Summer is heating up and people are ready to travel — whether by car or plane. Quite frankly, we’ve all gotten used to our creature comforts of home, including being with our pets 24/7! It’s no surprise people are excited to travel this summer and want to bring their pets with them. Traveling with a cat, specifically, may seem like a daunting task, but we’ve pulled together a list of top tips to make the process easier:
- Talk to your vet before traveling. Your vet will be able to give you advice specific to your cat, provide any required exams before traveling, ensure vaccinations are up-to-date, and can make sure you have enough medication to last the trip if your cat is currently taking any.
- Plan accommodations ahead of time. Be sure to do your research on pet-friendly hotels and airlines, and read their policies beforehand to ensure a smooth process. Numerous large hotel chains require small pet fees, but many do allow pets. Most cats can travel as a carry-on on major airlines for a fee, but be sure to read the fine print about carrier sizes and other requirements.
- Practice the journey. Your cat may not be used to traveling, so try to get them used to the situation in advance. For example, if you’re going on a road trip, practice by putting your cat in the carrier and going for short drives in the neighborhood. Rewarding them with some treats afterwards can help with positive association.
- Bring the necessities. It may seem like all you need is your cat and a carrying crate, but make sure you bring everything your cat requires on a daily basis. Don’t forget food and water, plus travel bowls to help serve them up. It’s also a good idea to bring the following:
- Toys (putting familiar toys and catnip in the carrier can help entertain, distract and relax your cat)
- A litter box and fresh litter
- A blanket
- Collar and ID tags
- A carrier (it’s worth exploring some of the travel carrier options that are available and easier to carry)
As you think about these tips and your own cat, remember that some simply won’t be comfortable or won’t enjoy traveling, and that’s okay! If your cat’s stress levels are high when traveling, it’s worth exploring other options like using a cat sitter, boarding facilities, or having a friend or family member help with frequent check-ins in your own home as alternative options.
Cheers to happy travels with your feline friend!