For some pet parents, a trip is never complete without their favorite feline companion. Traveling, however, can be highly stressful for some pets. With some basic supplies and careful preparation, you can make your trip safe and happy for everyone involved.
Make sure your pet is safe and secure in a well-ventilated, appropriately-sized crate or carrier. An appropriately-sized carrier is one that your cat is easily able to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. Make sure the carrier is properly secured so it does not slide and shift in the event of a quick stop. If you have trouble getting your cat in the carrier, please see our article on Acclimating Your Cat To A Carrier. The inside of the crate can be sprayed or wiped with Comfort Zone® with Feliway® in order to make the carrier feel like a safe space. You can also place something with a familiar scent, such as a towel your cat has slept on, a t-shirt you have worn, or a couple of your cat’s toys in the carrier to reduce stress.
Prepare your cat by taking a series of short drives first. This will allow your pet to get used to riding in the car and feel more comfortable.
Feed your pet at least three hours before the car ride. Never feed your pet while in a moving vehicle.
Keep your pet in the backseat of your car. If an airbag deploys and your pet is in the front seat, he can be seriously injured.
Don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. Your pet could be injured by flying objects or debris. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.
Make sure your pet is microchipped and/or has an identification tag with up-to-date contact information. Also make sure your pet has a temporary travel identification tag indicating an address and telephone number where you or a contact can be reached during your travels.
Never leave a pet alone in a parked car. On a hot day, even with the windows open, your car can become a furnace in no time. When it’s 72 degrees outside, your car can potentially reach up to 116 degrees on the inside.
What to bring: Your Pet’s Travel Kit
- Travel papers (such as your pet’s vaccination records, just in case of emergency)
- Food and Water Dishes
- Litter and a Litterbox
- Waste scoop
- Plastic bags
- Grooming supplies
- Pet first-aid kit (for more information, please see our Preparing Your Pet For Disaster article)
- Cat Toys