Should You Travel With Your Cat Title

Photo Credit: Blog Tyrant via Flickr

It can be really hard to leave your cat at home when you have to leave town! This past week I was at the BlogPaws Conference in Nashville (posts with details to come in the next few weeks) and I decided to leave my kitties at home. Sorry to everyone who was disappointed that they were unable to meet them! Having tried the travel thing with Cinco and Manna before, I knew that this would not be the best situation for them. Should you travel with your cat? There is no one right answer for every cat, but there are several things you should consider.

The Technical Details of Travel

If you have already decided that you would like to travel with your cat, I have some great vacation tips for you here.

Before you decide to travel with your cat, think about all of the details of your trip. These three questions will be helpful:

Felis Domesticus, 70 MPH

Photo Credit: Michael Cornelius

  1. How will you be traveling? Car? Train? Plane?
    If you are traveling by a means of public transportation (train, plane, bus, etc) you absolutely must check with the company to find the details of their policies regarding cats traveling with them. Each company has their own rules and regulations. A carrier that is allowed by one airline might not be allowed on another. Follow their rules exactly so that there aren’t any problems with getting your cat to your destination with you.
    It is equally important to make sure that you are prepared to care for your cat’s needs during the duration of travel. If you will be driving for 12 hours, then you need to have food, water, litter, and your cat’s medications on hand for that length of time. You may determine that on some trips, it isn’t a great idea to bring your kitty because the length of travel may be too much for him/her.
  2. Where will you be staying?
    Not all hotels are pet friendly. As I have learned the hard way in the past, even those that say they are pet friendly are not necessarily cat friendly. Make sure that you ask specifically about bringing a cat. It isn’t a bad idea to talk to a manager and get their name so you have someone to reference if there are any problems when you check in. Ask about their rules too just in case they don’t offer them up. They may even have rules that state things such as “a cat must be front declawed” to stay in their hotel.
  3. What will you be doing while you are there? 
    This past week at the BlogPaws Convention, I was very busy taking sessions, having meetings, and talking to brands. Had my cats been there, I would have put their needs before my own and probably would not finished half of the things I got done. Of course, the cats would bring me other opportunities too. What will you be doing on your trip? Will you have time to give your cats the time and attention they need? What happens if your cat becomes uncomfortable during one of the events you have planned?

Consider Your Cat’s Personality

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503

Cinco is the type of kitty that prefers to hide rather than socialize.

My cats’ personalities are a huge reason why they don’t travel with me. First of all, my kitties are not big fans of change. I took them with me to a hotel one time and they were very nervous for the first day there. They didn’t even want to come out of their carriers. Second, Cinco is a very shy kitty who runs and hides whenever someone comes over. At the veterinarian’s office, he is so scared that he’s stiff. Bringing him into a situation where other people want to meet him or a maid may come in to clean while I’m gone, is far from ideal. On the other hand, Manna loves people, but she isn’t really used to seeing more than one or two new people at a time. She would probably be over stimulated by a crowd like the one at BlogPaws. I am currently working to leash train her so that I can take her out into the public more and get her used to it. Maybe one day I will travel with Manna!

You will want to think about how your cats will react to the different situations that could occur on your trip. Are they ready for the people and things they might encounter?

When you definitely should travel with your cat.

There are a few situations in which every cat owner should travel with their cat. Please travel with  your cat if…

  • You are being evacuated from your home due to a local emergency.
  • You are moving. Please bring your cat to your new home with you.
  • Your home is currently unsafe to live in.
  • There is work being done on your home that could be dangerous to your cats (think about smells and chemicals that could get on the cat as well as structural damage).
  • There is no one to look after your cats while you are away.

Do you ever travel with your cat? What is your advice?