There are times when we need to get kitty into the car! Annual vet checks, travelling to a barding cattery so you can go on holidays or moving house are some examples (http://www.capalabacatcottage.com

If you have a cat who likes to travel, you’re one of a few. For most of us, travelling with cats can be a stressful experience. However there are ways to help make them feel more calm and comfortable when travelling in a car.

The first thing to do if you need to get that cat carrier out and your cat does not like it or runs and hides when he sees it, (thinking they are going to the vet), is to find kitty and keep him closed in a room so he cannot run away. THEN when you know where he is, get that cat carrier out!

A good tip to actually get your cat to enjoy the carrier is to leave it available for him, with a blanket in there in ‘normal’ times and so he can go in and out without getting in the car. That way, when you need to use the crate, it is not such a scary experience. They can then sniff it out on their terms, so it’s nice and familiar when you’re ready to go. Try adding soft bedding and their favourite toys, and they may even claim it as a new napping spot.

Also, buy a good a quality carrier, one that is safe, sturdy and comfortable. Ensure it’s big enough for your cat to stand up in and with plenty of airflow. Some cats like to see out so a wired topped one is a good choice. To deter escape artists, check the door can be closed quickly. And if the carrier is an open wire style, place a light throw on top to create a sense of sanctuary if need be. While you’re driving, ensure you keep the carrier secure so it doesn’t slide around and putting a seat belt around it is a good thing. Please note as well that there are hefty fines for travelling with pets that are not restrained.

Spray calming pheromones or play Pet Tunes. These products are designed to calm cats in many situations. Designed specifically to reduce anxiety in pets, a pheromone spray like Feliway can help your cat relax. Simply spray the inside of your cat carrier on the top, bottom and each corner at least 15 minutes before travelling. Learn more about Feliway Spray. Another fabulous product is ‘’Pet Tunes’’ This little music box is proven to calm cats and help with anxiety.

Please hold off feeding your cat before travelling in the car as some cats on a  full tummy can get travel sickness, so avoid giving your favourite feline a meal within six hours of travelling, If you’re going a long way, fresh water and a few dry biscuits should tide them over.

Reassure your cat. While the car may be unfamiliar territory for your cat, your voice will be music to their ears. So reassure them with calming words, to let them know you’re right by their side. Avoid loud sounds and loud radio music.

Practice and train! It is a good idea that you train your cat from a young age to  use the travel crate and get used to the car. Take them on short trips, even around the block every now and then and by time you need to get kitty in the crate it will be a ‘pawesome’ experience.