Travel by Car
Some cats like to ride in the car; others do it only if they have to. If you plan to include your cat in travel plans, get her used to riding in the car. Also, be sure that a special identification tag is attached to her cat collar.
Start out by putting your cat in her carrier and taking her along when you have a short errand to do, or drive her around the block. Never leave your cat in a closed parked car. If motion sickness is a problem, or he seems unable to adjust to travel, you may decide that both you and your cat will be happier if she stays home.
If your cat does go along, make a careful cat supply checklist as you plan your trip. These items will help give your cat a feeling of security no matter where she is.
Plan on bringing the following:
- Your cat’s usual cat food so she won’t suffer digestive upset due to stress and diet changes.
- Any medication she may be using and a schedule of when she has to take them.
- Litter box, litter and scoop
- Scratching post, cat bed and favorite cat toys
- An appropriately sized pet carrier
Cats may get upset stomachs when traveling so avoid feeding just before leaving. If your trip is short, wait to feed her until shortly after arriving. For longer trips, provide a snack and plenty of water.
If you are considering air travel for your cat, you may be able to place him in a carry-on carrier that fits beneath the seat in front of you. Be sure to make your reservation early, since the airline may limit the number of animals allowed in the passenger cabin. You may want to check your cat in his carrier. In this case, he would ride in the cargo hold, compartment which is pressurized and temperature-controlled.
You can take several steps to ensure successful air travel with your at. Book your flight well in advance and try to get a nonstop flight. Make sure ahead of time that your carrier is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Such carriers are available from airlines and most pet stores. Make sure the carrier is clearly marked and indicates that there is a live animal inside. Try to arrive at the airport earlier than usual to make sure your check in goes smoothly.
Boarding your Cat
If you decide that your cat is better off at a boarding facility, choose one carefully. For instance, some veterinarians have special boarding areas for healthy animals, others do not. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a reputable place. Or get names from friends who have boarded their animals in the past. Inspect the facilities and make reservations well in advance. Ease her adjustment by leaving her favorite food and familiar blanket with the boarding home.
Leaving your Cat at Home
If you are going to be gone for only a night or two at the most, you might consider leaving your cat at home. Food should be no problem, especially if you are feeding a dry cat food. Leave an adequate supply, using two bowls if necessary and your cat can nibble to his heart’s content when he feels the urge to eat. Make sure that you leave plenty of water. Clean his litter box and put in fresh litter.
You may want to ask a reliable cat sitter to check in on your cat for a longer trip away from home. Leave feeding instructions, schedule for cleaning the litter box, veterinarian’s name and number and the number where you can be reached.