If there is one thing most cats hate almost as much as water, it is traveling in a car. If you find it necessary to take your feline companion on the road, there are some tips and tricks that can make the trek easier on both of you. With a little planning, you can have an enjoyable experience and both arrive no worse for the wear.
To get ready for your trip and prepare your cat in the process, trying doing these things:
Buy and use a cat carrier - It is never, ever a good idea to travel with a cat that is not properly confined. Buy your cat a carrier that is right for her size and take the time in advance to get her used to it. Put her favorite blanket and perhaps even some toys inside the carrier and place her inside it in your home for a little bit each day. Build up the time she is confined until she becomes more acclimated to the carrier. It is best to buy the carrier a few days or even weeks in advance of a trip.
Get her used to traveling - Once your cat is used to being in the carrier, start taking her out for rides. Short trips can build up her tolerance to travel. The more she rides around with you and gets used to the noise of traffic and your car, the better.
Make sure the carrier is properly positioned - Do not just set the cat carrier down anywhere in the car. Take the time to make sure it is as level as possible. Also secure it to prevent slipping and sliding.
Keep your cat in mind while driving - If at all possible, try to avoid potholes and big bumps while driving. This will help ensure your cat is more comfortable. Also keep music down to a dull roar so you do not scare her.
Plan for bathroom breaks - It is okay to put a litter box into a large carrier, but this might not be the best option. If your cat will tolerate a leash, let her out from time to time to stretch her legs and do her business. It is still a good idea to have absorbent towels to line the carrier with just in case of an accident though.
Bring along proper identification - Make sure your cat has its shots up to date and bring along her tags and shot records. This can be necessary to check into hotels.
Check with hotels before you go - Take the time to find hotels that will welcome your feline companion before you leave. This can save you trouble down the road.
Remember to pack essentials - Beyond items to clean up after your cat, do not forget food and water and bowls to hold these items in. You might need a small litter box and litter for hotel rooms, too.
Traveling with a cat is not always easy, but you can make it tolerable for both of you. With some patience and planning, you can make her as comfortable as possible while you are on the road.
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