05 Jul How to Travel with your Cat
Travelling with your cat is not something everyone takes into consideration, given how they tend to enjoy their own space more than anything us humans might want to do with them. However, cats are akin to humans; if they are comfortable, they blossom into wonderful travelling companions. If certain prerequisites are taken care of, travelling with your cat can be a soothing and smooth experience for the both of you. Here’s how you can do that.
Cat Transportation by Road
The enjoyment to be had during a road trip is directly proportional to your preparations; if you prefer well, it’ll be a fabulous experience. For your cat to travel comfortably, you need to teach them to be at ease for the duration of the journey. Since they will spend a good deal of time inside their crate, it is important to get your cat acclimated to it.
Keep their carrier out in the open, and reward them for interactions with it to make them welcomed and accustomed to it. Carry their favorite toys and treats in their crate, and sit in a stationary car so they can relax without the stress of traveling. Once they are comfortable in their crate, start by going on smaller journeys by car before embarking on a longer one. Positive reinforcement is the key here, so make sure to reward positive interactions with the crate and car via treats and pets.
Before embarking on a journey, it is also wise to plan your hotel/motel/refreshment stops accordingly. Make sure to check whether your accommodations are pet-friendly or not prior to making a booking. Calling a property is always advised to avoid a situation where you are denied a booking due to out-of- date information on their end. Make sure to also carry some dry food with you, in case the refreshments and catering services are not the best.
While stopping for bathroom breaks or fuel stops, it is crucial to ensure your cat is secure before opening any doors or windows and is leashed inside the car. Cats should not be allowed out of their crate for the time when you are on the road, as new sights and smells may overwhelm your pet in an unfamiliar setting, and an unrestrained cat in the open world is a nightmare.
Cat Transportation by Train
When travelling by train, you should always accompany your pet in a train carriage as their owner. If you cannot do this, make sure someone you trust can do the same. Depending on the train you choose, you may or may not have to book a whole compartment for yourselves. You should make provisions for their toilet breaks, food & water, and comfort needs.
As is the case with road travel, it is important to get your pet accustomed to a crate, as they will spend the majority of their time inside it. The same process follows; acclimation and positive reinforcement. While travelling, your pet will experience new sights, sounds, and smells, so it is your job as a pet parent to make sure they are safe and don’t hurt themselves. Social training is helpful and can help ease your cat into being comfortable in a train around strangers.
Cat Transportation by Air
Air travel is generally the most preferred method of travelling with a pet. This is primarily due to the shorter travel times when compared to the other two options, as well as the ability to cover huge distances. The next question you might ask is, given how safe it is, how can I carry my pet on a flight?
Flying with your pet is a risk-free process, provided you prepare appropriately. You need to schedule a visit to your vet before any flight. Your vet will conduct a routine checkup, and provide you with the two documents required for flying with a pet: the completed and stamped vaccination record (Also referred to as a pet passport), and the fit-to-fly certificate. Make sure to carry your original documents and a copy of each to ensure hassle-free travel; the same goes for your pet.
When flying your cat, you will have to choose an IATA-approved pet crate. You are only allowed to fly your pets in an IATA-approved fiber crate. Such a crate is designed specifically to be strong and sturdy on the ground and in a flight.
It is important to choose a pet-friendly airline. For pets to fly in the cargo hold safely, the hold must be temperature and pressure controlled. An animal travel company can verify if an airline has a good track record when it comes to transporting pets safely. If you are unsure about the documentation process or feel inconvenienced by the airline’s requirements, you can always choose a pet travel company to assist you with your relocation needs.