Here we go! This year I’ve decided that I’m going to explore travel with cats. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it will be a great time for some outdoor activity with Manna and Dexter. Travel training is about to begin! Over the next few months, I will be showing you our progress with 3 different ways that I’m exploring travel with cats!
The safety of my cats is of utmost importance to me. As I explore travel with cats, I will not be letting them wander the outdoors on their own. Cats are much safer when they are only allowed outdoors with direct supervision from their humans!
Our first stop in our journey will be at our veterinarian’s office. While we are there, we will make sure that Manna and Dexter are up-to-date on all of the preventative care that they need to make sure they won’t be attracting any horrible diseases or parasites while we are outside. General health concerns will also be addressed. If there is any reason why the veterinarian believes that Manna or Dexter are not healthy enough for travel, our plans will have to be revised.
Travel with Cats Method #1: On a Harness
Harness training is important for any kitty that wants to travel. Not only are harnesses adorable as cat fashion, they allow us humans to make sure that our kitties don’t get separated from us or end up in a dangerous situation. No one wants their kitty running out into the road!
A harness allows for on-leash control without putting unnecessary (and potentially dangerous) tension on the cat’s neck the way a leash attached to a collar might. A cat won’t be able to wiggle out of a properly fitting harness. The cat can still wear a collar with an ID tag while wearing a harness or the ID tag can be attached to the harness.
Manna has worn a harness before. She enjoyed getting to go outside and sit in the sun. The neighbors enjoyed getting to meet her and she ate up every moment of attention. She has been to the pet store before too!
Dexter has yet to try on a harness, but I think he will get used to it easily. He loves all of the guests that come over and saying hello to our neighbors from our balcony.
Will they walk on a leash? We’re going to give it a try. A pocket full of treats should help to motivate the cats to walk along with me. Either way, I’m sure that they will enjoy being the center of attention in their adorable matching harnesses. All of the kids in our apartment complex will want to pet them.
Travel with Cats Method #2: In a Stroller
Whether or not the cats like walking, I love a good walk! Manna and Dexter would make great exercise partners. A pet stroller may be just what they need to be happy on a stroll outside.
Besides the fact that they don’t have to walk, a pet stroller can provide cats with some privacy. Since cats are territorial creatures, being outside of “their territory” can sometimes be a bit scary. Some pet strollers come with a privacy screen that can help a cat to feel a little more secure. It gives them the sense that they can see the world without being seen themselves.
Travel with cats via stroller could be great for a lot of different environments. It would be fun to take the cats in a stroller around our neighborhood, at the park, at the pet store, and at other pet-friendly events. Every year, my local animal rescue does a walk/run fundraiser in September. It would be awesome to bring my rescued cats out to support pets that are still with the rescue.
Travel with Cats Method #3: Road Trip Style
That’s right, Playful Kitty is going to hit the road! Unless plans change, we will be traveling by car to the BlogPaws 2017 Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It looks like Manna and Dexter (pending any problems at the veterinarian) will be coming along with Dave (my husband) and me. It’s really an exciting idea to me. Have no fear – we will cover the trip with tons of photos and video to share with all of you.
A really important part of travel with cats via car is having an appropriate carrier. Dave is a school bus driver for students with special needs and vehicle safety is a big part of what he is trained to do. There are a few cat carriers and car harnesses that have passed actual safety tests. We are looking into getting these for Manna and Dexter for the big trip.
In the time between now and our trip to BlogPaws, we will be taking special car training trips with the cats. I want to make sure that they have had several trips in the car that didn’t end up at the veterinarian’s office before we head down to Myrtle Beach. Some car trips are fun! A little bit of familiarity with how being in the car feels, sounds, and smells can’t hurt.
Will the kitties sing the song of their people in the car? Probably. That is what they do on the way to the veterinarian. Of course, our veterinarian is less than 10 minutes from our home. I’ve taken long trips with kitties before and my experience tells me that they will sing for an hour or so and then fall asleep (only to sing again after any stops). My intention is to bring calming treats for them and make sure they get plenty of attention throughout the trip.