Traveling with Your Cat

cat-in-car

This post is sponsored by Sleepypod*

Summer is right around the corner, and with summer comes travel for most cat guardians. If asked, most cats would probably prefer staying at home, but sometimes, taking cats along with you when you travel is inevitable. Thorough preparation can turn what may be a daunting prospect for both cats and humans into a positive experience.

Health certificates

If you’re taking your cats across state lines and/or international borders, a health certificate and/or other documentation may be required. Health certificates need to be issued by a licensed, federally accredited veterinarian. This certificate basically states that your pet is healthy to travel and is not showing signs of a disease that could be passed to other animals or to people. Certain vaccinations (usually rabies) must be up to date for a health certificate to be issued. If you travel by air, some airlines require an acclimation certificate, which states that your cat can be exposed to certain temperatures while traveling.

Supplies

Make sure you pack the following:

  • Disposable litter boxes and litter
  • An ample supply of your cat’s regular food. If you feed raw, make sure to take a cooler with plenty of ice.
  • Portable food and water bowls
  • Your cat’s favorite toys and bedding
  • Enzyme based cleaners for any accidents

Carriers

Never let your cat loose in your car. Make sure you have a carrier that is comfortable for your cat, and keep carrier safety in mind. Carriers that are not structurally sound or have insufficient connection strength can directly affect the safety of the pet, and they place human vehicle occupants at risk of injury, should an accident occur. If you’re traveling by air, make sure your carrier meets the airline’s size requirements.

sleepypod-mobile-pet-bed

Sleepypod offers the safest carriers available. In July of 2016, the Center for Pet Safety, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to companion animal and consumer safety, published the first Crash Test Protocol and Ratings Guidelines for Pet Carriers. Sleepypod voluntarily certified their entire carrier lineup with the Center for Pet Safety.

For additional safety, you may want to consider to get your cat used to a harness.

Pet-friendly hotels

Make sure you have a list of pet-friendly hotels along your route. Once inside your hotel room, before you let your cat out of her carrier, block off under the bed access to prevent your cat from hiding. Place the litter box in the bathroom, and place food and water dishes in a quiet location in the room. Keep the “do not disturb” sign on your door at all times.

Sleepypod-air

Summer car travel

The temperature inside a car rises rapidly. Keep the car’s interior temperature at a comfortable level, and never leave your cat inside a parked car, not even with the windows cracked.  While heat stroke is not as common in cats as it is in dogs, they can get it.  If you find your cat becoming overheated, ruby cool (not ice cold) water into her coat to cool her down.

To eat or not to eat during travel?

Don’t feed a large meal the morning of the trip. A full tummy makes your cat more likely to get car sick and/or have the need to use the litter box. Most cats will be fine not eating, drinking or using a litter box for 8-10 hours. Offer water periodically. Figure out ahead of time how you will handle it if your cat needs to use the litter box while you’re on the road.

sleepypod-atom

This post is sponsored by Sleepypod. For more information about Sleepypod’s carriers, and to purchase, please visit their website.

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that I believe are of interest to our readers.

6 Comments on Traveling with Your Cat

  1. Louise K.
    June 6, 2017 at 9:24 pm (2 months ago)

    Great tips! They oddly remind me of the old movie “Harry and Tonto” with Art Carney. He traveled with his cat, Tonto, on a passenger bus. After a rest stop, Tonto didn’t want to come back, and Art had to decide whether to stay out in the country with Tonto, or to leave on the bus without him. I thought that was so sad! I’m sure I would stay behind with my cat…I think Art Carney did too.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 7, 2017 at 5:24 am (2 months ago)

      Now I’m going to have to watch this movie, Louise!

      Reply
      • Louise K.
        June 7, 2017 at 9:45 pm (2 months ago)

        It’s been years since I’ve seen that movie, but I do remember the bus scene. I’ll have to watch it again too!

        Reply
  2. Sue Brandes
    June 6, 2017 at 10:01 am (2 months ago)

    Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  3. Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook
    June 6, 2017 at 8:10 am (2 months ago)

    If you must take your pets on airplanes, please visit http://www.whereisjack.org for tips for keeping your furkids safe AND http://www.centerfor petsafety.org for crate and harness testing information.

    Reply
  4. Summer
    June 6, 2017 at 2:00 am (2 months ago)

    We have the Sleepypod Atom for when we fly and I love it! I love flying too… but then, I am not your typical kitty.

    Reply

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