I am frequently asked,"What is the best way to travel with a cat?" While some cats do enjoy traveling, in my experience with ours, they are not a part of that elite group of felines.
The moment our cats spy a carrier they become anxious. No matter what we have done to make their carriers more appealing and inviting, leaving them around the house filled with cozy towels and abundant toys and treats, they are not falling for our rouse.
While they do not necessarily associate carriers with the dreaded trip to the veterinarian, they know that once they are placed in that soft bag carrier, that the noisy moving monster, the car, is not far behind.
They immediately express their feelings by communicating their displeasure loudly and incessantly, only pausing for a traffic light stop. The soft music we provide is drowned out completely.
Despite their discomfort with travel, cats often have to be transported when moving, or if we as caretakers are involved in breeding and showing or just welcoming a new kitty into the household
While traveling with felines can be a stressful time for both cats and their caretakers, we can ensure their safety and make them as comfortable as possible when travel becomes a necessity.
What can we do to make them as comfortable as possible while traveling? It depends on the mode of transportation we are using.
Driving: I recommend that kitties are safely enclosed in a carrier, crate or cage. While we may have to listen to the "Hallelujah" chorus for the entire trip, letting a cat roam free in the car sets up a dangerous situation, not only for the cat, but for the driver as well.
Cats love to explore the interior of the car, and can often find themselves situated under the pedals, putting the driver at risk of injuring the cat. If a window must be opened, it is a tempting escape route.
I have frequently seen felines posing attractively in the rear window, soaking up the sun, but this is worrisome to me. A cat loose in the car is inviting tragedy, as far as I am concerned.
Air Travel: Visit my previous entry: Air Travel With pets: Making it Safer
If you are planning extensive travel with your pets, and are considering overnight stays, there are many pet friendly hotels and motels that do welcome our furry families. Visit Pet Friendly Travel.com
Scarlette: Who owns Fourhorsegal
For dog lovers: For more information about traveling with your dog, visit Dogtime.com's excellent article.
Traveling with a cat or dog does present challenges. With proper preparation the experience can be safe and enjoyable for both humans and pets.
Have you had an interesting travel story? Please leave a comment and tell us about it.