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Travelling with your cat in the car

All cat owners will have to travel with their cat at some stage, whether it’s to the vets, to a cattery or to a new home.

Cats are territorial so they will feel vulnerable when they are taken out of their territory. Therefore it’s important to make your cat feel as comfortable as possible on the journey.

Invest in a cat carrier

It’s never a good idea to put your cat loose in the car because he might bolt out when you open the door and he’s more prone to injury if you have an accident. You would also find it difficult to drive if your cat starts climbing over you for attention. So it’s important to invest in a sturdy cat carrier.

Allow your cat to inspect and become familiar with the carrier before using it. Leave it open on the floor for him to explore at his leisure. If you have just got a new kitten, it’s a good idea to get a carrier as soon as possible instead of waiting until you need to take him to the vet. The younger the kitten, the more open they are to new experiences.

Preparing the cat carrier

Before the journey, line the carrier with newspaper or similar absorbent material in case of accidents and place familiar bedding and toys inside to make him feel comfortable. Plenty of bedding will help to protect your cat as well as relieving stress.

When the time comes to set off on your journey, try not to force your cat into the carrier as this will make him more stressed and he will associate the carrier with unpleasant experiences in the future. Coax your cat into the carrier using treats or toys instead.

Place the carrier in a secure position in the car such as behind the front seat or on the seat secured with a seat belt. Making the carrier secure is important in case you need to brake sharply during the journey or if you are involved in an accident.

Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the car especially on hot days and try to place the cat carrier out of the sun.

Reduce stress

Speak to your cat in a soothing voice to help relax him. Another way to keep your cat relaxed on the journey would be to spray a feline pheromone spray in the carrier prior to placing your cat inside.

Take a test drive

Before going on a scheduled journey you could take your cat on a short test drive around the block so that he can experience a short journey before you have to take him on any longer journeys.

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