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How to Take Your Cat on a Car Trip

By Edited Sep 7, 2016 1 0

Cats playing in park

According to the US government, over 50% of pet owners travel with their pets. This article builds on two other articles: How to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash and How to Train your Cat to Ride in a Pet Carrier. You should already have accomplished these two steps before you begin this step. If you have not, please do those two things first before starting this article!

Things You Will Need

You don't have to leave your cat at home!

Pet carrier
Water bottle
Small nontippable food dish
Folded towel or pillow
Plastic bags
Disposable aluminum foil roasting pan
Kitty litter
Cat harness
Quick-release leash


Step 1

Take your cat with you!
Put on your cat's harness and leash, and set the pet carrier down on the floor. Let your cat enter the pet carrier on his own schedule. If you begin packing up the car, your cat will figure it out and if he's already used to riding in the carrier, he will get ready to go with you.

Step 2

Put the carrier in the car. Check to make sure your cat's water bottle is filled, and he or she has a small amount of food available. Wherever your cat is used to riding in the car, make sure the carrier is snug and does not have space to move around if you have to make a sudden stop.

Step 3

Your cat needs a litterbox when you travel
Pull out the foil pan, line with a plastic bag. Pour in 1/4" of kitty litter to cover the bottom of the pan. Turn the bag inside out. For each 3-5 hours in the car, you will need one bag with kitty litter available. Just eyeball the amount of litter in the bag you measured and fill other bags to approximately the same measure.

Step 4

Put kitty litter bags and disposable foil pan in the trunk of your car.

Step 5

Any excuse for cute pictures of kittens will do
If your cat is accustomed to short car trips already, he or she will begin to meow at a certain point. This is your cat's way of asking, "Are we there yet?" Talk to your cat in a reassuring tone and let them know you've heard them.

Step 6

Find a safe place and pull over to the side of the road.

Step 7

Another place to put in a cute picture of kittens
Get out of the car, and get the carrier out of the car and set it on the ground but do not open it yet.

Step 8

Take disposable foil pan and kitty litter plastic bag out of the trunk, and line the pan with the plastic bag and kitty litter already in the bag.

Step 9

You can always find room for cute pictures of kittens
Open the carrier and attach the quick-release leash to the harness before your cat gets out of the carrier.

Step 10

Allow kitty to explore the litter pan and use it if he or she needs to. If your cat doesn't need to go, simply turn the bag inside out again and put it back in the trunk. If your cat goes in the pan, turn the bag inside out and seal it up, and put it back in your trunk. Put the disposable foil pan back in the trunk.

Step 11

Give your pet a little playtime and allow them to stretch their legs. A walk won't hurt you,

Who can resist?
either! When you start making signals that you are ready to go, give them a little time to get back in their carrier, then put it in the car and secure the carrier.

Step 12

Get into the car, buckle up, and start driving again.

Travelling with a cat is easy and fun, and you will be rewarded with many hours of companionship and memories. By making travel by car safe and comfortable for your pet, you will be able to share many experiences and hours of fun.

Tips & Warnings

Never allow a cat to just "go" at a rest stop. This is not nice to the other users of the area.
Never let a cat off the leash in a strange place. You don't know if there are bobcats or coyotes around, or traps set for other animals.
Pay attention to your pet's signals.

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Sep 7, 2016)
I've trained all my cats, and this book provided even me with new information.


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