Want to Take Your Cat on Vacation? Consider These 4 Things
If you own a cat, then you know cats are naturally introverts -– they keep to themselves, are not very social with strangers, and will more or less prefer to stay home and lick their paws than go adventuring outside.
When it comes to the decision on whether or not to take your cat with you on vacation, we can get a little anxious and unsure, because we know our cats absolutely detests crowds, strange places, and even worse, being put in boxes. So do you really want to take them with you, or should they be left behind?
First of all, really think about your cat and if you think they’d actually enjoy your vacation destination, i.e. consider if your destination’s surroundings will be cat-friendly, your hotel, the outdoor activities you plan to embark on, and so on. If you've thought through this and still want to take them with you, then here are things to consider and prepare for so they can tag along safe and anxiety-free.
Mode of transportation
The safest and easiest way to travel with cats is via car or plane. Any other mode will prove to be detrimental to your cat’s physical and emotional state. Some cats get extreme motion sickness, and being on a bus or train can trigger or increase nausea and get them barfing out their meal or having diarrhea, making them extremely miserable throughout the journey.
Whether traveling by car or plane, your cat obviously needs to be in a carrier. Some cats don’t like carriers, and they usually bolt at the sight of a cage, which is why choosing the most appropriate carrier for your cat is vital. It’s important that your cat is able to stand, stretch, and even more importantly, sleep comfortably in its carrier. The carrier shouldn't have too much space as that can cause your cat to sway around and cause motion sickness, however, there should be ample space to allow them move around to play with their tail if they need to. The carrier also needs to have sufficient air holes all around to allow enough air in and prevent suffocation. A soft-sided carrier is always best for cats, and if filled with their favorite blankets and a toy or two, it can help tremendously to ease their anxiety.
You should have anti-nausea medication as well as sedatives (already prescribed by your cat’s vet) handy just incase it’s needed, however until a situation absolutely calls for it, it’s not recommended that your cat be sedated prior to going on the trip with you. If things don’t go as smooth as you planned and your cat becomes frantic and extremely fidgety, only then should you consider sedating them.
Toys and familiar items
Bring your cat’s toys and go-to items (like little blankets or cushions) along with you on your journey; you want to keep your cat as happy as possible for the duration of your stay. Also, it’s always best to bring your cat’s original litter box, something they're already familiar with, so they can get a little sense of familiar comfort when they need to 'go'. If their home litter is too big, then consider buying a smaller travel-size litter box beforehand and get them familiarized with it.
Always remember to keep your cat safe; think again about your vacation environment and if it’s a safe place for your feline. Cats are prone to bolt at strange sounds or movements and disappear into a crowd of stamping feet, a nearby bush, or even out an open window. If you're unsure about the state of your destination environment, then perhaps it may be best if they remain at home, and have a friend or neighbor feed and check on them daily until you return.
Whatever your decision, be sure to enjoy your vacation and keep your feline happy!
© 2018 Yvonne Kanu