15 Tips for moving your cats across country in a car
If you are heading on a long journey across country in your car, you need to make sure that you are prepared. This is different to taking your cat for a walk in your best stroller, you need some specific advise for long journeys. For this reason I have created 15 tips valuable tips when you are taking your cat across country.
01. Packing Pet Supplies
One thing you really need to avoid is being caught without enough supplies for your cat. Therefore, I strongly advise you to pack enough supplies for your trip.
In fact, it is actually better to pack slightly more than you need. This includes canned food, for easy storage, also cleaning items that will inevitably be required.
02. Pet Licensing
Depending on where you are traveling to you may be required to licence your cat. This varies quite a lot between countries and even within countries, such as individual state laws in America.
To be safe it is worth checking ahead of time before getting to your desired location.
03. Pet Friendly accommodation
When you plan your accommodation at the intended location, make sure that you have confirmed that they allow pets. It is a bad situation to be in when you find out, after a long journey, that they do not allow pets.
You may also find out that some hotels may have a pet deposit fee that you will have to pay, so it is always good practice to check ahead of time.
04. Pet identification
Just in case your cat gets lost, it is worth considering having them microchipped. This way they can be found and identified a lot easier.
It is also a good idea to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.
05. Reduce the chances of Sickness or cat mess
If you are going on a long journey then a good strategy to reduce the chances of your cat being sick, or even making a big mess on route, is to reduce the intake of food and drink.
So, rather than loading your cat full of food and drink before leaving, reduce the amount you give to her.
In addition to this, it is a good idea to have paper towels, disinfectant and plastic carrier bags with you in case you need to clean up any mess.
06. Using Feliway in your car
If you want to keep your cat happy while you are on your journey, you can use Feliway. In all honesty, I had a hard time getting my head around what this really was, but in a nutshell, it is a spray or vapour that, in Feliways’s words, “containing synthetic copies of natural cat pheromones”).
They claim that this can be used to prevent unwanted scratching and urinating, which would be great for a long journey in your car.
07. Offer a Litter Tray Whenever you stop
As soon as you stop for a long period or get to your destination, offer your cat food and water, provide a litter tray and give her some space to do her business.
08. A Cat Carrier or Transporter is a must
Even if it feels tempting to put your cat directly in your vehicle, ignore the temptation and get a cat carrier (Click here for my best 3 carriers) or transporter.
Another thing that some people attempt to do, maybe in an attempt to save money, is to put their cat in a cardboard box. This is not a good idea. The problem here is, if your cat urinates or messes it up, it is very hard to clean. In addition to this, if this happens the cardboard will become weak and insecure for your cat.
The best option is a dedicated cat carrier or transporter. There is a range of different carriers available, including plastic, metal mesh covered ones and wicker. Select the best option for your needs.
When it comes to the size of the carrier, although it may seem kind to get the biggest carrier you can on the market, to give your cat space, it is not always the best option. Firstly, it will take up a lot of space in your vehicle. Lastly, it will not necessarily make your cat feel any better. In fact, you may find that your cat is more cosier and happy in a smaller one.
09. Getting Your Cat Used to Its Carrier
If you want to travel with your cat without a headache, it is important to get your cat used to the carrier way before you travel.
The easiest way to do this is to purchase your carrier at least a few weeks before traveling and making your cat feel comfortable with it.
An example of this is by leaving the carrier on the floor at home and putting some tasty catnip in it. This will get your cat to associate comfort with the carrier and not feel uncomfortable with a new environment when you set out on your journey.
10. Do a Small Dry Run First
Before you set out on your long journey, prepare your cat with a smaller dry run. What does this really mean though? In simple terms, take your cat on a small journey in your car first a few times before your long distant travel.
This will get your cat used to traveling in your vehicle and being put in your carrier at the same time.
11. Avoid Distraction While Driving
It is critical to stay safe while you are driving. The best way to improve safety is to place the cat carrier out of direct view of the driver. If you are driving and can see your cat moving about it will distract you.
12. Keep the Car Temperature Regulated
It is important to keep the temperature in your car not too hot, but also not too cold. Apply some air flow by opening a window slightly.
The biggest thing that you must avoid is leaving your cat in the car in hot weather, even if it just for a few minutes. This can have very bad consequences and must not happen.
13. Consider a Litter Tray and Carrier Combination
When you are on a long journey, over a couple of hours, one thing to consider is a combined litter tray and carrier. This will make your cat feel a bit happier on its journey and also reduce the chances of accidents in your vehicle.
14. Travel litter box for car travel
One thing that we can never get away from is cat litter. When you are on the move it is crucial to keep this simple.
One suggestion is a disposable litter box. This will allow you to get rid of the mess when you stop off. However, the material on these things is quite thin so make sure you line it in case your cat has a heavy leak and causes a mess.
15. Making Your Cat Feel Cosy
If you are using a cat transporter with wire meshes, that allows your cat to see all around. It is a good idea, to make your cat feel cosier, to cover it with a blanket. This will make your cat feel comfortable and emulate a cat den that will make them fell happier.