Expert Q&A: Cat Travel
Everyone loves holidays — cats have mixed feelings about them though!
Cats love their home comforts so travelling can leave them feeling out of sorts. But that doesn’t mean they have to stay at home!
Our veterinary expert Dr. Alexandra Beck shares some top travelling tips to help your cat get to their next destination as comfortably and with as little fuss as possible.
Why does my cat hate travelling?
First of all, you are not alone!
Many cats find travelling an unpleasant experience. Why? They don’t enjoy being taken out of their warm, familiar home and being exposed to strange sights, smells and sounds.
Remember, cats don’t understand how a car works! So between strange movements, vibrations and the occasional honking horn, travelling can be a complicated affair for a cat.
What can I do to make my cat more comfortable travelling?
Create a first class travel experience for your cat!
Cats love what they know. We all do, it’s what is comforting and familiar, like your spot on the sofa.
You know your cat’s favourite spot in the home. Why not leave their carrier there a few days before you depart? To make it even more tempting for them why not put their favourite blanket and toys in it? Your cat will begin to think of their carrier as a familiar and comforting place to be.
Another great tip is to spray Feliway® Classic in the four corners of your cat’s carrier 15 minutes before you pop them inside. Feliway® Classic has been proven to help reduce signs your cat may display when they’re not happy in a car — like meowing, salivating or becoming agitated.
How can I prepare my cat for travel?
Cats can actually get travel sick, but you can avoid this by leaving 6 hours between their last meal and the time you are due to set off. Be sure to keep them hydrated on long journeys, especially when it’s warm! In case of any ’incidents’, put some pads in the bottom of the carrier. Keeping kitty happy can be nice and simple!
Remember your cat’s carrier is there to protect them. Whether travelling by car, train or plane it’s important that they stay inside. The carrier should be secured with a seatbelt when you’re driving and, ideally, placed in the area of the car with the least vibrations. To help your kitty stay chilled you can also place a towel or sheet over the carrier so there are less unfamiliar sights for them to see — think of it as a lovely cat curtain!
What are your tips for bringing a cat on holiday?
There’s nothing better than going on holiday and if you can take your kitty with you it’s going to be all the more special. Be sure to check these things before you depart:
Are cats welcome? Does the hotel or place you are renting accept cats? Always check when you are making your booking. If you’re going with friends or family it’s a good idea to ask if they are all happy for your cat to come along.
Do you need to visit the vet? Talk to your vet before you leave — your kitty might need vaccinations to make sure they’re ready to travel too. You might also need to visit the vet to sort out ID or get a microchip, to make sure your cat can be easily returned to you if lost. It’s worth checking the location of the vet nearest your destination — just to be on the safe side!
Make Them Feel Comfortable: Everyone gets a bit homesick on holiday, and your cat is no different — so remember to bring a FELIWAY® Classic diffuser on your trip. This will help your cat adjust to their new surroundings thanks to the “happy markers” the diffuser releases! Remember to plug-in the diffuser when you get home for at least a week to remind them they are home sweet home.