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It’s safe to say that cats despise traveling. Unlike your canine playmates, there’s something about a car that just doesn’t appeal to your felines. Cats are creatures of habit and become easily anxious when faced with a change of routine. They are also incredibly territorial and averse to new places. If you intend to take your cat for a trip to the vet or a drive to your best friend’s upstate, here are a few suggestions on how you can calm your feline’s travel stress –
- Choose a comfortable carrier – Never attempt to take your cat out in anything but a cat carrier. It is for yours as well as your cat’s safety. An uncomfortable cat carrier translates to an uncomfortable cat. Choose a carrier that is spacious enough for your cat to move around a little if you’re taking it on a long trip. Your regular cat carrier for short vet visit won’t cut it. Make sure there’s an opening for your curious cat to keep updated with its surroundings.
- Introduce the cat to the carrier early – Don’t wait till the big day to let your cat meet its carrier. Place the carrier in a room where your cat spends its time and maybe toss in a worn-in garment or soft blanket you’ve used – the cat will be comforted by your scent. Place treats inside the carrier for the cat to find. Repeat this routine over the days. Once, the cat doesn’t seem to averse entering the carrier; you can consider driving it around the neighborhood for test-runs before your long trip.
- Use soothing agents – Spray the insides of the carrier with a spritzer. These sprays available in the market contain anxiety-releasing pheromones that cats themselves emit to soothe themselves. You can also introduce your cat’s favorite toys inside the carrier.
- Consider administering mild sedation – The vet may recommend you to administer anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medication to your cat before embarking on your car travel with them if your cat happens to be excessively worked up at the prospect of travel.
The tips shared above should help ease your cat’s travel anxiety. However, be considerate to your cat and leave him/her behind if they show no signs of calming down even after you’ve tried all of these practices sans the sedation. If you have a friend, who can put them up for a few days, ask them to do you this favor. If not, there are many cat boarding services available that you can look up online. Your cat will miss you while you’re gone, but at least they won’t have to be subject to the intense stress, and anxiety felines face when posed with travel.