Depending on the personality of your pet, you may easily be able to take them on your next road trip or vacation. Not only do you get to spend more time with your pet, but you can also save on hiring a pet sitter which can end up being costly.
If you have a cat, we think it’s safe to say that the likelihood of your kitty wanting to travel is probably slim to none. That being said, there are those cats that are more like dogs and will happily travel with you. If this is the case, you’ll definitely need a cat leash and a carrier.
Car Travel with Your Kitty
According to the Humane Society, when traveling with your cat in the car, it’s important to keep them in the carrier while driving. Additionally, you should have the carrier secured down so that your poor kitty isn’t bouncing around the car. Agreed! It’s essential to keep the carrier out of the front passenger seat in case the airbag deploys since that can seriously injure your cat. This goes for dogs, too!
If you’ve been able to train your cat to walk with a leash, bravo! This is not an easy feat. Those of us who love cats know they like to be able to do their own thing on their own time. But if you have a kitten and really would like to travel with them in the future, it’s essential to start training them to walk with a leash at a young age.
One thing to note about cats and travel. Most cats are easily stressed by any change of scenery that isn’t the normal area they roam around in. That’s because cats are very territorial; their daily instinctual activities depend on checking out their territory to ensure that it’s safe and protected. That’s why traveling can be super stressful for your cat. We don’t recommend it unless you have a very chill cat who enjoys it. Otherwise, it’s probably best to leave your kitty at home where they feel safe.
However, if you have a kitten that’s still trainable and you’d like to acclimate them to traveling in the car, here are some things you can do to make them feel safe and secure during car travel:
- Spend some quality time with them in the car (while it’s parked and turned off) while they are young, letting them roam around, explore and spread their scent.
- Feed them dinner or high quality treats in the car for about a week so they connect being in the car with happy times.
- Leave the cat carrier in the car while you do this so that they also associate the cat carrier as non-threatening.
Car Travel with Your Pup
When driving your pup around in the car, the Human society also recommends having them secure in one place rather than roaming around freely as to not distract the driver of the car. It’s also recommended not to leave your pet in your car unattended. Since cars can heat up rather quickly, dogs can easily get heat stroke if left in the car too long.
It’s also a must to take plenty of rest stops for your pet to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Most dogs and cats don’t do well when sitting in one place for an extended period of time.
Always have your pet essentials with you while you’re traveling. That includes a collar, leash, water bowl, ID tag, toys, a blanket, and even a sweater or jacket if your dog gets cold.
Air Travel with Your Pet
If you’re brave enough to travel with your pet on an airplane, or if you don’t have a choice, there are certain things you can do to make it an easier process. First, it’s recommended to make the trip to the airport and plane as stress-free as possible. If you’re feeling tense, rest assured your pet is picking up on that energy. If you have a dog, take it on a walk before boarding the plan to reduce anxiety.
Depending on the airline you may be able to keep your pet with you in the cabin. Cats will still have to be in their carrier, which is actually best for them anyhow. Keep a blanket or sheet over the carrier to make them feel more protected and less stressed from the busy surroundings of an airport and airplane.
Before you even travel you must consider the safety of your pet. Certain pets with a squished face such as pugs or Persian cats, for example, may actually have trouble breathing on an airplane. Even for all other pets, road travel would be a better option. There are dangers when flying with your pet, especially if it has to fly in cargo. The Humane Society recommends either driving your pet instead of flying or keeping your pet in the cabin with you if possible.
For a complete list of precautions, while flying with your pet, we recommend checking out this post, travel safely with your pet by car, airplane, ship or train.
Traveling with your pet can be done if they’re healthy and open to traveling. But if you’re pet has anxiety, gets motion sickness easily or doesn’t seem to enjoy it, it may be better to leave them at home. That way you can enjoy your vacation and they are safe at home.