traveling with your cat

December 4, 2014 | Comments Off

Unlike me, a lot of people like to take trips to see others during the holidays, so I thought I’d include this post I found about traveling with your cat:

If you plan to take a trip and want your furry friend to come along, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your cat.

Be prepared
The best ways to ensure your cat’s safety and well-being are to have the following items available:
- Cat carrier – secures your cat while in transit. Be ready for resistance, though, if your cat has never been in a carrier before. If time allows, set out the carrier in your house and occasionally leave treats inside. This will help your cat associate positive thoughts with the carrier.
- Identification tags – make sure the information on your cat’s tags is current and includes phone numbers where you can be reached during your trip. For additional peace of mind, consider a permanent identification microchip for your cat.
- Wipes or paper towels – in case your pet gets motion sickness, be sure to have a way to clean up the cat, the carrier, and any other soiled belongings.
- Portable litter box – invest in a portable or travel litter box.
- Toys – to keep your cat entertained, be sure to pack his or her favorite toys. If you forget your cat’s favorite stuffed mouse, he or she may turn to your friend’s furniture for scratching and chewing.
- Vaccinations – keep a list of your cat’s current vaccinations handy.
- Food, water, and treats

Before departing, you may also want to research and write down information about veterinary offices near your destination. This may seem unnecessary but will be of great help in an emergency.

If staying with friends or family, let them know your pet will be with you. This will give them an opportunity to “cat-proof” the house. If staying at a hotel, make sure you choose a “pet-friendly” establishment. You should never attempt to take a pet to a hotel that does not allow animals.

Car travel
While driving, never allow your cat to roam; keep him or her inside the carrier while the car is in motion. If the trip will be lengthy, travel with a large enough carrier that will allow you to offer food and water inside when you stop for breaks. A larger carrier will also give your cat enough room to walk around and even allow you to provide access to a small litter box inside the crate.

Are you and your cat driving cross country? Most states require a health certificate when crossing state lines via car, so consult your veterinarian about the need for a health certificate.

If you have to stop while you’re on the road and must leave your cat in the car, use good judgment and remember how quickly cars can become overheated. NEVER leave your cat alone in the car for more than a few minutes, especially during extreme temperatures. This could be very dangerous and even deadly.

Plane travel
Alert the airline about your four-legged flight companion when you make flight arrangements. Most airlines require that cats be at least 8 weeks old and may request updated copies of vaccinations and a health certificate issued by your veterinarian. Although some airlines may allow your pet to ride with you in the passenger compartment as a carry on, other airlines will insist the cat travel in the cargo area.

If your cat will ride as a passenger, you may need to purchase an additional ticket. You may also need to ensure that your cat is in an airline-approved pet carrier that will fit underneath a passenger seat.

If your cat must be placed in cargo, make sure his or her carrier allows for some standing and offers sufficient ventilation. A leak-proof bottom is also a necessity in case of any accidents that may occur during the flight. Clearly label the carrier with your name, home and cell phone numbers, and final destination information. If traveling overseas, check with airlines regarding international pet regulations. Because it can pose a health risk to your cat to be sedated during travel, discuss the need for tranquilization with your veterinarian.

At your destination
Once you and your pet arrive at your destination, make your cat feel at home. Set out food and water, show your cat where the litter box is, and pamper, love and scratch your cat until he or she is purring contentedly. Although your cat may be a little standoffish at first, he or she will eventually become accustomed to the new surroundings and may even enjoy the change of scenery.

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