Travelling With Your Cat
Many cats do not take to travelling very well. They are territorial animals and feel very insecure and threatened when away from their normal ground.
Travelling with your cat by any means of transport will need planning, and your cat will need to be safe and comfortable during the journey.
Travelling By Car With Your Cat
It is likely at some point that you will need to travel with your cat by car - for example, driving to a vet's appointment. The cat must not be allowed to roam around the car; this is very dangerous indeed for both you and your cat. A scared cat in a car with probably head straight for the foot pedals! Your cat will need to be secured but comfortable in a suitable cat carrier, which should be fastened or wedged somewhere so that it will not slide around during the journey. Ensure it has plenty of ventilation, and that the temperature in the car is not too high. Placing some of your cat's favourite bedding and toys will help make the surroundings more familiar.
Your cat will probably become very vocal during the journey - meowing loudly, and moaning at the top of it's voice! Ensure you speak to your cat in soothing and reassuring tones to help reduce its stress. These noises don't necessarily mean that cat is in pain or discomfort, it is just expressing its opinion of the situation! After some time your cat should settle down.
Ensure your cat gets a break during the journey. Take time to stop, and feed your cat if necessary, whilst ensuring the cat does not escape! Many pet owners will only feed their cat before or after travelling. Do not leave the cat carrier in direct sunlight, and open the windows if necessary.
Travelling By Air With Your Cat - Flying With Your Cat!
Flying with your cat is much more complicated, and may only be necessary if your are moving to another country. A lot of planning may be necessary here. You will need to speak with airlines for their regulations when it comes to animal travel - some airlines do not even offer pet travel. You might find that your cat will be in a separate cabin, and that you will not be able to use your own carrier. Airlines may ask you for a health certificate and proof of vaccinations, so be prepared for this. Ensure you label your carrier with your address and contact details in case of emergency!
Make sure you speak to your vet and your airline about flying with your cat. This will require some considerable planning in advance.
Travelling By Train With Your Cat
This is very similar to travelling with your cat by car. You may want to keep the cat carrier on your lap or the seat next to you depending on the seating arrangements. Bear in mind that your cat may go to the toilet inside the carrier, so make sure you prepare for this - you cannot stop the train!
You can avoid travelling with your cat if a competent friend or neighbour can look after your pet whilst you are away. Alternative, you can use a cattery if you are going to be away for a while. Perhaps you are travelling with your cat because you are moving house? Read our article on Moving House With A Cat for even more information!