Cat Care | Travelling with Your Cat

Before You Leave

You must ask yourself before you decide to bring your cat on a vacation: “Will my cat be happy and comfortable on a trip?” Some cats simply prefer to stay at home and a “home-sick”, or worse, motion-sick pet will quickly ruin a vacation for everyone. In such a case, it might be wise to simply leave your cat at home with a friend, family member or pet-sitter. If those options aren’t available, consider boarding them with your vet, or a well-run kennel or cattery.

Prepare a Plan

If you’ve decided to take your cat with you, you must take care with the preparation of your cat’s trip as well. If you plan to travel by plane, bus, train or boat, you must find out if your pet will be welcome and what kind of reservations or transportation arrangements must be made. If you are staying at any hotels, motels or campgrounds, you must check if animals are allowed or if kennel facilities are available.

By Plane

• Contact the airline customer service well in advance, each airline company has strict regulations and reservations about travelling with pets.
• Ask about the rules for pet crates or kennels.
• Try to book a direct flight with minimum stop overs.
• Some airlines may allow you to take your pet in the cabin if it can fit under the seat in front of you. If your pet must travel in the cargo hold, be at the airport early, place them in their travel crate yourself and pick them up quickly once the place has landed.

By Car

• If your pet is not used to being in a car, take them for a couple drives before your trip. Your cat will be safer and more comfortable in a kennel.
• Pets should never be allowed to stick their heads out of the window. Dirt particles or debris can cause injury and cold air taken into the lungs can lead to illness.
• If the trip is going to be long, plan breaks and rest stops every two hours.
• Give your cat their main meal of the day at the end of the trip. Dry food is easier and less messy, but if they need canned food, dispose of any unused portions that cannot be refrigerated.
• Never leave your cat in a hot car for long periods of time. The interior of a car can get very hot and can easily lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. If you must leave the car, lock all doors and open windows for adequate ventilation.

By Train, Boat, or Bus

• If your pet is not used to being in a car, take them for a couple drives before your trip. Your cat will be safer and more comfortable in a kennel.
• Pets should never be allowed to stick their heads out of the window. Dirt particles or debris can cause injury and cold air taken into the lungs can lead to illness.
• If the trip is going to be long, plan breaks and rest stops every two hours.
• Give your cat their main meal of the day at the end of the trip. Dry food is easier and less messy, but if they need canned food, dispose of any unused portions that cannot be refrigerated.
• Never leave your cat in a hot car for long periods of time. The interior of a car can get very hot and can easily lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. If you must leave the car, lock all doors and open windows for adequate ventilation.

Whatever the destination is, ensure your pet always wears ID with complete information in case they get lost. Pack their favorite food, toys, and dishes to make them feel comfortable. Always have your pet examined by a vet before travelling, some companies will require a note of clear health from a vet. With any international locations, ask your vet about any shots or vaccinations that are unique to some locations.