Road Trips with Cats: How to Stay Safe and Alive
One of the worst decisions I ever made was when I took my cat on a road trip from the hot desert of New Mexico to the golf-cart infested world of an Atlanta suburb.
I had to quit my own stable line of work in order to take a risk on a sales job, which I felt compromised my ethics and security. It was very depressing to transition from regular, cash-in-hand income to unemployment once again. The economy has not been very kind to this English major.
So, I took a trip. I packed my car, changed my oil, and drove 1,400 miles. It wasn’t an option to leave my precious cat for that month, so of course, I brought him along.
The trip itself was wonderful. I felt refreshed and rejuvenated after spending so much meaningful time with my family. Honestly, I’m lucky I even made it that far.
*Update: Even more proof that calming treats kick butt!*
I just moved from Albuquerque, NM towards the D.C. area and of course, Henry came with. After the experience last October, I was ready!
I drugged the heck out of that cat (nothing dangerous)! He slept all day, and was good enough to ride out of the crate int he evening.
I gave him half as many treats, and he was an absolute angel. For long trips, calming treats are essential!
How many times have you taken a road trip with a pet?
First, I ordered a cat harness, borrowed a huge, comfy dog crate, and set up my car as a cat paradise. I even arranged the harness in a way that allowed him to move around safely. I even brought our home comforter and ice cubes made from his normal water so the transition would be less trying. He had a can of his favorite food and his toys. I brought treats and everything I thought he could ever want.
Two Days of Hell
Everyone says cats cry on road trips, but I figured my easy-going fellow would be different.
After 6 hours to Amarillo, I finally stopped to get gas, go to the bathroom, and find some way to manage my miserable pet.
Henry meowed and howled the whole time to no end. He was miserable and nearly strangled himself several times by trying to climb on top of me or under my feet while I drove.
I stopped often to try to calm him down and suffered from deep scratches up and down my arms.
He became so insistent that the only way I was able to get him in a safe place was to spray him several times in the face with water. He sulked away and his in the comforter until we arrived. The trip over was far worse than I could have imagined and I don’t know how I didn’t crash from lack of sleep due to his insistent crying during the night at the hotel or from his attempts to climb onto my face.
There was no way I would let this happen ever again.
I felt terrible for the way I had to treat him and the misery through which he went. I researched and planned ahead for the two day venture back and I came prepared with calming treats.
Calming treats were my saving grace. They contain tryptophan, chamomile, ginger, and a few other cat-safe ingredients. Two tablets will calm a 15 lb. cat for around 12 hours.
On our way back, Henry slept like a baby each day and was an absolute gem. I would let him out of the crate on his harness and he slept either in the sun or in the blanket all day long. He was very comfortable and even purred!
It didn’t matter what else I packed. It didn’t matter how much I prepared. It didn’t matter how many drives I took around town trying to get Henry adjusted to being in the car.
My love for him didn’t make him feel any better once we got on the road.
Popular Cat Treats
Calming Treats: A Must Try for Road Trips
For anyone faced with the challenge of traveling with a cat, I highly recommend purchasing natural, calming cat treats. There are many brands and varieties, so look around for the best option for your animal.
This will make your animal happy and it will also make you much, much safer.
*The brand I used was Calming Aid with Ginger (the green and gold package; #2 on the list of Amazon products).*
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