Stress-Free Travel For Your Cat—Ten Top Tips

The journey to the cattery can be stressful and upsetting for your pet.  Here are ten top tips to keep your kitty chill en route to her holiday home.

  1. Make sure that your cat is secure in her carrier before you set off so that your pet cannot escape into the car while you're driving.  Driving with a panic-stricken cat hurtling around the inside of your car is not only dangerous; it's very frightening for your pet.  
  2. When choosing a cat carrier, pick a solid one with an opening at the front and also on the top.  Your cat will be able to see out of the front of the carrier so that she won't become disorientated, and the detachable top will make the carrier easier to clean.  
  3. Well before you need to travel your cat leave the carrier open with a blanket, some toys and some food inside to encourage your pet to explore the carrier and become familiar with it.  
  4. Choose a blanket that has your scent or your cat's scent on it and place it in the carrier.  You can help to reduce travel anxiety by spraying the blanket with a pheromone calmer that you can obtain from your vet.   
  5. When you're ready to take your cat to the cattery, don't try to shove her through the front door of the carrier!  Remove the top and place her gently inside.  If she resists or begins to panic, wrap her firmly inside a towel sprayed with calmer and place her inside the carrier.  Allow her to settle before quietly replacing the carrier top.  
  6. Place the carrier on the back seat of the car behind the passenger seat and secure it by placing a seat belt across it.  Drape a towel over the carrier to help keep your cat calm and talk to her throughout the journey.  
  7. When you arrive at the cattery, be careful not to bump the carrier against your legs as you carry it from your car.  Hold the carrier by the handle on the top and place your other hand underneath it to prevent it from swinging as you walk.  Your cat may become frightened if she feels that the carrier is unsteady or if she loses her balance and falls over inside it.  
  8. When waiting in the cattery reception area, place the carrier on the floor in front of you so that your cat can see you, and keep talking to her.  There will be lots of strange noises and smells for your pet to take in, and talking to her will reassure her that she's safe.  
  9. Remove food from your cat several hours before you travel her.  If she has a full stomach and becomes upset, she's more likely to vomit or mess in the carrier which is very unpleasant for both your pet and for you.  In addition, if she's hungry when she's placed in her cage at the cattery, she's more likely to settle in quickly by tucking into a meal.  
  10. Follow the same protocol when collecting your cat from the cattery after your holiday.  It's a good idea to keep your pet inside for a day when you arrive home to allow her to re-orientate herself with her home.

In conclusion

Travelling can be quite a traumatic experience for your cat.  Take the time to prepare her for her journey and use the tips given above to make your pet's trip to the cattery as stress-free as possible.