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How to Road Trip with Cats

This time of year here in Florida, many of our wonderful snowbird friends are driving back up to their northern homes with their cats. Some of you have been doing this for years but for those of you who have maybe adopted new kitties here and now need to drive with them, here are a few tips for keeping your road trip from becoming a Cat-tasophe.

First, you want them to be comfortable in their carrier. To do this, you make it part of your house and furniture and create a fun space within it for them to play and nap. Take the do

or off of a large carrier that is big enough for the cat to stand up and turn around inside. Put a fluffy blanket and toys inside and spend some time playing with your cats near or in and out of the carrier so they are super comfortable with it. This process could take a month or so.

The next step is to take your fur kids for a short drive. The general rule for travelling with your cats is no more than 2 cats per carrier. If you put both of your cats in a carrier then it ne eds to be extra large so be sure that they have plenty of room to move around.  Load them in the carrier(s) and secure them in the car. Be sure that the carriers cannot slide around. Take a 10 minute drive to nowhere and then unload them back in the house and reward them with healthy treats. Repeat as often as you can and extend the drive time for up to a hour if possible.

Also teach the cats to wear a harness at home the same time you’re playing with them around the travel crate. It takes a while for them to get used to wearing a harness but it will come in handy if you have to transfer them to a different carrier mid-trip. Always transfer your fur kids inside the car with the doors closed to prevent any escapes. The harness will give you an easy way to grab and move your cats easily from carrier to carrier.

Pre-Trip Check List

  1. Trim all toenails

  2. Check carriers-tighten connecting bolts and test door closing mechanism

  3. Spray carriers and bedding with calming spray 3 hours before the trip

  4. Bring a spare carrier in case of diarrhea or urine accident

  5. Bring water, litter pan, bag of litter, litter scoop, food, treats, toys, paper towels, wet wipes and small trash bags

  6. Have your cats microchipped and registered

  7. Be sure they are up to date on vaccinations


Have fun training your fur kids to be comfortable in their carriers and on road trips. Your kitties will thank you for the training and you will be grateful for the quiet,safe, and smooth trip!



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