Generally speaking, travelling in a car or other moving vehicle is not a favourite feline pastime. Car trips that always end up at the vet’s office don’t help either (even though we’re super nice!). However, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce your kitty’s travel anxiety…
Your Cat with His/Her Carrier
You should always transport your cat in a carrier. In the weeks before your planned trip, allow your cat to get used to his/her carrier by leaving it out at home. You can even make up a little bed in there to encourage your kitty to sleep in the carrier. Encourage your cat to use the carrier with positive reinforcement and treats. However, it’s important that you do not try and force your cat into the carrier.
Plan Ahead and Make the Trip as Easy as Possible
When driving, plan your route and make your journey as a quick as possible. Cats can get motion sickness, so avoid winding routes, if possible. If you’re staying somewhere overnight, make sure your hotel is pet friendly, so that the check-in process runs as smoothly as possible.
Take Your Cat on Short Trips
In the run up to a bigger trip, take your cat on some shorter non-eventful journeys. Perhaps you’re running to the bank? Taking your cat on a short journey that does not end up with a visit to the vet’s office may help alleviate any unfortunate bad associations with car rides and will help familiarize him/her with travelling.
If you’ve tried all of the above and your cat still seems incredibly stressed and anxious about travelling, there are sedation options available. There are even wipes and specially formulated cat foods that are designed to help your cat stay relaxed and calm. We would be happy to advise on the best approach for sedating your cat during travel.