It's safe to say that cats despise traveling. Unlike
your canine playmates, there's something about a car that just doesn't appeal
to your felines. Cats are creatures of habit and become easily anxious when
faced with a change of routine. They are also incredibly territorial and averse
to new places. If you intend to take your cat for a trip to the vet or a drive
to your best friend’s upstate, here are a few suggestions on how you can calm
your feline’s travel stress –
a comfortable carrier – Never attempt to take your cat out in
anything but a cat carrier. It is for yours as well as your cat's safety. An
uncomfortable cat carrier translates to an uncomfortable cat. Choose a carrier
that is spacious enough for your cat to move around a little if you're taking
it on a long trip. Your regular cat carrier for short vet visit won't cut it.
Make sure there’s an opening for your curious cat to keep updated with its
the cat to the carrier early – Don't wait till the
big day to let your cat meet its carrier. Place the carrier in a room where
your cat spends its time and maybe toss in a worn-in garment or soft blanket
you've used – the cat will be comforted by your scent. Place treats inside the
carrier for the cat to find. Repeat this routine over the days. Once, the cat
doesn't seem to averse entering the carrier; you can consider driving it around
the neighborhood for test-runs before your long trip.
soothing agents – Spray the insides of the carrier with
a spritzer. These sprays available in the market contain anxiety-releasing
pheromones that cats themselves emit to soothe themselves. You can also
introduce your cat’s favorite toys inside the carrier.
administering mild sedation – The vet may recommend you to
administer anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medication to your cat before embarking
on your car travel with them if your cat happens to be excessively worked up at
the prospect of travel.
The tips shared above should help ease your cat’s travel anxiety. However, be considerate to your cat and leave him/her behind if they show no signs of calming down even after you've tried all of these practices sans the sedation. If you have a friend, who can put them up for a few days, ask them to do you this favor. If not, there are many cat boarding services available that you can look up online. Your cat will miss you while you're gone, but at least they won't have to be subject to the intense stress, and anxiety felines face when posed with travel.