Even before you make your travel plans, it’s a good thing to consider keeping your cat at home or with a friend instead of taking it along. Cats can be on their own and will not go crazy like dogs if they don’t see you for a while. And most of them tend to get very agitated when taken out of their usual habitat. You can call over a friend and ask him/her to feed your cat for a few days while you’re gone. Your cat will mind its own business and chill at home while you’re skiing in the Alps. However, if your cat does not go berserk every time you take it to the vet, you may consider traveling with it. But traveling with your cat will take a lot of preparation and strict watchfulness on your part.
Get the right carrier
Every airliner will have its specifications regarding carrier size and material. While you will have to abide by those instructions, make sure your crate is strong, secure and big enough to contain food and water bowls. You will also need to carry napkins and enough paper towels, in case, the cat pees in the crate itself.
Consult the Vet
Before you plan your journey, consult your vet and make sure that your cat is in the best of health in order for him to travel a long distance with you. You will also need the vet to certify that your cat has got all the necessary vaccines, as it’s a mandate with almost all airlines. The vet can suggest to your medicines to calm your kitty’s nerves and tell you if your cat is anxious. The vet may consider sedating your kitty during the travel, in case he or she is hyperactive.
Calm your cat
Get him a crate or a box with some of his favorite toys and perhaps some treats. It will calm him down, and make him feel secure and comfortable at the same time. If you’re traveling by car, crating can be a great option.
Carry his favorite toys
Remember to carry his favorite toys. In an unknown place, known items from home that he can smell and play with can help soothe his anxiety. Bring him his favourite pillow or toy mouse along the way. It will help him settle in.
Pack everything extra
You never know what you may need, so pack your kitty’s supplies in excess. Your cat’s food choices may be affected by his mood. So, it’s best if you carry different flavors of cat food instead of sticking to his regular flavour.
Check into a pet-friendly hotel
Find a hotel that’s pet-friendly, has secure windows and balconies. Find out prior booking if the hotel is pet-friendly and has secure spaces for pets. You can always sneak your cat in, but finding pet-friendly accommodation is the better option.
Abide by the airline regulations
Thoroughly read the instructions from the airlines you’re traveling by. Make sure you get the right carrier size and have all the documentation including vaccination certificates, as mandated by the airlines.
Don’t leave him alone
Leaving your cat alone in a vehicle or with kids isn’t a good idea. Your cat may be suffocated, or feel warm or cold inside a parked vehicle. Also, being left alone inside a car in a strange place may add to his anxiety and cause him stress.
Prepare for stressful situations
Cats are not known to be great travelers, they are also masters at escaping and hiding, so prepare for stressful situations ahead of time. If your cat is anxious, it may run away or hide somewhere in the hotel room so make sure that you have secured all the doors and windows before releasing your cat from its carrier.
Be your cat’s company
Remember that you’re traveling with your cat for a reason, so that you can both enjoy your holiday together. So, keep him company, do things he will love and exercise caution while introducing him to new things. Don’t leave him behind and go to the beach on your own. Try to include him in group activities and of course, secure him with a harness at all times.
Do your own research
It’s always recommended to find out from people you know, other cat parents, about their journey with their pets, where they stayed, how convenient or inconvenient was it. It helps you prepare to take the next step towards planning your own journey.
Be calm yourself
Don’t let your cat’s anxiety or hyperactivity stress you out. Traveling with cats in a plane or a car can be stressful for both the cats and the human, but as long as you’re ready to stay relaxed, you can soothe your cats and calm them down.
If you have travelled with your cats, let us know in the comments below how it was. And for those who are planning a journey together with your felines, bon voyage!