Within 5 minutes of meeting me, you will know one thing for sure I love my cat, Penny! 3 years ago today my husband, then boyfriend, found her in the middle of nowhere, Alabama. She weighed just over 2 pounds and had an eye infection, I’m so happy she found Mike and made him take her home because she is my absolute favorite thing in the world and every day is better with her in it.
With all that being said, I hate leaving my baby at home, she’s sweet, she’s cuddly, she’s needy; basically, I’ve created a monster and I can’t leave home without her. We take her everywhere; the beach, weekend lake trips, to visit family, you name it and we have attempted to take our Penny there. The idea of driving long distances with cats scares most people but it can be made easier with a few little tricks.
- Calming Treats; My local pet store introduced me to these composure treats and they seem to help a lot. It is important that the cat(s) eat the treats at least an hour prior to departure for the best results.
- Bach Flower; Similar to calming treats, a holistic approach to calm a cat for a long car ride.
- Limit food and water intake the day of travel; especially if it’s a long travel day. I know it sounds like torture but kitty will thank you!
- Make the car feel as close to home as possible; Does your cat have a bed they always sleep in or maybe it’s a blanket they love. If so, make room for that item so they can find refuge if they become stressed out. And don’t forget their favorite toys!
- Make sure the cat is the very last thing put in the car, this seems like common knowledge but who knows.
- Give the kitty room to roam; an overly stuffed car will make the kitty scared and uncomfortable. I know some people travel with their cats in carriers but that does not work for our spoiled monster, we have the most successful trips when Penny can see what is happening around her.
I think a lot of cat owners only take their cat in a car to visit the vet so it’s no surprise that the next time the cat is put in a car it freaks out.
The truth is, if the cat didn’t get acclimated to riding in cars at a young age it’s going to make car rides more difficult. If you have an older kitty that you now want to take in the car with you, start off by slowly introducing them to the idea. Maybe it’s a drive down the street or around the block, do this several times before driving the cat for multiple hours.
I have only flown with my sweet Penny once and that was a whole other beast that we will save for a later date.
These tips will absolutely lead to a more content kitty copilot. Happy Exploring!