Does your cat become anxious when it is time to travel? Mine always have. Manna and Dexter are great with people, but the car ride has always been a bit difficult for them. With our upcoming road trip (a nearly 14-hour drive), I wanted to find a way for Manna and Dexter to travel stress-free. Why can’t traveling with cats be as easy as traveling with dogs? Our friends at Sleepypod® stepped in to help me find a great solution!
Finding a Stress-Free Travel Solution
Why do cats get so stressed out about traveling to begin with? There are 2 unique challenges that cats face. I’ve come to some solutions for these challenges to make traveling with cats stress-free.
Challenge #1: Cats are territorial animals.
In the wild, they like to choose an area to live in, mark it as their own, and generally dwell within those boundaries. Crossing into another cat’s territory can be a big offense to that cat. Your home is your cat’s territory and everywhere else could be the territory of another cat.
Solution #1: Bring a piece of home on the road.
Find a pet carrier that your cat can use at home as a part of their everyday life. If they find themselves faced with anxiety, this little piece of their own territory can give them a place to retreat into.
Challenge #2: Little to No Experience
Indoor cats rarely travel. They are not familiar with the sights, sounds, and smells of their owner’s car or other modes of transportation. Often times, they only leave the home to go to the veterinarian. They are crammed into an uncomfortable, unfamiliar cat carrier and taken to a place that smells like other animals.
Solution #2: Start Traveling with Cats
There are plenty of pet stores and parks that are pet-friendly. Giving your cat more positive travel experiences than negative ones will make them more likely to look forward to traveling.
Sleepypod® Mobile Pet Beds
To help the cats feel at home on the road, the pet bed part of the Sleepypod® mobile pet beds have been left out where the cats like to sleep at home. Manna and Dexter choose to sleep in their Sleepypod pet beds frequently! The outside is made of a luggage-grade, ballistic nylon. The cats love the ultra plush bedding on the inside. I’ve seen them give it happy paws before laying down many times. I love that the bedding can be removed and washed in the washing machine.
The Sleepypod mobile pet bed also serves as a pet carrier and a crash-tested pet car seat. Manna and Dexter have been going on small trips with my husband and me to get used to traveling in the car. We’ve been to 3 different pet-friendly stores and the veterinarian. At one of the stores, we just placed each Sleepypod mobile pet bed in a shopping cart and opened the top for the cats to peek out and explore (the cats loved that experience).
Both of my cats seem much more comfortable and stress-free in our Sleepypod mobile pet beds than they have ever been in other pet carriers. Manna and Dexter still sing in the car, but they do it while lying down comfortably. Since the Sleepypod mobile pet beds are safely strapped into the seats with seatbelts, they don’t move around on the seat. The cats aren’t sliding around at all while we drive. I don’t have to reach behind me and try to steady the carriers.
The top part of the Sleepypod mobile pet beds is really nice! The zippers are sturdy and easy to grip. The mesh dome is secure and abrasive-free (the cats won’t scratch through it). It gives the cats a sense that they are safely peeking out at the world without being seen. After a dog barked at Dexter, I put the mesh dome back over the Sleepypod mobile pet bed and he instantly began calming down.
Cloudpuff Pet Blankets
My cats are also in love with their new Sleepypod Cloudpuff pet blankets. I’ve laid these blankets on our couch so that the cats can sleep on them every day and they can smell like our home when we travel with them. If I place one of these Cloudpuff pet blankets on one side of the couch and leave the other side empty, the cats always gravitate to the blanket to sleep.
One side of the Cloudpuff pet blanket is made of a microfiber suede and the other is an ultra soft plush material. They come in Champagne and Chestnut colors (we got one of each) and they are machine washable. There are also 2 sizes: Large 30 in X 20 in (76 cm X 51 cm) and Small 18.5 in X 14.5 in (47 cm X 37 cm). We chose the Large size for both Manna and Dexter.
Yummy Travel Pet Bowls
Traveling with cats for 14 hours would definitely not be stress-free without food and water! Sleepypod’s Yummy travel pet bowls help to keep food and water fresh, clean, and separate from one another. After cleaning our Yummy travel pet bowls, we started using them to feed the cats intermittently. Manna and Dexter don’t even seem to notice that they are different than their usual dishes. They dig right in and eat!
Each set of Sleepypod Yummy travel pet bowls is 3 different pet bowls that nest together.
- A spill resistant water bowl (the base)
- A food bowl (works as a lid for the water bowl)
- A saucer-like lid bowl (seals off the food bowl)
These three bowls together allow you to store, serve, and transport water, wet food, and dry food all at the same time. The food and water will not mix or spill. The saucer shape of the lid bowl will help keep ants out of your cat’s food while dining outdoors too. All 3 are top-rack dishwasher safe.
Stay Tuned for More Traveling With Cats!
Want to see how our Sleepypod pet travel products perform on a road trip? We will be heading out to the BlogPaws Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina next week. As mentioned, it will be a nearly 14-hour drive with the cats.
Watch our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels (May 16 -21) to see how the cats are doing in real time! We will also be doing a second blog post when we return about how the cats did in their Sleepypod mobile pet beds, the safety features (including crash testing), and answering any questions we’ve received.