Karingal Vet Hospital

328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

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Top Tips for Car Travel with Cats

Posted on: Jan 27 2023

Having the ability to take your cat on long car rides, holidays or even short trips to the vet, requires your cat to be relaxed and comfortable in the car. If not, an enjoyable holiday can quickly turn into a stressful adventure.

Here are our top tips for car travel with cats.

Car Travel with CatsImage Source

Always Prepare

Spend time to prepare your cat for car travel. This means introducing your cat to the cat carrier and the car prior to the trip by following some simple steps.

  • Let them explore the cat carrier while inside the house and fill it with familiar toys and bedding
  • Once they are comfortable in the carrier move onto the car
  • Sit inside the car with your cat, close the door and let them sniff and explore it
  • Once your cat is familiar with the car, it is time to take them in their carrier on a short trip
  • Extend these trip bit by bit until you are confident your cat is comfortable.

Preparation is the key to a successful road trip that is enjoyable for you and your cat.

Get Help from your Vet

If your cat is not adjusting to the carrier and the car you may want to talk to your vet about treatment for anxiety or motion sickness. There are a range of natural supplements that can relax and soothe your cat for the length of the car ride.

Provide Food and Water

Provide your cat with food and water before you head off on your trip and allow time for them to use the litterbox before you leave. Keep fresh water on hand during the trip so you can make sure your cat is hydrated.

Plan Regular Stops

Map out regular stops throughout your trip to ensure that you have sufficient stops for your cat along the way. Aim for a stop every 2–3 hours. A leash for your cat may come in handy during stops so you can let your fury friend stretch their legs.

ICar Travel with CatsImage Source

Check Your Cat’s ID is Current

Cat’s can get spooked easily when they are in unfamiliar locations, so it is important that your cat is microchipped and always wearing a collar with your contact details.

It’s a good idea to bring your vet’s information with you in case of an emergency.

Bring Toys to Occupy Your Cat

Bringing toys and treats on your road trip will ensure that your cat will be occupied for some of the journey. Try to bring a mix of new and old toys. Old toys will offer them something familiar to play with and new toys will provide them with a new, stimulating toy.

Make It Feel Like Home

Cats can feel homesick too, but by making the cat carrier feel a little more like home, it can help with your cat’s stress and anxiety. Add items from your home like old bedding or a blanket. These small additions to the cat carrier will help your cat get through the ride with minimal stress.

Drive Safely

Driving safely is a given, however you also need to consider loud music and how sudden stopping and turning can impact your cat’s journey. Play music that is calm and make sure you remember to speak to you cat so they can hear your voice to help comfort them.

Karingal Vet Hospital – Car Travel with Cats

Remember your cat may respond poorly to car travel, however it is important to make sure you take the appropriate steps to help they stay stress-free. Contact the friendly staff at Karingal Vet Hospital if you have any questions about car travel with cats or for your cat’s annual health check.

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328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 6 days a week.

Our hours are

- 8am-6pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- Closed on Sundays,

* We are closed on public holidays.