6 Tips For Traveling With Cats
If you haven't started making your summer travel plans, now is the time! Traveling means leaving the comfort of our homes and sometimes our cats are part of that comfort. But we don't always have to leave them behind. Taking your cat with you on your next road trip may be challenging, but there are ways to make travel easy on both you and your furry friend. Here are 6 tips for traveling with cats.
Make sure you book your hotel stays at pet-friendly hotels and that you alert the hotel staff you will be arriving with a cat. You don't want to travel 1,000 miles, arrive at midnight at your hotel, and be turned away because of your cat. There are many pet-friendly hotel chains; just make sure the hotel you choose is as welcoming to cats as you are.
Before you take your cat anywhere, make sure his tags have updated contact information or he is microchipped. When you're traveling hundreds of miles, there are many opportunities for your cat to escape; and if he does, the person who finds him needs to know how to get in touch with you so your cat can make a safe return home.
Keep your cat in a carrier at all times during your drive. If he doesn't like it, try to make it comfortable with cushions, blankets and toys; it'll keep everyone safe and sane. Keeping your cat in a carrier prevents him from walking around as he pleases while you're driving. That may not sound dangerous, but for an affectionate cat that likes a driver's attention, it can be quite distracting. Some cats can be trained to sit in one spot for hours at a time, but they are few and far between. Your cat can get plenty of exercise when you take him out on a leash during pit stops.
Don't Leave Your Cat In The Car
Parked cars on a hot day are dangerous for any living creature. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the temperature in a car during the summer can reach 172°F. A cat can die very quickly in high temperatures or suffer brain damage. Even in the shade, your cat will not be protected from overheating. If you leave your car, bring your cat (in his carrier) with you.
It's not possible to successfully leave a bowl of water in your cat's carrier to drink when he needs to, so you have to plan periodic stops for him to take a drink and use the litter box. Because it's an involved task, you have to plan them carefully before you leave. Work the stops in with your gas and food stops and you'll have a car full of happy road-trippers.
Keep Him Calm
Keeping your cat calm during a long drive may be tough. If you're going on vacation and your cat clearly hates riding in the car, consider leaving him at home so you don't subject him to undue stress. If you're moving across the country and don't have any another option, talk to your vet about sedatives. Sedatives work well to get your cat in his carrier and in the car without too much resistance. They wear off after a few hours, but by then, the hardest part of the trip will be over.