Traveling With Cats: Essentials For Road Tripping

The number of people traveling with cats continues to increase.  Not all cats are up for it, though.  To be a good road tripper, your cat should be good-tempered, adapt well to changes, in good health and sociable. Riding in the car can be very scary for a cat that isn’t used to it, so start slowly, taking short trips in the car with him. This will get him used to riding and reduce his stress level.

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traveling with cats



Pack enough of his regular food and treats to last the entire trip.  Changing food during a trip can cause digestive problems and put a real damper on the trip for him……and you.

For cats eating canned food, check to see if the cans have pop tops.  If not, be sure to pack a can opener. In the event your cat won’t be eating the entire can of food, have tops handy to keep leftovers fresh.  A cooler with ice is also a good idea to keep food leftovers from spoiling.

Include bowls for food and water.  Be sure to have plenty of water on hand for both you and your cat.

Litter Box, Litter, Scoop and Disposal Bags

Use the same litter your cat is uses at home.  If possible, bring a covered box to prevent tracking of litter but make sure your cat will be okay using it.  Pack a litter scoop and disposal bags for used litter.

Disposable litter boxes are another option to check out if a covered box won’t work.


If your cat has some favorite toys, be sure he packs those.  Does he like catnip?  If so, sneak a packet of it in his bag for a special treat while on the road.


Pheromone spray or other preferred relaxant. Travel can be stressful, even for the most relaxed cat and human.  Pack a travel size of Pheromone spray such as Feliway, relaxant chews, or other relaxant that works best for your cat.


If you’ll be staying in a hotel/motel once you reach your destination, pack a scratching post/scratcher so your cat will scratch the post/scratcher and not the hotel’s furnishings.

Harness and Leash

If your cat likes to do some outdoor exploration during the trip, be sure he wears a harness.  This may take some time getting him used to wearing it, but be sure he’s comfortable with the harness before leaving on your trip.  Put the harness on before taking him outside, carry him and hold the leash securely.

First Aid Kit

A pet first aid kit can come in very handy, especially if you will be exploring outdoors with your cat during the trip. If your cat takes medications, pack enough for the entire trip.

Pet Identification

Make sure your cat wears a collar with identification tags that contain your contact information in the event he get lost.  Have recent pictures of your cat available on your phone.

Pet’s Medical Records

In the event your pet is injured during your trip, having his records available can be a great help to the vet you visit.

General Points To Remember When Traveling with Cats

Make hotel/motel reservations in advance. Although the number of pet friendly hotels/motels is increasing, not all are pet friendly and you don’t want to be left with no place to stay at the end of your travel day.

While riding, always be sure your cat is restrained, not roaming freely in the car.  I highly recommend the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed.  This carrier is very well made, and meets the same safety standards as baby car seats.  Not only does the Sleepypod function as a carrier, it can also serve as your cat’s bed during the trip.

With a little prep and planning, traveling with cats can be fun.  Bon voyage! Have you taken a road trip with your cat?  If so, leave us a comment and let us know how it went.  We’d love to hear from you!











Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.