Are you wondering whether you can take your cat on a holiday with you? Are you worried that your cat may not like a trip with you?
Don't worry! Thousands of people have wonderful vacations with their cuties every year - and you can too...
In this post, you will learn exactly what you need to take care of so you can travel with your cat to any place you want!
Make sure your cat is suitable for travelling
It doesn’t matter whether you want to travel by car, plane or boat, you want your cat (and yourself) to generally like the journey, right?
There are cats that are amazingly playful, curious and happy when seeing new things. Others are not.
Because travelling involves being exposed to completely new surroundings, you need to make sure your feline isn’t too shy when it comes to new experiences.
When taking a socially awkward, stressed or scared cat with you, things can get out of hand quickly. So, think about how your cat reacted to new friends, furniture, rooms, toys etc. in the past.
Does she handle it well? Is she curious, active and playful? If yes, you are all set in this regard.
If not and she acts scared, stressed or aggressive, do not bother taking your sweetheart with you on your trip. Otherwise you will regret it!
Cats who do not adapt well to new circumstances are horrible travel companions. Save yourself and your cat the bad time.
Hire a cat sitter or ask a friend a favor instead and enjoy a stress-free journey.
Considering this, the following tips are naturally only for cat owners whose cats are outgoing, confident and social.
Prepare your cat for the time with you
If your cat travels with you, you guys will spend a lot of time together - awesome! But wait…
Make sure your cat is used to spending that much time with you first. This may sound obvious at the start but bear with us here.
When cat owners work a normal job, the cats are used to seeing their humans a limited amount of time during the day.
At the start, this can cause cats to miss their owners. However, as time goes on, cats adjust themselves to their owner's agenda and plan with it.
Chances are this applies to you and your cat got comfortable with your schedule over the years.
On travels on the other hand, you are most likely tied to each other for twenty-four hours a day! This can cause the cat to seek some personal space from time to time, which is kind of non-existent on most journeys.
So, when preparing for travelling with your cat, simply spend a lot of time together beforehand to get your cat used to the new schedule.
You and your cat will both appreciate it.
Prepare your cat for the travels
Sitting in a car or plane for hours is a hustle, right? It’s uncomfortable, stressful and your nutrition is often not satisfying.
Since your cat usually travels in a carrier, it can be worse for her – if she is not prepared for it.
The key lies in getting your kitty used to the cat carrier before the travel starts. Make her sit in the carrier for 2-3 hours every day at least a week before your want to head out. You can increase the number of hours according to the length of your trips.
And don't stop there...
Take the carrier, put it on the back seat of your car and drive around a little bit. This way you will learn two things (if you don't already know them):
- Can your cat handle car rides well? A lot of cats get motion sickness when travelling in a car or bus
- Is your cat comfortable with her carrier? No matter the price you paid for the carrier, your cat needs to feel safe and comfy in it! So make sure she does...
Keep on mixing the times and the length of the stays up to get her used to the busy travel schedule.
Oh, and a quick tip:
Throw some cat toys or accessories into the carrier to make your sweetheart feel safe! I personally have a toy for my cat that I got from MyPetNeedsThat and as it turns out... She does in fact need it during her time in the cat carrier!
Your cat might not like the 'travel practice' at first, but she will later thank you by staying calm and peaceful during your travels.
Pack essential cat items for the trip
Now that you know your cat will enjoy the trip and you spent a good amount of time together, it’s time to pack your bags with some essentials.
The video above should give you a great idea on what you should have at home.
When it comes to traveling with your cat, this list summarizes everything you should pack:
- As mentioned above, a cat carrier.
- Her favorite toy(s). It adds a level of familiarity and fun to the trip that you don’t want your kitty to miss. Optionally add some new toys to keep her interest. As mentioned above, make sure to put some of them in her carrier so your kitty can have some funny while she is in there.
- If the weather of the destination demands it and your cat is not used to cold temperatures, bring a cat sweater.
- Enough cat food, treats and water. You don’t want your cat to get moody because of dehydration, an empty stomach or food that she is not used to.
- Cat litter box. Preferably bring one that your cat is used to.
- Some cats are intensive scratchers that sharpen their claws every day. If that applies to your cat, bring a small scratch post. Again, it’s best if she is already used to it.
- Cat collar with your contact information in case your cat gets a little too excited and decides to go on a journey on her own.
- Medication against motion sickness if your cat is not used to being in a car / plane.
Pack these items and you will have a great journey with your cat.
Be aware of your cat’s mood and health during the trip
When you finally hit the road, you should keep a close look on the behavior of your cat.
Immediately seek a veterinarian close to you if you spot anything that could indicate a health issue including drooling, crying, vomiting, extensive meowing, and urinating / defecating in unusual frequencies.
...pay close attention on what your cutie eats and how she reacts afterwards! Cats are incredibly curious and while that is amazing, it can lead them to chewing on some things that aren't good for her.
Checking what your kitty eats during your travels can prevent an unpleasent journey to the vet.
If you aren't sure whether your cat is doing alright during the journey, you can check out this comprehensive A-Z list of cat health issue symptoms for more information in this regard.
Introduce your cat to your destination the right way
Once you made it to your destination and you can finally release your cat from the carrier, you want to make sure she doesn’t get overstimulated by the new environment.
For example, if your cat is crazy for birds and you just arrived at a beach with dozens of seagulls standing around, you may not want to release your cat right then and there…
In all seriousness, never release your cat in an open area she isn’t familiar with!
Instead, always release your feline in the room you will be staying in. Do so slowly, calmly and be with her during the process.
Your cat will most likely roam around the new room, smell and look at all the things that she has never seen before. This can take a while.
Let your kitty have that time. Talk to her and offer your company if she seeks it. If not, read a book or take a quick nap (that you will most likely need after the long journey anyway).
This way, your cat will get accustomed to the new surroundings quickly and easily.
Spending the holiday time with your cat
You made it to the destination and your cat got used to the place easily – nice!
Now how do you spend the next days / weeks on vacation with your cat? There is only one real rule to follow here:
Never take your cat for a walk. We believe that cats are overall better pets than dogs, but don’t think that you can take a walk with your cat just like dog owners can.
Once outside, cats usually like to roam around on their own. If left alone outside, your cat may not find back to your place, or worse, hurt herself while exploring because of the new environment.
So, don’t take your cat outside unless she is either leash-trained or naturally stays by your side all the time.
Instead, enjoy cuddles and playtime while you are inside. Cats sleep a lot and your cat doesn’t want to be outside with you all day anyways.
Additional resources on travelling with your cat
If you follow our guidelines above, you will have a great time and be able to travel with your cat conveniently.
Since going on a holiday with felines is a big topic though, we felt like we can’t cover everything in one blog post.
Therefore, we have gathered these additional resources for you that you can read through and learn from:
- General personality traits of different cat breads to help assess your cat’s personality better: Click here
- A comprehensive guide on flying on a plane with your cat including airline regulations: Click here
- Important information about driving a car with your cat on board: Click here
- Information on preventing common cat diseases: Click here
- The best rated cat carriers for travelling on Amazon (not an affiliate link): Click here
- A cool check list that you can literally use to mark off all the things you have prepared for already and things you still need to do + tons of information: Click here
If you have any additional resources that you would like us to include, you can always link them in the comments.
It’s definitely possible to travel together with your cat with the right approach. Here is a quick summary of all the things you will want to consider before you head out with your cutie:
- Make sure your cat has a confident, playful and social attitude towards new things
- Prepare your cat for the time you will spend together with her
- Introduce your kitty to the idea of spending a lot of time in the cat carrier at least a week before heading out
- Pack enough of the food, treats, toys and medicines that your cat will love or need during the holiday
- Observe your cat carefully during the travel!
- Introduce your cat to the new accomodation in a loving way and give her the time she needs.
- Don’t take your sweetie with you outside. Enjoy some quality cuddles and playtime inside instead
This wraps up our blog post that aims to answer the question ‘Can I travel with my cat?’ and how you can do so.
We hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions, comments or recommendations about this or another topic, you can gladly leave us a comment down below.
Save travels and until next time!