Most cats don’t like riding in a car. They find it stressful, sometimes they can get dizzy and even vomit.
Today we are going to give you some tips to make your cat’s car journey more comfortable. If you follow them, you will be helping your cat to deal with the journey better, feeling calmer and less anxious.
What do the regulations say about travelling by car with cats?
It is against the law to carry any pet loose in the car. It’s a safety issue, for the cat, for you and for others. Also, a cat is slippery and could slip under the pedals, or distract you while driving, and cause an accident.
As it cannot run loose, there are two ways to carry a cat in the car:
- With a carrier suitable for its size. It must be sufficiently ventilated and allow the animal to see outside. Ideally, it should be placed on the floor behind the driver’s or passenger’s seat, where there is no risk of the carrier moving. You can also place it on the back seat, but always strapped in with the seat belt so it does not tip over or move.
- With a special harness for cats, which adjusts to the headrest where you insert the belt. This system allows greater freedom of movement, but is less safe than the carrier.
Carrying the cat on the lap, either in the front passenger seat or in the back seat, is not a valid option under any circumstances.
What to do several weeks before your trip with your cat
- It is a good idea to get him familiar with the carrier, to make him feel comfortable in it when the time comes. Leave it in a corner of the living room, for example, and let him sniff around in it. After a few days, invite him to go into the carrier, where you can put a blanket, a toy or even a treat.
- Get him used to the car as well. Put him in the car and let him get used to being in it. This will help him not feel it as a strange environment on the day of the journey. After a few days, you can try short 5-minute journeys to see how he reacts. Let him get used to the movement of the car and the fact of travelling.
What to do on the day of the car journey with your cat
- Don’t feed him in the hours before the journey. If he gets dizzy and nauseous on a full stomach, he is more likely to vomit.
- Make him tired before the journey. Make him play, run… If he is tired, the stress will decrease and he may even fall asleep during the journey.
- If during the trial period you notice that your cat is getting dizzy, check with your vet in advance to see if there is a product you can give your cat.
- Make sure that his carrier has objects of his own inside. The same pillow, blanket, toy… It is essential for him to feel protected.
What to do during a car journey with your cat
- Drive smoothly. Avoid sudden braking, acceleration… and drive slowly.
- Keep the right level temperature inside the car. Neither hot nor cold. Avoid having the windows open, the noise and the air flow could disturb the cat.
- Be careful with the noise. You can play music, but control the volume. If there are several of you in the car, talk quietly and softly, avoiding shouting and arguing at all times, which could cause more stress..
- Take breaks every 2 hours. If the car journey is long and lasts several hours, make short stops of 10-15 minutes every 2 hours so that you can take your cat out of the carrier, let it walk around a bit, drink water and relieve itself.
What to do once you have arrived at your destination
- Take him out of the carrier and let him walk around a bit. He may feel odd for the next few hours.
- Provide fresh, clean water and food. The cat will know how to manage when it is time to eat.
- Leave the carrier nearby, as you did during the initial adaptation period before the trip. Put it away after a few days and do the same process again before the return journey home.
If you liked this article, don’t miss the other articles in the blog. I’m sure ypu wil find interesting things!