Tips For Success When Traveling With Your Cat

Traveling With Your Cat

With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be traveling to visit family and friends, and your cat may accompany you. According to, when traveling with your cat,  he can adapt well to riding in the car if he’s already comfortable with his carrier.

If you are uncertain about whether or not traveling with your cat will work, here are a few tips to boost chances for success before you depart:

Ensure Carrier Comfort

Make sure the carrier is sturdy and roomy enough so your cat can stand up and turn around as needed.

In the weeks before you leave, put the carrier in one of your cat’s favorite sleeping spots and remove its door (most doors on pet carriers can be removed for use in the home).

Line the bottom of the carrier with something they have slept on previously or simply use an article of your clothing that has been worn but not washed. You can, on occasion, place a little treat in the carrier in an effort to entice your cat to enter it.  Getting your cat accustomed to the carrier as a familiar, safe and comforting environment is key.

To make your cat feel more secure while riding in the carrier, place a towel over it while the car is in motion.  Some cats may like this; others may not; you will just have to experiment to see what works best for your cat

Don’t Allow Your Cat Free Rein In The Car

Obviously for safety reasons, do not allow your cat to freely roam the car while you are driving. Even a quick stop can propel him against the inside of the car. Further, he can distract the driver and cause a traffic accident.

Encourage Your Cat To Use Litterbox Before Leaving

Before leaving home, encourage your cat to take care of his business in the litter box by pouring fresh litter into it.  Some cats may go potty in their carriers just 10-20 minutes into the journey if they are not used to riding in the car.  If this is a concern, consider getting some absorbent puppy pads, which are disposable and can be placed in the bottom of the carrier for easy clean-up.

Use Caution During Rest Stops

When you make a rest stop to stretch your legs, be prepared to let your cat stretch his…. but put a leash on him for safety reasons before letting him out of the car.  Be sure to offer him a water and potty break, too.

Make sure his collar carries proper identification in the event he gets away from you.  While you don’t want to even consider losing your cat, be sure to have a current photo of your cat in the event he does become lost so you can quickly make a “lost cat” flyer.

Never leave your cat unattended in your car, either! He is a target for over-heating that way and is also a target for thieves.

Even if you have to get out of the car for a quick bathroom break or snack – even just five minutes – it may seem tempting and “ok” to leave your cat in the car alone…but please don’t!  Take him with you in his carrier.

Safe travels!  Hope you have a “purr-fect” trip!





Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.