Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Jenny
All products featured on the site are independently selected by the editor of Floppycats, Jenny Dean. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Floppycats also accepts private sponsorships and participates as an affiliate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. You can read our full disclosure at the bottom of the page.Traveling with cats can be like traveling with small children – except cats cannot even open their mouths and tell you what they want or need. Because of this, a road trip with cats requires some planning and preparation. In order to make sure you do everything you can to keep your kitties comfortable, check out these tips for how to travel with cats in a car long distance:
#1 In Case of EmergencyMake sure you have all information up to date and available in case of an emergency. Have your cats microchipped, and bring pictures of them, medical records, phone numbers, and information about any special needs. You attach this information right to their crates.
#2 Reduce Chances of EscapeCats can be extremely fast, especially if they are panicked, and families have lost kitties before because a scared cat bolted on a long trip. Many people keep their cats in crates for an entire trip, but if you choose to let yours roam free at any point, do it with the doors shut and locked and the windows open no more than an inch, and make sure they are securely in a crate anytime you decide to get out of the car.
#3 Arrangements for Cats in Cars for a Long TripThere are many different ways to set up your car when transporting cats. Some pet owners are comfortable letting their cats have the run of the backseat, maybe draping a blanket over the seats like a cave or using a cat hammock, but most transport cats in crates. Here are a few different types of crates to consider:
- Large, soft-sided dog crates
- A playpen in the back of a large car with seats down
- A homemade crate out of a solid base and chicken wire caging
- Large wire case with fleece bed
- Pop up carriers (like the ones used for shows)
#4 Preventing Anxiety and Car SicknessAnxiety and nausea might be a big concern for a lot of cat owners; here are some tips for preventing or treating these cat health issues:
- Take your kitties on “practice trips” around town to see how they do in the car and what they might need.
- Buy a CD of cat calming music (you can test some of these on YouTube to see what works for your cat).
- If they get carsick, you can give them 1/4 of an Original Pepcid. Be sure to chase it with a few swallows of water or food, since cats cannot dry-swallow and pills can get stuck in their throat and erode it.
- Get a mild sedative from the vet.
- Spritz a calming spray like Pet Remedy, Feliway, Richard’s Organics, or Rescue Remedy drops in the carrier a few hours before the trip.
- Try Jackson Galaxy Solutions, like Easy Traveler or Changing Times.