Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Traveling this Thanksgiving Holiday? Traveling with a Cat requires some planning....

Traveling with a Cat Requires Planning Ahead

Traveling with a cat sounds like a nightmare situation to most people.  Traveling with me is a nightmare... just saying!  I meow the entire trip!!! 

But for dedicated owners of felines, anything is possible, including a road trip with a cat.

Actually, traveling with a cat isn't that hard. It can be a little challenging at first, but planning ahead will solve many problems before they occur.

A Good Cat Carrier is Essential

It used to be that the old hard plastic pet carrier was the standby, but today there is a wide choice for discerning cat owners. Soft-sided cases are becoming more popular. It may be wise to choose a carrier approved by the International Air Transport Association if there is a possibility that air travel is in the kitty's future.  Whatever type of pet carrier is preferred by the owner, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a cat carrier. It should be big enough for the cat to move around in comfortably. A secure latch is also a must-have. Some carriers even have clips so they can be secured by seat belts.
Try to get the cat used to the carrier before leaving home. It's best to leave it out with the door open so kitty can investigate it, and hopefully become comfortable with it. Put an old t-shirt or sweatshirt inside the carrier, so it smells familiar to the cat. This also provides him/her something soft to lie on. It's recommended that cats remain inside a carrier while traveling in a car, as they can become projectiles in the event of an accident. However, the reality is that cats are not usually happy to remain in a carrier for hours, and they have ways of making their displeasure known. Cats will find their own places in a car. This may be a favorite person's lap, or under a car seat. Once kitty finds a place to settle down, everyone will be much happier.

If the cat is allowed out of the carrier while traveling, it's a good idea to try to put him back in it before getting out at rest stops. Losing kitty along the road is not a travel adventure anyone wants to have.

Bring the Basics

Kitties often won't eat while traveling, but food and water should be offered at rest stops. Most of the time, a cat will eat while at the motel, usually while the owner is sleeping. Provide a litter pan, too. Be sure kitty knows where it's located, and has access to it. Many cats will empty their bowels within the first few miles when starting a road trip. This is normal, but it does mean that the first stop will be very soon, so the pan can be scooped.

Contact Pet-Friendly Motel Chains Before Leaving

Most motels are pet friendly these days, but it's usually a good idea to check availability of pet-friendly accommodations before leaving on a trip. Some motels will charge a few dollars extra for a cat or dog. Be a responsible cat owner by cleaning up after the kitty as much as possible. Leaving a mess behind will make it difficult for other people traveling with pets to find a motel room. Don't try to sneak kitty into the motel. It's very hard to keep a cat out of the window, and, if discovered, the motel will probably evict the pet owner, possibly without a refund.

Put Identification Tags on the Cat

A figure-eight harness is recommended for cats, since they can't slip out of it, like they can with a collar. Attach identification tags to the harness. The tags should have the pet's name, as well as the name, address, and phone number of the owner, along with contact information for the kitty's vet. Pet microchipping and tattoos are other means of identifying a companion animal, in the event that he manages to slip away.

Plan Ahead for an Enjoyable Trip

Traveling with a cat offers special challenges, but with good pre-planning, a road trip with a cat can actually be an enjoyable experience.
Information borrowed from the following source:  Top 6 Ways to Ease Travel by Car with Cats
If you are traveling this Thanksgiving, travel safe and have a happy, healthy holiday!!!


  1. You have some very good tips here CJ. M says their first kitty 50 years ago traveled before there was such a thing as a pet carrier. She says Pepper rode in the window over the back seat - nice comfy bench for him to nap on. They had to have the litter box in the back floor so he could use it when he wanted. Food and water was offered (in small amounts) at rest stops. Yes, one has to be veyr careful to make sure to pick up the cat before anyone opens the door. They never had any problems and he went from Florida, to Wisconsin, to Kansas, back to Wisconsin again.

  2. I know that some cats like the car but... well... I'M NOT GOIN' IN THERE! purrs

  3. I hope YOU don't have to go anywhere, CJ!

  4. Did you have to travel this Thanksgiving, CJ? I certainly hope your Mommy didn't leave you behind. Happy Turkey Day to you and yours.

  5. Those are some terrific tips. I used to have a cat that would ride up and down the dirt road in the truck on the dashboard. We would stay on the property. He loved it.
    The only trips we take are to the vishus vet.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

  6. Mom used to have a kitty that loved riding in the car!

    I don't like traveling. I'm thankful mom and I don't travel for the holidays. Mom will go to a friends for turkey dinner and bring me back some. Yum!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  7. Happily, I dint have to travel this Thanksgiving, but I know from last year that those are good rools! ~ Marley

    Happy Thanksgiving Day to you!

  8. Maxwell: Dood! You and us both! We don't think we'd like traveling.

    Allie: "you and us both"?? Max, check your math on that one, 'k?