Travel safe with kitty

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If you are going on a vacation with your cat or just going from one place to another with your kitty, here are a few tips to follow to make travelling easier for both you and your kitty.

  • Cats travel well by car if conditioned to it in advance of long trips. So, take your cat on regular short trips well in advance of a long journey. Accustom your cat to sleeping in her carrier at home for a few hours at a time well before departure and on a regular basis for several weeks. She will become used to the carrier and by increasing the length of your trial trips most cats will be adjusted to the confinement by the time you are ready to leave on your journey.
  • It is important to make sure that your cat will be welcome everywhere you plan to stop – whether this is at a  friend’s home or in a motel or hotel. Always check it ahead before planning your trip.
  • Update your cat’s vaccination shots to avoid any unnecessary risks while you are away. For some cats who are a little nervous, consult your veterinarian.
  • Never allow your cat to travel free in your car–they must be put in their carrier. Frightened cats invariably head straight for the foot pedals and thus can create an accident.
  • It is wise to use the seat belt to secure the carrier so it does not move. Make sure you have good identification tags on the carrier and keep your veterinarian’s name and phone number handy in case of emergency.
  • It is extremely wise to have a harness for your cat so that you can let her out of the carrier for short periods to stretch her legs during rest stops. Get the cat well used to the harness long before you leave home.
  • It is also wise to use a blanket in the base of the carrier that the cat is used to so she feels familiar with it and include a small toy for her to play with if she feels like it.
  • Always take a supply of the cat’s regular food and plenty of water. A large thermos full of ice cubes is a plus when the weather is warm.
  • Pack separate dishes for food and water, a litter pan, litter scooper along with litter disposable bags.
  • If you plan to fly, then use a sturdy crate with a solid base so the cat is comfortable when sitting on her blanket or cushion. Make sure you have a strap to secure the cage door from opening.
  • If you make sure you have provided for every comfort during your cat’s journey, then your trip should be trouble free and your kitty will enjoy it too. So, happy travelling!

(Joan Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and
New Zealand.)

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