Taking your pet cat in a car for a trip may initially sound to be an interesting thing but remember that if you haven’t done such a thing with your cat earlier then the whole experience may not turn pleasant. For those of you who have even taken your car for a five-minute ride to the vet would understand the real struggle of traveling with the pet. Though we do not say that it is impossible to take your feline on a travel trip or long distance car ride but surely you need to make the travel comfortable for them. You need to have patience while dealing with a cat during travel and most importantly try to prepare your pet before the actual road trip.
So let us go through some useful and handy tips which would prove helpful for you when you are traveling with your pet cat.
This is not something to be told to any pet owner. But before you plan to leave your sweet abode and take your cat along for a long drive it is a must to visit the vet. Get a health certificate from the vet that your little feline is all healthy for the trip. This should be carried out some days in advance so that if there are any kind of health issues, it should be addressed immediately. Also, make a note of loading in any medicines mentioned by the doctor for the road trip. The special dietary needs of the kitty should be taken care of so that you need not have to struggle in the middle of the road for some special food of your kitty.
This is similar to carrying out a dress rehearsal before the big day of the show. You need to find out how your cat would react to a long distance car ride. For this, your cat should be placed in the car for some time and you can go somewhere. Make a note of their reaction from far. Try out a different route instead of the usual vet visit with your cat and stay in the car for long. Some of the cats would start to become impatience or try crying but over a period of time, they would get accustomed to it. The cats would start sniffing the area around to explore it.
Cats love to be in familiar environments. Hence during the road trip, it is important to make the car environment as much comfortable for them. Take their favorite blankets or the tent house for them. You can also carry their favorite toys, scratching posts which would already have their scent. By having these objects around, your kitty would feel less impatient and get relaxed easily.
The cat carriers are not something every cat owner would consider. But surely your cat would love to spend some time inside or out of the carrier during the road trip. However, you need to ensure that the carrier is of the correct size for your cat. A soft mesh carrier would be helpful. Though based on the temperament of your cat you may not need the carrier always. There are certain pets who prefer to be held and carried. But nevertheless, carriers can be used for the safety purpose of your kitty.
To get your car habituated to the car, you can make their meal times in the car. This exercise should be done once the car is comfortable in the car. Try to feed them all of their meals in the car for certain days in a week. If your cat gets motivated with catnip or playtime, then try to indulge them in most of their favourite treats near or in the car. Let the cat associate the car for something good so that they can stay in for long.
Cats have the tendency to adapt to their environment slowly. They need to start feeling easy and comfortable with the sights around, the various sounds and smells around them. This becomes even more important when you plan to take your cat for long trips. Understand that now their environment is the backseat of the moving car. Initially, you can start with lesser days of travel and try to see how your cat reacts. Gradually once the cat becomes calm then you can also extend the travel days and explore more places.
This is something every owner should understand. Never leave your cat alone in a sealed up car. Let the air conditioning be kept running while you have the cat in the car so that they feel safe and calm.
Dealing with a pet while traveling isn’t an easy job. Most importantly, as an owner, you have to stay calm and avoid losing your cool. If you start stressing out and shout, then the cat would also sense the same and get stressed out. It is important to maintain your composure, try talking softly with people around and always remind your pet that you are around them always. There are certain times when the cat would need extra attention while traveling, understand such demands and fulfill. It is your kitty so you need to understand what works best for them.
Lastly, we can say that these are just some useful tips that would ensure your road trip with the pet becomes less stressful. But in general, there are no set rules on how you can travel with your cat. It is all about that bonding and relationship with your cat. Cats are attention seekers and temperamental. Some tips would work in your favor whereas some may not. Just try out and go with the flow. Gear up in advance for the long trip with your kitty.