Helping cats get used to travelling can seem like a stressful and long process when figuring out the right methods to use. So, we have seven important top tips for you to consider while researching.
We compared notes with Julie Rouch from @Purrfectbuslife to find out the best methods to get your cat used to travelling. Sit back, grab a coffee and relax because these tips could be the right ones for you and your furry friend.
Tip One: Build Your Cat’s Confidence
If your kitty hasn’t been travelling before, it’s a good idea to start small and build up to longer trips. You can start off by driving around the block to get them use to being in the car, how the motion feels and the sound of a car engine. Then build up to longer trips possibly to the park or a weekend a way.
Ad then if your ultimate aim is to stay on the road for a long time like Nala from @Purrfectbuslife, your cat should be ready to take on the world!
Tip Two: Where and How to Find Cat- Friendly Accommodation
Finding cat accommodation can sometimes be very difficult due to not all pet-friendly accommodations accepting cats. We recommend that to be safe and sure, once you find an accommodation, contact them to double-check that cats are on their list.
There are multiple ways to find the right accommodation for you and your purr-fect furry friend. These options include Stayz, Booking.com and Airbnb; although you will need to contact the owner directly to make sure cats are accepted or the specialist pet-friendly guidebook “Travelling with Pets”, which has animal icons to denote the type of pet that is welcome at each property and finally, other pet travel websites.
When you have confirmed that the accommodation you have chosen is acceptable, we suggest that you double-check the information to make sure it is right.
Julie suggests, “The best way to do so is to get the managers to send this in writing because this is a great way to prove the information that was told to you, if needed.”
In addition to this, we also recommend that you always check the conditions in your contract as some pet-friendly accommodation only let pets outside, which is a major issue to people who would never allow their furry friend to do so.
Finally, searching the web will not tell you this information, so you will have to contact the property directly if you wish to confirm this.
Tip Three: Contacting the Property
Upon emailing the property, it is recommended that you introduce yourself and your cat to them, then also explain that your cat is leash trained and make sure to reassure them that you will be bringing the necessary items needed for your pet and that they will not have to worry about anything.
Finally, in the email, if you are happy to do so and have these, add your socials or website link in there so that they can see what a responsible owner you are.
The @purrfectbuslife blog mentioned, “I think this has helped us tremendously when booking a property. Often, accommodation will use you and your stay to decide if they should become or continue being pet-friendly, so please ensure the experience is enjoyable for them as well as you, and always be respectful of the place, people, and native wildlife.”
Tip Four: Inspection and Preparation
Before you let your cat free from their leash, it is recommended that you inspect the place you will be staying in first. This is so you can check for any hazards, escape routes and places your cat might like to hide.
At this stage it is best to put away any breakables or fragile items around the place to protect them from breakage. Once this is complete, organise your cat’s “headquarters”, litter box, food, water, scratch post etc, ready for them when they are let free.
Then the final step is to ensure all windows and doors are shut and locked so there is no way for your kitty to escape.
Tip Five: Time to explore
If your cat is a full time and experienced traveller, taking the leash off and letting them explore a room at a time while you supervise should be fine for them to help get their bearings. Alternatively, if your cat is less confident, letting them explore while they are on the leash until they get their bearings is also fine.
You know your cat best, so whatever you feel you and them will be comfortable with, do that. All cats are different so just make sure whatever you decide, be sure to always supervise them. A good bonus is to have treats at the ready to use when needed.
Tip Six: Read your pet
Stay in tune with your cat’s wants and needs; this will depend on your cat’s personality but you as the owner will know what makes them more comfortable in this transition. For example, this could mean spending extra time cuddling your furry friend, having play time or just leaving them to settle in on their bed.
Tip Seven: The Essentials for Cat Travel
With any trip it is always important to remember the essential. We recommend having a checklist as it’s easy to see and tick off once completed.
Do not forget:
- Harness, Leash & Carrier: For safety and security.
- Food and Water Bowls
- Food: For how many times they will need to be fed and don’t forget treats.
- Bed and Favourite Blanket:It is important for cats to have familiar smells for them to get comfortable so bring theirs from home will really help
- Litter Box: Whatever you use normally will be great and don’t forget to bring a dustpan for any spillages.
- Scratching Pad/Post: Some may not think about this one, but this is a life save for those whose cat like to scratch as then they won’t be tempted to use the furniture in the accommodation.
- Toys:To help make your kitty as comfortable as possible bring some toys along to help them relax and settle in.
- Exploring Gear:If your trip entails adventuring outdoors and you would like to bring your furry friend along, make sure you pack the right items. Backpack, poo bags and other specific items you may need depending on weather and location.
Finally, as you will know cats are nocturnal animals, so if you do not want to be disturbed in your sleep, we recommend that you make sure to do as much with your cat as possible to make them sleep through the night and feed them before you sleep so they are more lethargic.
Julie has stated, “We have to have a sleepy cat at night on the bus to ensure proper rest, so this tried and tested technique works.”
We hope that these tips come in super handy and have eased the stress or weight off you when booking and looking for accommodation.
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Carla Francis is the internationally recognised author behind the 5th edition guidebook and blog, ‘Travelling with Pets.’ Carla has made significant contributions to newspapers and magazines, as a staff writer for major pet food companies, she is also the in-house pet travel expert for PetsForever app, and her latest book The Cat with Three Passports, was an Award-Winning Finalist at the 2021 International Book Awards.