Cats can go on a safe and successful land trip with their cat owners. They will require a few test trips prior to the scheduled long-distance trip. Short car trips to the vet cannot be considered a test trip. What they need is a chance to get accustomed to your car’s interior in motion for a long duration. Think long drives on the weekend or after work.
Keep your cat safe and well-fed
Your cat will also need you to pack the essentials, which it will leave in the car once it executes its escape plan. Be one step ahead of your cat with a microchip, cat harness, and a sturdy carrier/cat car seat. You can’t focus on driving when your cat is pacing in the back seat trying to look for a way out. If it escapes at rest stops, you can find it easily it if it’s been microchipped.
Keep to your cat’s feeding schedule on the road. Feed once in the morning at least an hour or so before a long drive. The next feeding should be at the hotel where you’re stopping over for the night. It is inadvisable to leave a bowl of cat food and water in the carrier for the duration of the trip. Cats cannot be bothered to feed while nursing motion sickness.
Visit the vet before your trip
If you find your cat is excessively drooling and vomiting during your test trips, your cat will need anti-motion sickness medication before your scheduled trip. If you have a hyperactive cat, consult your vet about sedating your cat prior to the trip. Cat treats and liquid drops with calming benefits can also soothe felines showing cat anxiety symptoms on road trips.
You will also need a copy of your cat’s medical history in case you need to visit another vet on your journey. Prepare an emergency first aid kit for your cat as well. Include antibiotic ointment for accidental cuts, an antihistamine for rashes, and other necessary medication. Be sure to get a go signal from your vet before traveling a cat with a medical condition.
Consider opting your cat out of the trip
In some cases, it may be safer for your cat to stay in familiar surroundings. You may hire a pet sitter or leave your cat in the care of a relative, a friend, or a neighbor. A pet boarding facility can also be a safe place for your cat while you travel a long distance.
If your cat is healthy and allowed by its vet to travel a long distance, bring along familiar toys and bedding with you. Keep the stress levels at bay while traveling. Avoid shouting at other drivers and play relaxing music. Be ready for clean-ups as well. A carsick or stressed out cat may defecate in the carrier.
A few reminders
Cats can be fussy for the first few minutes or hour of your trip. Be patient, talk to your cat in soothing tones, and provide reassurance. Do not stretch your cat’s patience with long hours in the car. Frequent stops every three hours give your cat a chance to be with you, do litter duty and drink water.
Once your cat gets acclimated to traveling cross-country, it may go up to six hours in the car. Never leave your cat alone in the car. Heatstroke can happen in minutes as the cat’s internal heat also builds up. Finally, be sure to book accommodations that allow pets.
With proper identification, medication, stopovers, and safety measures you can have a safe and successful road trip with your cat.
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