Cats are known to be rather different pets in comparison to dogs, and they usually have quite different habits and characteristics, which can often be seen in regular routines but especially when traveling. Many people like to take their pets when they travel, but when it comes to cats, there is a debate whether they can stand traveling, and how they would behave during the trip. So, can cats really get used to traveling, and what are some tips to make your cat more comfortable during a trip?
Cats enjoy home environments, so traveling is not something they can get used to. Cats get stressed during trips and may even get sick. However, some cats can adapt to traveling well – if trained from an early age and through some special training methods along the way.
If you have some unanswered questions about cats and traveling, you have come to the right place. In this article, I will explain how cats behave during trips, and what you should expect if you decide to take your pet cat on a car or plane trip. I will also provide some tips that might help you in making your cat a better traveler, so they would not take traveling in such a stressed manner.
Is It Stressful For Cats To Travel?
Cats are animals that are accustomed to their home environment, so leaving the house is not a thing that they want to do regularly. Cats like routines, so traveling would be a great disruption to the same, and that is why they usually get stressed during trips. According to a certified dog and cat behaviorist, Russell Hartstein, traveling is a stress trigger for cats since they do not have a positive attitude towards changing places.
Many cat owners would rather choose to leave their cats at home than deal with their stressed and overwhelmed behavior during traveling. Some pet owners do not want to deal with the side effects of traveling with their cats, and they do not want to impose stress on them, especially if it is not necessary. There are several specific reasons due to which cat owners avoid taking their feline friends on their trips.
Cats Can Get Sick While Traveling
Traveling for the cat can cause illness, more precisely, it can commonly lead to upper respiratory and feline herpes flare-ups. In addition, cats who are diagnosed with chronic disease can experience worsening symptoms when they travel because they cannot deal with the stress in a proper way. Therefore, leaving your cat at home, if it is not necessary for them to travel, would be the smartest decision you can make for your pet.
Litter Box Routines Are Disrupted
Cats are known to have specific habits, and their litter box routines are among the most essential ones. Therefore, when you travel, you cannot establish the proper litter box to which they are used, and that can cause real stressed behavior. Some cats do not even want to do any litter box routines because they do not feel that is safe.
This will cause disruption in their routine and lead to additional illnesses that they might have developed previously. So, if your cat is prone to cystitis or urinary tract infections, they will constantly need access to water and wet food.
Appearance Of Anxiety Due To New Environments
As I mentioned before, cats like to have a static routine, so they prefer to stay at home, and do their regular activities in an environment that is familiar to them. When they travel, they are forced to adapt to new environments that make them anxious, so they do not behave well and they cannot adjust just as easily. Cats are known to enjoy the comfort and changing the common surroundings is completely opposite of that.
If your cat gets stressed even when you move furniture around the house, then this might be a sign that your cat will not withstand a trip by a car or plane. So, you might consider leaving your cat at home when you go away on a trip.
Can Cats Get Used To Traveling?
Even though it might be more difficult than with other pets, some cats can also adjust to traveling and learn how to enjoy rides. It might take some more time and multiple techniques and methods, but it is possible to get your cat used to traveling. Some cats adjust to trips so well, so when you are up to a new trip, you do not even have to do any complicated stuff to get them ready for the road.
Usually, the best way to get your cat used to traveling is to start practicing when they are still very young. Cats that are trained to travel from an early age have greater chances of enjoying this activity than the ones that are trained once they are old.
How Do I Make My Cat Like To Travel?
There are methods that might help you get your cat stand traveling better, and maybe even like it. The first thing you need to do is make your cat like the carrier in which they will travel. This is a safe place for them and a way to prevent injuries while traveling.
Also, you should try practicing the traveling method before the actual trip. So, you should take your cat for short car rides before you set off on the real journey. That way, they will get used to the movements, and they will know that they will be safe during the car ride.
Cats are animals that like comfort and regular routines, therefore, getting them to a new environment, and exposing them to new activities might be stressful for them. If you intend to take your cat on trips and make them used to traveling, you should start adjusting them to this activity from an early age. This way, you get greater chances of your cat behaving well while on the road.