Living with cats and dogs can be tricky, yet travelling with both together can present a whole new set of challenges. Even cats and dogs which live peaceably together can become quick enemies in the confined space of a moving vehicle. However, with the right planning, you could amicably and even enjoyably take a road trip with dogs and cats together.
Cats and dogs can take road trips together. Nonetheless, you have to take precautions for their safety and welfare. Learn from their home relationship. For safety, keep them in separate crates in different parts of the car. Keep them on different walk and feeding schedules during the trip.
Traveling with dogs and cats together gets easier the more you all do it. The first time can be worrisome for the humans and stressful for the animals. To get it right, follow these guidelines.
How Do You Travel Long Distance with A Cat in A Car?
Taking your cat on a long-distance road trip can be fun and adventurous. To make the trip safe and free of negative incidences:
Consult Your Regular Vet
This is one of the most important steps and goes for both cats and dogs. Your regular visit is familiar with your pets, their medical backgrounds, and their temperaments.
The vet is also knowledgeable about existing communicable diseases in regions around your home, route, and destination. They may offer advice on the best routes, emergency care providers in other towns, and pet-friendly care services.
When driving, you don’t want the distraction of a roaming cat, especially if there will be a loose dog around too. Get big enough crates or carriers to securely and safely transport both your cat and dog.
You want a sturdy crate with handles made for using regular seat belts. You’ll also want a well-ventilated crate that’s big enough for your pet to stand, turn around, stretch, and sleep in without feeling squeezed.
Can You Go on A Road Trip with Dogs and Cats Together?
Both cats and dogs can feel stressed and anxious when inside a moving vehicle. The negative feelings can get worse if it’s a long trip, and even worse when there’s more than one species of pets. To go on a road trip with both your dog and your cat at the same time you may need to consider:
How do your cat and your dog get along inside the home? Are they always chasing each other and clawing at each other’s faces? Do they have a close relationship where they can sleep together and even groom each other?
If their home relationship is great, then you’ll have fewer problems transporting them. In fact, the presence of the other might make the trip more enjoyable for each.
However, if the two have a love-hate relationship, enmity, or rivalry, then you might all be in for a very bumpy ride.
If you have long to prepare for the trip, work on improving the relationship between the two. An animal behaviorist or trainer could intervene or advise.
Set Up Core Areas
Whether your cat and dog are friendly with each other it may be better to provide each with their own private space. For example, you could set up the cat in the back seat and the dog in the cargo area of your hatchback.
Even the best of friends can sometimes get a little aggressive and ill-natured when confined in close quarters for too long. If your dog has a strong predatory drive, then it would be better to make the distance between it and the cat even wider.
The cat should be in a carrier. For the dog, it depends on its size. Small dogs are better off inside a carrier. For large and giant dog sizes, a carrier may be impractical and a full-body canine car harness would work better.
For both cat and dog, if you use a crate ensure it’s large enough for your pet to stand in, turn around, stretch, and sleep in comfortably.
Also, attach clear name tags on the collars of both pets. During the pet visit, ensure their microchips are in place and working correctly.
Before the big day of your long journey, make a few short trips with both your cat and dog in the same car you’ll be using for the road trip. Get your pets used to their core areas. Let them experience being together in the moving car.
Make each trial run an enjoyable experience, not just stressful experiences like going for their injections. A trip to the pet-friendly park could be exciting for both animals and something to look forward to on future trips.
Even though each pet gets their own space, get them used to the other’s scent. For instance, you can put your dog’s favorite blanket next to the cat’s carrier and the cat’s favorite blanket next to the dog.
As the two get used to each other’s scents they tend to be less aggressive towards each other.
If your cat and dog show any signs of aggression towards each other, then make different schedules for them on the same trip. For instance, feed the dog at a different time. Alternate which pet gets out of the car at each break. If you’re pressed for time, then take them out in turns during the same stop.
Whenever you have longer stops, try and create some time for the dog and cat to be together. Keep both on leash so they don’t run off into a strange neighborhood. You may never find them again.
Time together when you make a stop gives the pets a chance to bond. It may also ease any anxiety or hostility of being together in close proximity for too long without seeing each other.
Treats and Rewards
During the drive, whenever the pets are calm reward them with treats. This reinforces good behavior while reminding them that a trip together is always a fun adventure.
Is It Hard to Go on A Trip with Your Dog and A Cat Together?
When your dog and cat are hostile with each other, it can be stressful all round. Nonetheless, it’s not very difficult to go on a trip with your dog and cat together.
You may make more stops than if you were with only one pet. You’ll also need to carry more varieties of foods, water, medications, toys, and comfort blankets. However, if you’re already living with the two pets, you’re probably used to catering for them in different ways.