Travelling with your cat has never been easier with pet passports, vaccinations and carriers all easily available. Being prepared means you shouldn’t have any major hassles.
How to travel with your cat
Firstly, before taking your cat travelling, consider leaving her at home. Cats like familiarity and are usually most content in their own homes.
Hire a house-sitter to clean the litter boxes, refill food and water bowls on a daily basis and also attend to any special needs your pet may have. This is an especially good option if your cat needs medication. Your vet may be able to recommend someone or offer a cattery service.
Alternatively, if your cat has no specific medical needs, a neighbour can also do the job, making sure lights and radios are switched on and off to fit the cat’s familiar routine.
If you’re travelling by car or plane, a cat carrier is an essential accessory. Get your cat used to the carrier prior to the trip – many cats forced into the carrier at the last minute will be anxious and distressed.
Leave the carrier open on the floor and make it look inviting with some soft bedding and a few catnip treats. The longer the period of introduction to the carrier, the more comfortable your cat will be.
Medication for the trip
Ask your vet about travel medication but in most circumstances it is unnecessary. Consider your cat’s general health and history of anxiety during confinement or travel. If she has shown travel-related anxiety in the past, consider leaving her at home.
Be aware that medication could last considerably longer than the trip. Do a trial run of the medication in advance to see if there are any side effects.
Don’t forget to arrange for your pet’s comfort and safety during the stay at your final destination. If you are travelling abroad, many countries will require a period of quarantine on arrival.
If you’re staying at a hotel, give specific written instructions to the front desk and housekeeping staff. If you’re staying at someone else’s home, find out if they also have pets.
Remember to keep your cat’s identification up to date in case your cat should go missing while you are travelling.