If you are planning to take your cat on a trip this summer, you have to remember that it is no joke to travel with your cute furry friend, especially if this is the first time for it. Traveling with a cat is no walk in the park. It requires a lot of planning, preparation and consideration. You have to remember that cats are known for being comfortable with their surroundings and not being able to travel easily and comfortably. Once they loved a place, it would be difficult to make them leave it, even for a brief period of time.
Unlike dogs who are always excited to venture outside and travel to new places, cats always follow a routine and do not like to leave the comfort of their homes. When they do travel, it makes them irritable, anxious and very stressed. Below are some practical tips to make traveling with your kitty-cat easier, more comfortable and stress-free:
- 1. Make a list of the items you need to bring for your cat- Prepare a list of things you would need for your cat, a few days before the trip. This includes food, water, leash, kitty litter, scooper, food and cat bowls, medicines recommended by your veterinarian (in case your cat will get sick during your travel), bed, blanket, catnip, plastic bags, favorite toys, first aid kit, etc.
2. Book in a hotel/place where they accept cats-All your planning and preparation would be useless if you would not ensure that the place you are going to will accept your four-legged friend. Call or book a hotel ahead in time and ask them if they are accepting cats in their Premises. Or, if you are staying with your friends, ask them if it is okay to bring your cat along. There is nothing more frustrating than to reach your destination, only to find out that they are not accepting cats!
3. Bring your cat’s health records- Do not travel without bringing your cat’s health records including its rabies vaccination certificate especially if you are travelling far or by plane. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Most airlines would require your cat’s medical records to ensure that it is safe and not a carrier of any animal virus. Also, it is best to consult your vet what medicines you should bring in case your cat would get sick during your travel.
4. Do not feed your cat before you travel-This is a big mistake that some people make when traveling with their cats. Never feed your cat before you travel because this would give you a big headache. Your cat might vomit the food it ate earlier and you would have to stop your car to Clean up the mess. Feed your cat at least five hours before you leave the house, so it would not be hungry during the trip.
5. Put some identification on your cat’s collar or strap –If your cat doesn’t have a microchip yet, it is advisable to put some ID on its collar or harness in case it escapes or gets lost. Put your contact details on the ID and attach it to your cat’s collar or body strap so it would be easy to return your cat, if somebody found it.
6. Traveling by car- If you are traveling by car, it is necessary to ensure that it is kitty-friendly and pleasant for your cat. After all, the safety of your cat is of utmost importance. Make sure that you bring a carrier that is big enough for your cat to have plenty of space to move around so it would feel comfortable and relaxed during the entire trip. Also, make sure that the carrier would have a strap or belt in your car, to secure it while you are driving.
7. Traveling by Air-Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, some countries and airlines have refused entry to pets coming from another country. You must check with the airlines what the rules and regulations are with regard to bringing pets to your place of destination. For instance, if you are planning to bring your cat to the UAE, you must see to it that you have completed all the necessary paper works and mandatory vaccinations as required by the law. All pets entering the UAE needs an “import permit.” You can apply for import permit online on the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment website (http://www.moccae.gov.ae). Also, the UAE would require you to show a veterinary health certificate from the country of origin. The certificate should include information about the description of your cat, microchip number, vaccinations and other health-related matters.