How to travel with a cat according to the veterinarian


Traveling can be a nightmare. The packaging, the traffic, the security lines, the cost – it’s amazing what we put ourselves through just to get away. But traveling with cats is a completely different matter, I’ve personally experienced.

In 2016, I moved from California to upstate New York with my two cats, Daisy and Fredo. There was a long distance between flights so we had a good eight hours of travel time during the day. Neither cat enjoyed the trip; Daisy wailed and thrashed around her carrier the entire time, while Fredo froze in place, refusing to make eye contact with me.

How to travel with a cat

Dr. M. Kathleen Shaw of Latham Animal Hospital in Latham, New York, says these types of reactions are common in stressed cats. The trick is to do everything you can to calm the fur baby beforehand.

One way is to use feliway available as a spray or wipe. “It’s a calming pheromone,” she says. “We can’t smell, but cats can. It’s been proven to reduce anxiety, and it seems to really help a lot of cats when traveling.” Another option is to put something that smells like you, such as a t-shirt, in the carrier.

FELIWAY Classic Cat Calming Pheromone Spray (60ml)

Feliway Adaptil Cat Comfort Wipes, 12 ct

Gildan blank T-shirt

Before embarking on any road or air travel, make sure you have the necessary items to keep your cat safe. “Always carry a copy of your cat’s medical records with you,” says Dr. Shaw. “And put an ID tag on your cat with a cell phone number.” That way, if your cat runs away while you’re on the road, they can reach you.

ROAD iD cat ID tag

I find it useful to have a few extra items:

A disposable pad to absorb any urine and make the carrier a little more comfortable.

Dryfur Pet Carrier Insert Pads Size Small 19.5in x 12.5in Blue - 2 Pack

Wet wipes, small litter bags, and disposable gloves to clean cats from the carrier.

Pet grooming wipes for dogs and cats

Cute little garbage bags

SAFESKIN Disposable Nitrile Gloves in POP-N-GO* Pack

Strap and strap, if we have to open the carrier on the lever for cleaning.

Catit Nylon Adjustable Cat Harness and Leash Set, Large, Black

A small container with dry treatment.

Collapsible Dog Bowls for Travel, 2-Pack

We provide a water bowl and water bottle during our stay.

Prima Pet Expandable/Collapsible Silicone Food and Water Travel Bowl

Should you give your cat anxiety medication while traveling?

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