5 Things Nobody Tells You about Traveling with Cats
Most cats will spend summer vacation at home in the hands of a trusted sitter. But for those that want to hit the open road or have no choice but to come along, we’d like to let you in on the top five things nobody tells you about traveling with cats.
1. Avoid Car (Cat)astrophes 🚘
Your cat’s car trip needs plenty of prep. Be sure you have food and water, stainless steel dishes, toys, leashes, harnesses, and collars. Also, have towels and cleaner for your car in case your cat gets motion sickness.
Speaking of sickness, you will want to visit your vet before a road trip and ask for advice on medications that may help either a nauseous cat or a hyperactive one. Keep kitty in a crate while driving so there is no chance of an active cat distracting you into a highway accident. Learn more about crate travel here.
2. Amtrak is Pet-friendly 🚊
If planes and automobiles aren’t going to work for you and your cat companion, consider taking a train. Amtrak offers a number of pet-friendly routes and reasonable rules for pet conduct on board.
Tip: Ask your vet for an ID tag in case your cat gets lost, held up in an airport hub, or stuck somewhere without you. A vet can even microchip your animal for a small fee.
3. Now That's Service 🏨
Not all pet-friendly hotels are cat-friendly hotels. Many only accept dogs. At least fourteen hotel chains do welcome cats. Consider booking with one of these. Tip: Before you let your cat out of her carrier, examine the hotel room for pet hazards like windows that are ajar or small spaces in which she could get stuck.
4. Cat Fly Zone ✈️
If you and Kitty are flying to your holiday destination, make sure you’ve attended to all the details of pet travel before you show up at the check-in desk, cat carrier in hand. Start at your vet’s office. The staff can prescribe your cat a sedative to help keep her (and you) calm through the hustle and bustle of an airport. Anytime medication is involved, of course, it’s important to rely on the advice of a trusted veterinarian who is experienced in cat travel.
Don’t forget the basics, too. You’ll want to soak a sponge in water and put it in the carrier with your animal so she can get a drink without spillage. Remember to tuck in a security blanket such as a favorite toy or something that smells like a beloved family member.
5. Budget TSA Time 🕑
Many uniformed people at the airport may take a special interest in your traveling companion. Check with the airline staff before your flight date to make sure you’ve filled out all the appropriate paperwork, gotten any required vaccinations, and purchased the right kind of carrier.
The airport’s TSA team may spend a lot of time examining your cat, his carrier, and you. We’d like to think it’s because our cats have magnetic personalities that our nation’s defense team just can't ignore. But it’s also because the TSA staff have to make sure that cat carriers and the animals they contain aren’t transporting illegal substances. We can get on board with that.
Travel can be perfect for making lifelong memories. Make sure a healthy, happy, and cultured cat is what you have to remember from this summer’s vacation.