How To Travel With Cats In A Car Long Distance
Traveling with your cats in a car for a long distance may seem arduous but it can be done with the right preparation and by being organized. Make sure to bring your cat to the vet for a thorough check-up before your journey, have it microchipped and see to it that the carrier is comfortable and well-ventilated.
Most importantly, feed your cats at least three to four hours before you travel and see to it that they are calm and relaxed throughout the journey.
Plane Versus Car: What Is The Best Way To Transport A Cat Over A Long Distance
Depending on the nature and distance of your trip you may have to transport your cat via airplane. This, of course, is the least ideal option.
With airplane travel, you have less control. Your cat is placed in a carrier and put in a designated area usually in the cargo hold. All of the familiarity, the comfort, and the personalized aspect of traveling in the vehicle will be nonexistent. This is in light of the repeatedly mentioned fact that cats hate to travel.
However, traveling with your cat via car will lessen the amount of stress that your pet will feel. This is even more effective if you prepared for the trip beforehand using the aforementioned guidelines. You are in control of your road trip and based on the fact that you know your cat intimately, you are the best person to make the trip comfortable.
If you cant drive your cat yourself
Make Time For The Outdoors
You cant expect kitty to stay in the car for eight hours straight without a break. If hes not already trained to a harness, begin breaking him in months in advance. When hes accustomed to being outside on a leash, hell probably be very happy to get out of his crate and the car for short periods of time. A harness and leash will keep him safely by your side in the event that something startles him and he tries to bolt. Never just attach his leash to his collar. Thats no kind of restraint if a panicked cat really wants to get away. Hell just wriggle out of the collar and leave you holding a leash with nothing on the other end.
If youre not comfortable with letting your cat out of your car when youre on the road, park somewhere and let him out of his crate to explore the car. Make sure all the windows are up. Cats can flatten themselves into pancake proportions and squeeze in and out of the tiniest of openings. Leave the car idling and the air conditioning on if you must, and pack the areas beneath the seats with towels or something similar to prevent him from crawling under there.
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How Long Can Cats Go Without Pooping
Cats should be pooping about once a day. Although, there will be some natural variance between individual cats though. Age, illness and the amount and regularity of which they eat will play a part, too.
Pet Coach advises that if its been longer than 48-hours, then it could be time to speak to a professional for advice.
If a cat has been in a carrier for a long time, then his or her reluctance to go could be due to stress or because of the unfamiliar surrounding environment. Once your cat feels comfortable again then they should start having bowel movements as normal.Dehydration can cause constipation so make sure your cat has access to drinking water during the journey.
How Can You Ensure Safety While Traveling
The most important thing, even more so than your catâs comfort, is your catâs safety. There are a few things you can do to help keep your pet safe while in the car.
As mentioned before, choosing a hard carrier is the first step, but you will also want to make sure you can secure the carrier with a seatbelt so that if an accident occurs, both you and the cat will not be harmed by a flying cat carrier.
Giving your cat a collar with their name, your emergency contact information, and any important medical information will help you to more quickly locate your cat if it gets lost.
You may also want to consider getting your cat chipped so that if it is found, someone can easily scan the cat for a chip with your contact information so they know the cat has an owner. This will also allow the cat to be identified, even if it loses its collar.
Finally, as tempting as it will be to let your cat sit in your lap, for your safety and the safety of the cat, leave it in the carrier when the vehicle is moving.
This will help keep it safe if an accident occurs, and it will help to prevent messes or accidents if the cat gets spooked and escapes your grasp.
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Tips For Less Stress When Moving Long Distance With Cats
When planning to move, whether you are moving cross-town, cross-country, or to the other side of the world, fur babies are no doubt at the top of your packing list! But traveling or moving a cat to a new location that is far away can be extremely stressful for both you and the cat.
So, how can you manage a less stressful long-distance move for you and your furry friend? The easy answer is preparation.
You need to have yourself, the cat, and the new location prepared as much as possible for the arrival of your cat. Keeping in mind that new environments and situations are always stressful animals, having things ready that you know will offer them comfort is the first step.
Bring Out Carriers Early
You need to be very strategic with cats when moving, says Amy OBrien, who relocated from Kansas City, MO, to Denver. OBrien placed carriers for her three cats around the house a month ahead of time to acclimate them to the temporary transport homes.
Cat carriers allow you to ensure the safety of your pets, as well as you and your family. Before your move, take your cats out for a drive with your cat inside the carrier. Dont forget to let them have a few of their favorite toys inside to keep them company.
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Make Sure To Have Your Cat Microchipped
Have your cat microchipped before traveling long distances, and remember to register the chip online with all your contact information. This way, if the unexpected happens, you can easily be contacted. Some cats tend to wander away from new places, or if they are startled they may jump from the car and hide somewhere. If your cat gets lost and somebody finds her, it will be easy to track you through her microchip.
Traveling Internationally With Multiple Cats
An acquaintance of mine contacted me about my experience moving abroad as she was moving with her two cats and one small dog. Airlines usually allow one pet per person, so she found out that it was cheaper to pay for a close friends round-trip ticket to her new home than it was to have someone else bring her dog. Her friend got a free trip out of it and she got to bring her cats with her.
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Choose The Perfect Cat Carrier And Secure It With A Seatbelt
It is important for your cat to be comfortable and safe whilst you are on the road. Ensure that the carrier allows enough room for the cat to stand up and move around. The bottom should be padded but secured.
The back seat is ideal an idea place to secure the carrier with a seatbelt. The boot of the car should be a last resort and you should check the carrier is held in place.
Before You Travel With Your Cat Internationally
In general, I recommend not traveling with your cats unless youre moving for a significant period. Both of my cats do not travel well and if its a few weeks, I found that it was better to board them at a facility rather than bring them with me to a destination where the paperwork would make my life more complicated.
In general, its generally cheaper to buy a round-trip ticket rather than a one-way ticket. Try to time the way back with when you think youll next head home, so you only need to purchase the way back to your new home.
If you intend to fly internationally with your cat, you need to carefully check the requirements of your final destination as well as possible transit destinations. Your cat needs to be healthy in order to fly. I had to first ensure that she was up-to-date on her vaccinations. Talk to your vet.
Some countries require a rabies vaccination to be given a certain amount of time ahead. As a result, youll need to plan at least 1-2 months ahead if youre traveling from a high rabies country as a blood test may need to be done and your cat will need to have their vaccines done in advance. I had to bring my cat in for a check-up shortly before flying in each case to ensure that she was ready.
If you can minimize your travel time, do it by getting a direct flight. Your cat will appreciate it. Your cat will be stressed, hungry, and tired from the travel. Fewer flights will reduce the likelihood that you have a delay or missed transfer.
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Planning Where To Stay
For us, there are five main options when considering where to stay: car camping, tent, trailer, hotel or vacation property. Each of these options comes with its own obstacles and benefits when road tripping with cats.
If you plan to sleep only in a tent or your car, keep in mind that youll be limited to activities that include your cat. When were traveling in our car, we often book one or two nights in a hotel along the way. This allows us to leave the cats safely while we do some shopping, eat out, or see a movie.
However, staying in a hotel with a cat brings its own challenges. In some places it can be difficult to find cat friendly accommodations. And when you find them, they often charge additional pet fees. Also, some hotels do not allow pets to be left alone in the room. So, be sure to verify pet policies before making your reservations.
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Another option is to buy or rent a small travel trailer to tow along on your adventures. Although its less convenient when driving around cities, the cats are super comfortable in ours. Once were set up, it feels like home. And campgrounds that welcome cats are relatively easy to find and rarely charge pet fees.
Traveling Long Distances With Cats
As mentioned earlier, the first thing you want to do is ensure the safety of your cat. Put your cat in a large rugged carrier, so your cat is able to stand up in, stretch, and turn around easily. Dont forget to cover the bottom of the carrier with some padding. Cats love when you put padding at the bottom of the carrier, they just feel more comfortable.
Some people may even place a towel at the bottom of the carrier or a piece of clothing that has the smell of home. This will greatly help in reducing anxiety in cats.
Please note if you are traveling by car, dont forget to secure the carrier with a seat-belt. This is also true even if you are driving within city limits.
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Speaking About Doing Business What About If You Have To Go What Should You Do With Your Cat
If the temperatures arent too hot or too cold to have to worry about leaving your cat in the car, just leave them in their carrier and go about your business. Just try not to take too long. It’s usually safe between about 4065 degrees F , though every cat and every situation will be different, so use this as a rough guide.
Talk to your vet about more specific safe temperature ranges for your cat based on your cat’s age, breed , and any chronic medical conditions they may have or medications they may be on. If the temperatures are outside of that range though, youre going to have to take some precautions when making your own pit stops . In many cases, itll be possible for you to bring your cat into the bathroom with you in their carrier! This is the easiest solution if its possible and practical.
If its over the high end of the temperature range and you cant bring kitty in with you, take some steps to ensure their comfort and safety when in the car:
If its under the low end of the temperature range and you cant bring kitty in with you, take some steps to ensure their comfort and safety when in the car:
Introduce The Carrier And A Leash
Start by placing the carrier somewhere your cat likes to hang out weeks before the big move. Keep the door open and place a few treats inside. Once hes comfortable going in for treats, start placing the bowl at the door entrance and moving it deeper inside at each feeding. The goal is to get him to go all the way in voluntarily. Youll also want to get them used to a leash so you can walk them at stops. Follow these tips to ease him into walking on a leash.
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What Do You Need For A Long Distance Trip With A Cat
The first essential item you will need when traveling a long distance is a cat carrier. If you are unfamiliar with cat carriers then you can check out my article about the best cat carrier for long distance travel . The next thing you should probably bring is some sort of cat harness and leash.
Medication & Anxiety Relief
It is important to bring along any medical documents that your cat might need on your road trip, like vaccination certificates, etc. just in case of an emergency. If they are on any medication, make sure to have those documents & the appropriate dosage to last the entirety of the road trip .
Prepare for your cat to feel some stress during the road trip, and if your cat is extremely prone to anxiety attacks, consider leaving them with a trusting friend or family member while you’re gone. We do not recommend cat sedative for travel, but there are plenty of anxiety relief medications and solutions that would offer a safe alternative. Be sure to ask your vet what they would recommend you bring if your cat needs a little extra help calming down. We love Jackson Galaxy’s “Easy Traveler” All-Natural Holistic Solution.
Food & treats are also a great way to calm nerves, and entice an otherwise skeptical kitty. Try using their favorite treats while training them to ride in the car as well, rewarding after they get in the car and at the end of the drive.
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Keep Your Cat Hydrated
If you are traveling in the scorching summer season, you must know that it is as essential to keep your cat hydrated as it is keeping yourself hydrated in such weather conditions. If you are looking for tips for traveling with cats in a car long distance, then this might be helpful to you.
Cats tend to become dehydrated quickly in warm conditions as they do not possess a strong urge to drink water, often unlike other animals. And when they suffer from dehydration, you can notice symptoms like dry mouth, sunken eyes, loss of appetite, lethargy, panting, etc.
So, to keep it hydrated during the entire journey, you must look up to ways that shall not condition it to face dehydration. Like, providing them with foods with high water content or letting them drink water more often. This way, you can prevent any type of dehydrating conditions of the cat during the long drive.
Make Sure He Has Suitable Accommodations
If youre planning to plunk him in his cat carrier for the trip, consider thinking bigger. A cat carrier is ideal for short excursions, but a dog crate is often better for a long trip, one thats an appropriate size to fit in your car. Now your feline traveling companion isnt going to be scrunched up for hours on end in a little carrier, and even better he can actually see you the whole time if you buy a cage-type crate. Make sure its secure from wobbling or tipping over if you have to come to a fast stop. Securing it with a seat belt ought to do the trick.
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Plan Ahead For Car Travel
If you’re traveling in a car, give your kitty a few test drives before moving day. Put your cat in the carrier, buckle her up, and give her some treats, then drive around the block. Over time, take slightly longer trips. Does she get carsick? Does she get vocal and upset?
If she gets carsick, try not to feed her for a few hours before the drive. If she gets vocal or anxious, turn down the music and put her favorite towel or toy inside the crate with her so she has familiar scents.
Make sure you never open the car door unless your cat is secured in her carrier. Cats are very quick and can escape before you realize what’s happening. Don’t leave your cat alone in your car either, as cars can get dangerously hot or cold very fast.