Once they get used to it, cats rarely like changing the environment. Travelling is quite stressful for them and they often dislike the new home, even if it’s just for several days. However, sometimes there’s no option but to take them with you; here are some things you can do in order to help your pet overcome such stress.
Start Prepping Early
Early preparation starts really early, while your cat is still young. If you know there will be travelling in future, you should get your cat accustomed to various means of transportation. Even if you don’t think you will travel with your cat, you should get it used to travelling, just in case. It’s of the utmost importance to sensitize your cat to the travelling experience. Take it to short road trips while the kitten is still very young so they would learn how to tolerate it. This practice will make the cat more comfortable and less stressed with each trip and you will avoid hyperactivity or sickness of your cat.
Use of Medication
During the training, you will be able to see if your cat has motion sickness. If they have motion sickness, you can buy prescription medication and give them to your pet prior to the trip. Also, you can pour a few drops of Bach Flower Essence in your cat’s water, just to help it overcome fear and stress of travelling and new places. However, if nothing works and your cat still has issues with travelling, you can use prescription tranquilizers as a last resort. Don’t forget to talk to your vet about the dosage in order to keep your cat as safe as possible.
Travelling by Car
If you are travelling by car, your cat has to be comfortable and safe at the same time. Your cat should be safely placed in a spacious carrier so it could be free to stand up, stretch and turn around. Also, cover the bottom with padding that wouldn’t slide around and make sure to provide your shirt or linen as well so the scents would be familiar to your cat. For extra safety secure the carrier with a seatbelt. If the trip is short, there would be no problems for your cat to stay put, but if the trip is longer you will have to take a few stops and let your cat out to stretch and spend built up energy. Additionally, you have to be prepared for the arrival at the destination. Since scents are really important for the cat’s comfort, make sure to carry their soft cat beds with you so they would be comfortable enough to stay in their new home.
Travelling by Train
Train rides might be more stressful for both of you and you will need a very secure carrier. It is important that it is sturdy and that there is no way for your cat to escape. Search for one with a solid base, line it with absorbent paper and material and provide a few more clean sheets. Also, don’t opt for too big carriers, since there is high probability that you will have to hold it in your lap or under the seat.
If you are travelling by plane, there is plenty of preparation to do. You have to check several airlines because some of them don’t allow cats to travel with their owners, but in special parts of the hold which are pressurized and heated. After choosing the airline, try booking a direct flight so the cat wouldn’t be disturbed too often with switching planes and waiting. Lastly, check with the airline about the standards of the container’s size and weight.
Comfort and safety first; it’s not a question whether are you carrying food and water for the trip. You also need to calculate the amounts your cat actually needs.