also want to get your kitty used
to wearing a harness and walking
on a leash. Some cats really enjoy
this, and it is a great way to let
kitty stretch his legs during a long
Take your cat to his veterinarian
for a checkup shortly before your
vacation. At that time, obtain a
set of his medical records to bring
along on your travels.
During the trip
While you’re driving or flying to
your vacation destination, feed
your cat only in the evenings,
after you finish traveling for the
day. This cuts down on potential
motion sickness issues, and it
shouldn’t hurt him to miss breakfast for a day or two. See that
your cat drinks water and stays
hydrated. Adding some herbal
calming essences to his water may
help him stay relaxed. Use of a
pheromone spray or plug-in while
at your evening resting place and
at your final destination may also
help keep kitty calm.
While traveling, keep the cat
carrier closed and secure at all
times. If you’re driving and need to
open the carrier to snap on a leash,
clean up a mess, or give kitty some
reassurance, do so with all the car
doors shut and locked and all the
windows rolled up to prevent an
accidental cat escape.
If you are flying, use an airline-approved carrier, and confirm with
your airline ahead of time that it
allows pets to travel aboard the
plane stowed under your seat.
Avoid putting your cat in the luggage area under the plane if at all
At your destination
Hurrah! You have finally arrived at
your vacation spot, and the hardest
part is over. It’s time to get your
cat acquainted with his new “home
away from home,” so he can begin
to enjoy his vacation.
Start by putting his carrier in a
small room, such as a bathroom,
to get him used to the new sights
and smells slowly without feeling
overwhelmed. Check for potential escape hazards, such as loose
screens and open windows or
doors. Encourage kitty to come out
of the carrier by speaking calmly
and offering some of his most
favorite goodies. Let him explore at
his own pace.
If you were able to pack some
of your cat’s own things, such as his
cat bed, toys, and cat dishes, this
can help him acclimate to his new
surroundings quicker. Things from
home already smell like him, providing him with a sense of security.
Offer him the same brand of cat
food you feed him at home, and if
your cat has a sensitive tummy, consider giving him bottled water or
using a filtered water pitcher.
It won’t take long before your
kitty is blissfully snoozing in your
lap, happy to be sharing this special time with you. Cats like to be
wherever you are. As long as you’re
together, that’s enough to make
your cat purr with joy.
Rita Reimers’ cat behavior counseling sessions have helped many kitties remain
happy in their forever homes. Visit her website, thecatanalyst.com, to learn
more about her services and to read her cat behavior blog. Rita is also owner/
CEO of Just For Cats Pet Sitting; justforcatspetsitting.com. Connect with Rita on
Facebook at The Cat Analyst, and on Twitter at @thecatanalyst.
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Have a burning behavior question
that you’d like answered in this
column? Send it to Rita at
(subject: New Cattitude Question).