If you have a curious cat who likes to travel, you’re one lucky owner. For most of us, travelling with cats can be a stressful experience. The good news is, there are ways to help make them feel more calm and comfortable when travelling in a car. Here are a few ideas.
Use a Quality Carrier
Buy a cat carrier that’s safe, sturdy and comfortable. Ensure it’s big enough for your cat to stand up in and with plenty of airflow. To deter escape artists, check the door can be closed quickly. And if the carrier is an open wire style, place a light throw on top to create a sense of sanctuary. While you’re driving, ensure you keep the carrier secure so it doesn’t slide around.
Familiarise Your Feline Friend
A few days before travelling, place the cat carrier in your cat’s favourite spot with the door wide open. They can then sniff it out on their terms, so it’s nice and familiar when you’re ready to go. Try adding soft bedding and their favourite toys, and they may even claim it as a new napping spot.
Spray Calming Pheromones
Designed specifically to reduce anxiety in pets, a pheromone spray like Feliway can help your cat relax. Simply spray the inside of your cat carrier on the top, bottom and each corner at least 15 minutes before travelling. Learn more about Feliway Spray.
Hold Off Meal Time
Just like humans a full tummy can cause travel sickness, so avoid giving your favourite feline a meal within six hours of travelling, If you’re going a long way, fresh water and a few dry biscuits should tide them over.
While the car may be unfamiliar territory for your cat, your voice will be music to their ears. So reassure them with calming words, to let them know you’re right by their side.
If travel is too stressful for your feline and you can avoid it then making arrangements for a neighbour or friend to take care of your cat might be the best option. Cats love familiarity and are happiest in their homes so it’s best if they can stay there. It’s also important to make sure you introduce whoever has volunteered to look after your cat beforehand so they’re familiar. Make sure they’re aware of their responsibilities such as feeding, litter box changes and, of course, cuddles (especially if they don’t own a cat themselves).