Travels or car rides with cats can be pretty daunting as you aren’t sure how your little feline will react. Most of the time your cat will end up getting stressed, anxious and may start to behave aggressively with excessive vocalizations and scratching.
These tips will help to calm the cat down and soothe their anxiety while traveling.
1. Create A Comfortable and Safe Area Within The Car.
When introducing something new to your cats routine, it’s always stressful and very nerve wracking as you aren’t sure how your cat will react. Therefore you want to try and create a comfortable, safe and well ventilated area within the car, with the carrier firmly positioned on the seat.
You should get a good cat carrier which is suitable for travels, while also being strong enough to protect the cat in case of impact. Take a look at our list of cat carriers of 2020 to help you when deciding.
If it’s your cats first time traveling in a car, try and include some toys and things that your cat is familiar with, this will provide a sense of relaxation as your cat will able to identify with these objects.
2. Practice And Preparation.
Almost every cat owner will tell you that their cat can be troublesome when traveling. This isn’t because cats hate to travel but because they are not used to it. Cats are different from other pets, they like routine. Anything either than routine and your cat will behave strangely and may become aggressive.
A simple way to prevent the panting and meowing in the car is to practice. You need to allow some time for your cat to get used to the car to a point that they see no danger in it but rather are familiarized with it.
- First, I suggest you let the cat go inside the car. Let your feline roam about being inquisitive. This time will allow the cat to adapt to the change in scenery.
- Turn on the music, softly while also starting the ignition. This will get the cat used to the different sounds and vibrations of sitting inside a car.
- Start with small rides around the neighborhood and observe your cats reaction. You will find as time passes with enough practice your feline will ease up a little.
- Repetition is what really works in assisting your cat to adapt to traveling. However some cats may be more difficult than others and might need more training.
3. Calming Sprays and Natural Calmers
Like with humans every cat have a different personality and character. While some cats may be more adventurous and playful some are really fearful and docile. Normally cats that are sensitive get affected the most by the change in routines and surroundings.
In these character of cats, practice may help but you need to use another method to bring about the same results. Calming sprays and natural herbs work very well to soothe anxiety and relieve stress.
These sprays and natural calmers contain pheromones that help to provide a sense of safety and well-being. The aim is to bring the cat to a pleasant state of comfort by tricking their sense of smell.
Products that can be used are
- calming sprays
- pheromone wipes
- calming collars
- natural herbs like catnip and chamomile.
- pheromone drops.
- Or you could try melatonin which is a good alternative.
4. Give Your Cat Assurance.
Cats are phenomenal creatures in general as they can do anything under the sun if their owner is with them. Some time ago I read an article of a girl on instragram who decided to tour the world on a boat with her cat. Her cat didn’t like the idea of living in a boat but because her feline is so attached to her, the cat adapted and got used to that lifestyle.
Your cat mostly seeks for your assurance. Unfamiliar surroundings and strange occurrences can easily freak your cat out. A car ride can also be just as stressful for your little fur companion, therefore keep the communication going, speak to your pet with subtle warm words.
Cats are also triggered by touch, a soothing stroke on her back can greatly help your fur baby stay sane in difficult situations. If it’s your cats first travel make sure you are close by or even carry your cat to provide that extra level of comfort and safety.
5. Cats First Time Car Travels, What You Need to know.
For cats that are traveling for the first time, I always suggest that your prepare for everything. Since you not sure how your cat will react or if your cat have motion sickness.
Carry extra supplies and motion sickness meds. You also want to include
- disposable bags
- pet diapers
- calming sprays
- enough food and water
- litter box
I also recommend that you carry the cat on your lap. First time experiences can be daunting so you want to give enough support and comfort. This way isn’t very safe so a good pouch will work, provided your are strapped on and secure.
6. Calming Collars and Jackets
Anxity jackets are a good way to keep cats calm. The jacket is designed in a way to hug the body of a cat providing constant yet gentle pressure. The pressure brings about a calming effect which works well on most cats. This practice of compression is hits certain pressure points on the cats body making them feel safe and secure.
A calming collar contains pheromones which diffuses into the cats nasal cavity to bring about a soothing effect. These phenomens are scientifically creatures to mimic the natural pheromones of the cat.
The cat will be left feeling calm, relaxed and at ease.
When shopping for a calming cat collar, there are a number of factors to consider. First and foremost, think of your cat’s safety. The collar needs to be made from non-toxic materials that must be strong but not rigid. The collar must also be adjustable to comfortably fit around your cat’s neck.
Avoid anything that contains ingredients harmful to cats and make sure the product is safe for your cat’s size and age. You want to choose something more natural with the same calming properties.
7. Tag along your Cats Favourite Toy.
While car rides are stressful regardless try to lighten up your cats mood by carrying familiar objects and toys. Don’t buy new toys rather carry the old ones as your cat is used to it and may pick up on the smell that it left on it.
Toys are a great way to provide a sense of normality. Something that your cat can recognize and feel at home. You can also bring along blankets and snacks, anything that will help to keep your felines daily routine going.
8. During the ride Speed, Sound and Temperature.
During the ride you need to make sure to keep a good speed. According to which state you belong in be sure to drive within the speed limit and keep in mind that you traveling with your pet. It’s good to be observant and take note on your cats reaction to the changes in speed and drive accordingly.
Cats don’t necessarily enjoy music yet they appreciate soothing sounds of classical or instrumental music. The study, published in applied animal behavioral science, concludes that domestic cats prefer “species-specific” music that resembles the tempos and frequencies naturally used in their communications. Like purring and cat vocalizations.
While classical music and instrumentals cannot mimic the vocalization of cats precisely, it can help in soothing them.
Vehicles especially in the summer can become ridiculously hot, under no circumstances must you leave the cat inside the car alone.
While driving, you could open the windows or turn on the Air conditioning to regulate the temperature accordingly.
Cats body temperature is around 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. In theory a temperature between 86 to 97 degrees would keep the cats body temperature in neutral mode. However their are many conditions such as
- Cats weight.
- Cats fur
- Health related factors
Which could play a part in regulating the cats optimum temperature.
9. Melatonin as a Sedative
Melatonin is a hormone that induces sleep. It triggers the cats body to think its night time, making the cat fall of to sleep. This sedative can be bought over the counter hassle free.
This hormone can be used for cats while traveling or in any other stressful situations. The hormone can be administered with pills, chews or drops. The Use of melatonin can be dangerous if you exceed the recommended dosage.
The correct dose is given for optimal results once exceeded your cat may overdose and it could be fatal or cause an adverse reaction.
- Cats under 10 pounds 1-3 mg
- Cats over 10 pounds 3-5 mg
10. Snacks and Calming Chews
Cat calming treats are an inexpensive, simple way to offer your cat the relaxation they need. No human or animal enjoys the feeling of being stressed. Calming treats can help take the edge off when your cat is put in a stressful situation, or if they are dealing with an environmental change example traveling.
When choosing a calming collar look for one that is most supportive and appealing to your cat in terms of size, health properties and comfortability. Features to look for include,
- Active ingredients
- Strength and durability
- Non-synthetic material
- long life