By David P. Lee
Unlike dogs, whom seem to enjoy rides with their owners for adventure away from the home front, cats do not feel so comfortable leaving the comforts of home even for a little while. Trying to go for a ride with your cat can be quite an adventure in itself. By nature cats can be pretty picky and grow rather fond of their surroundings. There are many reasons why your cat doesn’t enjoy traveling. Maybe they view the carrier as a restrictive punishment or the thought of going to the vet with his tools and practices are enough to scare your cat. For whatever reason, there are some things that you can do to help your cat feel more comfortable about traveling.
One way to have travel for your cat made easier is by traveling with your cat during the early stages of their life. Start out with short trips. A ride just around the block or a trip to the store are good places to start. These short trips should be done fairly often so that your cat can get used to travel and not be so nervous and anxious. You and your cat may want to venture past your backyard and check out the beautiful nature scenes after your cat has gotten used to wearing a leash and harness. You can try taking your feline friend on longer trips away from home and their cat furniture once they are comfortable with the small trips.
In the situation of spending long periods of time away from your home, you may wish to bring your cat along. This way the feeling of being separated is avoided for both you and your cat. For international travel you may need to check and see if there are any special accommodations needed. These special accommodations may include documents, vaccinations or any other accommodations needed for your cat. In the cases of quarantine, it may be easier for you to leave your cat behind this time. The stress that is involved with quarantine just would be too much unless you were looking to permanently relocate. Before you engage in the travel, have your cat visit the vet for any check ups and shots that your cat may be due for. Also make sure to ask about sedatives. You want to call ahead and make sure that the place of stay permits animals.
Information such as your cats name, your name, your personal residence address and the address of the your destination should be printed on an identification tag attached to a cat collar. This is a very important item. Let’s not forget luggage for your cat. Items that will be needed for your cat may include things such as foods that he likes, drinking water, leash and harness, bowls for the food and water, litter box and litter, scooper, some of his favorite toys, medical records, medications, first aid and grooming supplies. To clean up any spills and general cleanliness paper towels and some spray cleaner. Placing some disposable diapers in the bottom of the carrier will make cleanup easier and quicker.
When traveling by vehicle, be safety conscious. Prevent shifting and rocking by placing the carrier in a very secure spot. With out blocking ventilation you may place a towel over the carrier to ease your cat and give him some comfort. Talking in soft calm tones or even soft music playing over the radio can help your cat to relax. At each stop you make on your trip put a leash and harness on your cat and allow him to stretch his legs. Your cat should never be left unattended in your vehicle for any reason. Humidity that can build up in the vehicle can cause your cat to have heatstroke.