If you want to travel with your cat, you need to take the needed precautions. Traveling can be arduous for cats, especially long trips in a car. If you are traveling during the warm summer months, you need to be especially careful when traveling with your cat due to the added potential problem of the heat.
The first thing you need to do if you’re going to travel with your cat is to take your cat in for a check up with your vet. Get a health certificate, so vets and government officials in other states and countries will know the health status of your pet. You should do this a few days or a week before your trip.
A couple days before you embark, make sure you have a suitable carrier for your cat. You want a carrier that has ample room for your pet to move around and lie down in, and you want one that has plenty of space for air to circulate.
You’ll want to put your cat in the carrier for short periods of time in your home in the days immediately prior to your trip, so your cat can get used to the carrier. Carriers can be a source of stress for cats, and the more preparation you can give them prior to the trip, the better.
It’s important for you to have a carrier for your cat during the trip rather than just relying on someone to hold your cat or for it to sit on a piece of newspaper or cardboard. It needs a place it can feel safe and secure and has room it can lie down on. And do you really expect someone to hold the cat for the entire trip?
Make sure you have a collar and appropriate identification for your cat, as well. You want your cat to have an I.D. that will show people who the cat belongs to and how to get ahold of you, if the cat is lost.
Make sure you have plenty of fresh water and cat food for the trip. You want to give the cat water frequently throughout the trip. You should only feed the cat during the evening hours after you’re done traveling for the day. That way it can defecate when it’s most convenient for you, after you’re settled and out of your car for the day.
If you’re traveling in the summer, you need to pay particularly close attention to the health of your cat. The air conditioner is great to use when driving the car. And that works fine to keep your cat cooled properly. But once you shut off your car–even if it’s just for a minute or two–you need to make sure there is plenty of circulated cool air for your cat.
If you return and you find your cat panting, you need to be sure to give your cat plenty of water. Put a pack of ice on its head and pull its tongue out so it won’t choke on its own tongue. If you find it staggering or gasping for air, this is not a good sign. You should find a vet immediately.