The first time my humans decided to take me on a long car trip, they almost went crazy. They didn’t know how to go about it or whether I would enjoy it. Thank goodness I understand them and got them to see, little by little, what was okay and what wasn’t so okay! I don’t want you to go through the same thing, so here I’m going to tell you how to take a car trip with your family cat.
The first thing you should do, humans, is choose the right cat carrier. In my experience, the best kind is a hard-sided plastic cat crate with a metal cage door, which I find sturdier and much safer. Once we get used to the cat carrier, you can put us on the back seat in the car, well-secured with the seat belt and with the cat carrier properly locked.
Before embarking upon the adventure of going on vacation with the family in the car, you should first get us accustomed to traveling in the car. The best idea is for you to hide treats or rewards inside the cat carrier in the car while you drive us around the neighborhood. That way, we’ll associate going with you inside the car as not being a bad deal at all.
Needless to say, we will meow a bit due to being uncomfortable when we first start out on the trip, but that’s normal; we’re territorial animals, and you’re taking us out of our comfort zone without asking our permission. Don’t worry, provided that you talk to us calmly and turn the music down low, we’ll calm down in no time.
Mind you now, no opening the car windows or doors, because you know how we just love to take off running first chance we get, and the last thing we want if for you to lose us. Keep the car aired out using the air conditioner, and we’ll all enjoy travelling supercomfy.
The fact of keeping the car closed all the time doesn’t mean that we don’t need a bit of free time to ourselves. Take a portable litterbox along with you and let us out of the cat carrier approximately every couple of hours. We’ll feel much calmer walking around the room and you petting us and feeling the comfort of the litterbox on our paw pads.
If you find your feline to be one of those who get carsick every time they get in the car, place your cat’s carrier on the car floor, between the front and back seats in order to keep your cat from looking out the car window and getting even sicker. Don’t forget to see your veterinarian for a prescription for a mild cat sedative if your cat needs one. Additionally, you can also spray the car with synthetic cat pheromones half an hour before starting out ion your trip so as to have a more pleasant time.
Lastly, you shouldn’t refrain from feeding us just because we’re going to be travelling in the car. Any change in our diet may increase the feeling of discomfort and car sickness. All you have to do is feed us three hours before leaving on the trip, and we’ll be just fine.