Recommendations for Travelling by Car with a Cat

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: September 2, 2018
Recommendations for Travelling by Car with a Cat

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During your cat's lifetime, it's quite likely that at some point it will be essential to move by car many times for journeys, visits to the vet, leaving your pet with a friend for a few days, etc.

It is true that cats do not enjoy leaving their habitat and tend to get stressed, making a trip a horrible experience for everyone involved. Here at AnimalWised, we have some recommendations for traveling by car with a cat.

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Start the adjustment early

This advice can be applied to almost all animals. It is true that some pets are adopted as adults, and they may be set in their ways; training them for this might be very difficult. Don't give up! Educating a pet can be more complicated at this stage, but it is also necessary.

Cats do not like change; for them, moving in a small vehicle where they have no control can be a cause of extreme stress. If your cat is still a kitten you can use some tricks to get it used to travelling by car, since their overall management and handling is simpler.

Follow these steps:

  1. Get your kitten in the pet carrier - try to get a comfortable one.
  2. Get into the car and drive for just 5 minutes without reaching any place in particular.
  3. Before letting them out, reward the cat with treats.
  4. Repeat this process several times, trying to make the trip in a relaxed and calm fashion. That way you will prevent your cat from linking transportation by car with a visit to the vet.
Recommendations for Travelling by Car with a Cat - Start the adjustment early

Tips for traveling by car with a cat

Trying to get them adapted from kittens is a good idea, but if you don't have that possibility, follow these directions to help you out:

  • Avoid giving food to your cat two hours prior to travel. If the cat travels on an empty stomach, they won't be as sick during the journey. That would exacerbate the stress.
  • Use a pet carrier that is safe and sturdy. The cat will travel safely and will not be able to escape or move around that much, which will prevent dizziness, a mishap or even a serious accident.
  • The cat should not leave the carrier during the journey. We recommend that during the journey you do your best to not let your cat out of the carrier, even when you stop. It is not very common for cats to go for a walk on the street, but if you are used to walking out from time to time with your cat and are able to control and monitor them always, you can let them out to stretch their legs and calm down a bit. Exert extreme it caution if you are in a zone where there are moving vehicles. Reward your cat whenever they behave well.
  • Provide food, water, and stay on top of your cat's needs. If you are going for a very long trip, we recommend stopping about every hour; make sure you give your cat some water. You can carry a box with sand in the car and let the cat out for a quick bathroom break. Only give food to your cat if they are not sick from travelling.
  • Love and fun. A good trip is all about having fun. So that your cat is more receptive to travel, we encourage you to hug your cat and reward them for good behavior. Have at your disposal a favorite toy, a fluffy blanket...
Recommendations for Travelling by Car with a Cat - Tips for traveling by car with a cat

Serious cases

Traveling with your cat can be a nightmare if they get sick and suffer. The best advice we can give you is that you go to your vet, since they can prescribe medication that will help make your cat more relaxed.

Don't force your pet to an extremely uncomfortable situation. Seek help from professionals and educators who will advise you on how to find a solution for these serious cases.

Recommendations for Travelling by Car with a Cat - Serious cases

If you want to read similar articles to Recommendations for Travelling by Car with a Cat, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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