Planning A Road Trip with Your Cat

If you’re planning a road trip over the Labor Day weekend that will include your cat, you can make it stress free by following the Boy Scouts’ motto to “be prepared”.

By Sandy Robins

It’s a good idea to own two cat carriers; one exclusively for trips to the vet and another strictly for going places so that your cat knows when something fun is about to happen. Leave it lying around the house several days before your departure, so she can sniff it out and even hop in and out at her leisure.

Car trips mean you are not bound by carrier size restrictions. Because cats enjoy sleeping “in the round,” consider a round carrier ( for extra comfort. The top of the carrier also comes off, converting it into a comfy bed at your destination.

Be sure to strap the carrier down for your pet’s safety and your own. In the case of an accident, a cat carrier can become a dangerous projectile that could critically injure both the cat and passengers in the vehicle. This can be done by utilizing the seatbelts in the rear of the car or special tie-down straps that attach to D-rings in SUVs.

It’s a good idea to line the carrier with a puppy pee pad in case of an accident en route. And be sure to pack supplies for the journey home.

If you cat is on any medication, pack your weekend supplies in a small cooler bag along with the instructions and contact information for your veterinarian.

There are many fabulous travel accessories that make car trips with felines more comfortable and can also be used at your destination such as portable litter boxes, collapsible food and water bowls, and feline first aid kits. It’s also a good idea to take along an old scratching post that can be discarded.

It’s essential to ensure that your cat doesn’t dehydrate in the car. Freeze a bowl of water and add a few drops of Rescue Remedy to keep her calm. This way she can lick the ice to keep cool and hydrated and it won’t cause a mess in the vehicle.

If your cat isn’t comfortable outside her home environment, consider placing a calming collar made of all natural calming ingredients such as lavender and chamomile. A pheromone-infused calming collar lasts a month and pheromone sprays are good for spraying carriers and the car/ These can certainly help reduce travel anxiety and help a cat adapt to an unfamiliar environment.