How To Travel Safely With Your Cat In A Car?
Traveling with a furry friend is one of the best parts about having a pet. But if your cat doesn't like being in the car, trying to make it through a road trip can be stressful and miserable, both for you and your kitty. Luckily, there are several tactics that many cat parents have used to make their furry friends comfortable on car rides. Here, you'll learn eight ways you can use to make your next car ride safer and more enjoyable for you and your cat.
1. Prepare your car for travel
Before leaving home, check that your car is in good condition and that all tires are properly inflated. You'll also want to make sure that the gas tank is full and that you have enough food and water for both you and your cat.
Make sure that the back seat of your car is free from clutter and other items that may distract or injure your cat during travel.
Make sure that all windows are closed before starting the engine, as this will help prevent exhaust fumes from entering the vehicle. Keep any windows open once you're underway only when necessary for ventilation purposes.
Ensure that there are no loose objects in the car that could become entangled around your cat's legs or paws if they jump out of their carrier while moving at speed.
2. Get your cat used to riding in the car
Even if your cat is already comfortable in the car, make sure that they are still comfortable before you start your trip. Cats usually aren’t fond of new things, so it’s best that they get used to riding in a car before starting your trip. If they've never been in a car before, it will take some time for them to get used to the experience. Start by taking short trips around town; gradually increase the distance as they become more comfortable. Once they're familiar with being in a car, take them on longer drives so they can get used to the sound of an engine and the feel of being strapped into a seat belt.
3. Keep your cat confined in a carrier during the trip
A cat carrier is an essential item for traveling with your cat. It keeps them safe in the car and provides a place for them to sleep at night if you're staying in a hotel or Airbnb rental. The carrier should have breathable mesh sides so they can see out of it but not escape. It may be best to keep your cat confined in their carrier, so they don’t get into trouble or distract you from driving safely. They will also be safer from any potential harm if you were involved in an accident or crash while driving.
4. Keep your cat cool
Cats can overheat quickly in warm weather conditions. If possible, try to avoid taking them places during the hottest part of the day and make sure there is plenty of air circulating inside the vehicle, so they don't get too hot while traveling with you! Keep your kitty's carrier out of direct sunlight and well away from any heat sources like open windows or vents in the car.
5. Keep an eye on your cat's ears and eyes
Make sure their ears aren’t too hot or covered by hair, and check their eyes frequently to make sure they don’t have discharge or irritation that could indicate an ear infection or eye infection. Also, look out for signs of stress: panting, drooling, being overly vocal, or agitated. If they start acting sick while you're driving, pull over immediately and let them get some fresh air!
6. Use harnesses instead of collars if possible
Collars can get caught on things like seat belts and other objects inside the car, which could make it difficult for both you and your cat if something were to happen during travel time! Harnesses are safer because they don't have any dangling parts that could get stuck on something while traveling.
7. Give your cat water breaks
Cats don't normally drink much water when they're nervous or stressed out — which they may be during travel — so it's important that you give your cat breaks every few hours so they can get hydrated and relieve themselves outside their carriers if needed.
8. Avoid bumps and potholes whenever possible
Cats are very sensitive to motion sickness and can easily become nauseous when riding in a car for long periods of time. This is especially true for older cats or those who have never traveled much before. If possible, avoid driving over rough roads as much as possible to reduce the risk of motion sickness for your cat. If there are no other options than driving through rough terrain, stop frequently so your cat can get out of their carrier (after all, we don't want them getting sick from being jostled around too often).
We hope that this guide has provided you with some helpful information. All in all, the key is preparation, making sure your cat is healthy and stable enough for a long trip, packing the right types of supplies, and planning out your route ahead of time.