Travel in Style with your Cat - How to Pamper Them on the Go

December 03, 2017

Cats can be rather difficult to travel with.  To most cat owners they can be quite a challenge.  Most cats whine, scream, hiss, and act as though they are being killed slowly and painfully when you put them in the kennel carrier to put them in the car.  Only about one in every hundred actually curls up and will relax when you put them in the carrier to go anywhere.  No one really knows why most of them go completely crazy when you do it. 

The first thing you will need to get is some kind of fabric crate, preferably one designed for cats. Since cats are not the best travelers and pet supply companies do not generally design stuff for the traveling cat, this step may pose some issues and problems.  Keep in mind they do make them; they do exist, just keep looking.  Fabric ones is the safest for you cat.  Usually when you place a cat in a kennel or crate, they go into defense mode.  They jump around sometimes trying to escape.  A fabric crate stops them from injuring themselves in the process.  They may still scream and hiss and make other horrifying noises, but you can have the peace of mind that you know your cat won't hurt itself in the process. Not to mention once your cat becomes accustomed to the crate, fabric is much more comfortable than plastic. After all, isn't it all about pampering your cat?

Once you buy the crate, the best thing to do is to get your cat accustomed to it so that traveling in it can be peaceful, relaxing, and hopefully very uneventful.  The best way to do this is to get the crate as far in advance as possible.  Place it in an area your cat passes by a lot.  Place a treat in front of the crate. If your cat eats the treat, praise her; pet her; make her feel all good and pampered.  When she is not looking place another treat just inside the door.  Again, if your cat eats the treat, praise her; pet her; make her feel all good and pampered.  When she is not looking place another treat further in. Again, if your cat eats the treat, praise her; pet her; make her feel all good and pampered.  Do this everyday for a few days.  You may even try putting her favorite toy or pillow in there.  Some people even feed them in there.  The point is to make your cat feel comfortable and safe in the crate. In her mind, she just found a neat little den and hideaway.  She knows it is OK to play with, because you give her treats and praise her and pet her when she uses it.  If your cat feels comfortable and safe in the crate, it won't go into defense mode when you travel with her.  She will just curl up and relax, and you can drive in peace!  You may want to do some short car trips prior to your long trip, just get your cat used to the car and the moving. 

If your cat still screams and fusses or gets motion sickness, call your vet and ask for a sedative.  If you don't like the idea of medicating your cat, please keep in mind that it is for the safety of your cat.  She will be very confused and disoriented and scared the whole trip.  This will stress her out, which can cause heart problems and possibly kill her.  Which would you prefer: Medicated and alive or non-medicated and dead from stress?  You decide.

Bringing along some pet toys and snacks for your pet will also make her feel better about this trip.  Remember, trips may be fun and relaxing to you, but not to your cat.  Your cat prefers to be at home, being lazy, sleeping, taunting the dog, and cleaning itself.  Trips are stressful for cats. Bringing a toy, or a snack, or some of its food, or something with catnip in it will help your cat feel comfortable and pampered during this stressful car trip. A pampered cat is a happy cat, and a happy cat is a safe cat. 

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