Traveling With Your Cat Made Easy

Many people choose not to travel with their cats because it is very stressful for the owner. The cat meows and screams for the whole way and drives you up a wall. What if we told you that traveling with your cat doesn’t have to be stressful at all! There are ways to make both you and your cat happy while traveling.

A calm and enjoyable trip with your cat starts at home. Almost everyone stores their cat carrier in a closet or the garage and only takes it out when its time for a trip (which to a cat is very stressful). Many cats then come to associate the carrier to danger since it is always new to them. Storing the carrier in an area that the cat can see and have access whenever they want will help reduce the stress, they feel just from seeing the carrier.

Spending some time getting the cat comfortable with the carrier will help with future travel and eliminate the struggle to get your cat into the carrier. Treats are your friend when getting your cat used to a carrier. Placing some tasty treats in the carrier for the cat to find throughout the day will help kitty feel like the carrier is a happy place to be. If treats are not your cat’s thing you can also feed your cat their normal meals in the carrier. I started off by feeding just in front of the carrier and then slowly started to move the bowl inside the carrier when my cats became more comfortable.  Some cats need to start with the top of the carrier off and some really like the small dark area to have some privacy. Whether you start with the top on or off will depend on your cat’s preference. Once your cat will happily lay in the carrier you can start to close the door for a few minutes. The length of time with the door closed can slowly be extended if Kitty is still comfortable. Videos of how to get your cat comfortable with the carrier can be found at

Having Feliway (a pheromone that helps to reduce stress in cats) in the carrier or on a blanket overtop of the carrier can also help decrease stress for your cat. Having a blanket over the carrier helps to minimize visual stimulation and motion sickness while moving the carrier and in the car.  If your cat tends to drool or vomit in the carrier during trips talk to your veterinarian. Veterinarians can prescribe medications to help with motion sickness if it is needed for your cats’ comfort.

The carrier being stable and not sliding around in the car is also a good way to help your cat feel more comfortable when traveling.  The safest most stable place for the carrier is on the floor between the front and back seat. If your cat really likes the treats, you have been training with you can feed those during the trip as well as long as your cat is not feeling motion sick.

If your cat is very averse to going into the carrier it can be hard to retrain them. It is easiest to start with a calm and relaxed cat so temporarily your veterinarian can prescribe medications that have been proven to reduce stress in cats while you start the reacclimating process. With the medications on board, you can start the process of reintroducing your cat to the carrier using the process above. Feliway is also a good tool to use during the retraining process as well.

It can take months for a cat to be fully comfortable with the carrier and traveling but the benefits are huge. The training can be a perfect bonding experience between you and your cat, and the time commitment is a few minutes twice a day. Enjoy traveling with your kitty and showing them the sights.