeping your cat calm while traveling.
Part 1 of 6: Why you should use a travel carrier
The easiest way to transport a cat in your car is by using a travel carrier. A travel carrier provides a safe environment for the cat where it is less likely to hurt itself or others in the car. In addition, make sure to keep the carrier in the back seat to avoid damage from air bag deployment if an accident occurs.
Part 2 of 6: How to know when to use sedation
Using approved medication to sedate your cat before the trip represents another option. Just make sure to sedate your cat far enough in advance to make the transition from house to car simple and easy.
Test the medication and dosage in advance to make sure it actually works on your cat. Avoid sedation if your cat isn’t too fussed about being in the car.
Part 3 of 6: Practice with short trips
Practice driving with your cat in the car by taking short trips at first, increasing the length as you get closer to the day of the trip. Start by placing the carrier in your house and allowing your cat to get used to being in it.
Each day, leading up to when you actually start practicing, place the carrier with the cat inside in the running car. Then turn off the car and leave the carrier with the cat inside in the car for a few minutes.
You can also feed the cat in the car to get the animal more acclimated to the car’s environment. Make sure to reward your cat after each practice session and following the actual trip.
Part 4 of 6: Plan for pit stops
Make sure to plan pits stops along the way so that you can give your cat a drink and allow them to use the litter box. This can also help relieve some of the cat’s stress and make your pet a little easier to deal with. Just make sure they do not run off.
Part 5 of 6: Take supplies with you
In addition to a carrier, take plenty of cat food, toys, and a litter box. Other items you should stock for the trip include extra cat litter, medication, and treats for rewarding your cat along the way.
Don’t forget to bring along the cat’s bedding as well. You can use this to provide a familiar scent in the car, thus making your cat more comfortable.
Part 6 of 6: Talk to your vet
Also, make sure to talk to your vet to see if they have any suggestions about making the trip easier on your cat. The veterinarian also needs to check your cat’s condition to see if the cat is healthy enough to travel by car. They can also advise you on what to do if your cat gets carsick.
It’s doesn’t have to be an ordeal to take a trip by car with your cat. While cats do tend to get easily stressed in unfamiliar situations, by practicing and acclimatizing your cat to your car, you can make the trip easier for both you and your cat. In addition, make sure that you pack plenty of the items necessary for the care of your cat while on the trip, including food and water bowls, a carrier to keep them in, and any other toys or items to help your cat remain calm while traveling.