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We ask a lot of our cats when we take them along with us on our travels. The unfamiliar sights and smells, the loud sounds, and moving while being enclosed can all contribute to their anxiety. This can be tougher than usual for cats that enjoy their independence and are used to coming and going as they please. How can we minimize all of these sources of stress for our cats? The following tips will go over how to travel with a cat and keep it calm.

How To Travel With A Cat & Keep It Calm

  • Find The Right Carrier
  • Get Your Cat Used To The Car
  • Bring Familiar Items With You
  • Don’t Feed Your Cat Right Before Travelling
  • Get Something To Calm Your Cats Nerves If Needed

Find The Right Carrier

It’s a good idea to prepare in advance of your trip when traveling with your cat. You should begin by selecting a comfortable crate or carrier, one that your cat will be able to turn around inside of and one that is well ventilated. You can make the carrier more “homey” by lining it with a towel or placing a pet bed inside of it. Encourage your cat to spend some time inside of it while still at home to get them comfortable with it. You can even use treats and/or catnip as an added incentive.

Get Your Cat Used To The Car

Once your cat has gotten comfortable with its carrier, begin getting your cat used to being in the car. Start by taking super short drives around the neighborhood with your cat in the carrier. Once your cat seems comfortable, gradually extend the length of time spent on the road. Doing this before going on a super long trip will make the trip less stressful for both you and your cat. Many people feel inclined to let their cats out of their carriers when they get distressed. However, this can be very dangerous to both you and your cat while you’re driving. So, it’s important to get your cat comfortable in its carrier.

Bring Familiar Items With You

Be sure to bring some products from home along with you on the trip. Your cat will appreciate using the litter box they’re familiar with and eating their usual food and treats. Put some familiar toys into your cat’s carrier if possible as well. If you’re flying somewhere with your cat and can’t bring the litter box, try to at least use the litter that they are familiar with. The less that changes the more comfortable your cat will be!

Related: Checklist For Leaving Your Cat Home While On Vacation

Don’t Feed Your Cat Right Before Travelling

If possible, don’t feed your cat right before traveling to avoid possible motion sickness. While in the car, take every effort to eliminate as much noise as you can. Drive slowly and carefully to minimize jolts, bumpy turns, and sudden stops. Some cats have the tendency to throw up or urinate when they get nervous. This is why it’s also a good idea to add a towel to your cat’s carrier.

Get Something To Calm Your Cats Nerves If Needed

If you’re wondering how to travel with a cat when your cat gets very anxious in the car, you may need to offer your cat some extra help. You might want to look into various products that exercise a calming effect upon cats and can even reduce the effects of motion sickness. Homeopathic calming drops can be added to food and water and even placed directly on your cat’s tongue. Rescue Remedy is a good flower essence formula that works to relax cats without overly sedating them. There are even air diffusers and sprays that mimic pheromones that cats feel comfortable with.

You can also obtain prescription drugs from your veterinarian if natural remedies don’t seem to do the trick. Try to remain calm as well so your cat can take some emotional cues from you! If it’s safe to do so, you can put your hand through the carrier’s openings to calm your cat and also talk to your cat throughout the trip using a calm voice!

Follow These Tips For How To Travel With A Cat

Any way you can think of to offer reassurance and to mimic the conditions of home life will have a beneficial effect upon your cat and help to weather the unsettling journey.

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