I'm sure that some are like Whoa! You travel with 5 cats on semi long distance!?! I would've been right there with you 30 years ago before my first cat crossed the 🌈 Bridge 🌉. Taking her to the vet required some anxiety meds for all involved! Help us all if Tabby got under the car seat...several more hours coaxing her out from under the seat! Sound familiar?
Like many who have traveled with cats, my first BIG LONG (14 Hours, we moved across 5 states) I had no choice....pets are family & I had snagged my dream job in the Sunshine State so packed all of us up, 2 never before traveled outside of going to the vet 20 lbs + neutered Maine Coons that were respectfully 7 & 8 years old. Diamond, my first black cat and Maine Coon WHALED & YEOWLED so bad he literally lost his voice and couldn't meow. I traveled at least once a month back to Tennessee to see my family and while I had friends that loved my cats and enjoyed looking out for them while i was away....I missed my boys and I had that SPECIAL BOND with Diamond like I do with Smudgie the Black Cat now.
Tip No. One: ALWAYS ALWAYS have a litterbox in the car! It can be a disposable tray or regular litterbox. We like to plan our stops when traveling as most of you do too so it made sense what if my cat has to potty while I'm driving. He/She wants the comfort of knowing hey here's my litterbox I don't have to go potty on myself and wear it in this cage all day. (At least that's the looks of the thoughts of my boys) Smudgie loves to travel but regardless within the first 30 minutes of going anywhere....he has to poop! After that he's all good.
Tip No Two: Bring MANY EXTRA TREATS & TOYS! This is a fun out of their comfort zone of home so many positive behavior treats and toys to entertain themselves and have healthy exercise while batting, jumping, kicking, swatting and playing fetch! Yes our kitty friends play fetch just like dogs. This has been the KEY to being able to train any cat before age 10 and have it be a positive experience. Lucky and Smudgie love the fact they have their toys from home with their scent and their FAVORITE TREATS (Another key is variety in treats if your cat likes dried protein treats, lickable treats, crunchie treats, or meaty sticks have as many and a variety on hand)
We love packing our FAV outfits, shoes, snacks and our kitties are family so bring plenty of their FAV Treats & Toys for them.
Tip No. Three : Never leave your kitty in the pet carrier for extended times. Even if your furbaby decides they want to stay in their pet carrier, at least open it and give them the option to explore especially if long than an hour ride.
Tip No. Four: Bring your Cat's favorite bed or blanket for them to sleep. I know I take my own pillows when traveling so having my kitties comfy in their own beds was a no brainer.
Are you starting to see the benefits of utilizing these training tips when traveling with cats? Trust me, Diamond was 8 years old when he started traveling and in 7 years, he became an old pro and would simply lay next to me as we journeyed back to see our family. Ideally you would begin your cat's car training as a kitten but any age will work.
When you stop for a potty break, stretch your legs break, make sure to have a quick snuggle and hold your cat in a comfortable position and let them view all the new things while in the safety cradle of your grasp. They will begin to relax, watch the people, birds, squirrels or little bugs that cats love to stalk.