How to Prepare Your Cat for Travel


Sedating your cat for travel may seem like the obvious choice, but before you go down that route, there are some things you should know. Sedation can cause nausea and lethargy, and it doesn’t help to make traveling safer if your cat is unconscious in the back of the car.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your cat for travel without sedation to ensure that you can keep your kitty safe and comfortable on the road.


Introducing the Carrier

Whether you’re bringing your cat on a long car ride or flying them to a new home, it’s important to get them acclimated to their carrier before the trip. This will help reduce their stress and make the travel experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

Here are a few tips on how to do this.

When introducing the carrier, try leaving it out in an open space at first so that your cat is comfortable with seeing it around. If they seem okay with that, then start hiding treats inside of it to get them used to going inside of it and associating good things with going inside of it.

If they continue to be uneasy about being near the carrier, try slowly putting treats on top of it while letting them watch from a distance until they eventually go over and eat them off of the top. 

This should be done until your cat is comfortable enough eating off of the top without actually going inside of the carrier yet. Once they are comfortable eating off of the top, put some food on the floor where you want them to enter the carrier.

Once they enter the carrier and walk all the way back up towards you (they will only do this if there is something yummy waiting for them), give your cat a treat as soon as they exit back out of the carrier.

Repeat these steps each time you introduce your cat to their carrier until they no longer show any signs of hesitation when entering into it!


One Month Before Vacation

If you’re planning on taking your cat with you on vacation, there are a few things you should do in the month leading up to your trip. First, make sure your cat is up-to-date on all their vaccinations.

You’ll also want to get them a microchip in case they get lost while you’re away. And finally, start acclimating them to their carrier by letting them spend time in it both at home and on short car rides. 


Seven Days Before Vacation

If you’re planning on sedating your cat for travel, it’s important to start the process early. About seven days before your trip, begin giving your cat small doses of the sedative. This will help them get used to the medication and avoid any side effects.

Consult with your veterinarian about which sedatives are safe for cats and how much to give them so that they are comfortable but not completely knocked out. 

In addition, make sure that you have a carrier or cage large enough for your pet to move around comfortably during the flight. You may also want to consider purchasing a seatbelt harness if the carrier is too large or heavy.

Before your departure date, place the container of water at one end of the carrier and put some food at the other end. Put your cat inside the carrier and slowly close it up so that they are unable to open it themselves (they will be calmer if they can’t escape).

Finally, place their favorite blanket or toy near their head as a comfort item while they’re traveling.


Two Days Before Vacation

You should start packing your bags two days before your trip. This will help you avoid any last-minute scrambling and ensure that you have everything you need. While you’re packing, set aside a spot in the house where your cat can stay while you’re gone.

This spot should be comfortable and familiar, with all of your cat’s favorite things. The day before your departure, take him there and show him around. Spend time playing together and feeding him his favorite treats there so he gets used to being at this location without you.

Finally, give him one final meal in the evening before you leave. The next morning, bring him back to his temporary home and offer more food as well as water.

Leave him alone for about five minutes before departing then come back into the room, petting him from head to tail (the part of their body which is most vulnerable when scared). Leave again for another few minutes and then return once more; repeat this routine until it’s time to leave.

For more tips on how best to prepare your cat for travel please visit our blog!


The Morning of Vacation

As you’re packing your bags and getting ready for your trip, your cat starts to get anxious. They can sense that something is up and they don’t like it. You start to wonder if you should sedate them for the journey ahead.

There are a few factors to consider before deciding whether or not this would be a good idea. First of all, there’s the stress level of your pet. Cats have different levels of anxiety when it comes to traveling – some enjoy it while others hate it with a passion.

Secondly, there’s their age – young cats are more likely to react badly than older ones who have done this many times before.

If your cat has an underlying health condition such as diabetes or arthritis, then it might not be wise to put them under just because you want them to sleep through the car ride. Lastly, here’s how well-behaved they are in general.

Some cats will behave better in public places if drugged and others won’t care either way. It really depends on your pet. If you’ve got a young kitten or an older cat who doesn’t mind long journeys, it might be worth considering.

However, if your feline friend hates traveling so much that they pee on your bed every time you leave home without them, then they probably don’t need any help hating it even more! 

It really depends on your pet. If you’ve got a young kitten or an older cat who doesn’t mind long journeys, it might be worth considering.


The Evening of Vacation

You’ve done it. You’ve finally convinced your family to take a vacation and you’re all packed and ready to go. But wait- what about your cat? You can’t just leave them behind, but you also can’t exactly pack them up and take them with you.

So what’s the best way to prepare your cat for travel? First of all, talk to your vet! They’ll be able to tell you if there are any health risks or behavioral concerns that may come up during your trip that need to be addressed beforehand.

It might also be smart to ask them how long the trip will last so they can give you advice on how much food and water should be left out for the duration of your absence.


One Day After Returning Home

Sedating your cat for travel may seem like the easiest way to keep them calm, but it’s not always the best option. There are a few things you should consider before making the decision to sedate your cat.

First, did they have any side effects from their tranquilizer?

Second, is your cat prone to having allergic reactions?

Third, do they have an IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? If so, it can be very hard on their stomach when they eat food that has been sitting in their stomach for hours or days.

Finally, does your pet have heart disease or other chronic health conditions? If so, it is important to consult with your veterinarian about this first. A vet will be able to tell you if there are any risks associated with traveling while your cat is taking medication.

For example, some medications could increase anxiety during stressful situations and make it more difficult for your cat to breathe. Your vet will also know if there are specific foods that need to be avoided and what types of behavior patterns are likely after coming off of sedatives.

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