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How do you travel with a cat for 8 hours? (Carrier?)

If you are planning a long 8-hour journey with your cat you may be wondering if this is possible, and if so, what you need on your travels (Click here to see my best travel trick, on Amazon #Ad)

Can you travel with a cat for 8 hours?

You can travel with a cat for 8 hours. For car travel, a good sturdy carrier is advised. Also, it is essential to prepare for the long journey correctly to avoid any problems while you are on the move.

What you will need for your journey

Description Image My Rating
01. Large Cat Carrier (My Best)
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5 stars
02. Cat carrier mat
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03. Washable cat pee pads
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4 stars

So, now you know you can. But, how do you do this? What can you do to make it as comfortable as possible? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.

How do you travel with a cat for 8 hours?

How do you travel with a cat for 8 hours?

A cat near a car waiting for a long 8-hour journey.

As discussed earlier it is important to prepare before you travel. Here are some things to consider:

01. Provide enough water

While you are on the road it is important to keep your cat hydrated. If it becomes dehydrated it can be hard to deal with while you are on a long journey.

02. Comfortable cat mat in the carrier

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Another important thing is providing a comfortable cat mat for your cat while it is in the carrier. It will be much better than a poor quality pillow that comes with some carriers.

03. Large-sized carrier

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As well as a mat a large cat carrier is important. This is because if the cat is too restricted it will make the journey uncomfortable.

How do you keep your cat comfortable on long trips?

As well as providing a carrier, etc. There are other things you need to consider to keep your cat comfortable for the 8-hour travel, or longer. Such as:

01. Do not overfeed them before travel

It is important not to overfeed your cat before you set-off. It may seem logical to fill it up to keep it content but you need to avoid an accident in its carrier.

Cats can hold their urine and feces quite well but to avoid a problem it is best to give it less than normal, for example, a quarter of its normal amount.

02. Line the carrier correctly

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If your cat does have an accident. Meaning, it peed in the carrier, you need to prevent it from being a big mess by lining it correctly. And, these washable liners will help.

03. Cover the carrier

Lastly, Some cats will prefer that your carrier is covered. It can make them feel calm while they travel. You will need to experiment with this because some will not appreciate this.

How long can you travel with a cat?

Most cats can be left in the carrier for 8 hours. However, some will need a break every few hours. This will give them some time to relax on such a long journey.

To be honest, most humans need regular breaks anyway. And, you can use a backpack or harness when you have these breaks (more on this later).

Do Some Cat’s Hate Carriers when traveling?

Many cats hate cat carriers. Therefore, many cats resist being put in cat carriers. which is why some cat owners even consider putting their cat in a box (bad idea) or look for natural cat sedatives for travel.

They either hide or fight their owner or both. Many cat owners end up canceling a veterinary appointment, plane ride or even traveling in an RV because of Fluffy’s aversion to the carrier. So, are there alternatives?

Why is a cat carrier essential?

An unrestrained cat in a car can be a danger to itself and its owner. A cat’s agility and small size mean it can easily climb into places where it does not belong like under the pedals or in front of the dashboard.

If the cat panics, it could bite, scratch, or otherwise distract its owner. An unsecured cat can also bolt from the car or its owner’s arms and consequently get lost.

Can you use a makeshift cat carrier in a car?

Makeshift carriers like pillowcases or cardboard boxes generally do not work because the cat can usually claw their way out. Furthermore, many veterinarians require pet owners to have some way of controlling their pets.

Veterinarians are well aware that their patients are stressed – and an upset dog may take out its frustrations on a loose cat. Thus, vets typically require cats to be brought in carriers for their own safety.

The prudent owner should, therefore, check their vet’s rules before deciding on an alternative to the traditional cat carrier.

Can you use a basket or cat bed?

A favorite cat bed or basket can provide the cat with both comfort and reassuringly familiar smells. On the other hand, it has no restraints, so there is no way to keep the cat from jumping out or running off if something startles it.

A cat bed is thus a realistic option only for an older cat with a very calm and placid disposition.

Can you use a cat harness when traveling?

The harness is often used for RV travel, but not a great alternative for long car travel. However, it is good for stopping and walking your cat or if you have a short journey.

The harness needs to be snug enough so that the cat can’t simply wriggle out of it, but it shouldn’t be so tight it causes discomfort.

The owner should be able to slip one or two fingers between the harness and the cat’s body. The harness should be made of a durable and lightweight material.

Nylon is great for cats that spend a lot of time outside because it can withstand both sun and rain. Cotton harnesses, which aren’t as tough, can work for cats that spend most of their time indoors.

Types of cat harnesses

Cat harnesses come in three styles: H-harness, V-harness, and figure-eight. The last is the best option for owners who like to walk their cats since it can move with the cat.

The other two harnesses are comfortable and easy for the owner to put on and take off the cat.

The figure-eight harness is the oldest type; it has two circles that loop around the cat’s torso and neck.

The H-harness looks similar, but it has an extra strap that runs along the cat’s back connecting the two circles. The V-harness looks like a vest. Harnesses of any type are safer for cats than are collars, which can choke them.

How do you leash train a cat when stopping-off on your long journey?

It often takes weeks or months to leash train a cat, for it requires getting the cat acclimated to the harness, leash, and great outdoors. The first step is getting the cat accustomed to the harness.

Let her smell it and otherwise examine it. Then put it on her. Some experts recommend leaving the harness loose at first, pointing out that the clicking noise made by the fastener might startle her.

Watch the cat after fastening the harness. If she’s not wiggling or trying to undo it, she is ready for the leash. Walk her around indoors with the leash until she has stopped fighting the restraints.

Then it’s time to take her for walks outside. Again, it’s necessary to start small, for there are many strange sights, sounds, and smells outdoors that the cat will have to get used to. Start with short walks that are under five minutes long, and gradually lengthen the walks as the cat gets used to being walked outside.

An owner with a harnessed and leashed cat should bring along a friend to hold onto the leash during car rides. The leash, after all, won’t control Fluffy by itself. She can still get under the pedals unless somebody is holding the leash and keeping her from going where shouldn’t.

Can you carry a cat in a backpack for a long journey?

You should not have your cat in a backpack for along journey. But it can be useful if you need to park and walk to the bathroom or stop off to pick up some lunch.

When are these Backpacks useful on journeys?

People use them when they want to take their cats along on hikes once they arrive. A leash-trained cat may be happy to hike along with her owner for a bit, but when she gets tired, they can put her in the backpack.

There are several different makes of backpacks for cats. They need to have a secure and sturdy bottom to support the cat and make her feel safe.

They should also be well ventilated and allow the cat to see out (Click here to see why the bubble backpack is useful for this). The prudent owner also needs to consider Fluffy’s size; a backpack designed to accommodate a 10-pound Siamese probably won’t work for a 20-pound Maine Coon (Click here for the best stroller for large or multiple cats).

Can you have your cat in a Sports bag on your Journey?

Sports bags can be used, but not advised. They are used to carry gym clothes and other gear often have the advantage of being large enough to accommodate big cats. Many of them are made of nylon, which is quite durable.

If you insist, A sports bag used to carry a cat should have a flat and solid bottom to comfortably support the cat. It should have mesh or holes in the sides to allow the cat to breathe easily and see her surroundings.

Many cat owners will put toys or a favorite blanket in the sports bag to make it more attractive to the cat.

Is a Cat-in-the-Bag carrier viable for a long Journey?

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A cat-in-the-bag carrier is not ideal for travel (what about playpens? click here). Because it is not sturdy enough and relies on another passenger to carry it. It is, however, helpful for stops if you need to walk for a bit and want to take your cat.

What is this Cat-in-a-bag?

Cat-in-the-Bag is another alternative to the traditional carrier. It’s a roomy bag with a zipper that also has an adjustable collar that fits snugly around the cat’s neck.

After slipping the collar over the cat’s head, the owner pulls the bag over the cat’s body and zips it closed. The bag is made of durable and tightly-woven cotton.

It is loose and thus allows the cat freedom of movement; since the cat is basically wearing the bag, it moves with her. The cat can thus stand, sit, and even lie down while in the bag.

Cat-in-the-Bag comes in three sizes: small, large, and extra-large. The small bag is for cats that are under 10 pounds, the large is for cats between 10 and 20 pounds, and the extra-large is for cats over 20 pounds.

The company that makes Cat-in-the-Bag also sells liners designed to protect the bag in case of accidents. Cat-in-the-Bag also comes with a cloth handle for easy carrying. The handle also enables the owner to safely secure the cat by threading the seatbelt through it.

Lindsey Browlingdon