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How to travel with a cat, according to a veterinarian

Traveling can be a nightmare. The packing, the traffic, the security lines, the cost – it’s pretty amazing what we put on ourselves just to get away with it. But traveling with cats is a whole other thing that I’ve personally grappled with.

In 2016, I moved to upstate New York from California with my two cats, Daisy and Fredo. There was a long wait between flights, giving us a good eight hours of travel time during the day. Neither cat enjoyed the trip; Daisy was howling and thrashing around her stretcher the whole time while Fredo froze in one spot and refused to make eye contact with me.

How to travel with a cat

dr M. Kathleen Shaw of Latham Animal Hospital in Latham, New York says these types of reactions are common in cats that are prone to anxiety. The trick is to do everything in advance to keep your fur baby calm.

Using Feliway, which is available as a spray or wipes, is one way to do this. “It’s a calming pheromone,” she says. “We can’t smell it, but cats can. It has been shown to reduce stress and seems to really help a lot of cats when they travel. B. a T-shirt to put in the stretcher.

FELIWAY Classic Cat Calming Pheromone Spray (60 ml)


Feliway Adaptil Cat Comfort Wipes, 12 Ct


Gildan blank t shirt


Before embarking on any road or air travel, make sure you have the necessary items to keep your cat safe. “Always have a copy of your cat’s medical record with you,” says Dr. Shaw. “And stick a tag on your cat with your cell phone number.” That way you can be reached if your cat flees on the road.

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ROAD iD cat brand


I found it helpful to have a few extra items:

A disposable pad to absorb urine and add some comfort to the stretcher.

DryFur Pet Carrier Insert Pads, Small, 19.5


Moistened wipes, small garbage bags, and disposable gloves to clean cat poo from the carrier.

Grooming wipes for dogs and cats


Happy little garbage bags


SAFESKIN disposable nitrile gloves in the POP-N-GO* pack


A harness and leash in case we had to open the carrier to clean it on a stopover.

Catit Nylon Adjustable Cat Harness and Leash Large Black


A small container of dry treats.

Collapsible Travel Dog Bowls 2-Pack


A water bowl and bottle of water that we can offer during our stay.

Prima Pet Expandable/Collapsible Silicone Food & Water Bowl


Should You Give Your Cat Anxiety Meds When Traveling?

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