The Best Way to Take Your Cat on Vacation With You

By PetMD Editorial on Feb. 24, 2014

Vacation is supposed to be a splendid thing, but for many pet owners it can turn into a worrisome adventure. The first problem is deciding what to do with your cat while you’re gone. (Pet sitter? Take her to the kennel? Get your teenage neighbor to check in on her from time to time?) Then, once you figure that out, you’re still left worrying all vacation about whether or not your furry friend is okay.

This holiday season, if a vacation is in your future, you can stop that worry by making the decision to take your pet with you wherever you’re going. Of course the first thing you’ll need to do is make sure the place you’re staying is open to having animals. After that’s taken care of, try these tips to make traveling with your cat a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved:

Start By Labeling Your Carrier

Whether you’re flying or driving, it’s always a good idea to label your cat carrier with your name, address and phone number, along with important information about your cat, like her name, date of last vaccinations and name and address of her vet.

Pick Your Mode of Transportation

Don’t think that traveling by car can mean your cat will have a more comfortable trip—even when driving you should keep your cat restrained in her carrier at all times. It’s also a good idea to secure the carrier with a seat belt, so that she won’t be jostled when you have to stop suddenly because of traffic.

If you’re flying, most airlines allow cats to travel in carriers with a reservation and ticket as carry-on baggage. Just be sure to check with your airline before assuming yours has this policy.

Bring Things to Keep Your Cat Comfy

If you’ll be traveling by car and you’ll have easy access to your animal, be sure to bring bottled water and your cat’s favorite food along for the ride. It’s also a good idea to bring a smaller, travel size litter pan and some cat litter in case your cat needs it, as well as any toys or products from home that you feel might bring your cat comfort while en route.

Don’t Be Caught Empty-Handed

The last thing you would want or hope for is that you cat get sick when you finally reach your destination. However, if this does happen, it’s best to have your pet’s latest records with you so the vet you find at your destination won’t have to waste time trying to track them down from your home vet.

Image: jetalone / via Flickr

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