It is no secret that cats are not big fans of traveling. If your trip is short, you can leave your cat with a pet sitter or a family member. If you cannot leave your cat behind and it must come along with you, how many days of traveling can a cat withstand?
Most cats can withstand as many days of traveling as you have scheduled. Some cats go on long road trips and even cross-country trips. There will be no problems if you have made adequate preparations and the cat has a good routine during the journey.
This article explores traveling for cats, including whether it is bad for them to travel a lot, whether traveling is stressful for them, and how often you should stop on a road trip with a cat. The article also discusses how to train a cat for traveling, how long cats can go without pooping or peeing, and the maximum amount of days a cat should travel.
Is It Bad for Cats to Travel a Lot?
A cat’s health and temperament are significant determinants of how often it should travel. Cats with underlying health issues do not need the added stress of traveling. Frequent travels are also bad for a cat with moderate-to-severe anxiety issues because you may have to use drugs and calming aids.
Regardless of how effective anti-anxiety medications are, they have side effects that may harm your cat, especially with constant exposure. However, not all cats hate traveling, and you may be lucky to have one of the “travel-crazy” cats.
If you enjoy traveling and have trained your cat to enjoy or tolerate it as well, then having your cat as a co-adventurer on your many trips is not a bad idea.
Is Traveling Stressful for Cats?
While in their homes, cats are usually stress-free and content. Traveling disrupts their environment and routine, and the stress it brings could be harmful. Your cat may develop health conditions, behavioral problems, and anxiety issues because of the stress of traveling.
Even a cat that has been well-trained to be comfortable traveling could still find it stressful if something unpredictable happens on the journey. Hence, if you can travel without your cat, leave it in the care of a pet sitter, family member, or pet hotel.
How Often Should You Stop on a Road Trip with a Cat?
Sometimes, you need to take long road trips with your cat to visit family, move to another state, or take an adventurous journey. Whatever the case, a lot of planning and preparation goes into ensuring a smooth journey.
Rest stops are an essential aspect of planning that you should never overlook. If you need to stretch and refuel during a road trip, your cat also needs the same. Being confined to a carrier for long hours without breaks cannot be enjoyable.
How often you should stop depends on how long your cat can stay in a carrier without fussing and if you have a pre-established feeding routine for traveling. While some cats can remain in a carrier for 6 hours without fuss, others start mewling for a break after 2 hours.
It is ideal to have safe stops along your route for long journeys, at least every 2 to 3 hours. The rest stops give your cat time to feed, drink water, use the litter box, and play. If you have a pre-set feeding routine, plan your stops around those times.
Since you will occasionally rest, your cat should be comfortable with a leash. If you let your cat out of its carrier without a leash, it could escape into the surrounding before you can grab it.
When you have to take breaks, keep them short (under 10 minutes) so you do not leave your cat unattended for a long time. If you have to leave the car, let your cat out of its carrier and keep all doors and windows closed to prevent escape.
How Do You Train a Cat for Traveling?
Getting used to being in a carrier and a moving object (car, train, or plane) are the most important aspects of travel training. Training your cat for traveling is a process that takes patience and time.
While some cats will be comfortable in a car under one week, others might take months. The steps of training are the same for all cats, and they are:
- Buying a suitable carrier
The carrier should be well-ventilated, sturdy, and it should fit your cat (not too small or big).
- Make the carrier a part of your routine furniture.
- Close the carrier and take it to the car.
- Sit in the car without driving.
- Drive for short distances and slowly increase the duration until your cat is comfortable with long drives.
The movements and vibrations of the car will be like those of other means of transport. So if your cat has nailed car traveling, other rides will not be as challenging. Remember to use a lot of treats and encouraging words.
How Long Can a Cat Go Without Poop or Pee?
Usually, cats pee 2-6 times a day, with kittens and older cats peeing more than adults, and they poop 1 or 2 times daily. There are many reasons a cat can go without potty breaks, including stress, a urinary tract infection, constipation, or other gastrointestinal conditions.
A cat can go for 24 to 48 hours without peeing and for 24 to 36 hours without pooping. If you notice your cat has gone for longer than these hours without potty breaks, seek a veterinarian for a consultation.
What Is the Maximum Amount of Days a Cat Should Travel?
There is no specific time limit for cats to travel. As earlier mentioned, the age, health, and personality of a cat determine how much traveling a cat should do. The length of time it can stay in a carrier is also a significant determinant.
Some cats go on cross-country trips, and cats fly internationally for 10 hours or more. The bottom line is to make your cat comfortable for the journey, regardless of how long it takes. Also, avoid putting your cat in stressful situations as often as possible.