Driving Miss Feline
Off on a holiday? Moving house? Working away from home for a while? Your feline friend might need to come and stay in our cattery while you can’t be there with them.
Cats and cars
Most cats prefer to travel by foot. Yes, a few cats love cars, but they are the brave and the bold. To make car travel with your cat safe and happy, we have put together some tips, even if you’re only driving a short distance.
Safety needs to be of the utmost importance.
- Use a sturdy cat carrier strapped to the seatbelt. The back centre seat is the safest place. If the crate is in the cargo area of a van, SUV or station wagon, it should be secured so it does not move, regardless of how far you are travelling.
- Never allow your cat to roam inside the car.
- Never allow your cat to roam outside the car, no matter how much they may want to stretch their legs. Frightened cats will bolt if given a chance and finding them in unfamiliar terrain or near a road is simply too nerve wracking and dangerous.
- Windows are best left up, as your cat will probably be annoyed by wind rushing over them.
- Keep the carrier away from direct sunlight so they don’t get too hot.
- Some cats get carsick, either from actual motion sickness or nerves. Putting your cat’s carrier on the floor of the back seat will help prevent his seeing outside and may help with motion sickness. Make sure the car fan doesn’t blow directly on them, though.
Familiarise your kitty with your car
Ideally, we don’t want your cat arriving at our South Auckland cattery all stressed out. It’s best to give cats and cars a chance to get to know each other. Your cat needs a chance to get familiar with your vehicle and the pet carrier so that she doesn’t feel uneasy.
- The first step is to get your cat used to the carrier. Letting your cat only see the carrier 20 minutes before car time is asking for trouble. Leave the carrier out for up to a week before your trip and feed her in it every day with one end open.
- Take your kitty out to the car and just sit in the back seat together.
- Bring some treats and give your cat a cuddle.
- Then let your cat sniff and explore the car.
- Bring your cat carrier out to the car and put it where it will be when you travel.
Keep calm and carry on
Don’t get stressed out. You need to make sure you are as calm as possible before and during the trip. Cats notice how we feel and that means that if you’re uptight, the chances are they will be too.
- Loud music will make your cat nervous.
- Sudden braking and swerving will make your furry friend go mad.
- Take it nice and slow and give yourself lots of following distance so you don’t have to slam on the brakes.
Check your furry friend
Before leaving home, make sure that your furry friend is in good health, has all the necessary vaccinations and is microchipped. Also, ask your vet to provide you with a copy of your cat’s medical records, just in case something unexpected happens.
Travelling with a cat can be a lot easier than some cat owners make it. Cats and cars just take a little work in advance. It’s critical to train your cat and acclimatise them over time before they need to travel. Feeding and watering cats in their carriers and making the carrier a “thing” that is out in a living space to curl up into voluntarily can really help.
Help is available
If you do have to travel for a long period with an overanxious cat, you may have to ask your vet for mild medication. There are products available for comfort and pheromones and sprays that can help.
Take a Tour of Our Cattery!
There’s just no place like home, but when you can’t be there to look after your cat(s), the Auckland Kennel & Cattery is your best option. Our South Auckland cattery takes great care of cats from all over Auckland. If you’re looking for a comfortable, safe and secure environment for your cat, call us on 09 299 7415
Why not pop in, meet us here and have a look around. You’ll be able to see for yourself why our Auckland cattery is so popular with cat lovers. No appointment is necessary, but to avoid unnecessary disruption to the cats staying with us, we ask that you only come between 10am and 4pm.