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Taking Your Cat on Long Car Rides

Updated on February 20, 2011

Traveling with Your Feline Friend

Four times a year I travel on an 8 hour car ride with my cat. During hurricane evacuation traffic, I have actually travelled with her up to 20 hours in the car. She is my baby, and I never like to leave her at home all alone or leave her with strangers where she will be miserable. My cat is a very nervous nellie and does not like change. Yet, she is able to make these long journeys with me without the need of medication. Cats like their own comfortable surroundings. So, make your car a familiar environment. I bring her blanket and toys in the car and place them in her crate with her. She prefers to be in the crate for the entire time of our travel. If I let her out of the crate, she does not feel comfortable and will just immediately crawl back into the crate. For safety reasons and to keep yourself from being distracted on the road, I would suggest that you keep your cat in the crate as well. I put her crate in the passenger seat so that she feels close to me. My cat will not eat, drink, or use a litter box while we are in the car. She always waits until we get to our destination.

My Cat

Prepare for the Unexpected

You don't want to get stuck out there in the world without what you need to take care of your cat. Cats are not like dogs. They won't walk with you down to the nearest gas station if you run out of gas. As a result, always bring a travel litter box, cat litter, food, and water with you on your trip. Even if your cat is like mine and does not use these things when on the road, you will have them in an emergency. If you are traveling on an unusually hot day, run the air for your cat, roll down the window for a little air, or have a cold bottle of frozen water if needed to keep your pet cool. Of course, never leave your cat in the car for any length of time. I only leave her to use the restroom. Once you make the decision to take your cat on the road, you are partners and need to stick together. Never travel without a crate in case you do have to take your friend out of the car. Safety is always your main concern.

Simple Whining Is No Reason for Medication

My cat whines on and off for about the first hour of travel. Even though she knows the drill and how far we are traveling, she still whines. After that first hour, she is pretty quite for the rest of the drive. She just goes to sleep and the time passes very quickly for the rest of the ride. Yes, it is annoying when she whines. However, I feel there is no reason for medication. She has a low grade whine that goes away on its own. She does not otherwise appear anxious or nervous about the car ride. You are the best judge of your cat and know if your cat is too anxious for a long car ride. These are my tips of what has worked. All you need is patience and preparation.


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    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks Maralexa. You never know what can happen during a long car ride, so I always bring the frozen water just in case. I know if I get hot, my cat has got to be burning up. Plus she is my spoiled little baby.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 6 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Thanks for the note to bring a frozen bottle of water to keep the cat cool! that is such a good idea. My elderly mother used to bring her cat with her when she drove about 350 miles to visit me. Her cat would sit very calmly in the back window. He lie down and sleep mostly. Then mom would take him out on a leash with when she stopped for a cup of coffee. She would stop at the same little coffee shop so they knew her and always had a treat for he cat.

      Our pets are such special creatures. I just adore them.

      Great hub, Up and awesome.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thank you RTalloni. Love your hubs.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Important info -- so glad you posted it! Voted up.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks. I know a lot of people might not think of bringing their cats. But, I bring mine with me because she is too old to be left by herself.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you, truthfornow, for this helpful and instructional hub so that when we travel with our beloved kitty companions, we have their best interest at heart. UP and Useful and Awesome...because you care so much!