We often talk about traveling with a dog, but some cats love to travel too! There are several, cats who have become quite famous due to their affinity for travel. There is Amelia aka “Tropicat” who sails around the world on the Swell, Jesper the Norwegian cross country hiking and skiing cat and a pair of buddies called Bolt and Keel who love to go hiking and kayaking. Could your cat be next?
Here are a few tips to make traveling with a cat easier for you and your cat.
It is very important to allow your cat to become accustomed to her carrier. Begin by choosing the right crate size and give your cat plenty of time to get used to it. Follow this link for detailed instructions on how to crate train your cat.
Some cats will enjoy traveling in a backpack once they are used to it. And they look so cute with their faces popping out! While a well behaved cat can calmly hang out in a regular backpack, some might be safer in these new ones that have an observation window. Please note that not all backpacks are approved as cat carriers for airline travel, so even if you plan on using a backpack while you explore, make sure you also have an airline approved cat carrier.
While most cats will be able to travel in the main cabin of an airplane with you, some airlines have restrictions. Restrictions for cats can vary from one airline to another or even a specific flight. Reservations must be made due to limited availability on board. Most airlines will not allow more than one cat in the main cabin and one in first class. Its also important to keep in mind that certain cats might be too big to fit under the seat. In addition, certain flights might not allow pets in the cabin at all due to space or a passenger with known allergies. In these cases, the pet must travel as cargo. It is best to plan for this ahead of time. Pet travel experts can make reservations on pet friendly airlines for more than one cat or a cat that might exceed the in cabin weight or size limits. In all cases, booking direct flights is a great idea.
If your adventures include air travel for your cat, you will need to provide proof of vaccinations, as well as a health certificate from your veterinarian. Rules and regulations for cats traveling internationally vary by country so make sure you contact a pet travel expert like Airpets America to get all the current information.
A harness can be used to provide some freedom while keeping your cat safe during travel. Most cats will fit in a small dog harness, but there are some out there made specifically for cats. Make sure the fit is perfect as cats have a tendency to be able to wiggle out of certain ones.
Some cats are used to going potty outdoors which makes it rather easy for an adventure. But for those people with mostly indoor cats, there is the question of what to do about potty time. Our best suggestion is teaching your cat to use a toilet. We know this sounds a bit weird but think of all the benefits? No litter or litter box to worry about… If you are interested in such a thing follow this link to learn more.
If your cat is litter trained and that’s how you like it, then it will be necessary to pack a litter box. A great option for this is the Cat 1st foldable and light weight litter box. And don’t forget to pack some litter to provide a relief spot while you are on the move.
Make sure you bring enough food for your cat, you don’t want to upset her stomach while she travels. Keeping your cat on her regular diet will keep her happy and healthy. Switching to a freeze dried food is a great idea since it is much lighter to travel with, all you do is rehydrate it with water when you are ready to feed her. If you are planning to switch to a new food, do so a few weeks in advance to help her tummy adjust and make sure she will actually eat it. Then give her enough time to digest the food before you are on the move again.
The most important thing to remember is that your cat will need to adjust. No matter what new thing you are trying, give her time. Time to explore her new home, her travel backpack, her crate… time with a harness on… time sniffing a new potty spot. A bit of patience goes a long way and it will make your cat enjoy her adventure as well. And who knows, maybe your cat will be the next famous traveling cat!