3 Things to Do Before Embarking on a Road Trip with Your Cat
Whether you’re moving or embarking on a long car ride, experts advise following these safety precautions before you head out on the open road.
Cats love familiar routines, which is why traveling in a vehicle can be confusing and stressful for our feline friends. Don’t get me wrong—some cats can slowly become acclimated and end up loving car trips, but most cats don’t enjoy traveling. It can stress them out.
1. Invest in a safe carrier.
Above all else, purchase a well-ventilated carrier for your feline friend. Securing your pet in a carrier keeps them safe while the vehicle is in motion and this makes the trip less stressful for you both. “It is extremely dangerous to have a cat running around loose in the car,” explains Dr. Lee. “And in fact, in some states, it may be illegal to allow a pet to roam in the car, so always make sure to keep them secure and safe!
2. Pack the right necessities.
Cats that have medical issues may need special preparations prior to the long trip. Before leaving, ask if your veterinarian can prescribe aids for calming anxiety or treating motion sickness. “There are really safe prescription anti-anxiety medications called trazodone or gabapentin. Simply giving a dose two to three hours before the stressful event—and even the night before—will help keep your cat happy and stress-free,” Dr. Lee says. “Note if your cat drools a lot during car rides, [as] that may be a sign of motion sickness.
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3. Prepare for any emergencies.
You also need to prepare for potential emergencies. “I recommend having your veterinarian’s information along with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center number (888-426-4435), and an emergency veterinarian’s phone number pre-programmed into your cell phone,” says Dr. Lee. “In addition, I always advise that pet parents have health insurance for their fur-babies and that they check with their animal’s insurance company before traveling to understand whether any coverage restrictions may apply.”
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