At some point most of us will end up traveling with our animals. Whether
heading off on a long vacation or moving cross-country, these tips will help you make the journey as
smooth as possible for you and your cat.
Before You Leave
1. Begin by making the entire travel process, from kennel to car ride, a pleasant one. Be sure that your cat
has a kennel or carrier large enough to turn around comfortably in and let them investigate it on their own.
Encourage them to enter the kennel by bribing with treats so they view being in there as more than a cage that
carries them to the vet. Slowly work up to taking them out on small car rides that get progressively longer.
This will help them to understand that not all car trips end in a visit to the vet.
2. Talk to your vet about any medical conditions your cat may have that you should know about and what
treatments you may need to administer on your trip. Gather copies of any pertinent medical records.
3. If you are traveling overseas, make sure that you and your vet are aware of the medical requirements for
your pet. The EU, for example, requires that pets be up to date on all vaccines with some countries mandating
that your cats be microchipped. Be sure that you are aware of all the requirements.
4. Plan out your route, if you are driving, and make sure that you know the location of a vet in each town
where you will be stopping just in case you need emergency treatment. Be sure that you contact all hotels and
explain that you will be traveling with pets so that you are aware of their pet policies. Animals should never
be left in a car for extended periods of time.
5. Be prepared for everything! Pack toys, catnip, water and food bowls; tuck a litter box in the back seat and
be sure you have baggies and a scooper so you can clean it out. It’s also a good idea to pack water from home
to help prevent extra trouble with upset tummies. Remember! Traveling is a stressful experience for many
animals, it is likely they will have some tummy trouble.
Car Travel Tips
1. Feed your cat a few hours before leaving and then remove their food, this gives them a chance to eat but
help to avoid vomiting the car.
2. Pack a blanket from home, or some other special and soft item that your cat loves to
sleep on, into the carrier so they have something comforting and familiar to snuggle with while on the
3. Secure the carrier so that it will not move and place it so that your cat can see you while you drive.
4. Stop for breaks and allow your cat out to play and go potty. Try to co-ordinate your own stops and eating
times with the times you know your cat likes to eat. Keeping to a familiar schedule helps to provide a sense of
comfort for your kitty.
5. If you need to leave your cat in the car, do not let them roam free. Be sure you crack the windows a couple
of inches, but do not leave them in the car for extended periods of time. Just as with a child, cats are very
susceptible to hot and cold. A day can become dangerously hot or cold within minutes.
Air Travel Tips
1. Know the air travel policy of both the airline you are traveling and the country you are traveling if you
are flying internationally. Some countries will not allow pets entrance if they do not fly on specific
airlines. Airlines also have restrictions on how many stops you must make, what carrier you need, how many
animals and their own costs.
2. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar that has their name, your address (or new
address if moving), your telephone number or cell phone number, their microchip number and the name of your
destination printed clearly on it.
3. Speak to your airline about the best flights and layovers to plan for your animal. You will not want your
cat handled too often by strangers, nor do you want them sitting in a cargo hold on a hot summer day or snowy
winter day for extended periods of time.
4. Write on the carrier your name and destination. Invest in some big and bright LIVE ANIMAL stickers with
arrows that show which way the carrier should sit. It is also a good idea to tape a picture of your pet on the
carrier so that it can be identified on the off chance it gets loose.
5. Do not medicate your cat before air travel. Many airlines will not accept a cat that
has been sedated before flying. Most animals that die in flight are tranquilized.
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