Posted on February 24 2022
Image Source: Unsplash
Do Cats Make Good Traveling Companions?
When most people think about traveling with a pet, visions of your dog with its head out the window, tongue wagging in the wind come to mind. Most dogs tend to make naturally great travel companions and don’t require a lot of extra work preparation.
Cats are different.
Unlike dogs, cats are more likely to have a hard time adapting to new situations and surroundings. If you’re a cat owner, we don’t have to tell you that an unhappy feline can make for an unhappy experience.
Does that mean you should avoid traveling with your cat altogether? Not necessarily. Let’s dive a little deeper into whether cats make good traveling companions, and what you can do to keep your cat safe and comfortable if they do end up traveling with you.
Why Bring Your Cat Along?
Cats might be different than dogs, but they’re still wonderful companions. For many cat owners, their four-legged friends are part of the family. It makes just as much sense that you’d want to bring your cat along on a trip as it does a dog. In doing so, you won’t have to worry about finding a pet sitter or leaving them alone. You won’t have to board them, saving you a lot of money. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can keep them safe along the way.
Bringing your cat along on your trip can also be beneficial to your overall well-being. Research suggests that cat owners are happier and less stressed. Having your cat around can provide a sense of calm, especially if you struggle with anxiety or depression.
Because traveling can be stressful, bringing your cat along can help you manage your symptoms and feel more confident throughout your trip. Even something as simple as holding or petting them can make a big difference in your stress levels. So, if you tend to struggle with long-distance travel and you know your cat can calm you down, it may be worth it to bring them along.
Crafting a Feline-Friendly Trip
If you decide to bring your cat along on your next trip, you’ll make it easier on yourself – and your feline friend – to prepare ahead of time. Some of the best preparation tips to ensure your cat stays safe and comfortable include
- Taking them to the vet for a check-up before traveling
- Having adequate space for them to move around in your car/RV
- Investing in a crate/carrier
- Packing their food and water, as well as toys and activities
It’s also a good idea to prepare your cat as much as possible. All cats have different personalities, and their species doesn’t make them automatically hate traveling. Try going on shorter trips, at first. Get your cat used to your car and pay attention to their energy and behaviors. Do they seem to like riding along? Or, do they look absolutely terrified? How they react will make it easier to determine if you should try heading out on longer trips.
Even if you do keep things short and quick, another preparation step is to know what to do in an emergency. Accidents and injuries can happen – even close to home. If you’re planning on regularly traveling with your feline friend, it may be worth it to invest in pet insurance that can help you manage costly vet bills if something happens to your cat during your travels.
The Importance of Safety
Even if it seems like your cat enjoys traveling, there are certain precautions you should always take to prioritize their safety on the road, including
- Making sure they’re kept in moderate temperatures
- Keeping them in a carrier in public places
- Securing them in the car before you open the door
- Ensuring they have their necessary food, water, and any medications
Your safety precautions can change depending on the type of trip you’re taking. For example, if you want to take your cat camping, keeping them away from certain insects and plants is important. You might also have to give them more water than usual to keep them from getting dehydrated. You wouldn’t go hiking or camping without drinking water or beverages with enough electrolytes. Don’t let your cat suffer from dehydration, either. If you notice they seem to have a loss of energy, sunken eyes, or start panting, they could be dehydrated and need something to drink immediately.
Do cats make good traveling companions? Ultimately, it depends on your cat’s personality. Some cats simply aren’t going to like getting in a car, RV, or even on a plane. Others might have a more “dog-like” nature and get excited about going somewhere. Pay attention to your cat’s behaviors, take baby steps in getting them used to travel, and don’t force the situation. It’s better to leave your cat at home than to make a trip miserable for both of you.