Cat Travel Made Simple
It’s long been believed that cats don’t always make the best travel companions. But the truth is, with the right equipment, you can ease just about any feline into being a tolerable explorer.
For example, pet guests staying at the New York City-based Flatiron Hotel are greeted with complimentary Sleepypod & Friends Welcome Kits filled with premium pet travel necessities from top brands like Sleepypod, The Honest Kitchen, SimplyFido and Little Eatz.
They join the ranks of notable hotel chains that include Kimpton, La Quinta, InterContinental, Loews and Holiday Inn, which tout their pet friendly status with pride. Before customers hit the road, be sure they are prepared for the journey.
Identification Is a Priority
No matter what type of transportation a cat will require proper identification in case of escape. Keep a pet passport for the cat, which is an easily carried folder, or flash memory card, that includes a copy of their medical records, vaccinations and a current photo. A cat should be microchipped and wearing a collar with proper ID.
“A blanket ID provides a 24/7 link to everything you would want someone to know if they found your cat,” Martin Hubbard, co-owner of Blanket ID, said. “Using blanket’s ‘Missing Pet’ email broadcasts means that all local resources and members are immediately alerted and supplied with all the important information to identify and care for your cat. Being able to change your contact information to your current location is a great feature when you travel and provides the lifeline you need to get quickly reunited in unfamiliar territory.”
Select Carrier for Safety & Comfort
The carrier customers select to transport their pets in is of utmost importance and no matter which style they choose, it should be large enough for their cat to stand up and turn around in.
Carriers like Petmate’s See & Extend line of pet carriers include interior tethers, exterior seat belt loops, convenient pet entry and a zip-out vestibule to provide more room during layovers and stops.
“Pet families can trust that Petmate’s unique travel products, including our See & Extend and WETNOZ Carriers, will transport their cherished feline friends to their destinations safely, comfortably and stylishly,” Ann Hanson, director of marketing and innovation for Petmate, said. “We know that traveling can be stressful both for cats and their people, so we have specially-designed our carriers to create a more enjoyable travel experience for all.”
To get a cat accustomed to travel, first get them accustomed to their carrier. Cats should view their carrier as safe place. By encouraging cats to explore the carrier prior to the trip, they will associate it with security.
“All of our carriers are versatile and each have a crash-tested car seat function. The machine-washable, ultra-plush lining found in all of our carriers makes each carrier a perfect bed away from home, thus reducing the need to purchase and carry multiple items,” Michael Leung, product designer for Sleepypod, said. “Our new Sleepypod Pendants can be used for pet identification or as a stylish and fun carrier identification tag when attached to any of our carriers.”
The new PupSaver booster seat is making waves in the auto industry and is perfect for felines.
“Booster seats, and especially harnesses, might seem appealing or safe, but in actuality can cause serious injury to your pet if an accident, or short stop, occurs while driving,” Ashleigh Bennett, owner of PupSaver/Pet Protection Products, LLC, said. “The PupSaver provides impact protection in the same way that an airbag, or child’s safety seat, does. It drastically reduces the risk of injury or fatality by doing this, as well as keeping the pet from entering the roadway, post-accident.”
Consider a Disposable Litter Box
Litter boxes are very important on the road, and the best option is a disposable one.
“Litter One has everything you need for the litter box and it’s included maintenance,” Natalie Robbins, CEO of Litter One, said. “There’s no need to haul around a giant bag of heavy litter and another bag with the litter box and scoop to be set up when you arrive at your destination. Everything is in one box. When you are leaving for your next destination you just throw the box away (or recycle it). You don’t need to empty out the old used litter and wash the box before packing it up to take with you.”
Harnesses and walking vests are much safer for traveling cats and a pet should be accustomed to wearing one prior to travel.
The Kitty Holster from Crazy K Farm offers a handsome selection of vests that attach with Velcro, making cats feel secure and offering an added level of safety.
If a kitty is Velcro-shy, Sturdi products offer a comfortable, stylish vest that snaps.
“For safety when in an airport, especially when going through security, your cat should be wearing a vest with the leash attached inside his carrier,” Penny Johnson, executive vice president of Sturdi Products, said. “Even if your cat’s not yet leash trained, you will have control once the cat is removed or jumps out of the carrier. Leash training your cat does take patience, but the rewards are worth it.”
- Stacy Mantle