Traveling and Your Cat

Traveling and Your Cat

Having a pet does not stop you from being able to go away for vacation. It just means you have to consider more factors in planning the trip. A common solution for a cat and vacation is to have the cat stay home. Options include having friend/family check on the cat, leaving the cat on its own or place it in a boarding facility. It may be in the best interest for the animal to stay behind. For short trips lasting only a couple days a cat can be left behind with food, water and litter and be just fine. If the cat needs to go along due to a move or the owner really wants the cat with then there’s a variety of things to consider. First, what type of trip is it? Are you traveling by car, train or plane? Where are you staying when you reach your destination? Here are some hints to help with the planning.

Traveling and Your Cat
  • Always make sure the cat is in good health before a trip. If necessary, take him to the veterinarian to make sure and to get any necessary inoculations. If your cat is very old or very young, discuss it with your veterinarian before making travel plans.
  • When traveling out of the country, be sure to check on necessary inoculations and quarantine rules.
  • Do not try to tranquilize your cat without contacting your vet.
  • Make sure you have the proper carrier for your pet. There are several varieties to choose from. Choose one that will provide you pet with enough ventilation but will keep it securely inside.
Traveling and Your Cat
  • For car trips it helps to get the cat accustomed to riding in a car. It may help to take the cat on several short trips to get it used to the sounds and motion of the vehicle.
  • A cat should never be allowed to run loose in a car. They can block windows, interfere with the gas and brake pedals or distract the driver.
  • If the car trip is less than eight hours a litter box should not be needed.
  • Food can also be withheld for the duration of a short trip.
  • Water is necessary for any length of trip.
Traveling and Your Cat
  • For longer car trips a litter box and food will be needed.
  • Do not leave your pet in a unattended vehicle.
  • Check for all regulations and limitations regarding pets with the airline, railway or hotel you are planning to use.
  • Learn the procedures of what you need to do if the railway or airline loses you pet.
  • Cats are sometimes permitted in a compartment on trains but usually they are placed in the baggage car.
  • Airlines normally require cats to be kept in carrying cases in the pressurized luggage compartment.
  • Clearly mark the carrier that a live animal is inside and with contact information in case of the carrier being lost or misrouted.

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