15 Cat Tips: How To Help Your Cat Take A Long Ride

We always love to take our cats with us on all our adventures like a nice walk in the park, a little hunting in the woods, or even on a road trip. An exciting idea it is, but we also must never ignore the possible things to happen even in one brief ride. Road trips are fun for humans, but we all know most cats hate car rides – and your cat could be one of them.

Make A Good Preparation
Traveling with cats in a car long distances could be pretty tough for you and most especially, for your cat. Cats hate being transported from one place to another, and if they noticed a different environment around them, they tend to scamper away or develop stress – which you should prevent from happening. So, things must be put in the proper place before you hit the road.

15 Cat Tips: How To Help Your Cat Take A Long Ride

If you’ve never happened to take your cat on a road trip before, there are a lot of things you must learn to make it a smooth and pleasing ride for your cat. Below are some tips that can help you out:

Things To Bring

  1. Cat Carrier
    – It is highly advised to put your cat inside a carrier while traveling. This will help her stay intact inside your car and prevent her from running wild or uneasy, especially at fast-changing sights around or sudden encounters with other people. Your carrier must be clean and spacious also so that your cat feels comfortable and relaxed all the way through.
  2. Food & Water
    Always bring along your cat’s food and clean water as you go on both short and long car trips. It may be advised to bring dry food to prevent messes inside your car as your cat eats, but always follow it with clean water to provide her proper hydration and prevent choking from the dry pellets.
  3. Pet Kit
    – It is always important to bring along your pet essentials while taking your cat with you on a road trip. This includes your cat’s medications and Feliway – a special spray that produces relaxing pheromones that can help your cat stay calm. You can also bring some catnip, but catnips tend to have different effects on cats. It is better to have studied your cat’s behavior or reaction to herbs before giving her some.
  4. Litter Box
    – Sure it is unlikely to bring your cat’s litter box inside your car, but you can bring some disposable litter boxes to be discarded after use. Or you can bring a small litter tray and a scoop that is familiar to your cat so you can clean it every time when used up.
  5. Leash and Harness
    – It’s good to put on harnesses and leashes on your car to keep her with you at all times, especially as you take her out of the car during your breaks. This will prevent her from running farther or escaping especially when she notices a different place around. And of course, there’s nothing better than keeping her intact and warm in your arms.
  6. Toys, Beddings, & Accessories
    – To help your cat feel pleasant while you’re on travel with her, try bringing in some of her toys, bedding, and a few accessories familiar to her. You may put them inside the carrier, or near it. It helps your cat feel at home and amuses her, thus decreasing the chances of stress as a result of long traveling hours.

Pre-trip Preparation

  1. Consult The Vet
    – Before hitting the road, ask for consultations from your vet on whether your cat is capable of taking long rides or not. Some cat breeds tend to be highly cautious around their environment and they suffer from too much stress – which is not good for your cat as well. In addition, your vet may give some advice or medications to help aid stress or motion sickness while traveling with your cat, especially long distances.
  1. Help Your Cat Be Familiar With Your Car
    – Early days or weeks before the road trip, try placing your cat inside your car. Let her stay for a few minutes. Let her be acquainted with the car’s smell, sights, sound, and the whole environment. If your cat tends to be hesitant to be put inside, try placing some of her usual toys and beddings so she can sense a familiar smell, and help her feel at ease while inside your car.
  1. Practice Short Car Rides With Your Cat
    – If you’ve never taken your cat with you on a road trip or travel before, expect your trip to be hard. But it helps when you take her on car ride tryouts in short distances early weeks before the final trip. Train her to adapt to the fast transition of sights around her since she will be encountering a lot of them on the day of travel. (This is best when you start at kittenhood, some problems may arise when you take an adult cat for the first time on a road trip.)

Day of Travel

  1. Put On Identifiable Tags And Collars
    – Place proper identification on your cat as the day of your road trip finally arrives. Secure tags with her name and your name indicated, or even a microchip. This helps track lost pets that unfortunately escaped or scampered due to shock or stress during long car rides. But bringing some of your cat essentials could help prevent her from running off.
  1. Secure Access To Air
    – NEVER place your cat or the cat carrier in the boot of your car. As much as you hate being kept in dark, tight places, your cat hates them even more. You can put the carrier in the backseat. See that your cat’s inhaling enough oxygen to avoid suffocation. You can also open your windshield sometimes to let in some cool, fresh air.
  1. Drive Safely
    – A safe drive is tantamount to having an enjoyable, all-fun trip you and your cat would surely remember for all time. Avoid overspeeding on the road to avoid unfortunate accidents. Also, having a smooth drive will make the trip even more pleasant for your cat.
  1. Take Pit Stops
    – Take frequent breaks or a short stop during your trip. It allows your cat to eat her food properly and report to her litter box. Expect some little messes, so stopping at times will give you time to clean up and dispose of used bags and other trash.
  1. Observe Stress
    – Always take some time to see your cat’s condition. Check if she’s calm, or feeling uneasy or restless. Some physical behaviors should not be ignored as they tell serious conditions your cat may be suffering from. If you sense your cat misbehaving for attention, like constant meows and turning, she may be bored inside the carrier or nature is calling. Try putting her on your lap sometimes, or take a brief stop.
  1. Don’t Leave Your Cat Alone In The Car
    – Lastly, whenever you take some breaks, DON’T leave your cat alone, especially in a closed car. But if you’re in a hurry to just grab some snacks from the local convenience store, have someone stay inside your car and keep your cat inside the carrier. Open the windows to let in some air.

Enjoy the Ride

Things may get hard and pretty messy when you travel with a cat in a car. But keeping this kind of companion makes the trip even more exciting and unforgettable. Making early preparations is a great help and of course, remember safety precautions to keep a smooth ride all throughout.

Advice for Long Travels

Some tips may only apply for a short ride or land travel only, but if you’re about to take on long and faraway travels, you can always opt for having cat travel escorts to make things easier for you and your cat. Or if there’s a need to travel alone without your beloved kitty, there is the best cat care in San Francisco which you can always count on. At Mission Cats, we have staff who are passionate about pet sitting, pet walking, and taking care of your cat while you’re away. Giving the best for your cat is always a thing we never get tired of.


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