Most common house cats are creatures of habit, that become anxious when they’re put in an unfamiliar situation. This is why traveling with your cat can present problems, if you don’t properly prepare her. If traveling is not a common occurrence, your cat can become stressed out from the unpredictability. When things become too unpredictable, anxious behavior can be triggered. A few symptoms of anxiety are:
(outside The Box)
However, it is possible for your cat’s anxiety to be minimized while traveling. With consideration to certain details and proper preparation, reducing your cat’s travel anxiety, can become a simple routine that’s easy to keep. So, let’s take a closer look at “How To Travel With An Anxious Cat.”
When preparing to go on a long trip with your cat, a good place to start is by getting a cat carrier ready. Most of the time, it’s best for cats—and everyone else—that they are carried in a carrier while traveling. Most travel services require it—bus, train or airplane companies—because of how safely it contains your kitty. However, it can also be used as a snug hide away, for your cat to calmly relax inside.
If she’s never been inside a cat carrier, then it’s probably a good idea to buy one prior to your trip. This will give her the chance to get used to it. Put it in her favorite room, in a place where she normally nest. Leave the door open, with her favorite blanket inside. Also, consider placing treats and toys inside and around it.
It’s important not to force her in the carrier, but to let her discover and enter it at her leisure. When she feels more secure about sitting in the carrier, practice closing the door with her inside. Do this in short sessions, gradually lengthening the time with each session. After a while, she’ll see the carrier as a safe space in which to relax.
Another way to coax your cat to comfortably use her carrier, is to spray calming pheromones onto the blanket that you placed inside. Pheromones are chemicals that cats use to communicate with each other.
Calming pheromones that have been scientifically replicated, communicate familiarity and relaxation. These pheromones are available in sprays and plug-in diffusers.
When you spray your cat’s blanket with calming pheromones and then place the blanket inside the carrier, you ideally are conveying a sense of familiarity. This technique can help your cat get comfortably accustomed to her carrier, while reducing her anxiety.
Certain herbal remedies can not only relax most pets, but also help them nap. For example valerian is a sedative that humans also take to help them sleep at night. When administered to cats, it can help them be more submissive as well as help them get some shut eye.
Another tip to consider is giving your cat a little catnip prior to the trip. At first, it may excite her, but after she comes down from her high, she’ll be relaxed.
Cat owners have also had success with Bach Rescue Remedy. It’s a flower essence remedy designed to balance your pet’s nervous system.
If you do decide to use an herbal remedy, be sure to consult a veterinarian to help you decide on the best choice for your cat. It would also be worth your time to look at the ASPCA’s complete listing of non-toxic and toxic plants/herbs for cats.
The Day Of The Trip
On the day of the trip—prior to leaving—play with your cat more than usual, so that it will be easier for her to relax while traveling. However, it would be ideal to keep her awake while going from place to place. It may be disconcerting, if she wakes up in the car while it’s in motion.
- Through out the trip, make sure to talk to your cat in low, reassuring tones, so that she feels comfortable and safe.
- Try not to take her out of the cat carrier, especially since it will become her safe haven. Be sure to keep it as stable and level as possible.
- If your cat is calmer in the dark, consider draping a piece of breathable fabric over the carrier, to keep light from getting inside.
- She may meow or pant during the move, this should be fine.
- When you’ve reached the place that you’re traveling to, find a safe space to open the cat carrier—this is usually a hotel room. However, be sure to put out a litter box and some water. Spend time with her, while you’re getting settled in your new environment.
- Consider waiting until she’s comfortable, before you unpack.
- Also, make sure to secure all the exits. Cats like to survey the area of a new setting, so take care to make sure she doesn’t escape or get lost.
In conclusion, it’s perfectly understandable if your cat is a little jittery about traveling. Most cats don’t care for change and like their environment to stay as predictable as possible. However, traveling doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking experience for your cat. If you take the time to prepare prior to the day of the trip and provide her with the right amount of attention, your trip should go smoothly. Hopefully, the above tips are helpful in showing you “How To Travel With An Anxious Cat.” Thanks for reading.