This increase could largely be due to the fact that there are numerous products that make it easier for pets to adapt to travel, from carriers and strollers to a growing selection of anxiety and stress control products.
Carriers for Cats
Petmate’s line of See & Go Pet Carriers has been designed to cater to both small dogs and cats. The carriers are geared for road travel and they all feature the company’s specially coated mesh, which offers additional security in terms of strength and durability yet still provides excellent ventilation and visibility.
In particular, the See & Extend has a unique zip-out mesh vestibule that expands to create a larger resting space inside the carrier, and it also features a side storage pocket designed for travel bowls and food. The See & Pop Top has a zip-out pop top with a mesh side, giving pets more head room and visibility. And the See & Sleep has a foldout pet pad for resting at the final destination.
According to Jane Skuta, spokesperson for LaunchLab Inc.’s Sleepypod line, the Atom circular carrier is designed to be a home away from home because when the mesh dome is removed, the carrier converts into a cozy bed. Sleepypod Air is a popular choice for feline air travelers because the patent-pending design adapts to various under-seat storage requirements set by different airlines. The design allows for the carrier to “unfold” in flight when the seats are reclined to give pets a little extra legroom and then easily returns to its initial upright shape for landing.
While the original deluxe Sherpa carrier produced by the Quaker Pet Group is popular with both dogs and cats on the go, the company nevertheless decided to produce a special feline tote available in black or a stylish leopard print. The first to be endorsed by major airlines, this top or side entry soft-sided pet carrier is well-made, has mesh panels for ventilation and has a locking zipper to prevent accidental escape. It also includes a seat belt security strap and a shoulder strap for easy transport.
Going for a Stroll
Pet strollers have the stamp of approval from the CATalyst Council because they allow cats to go out and about with their owners and experience the great outdoors from within the safe confines of their kitty carriage.
The makers of the no-zip Happy Trails stroller from Pet Gear have replaced zippers with special security latch devices that cannot be pried open by manipulative feline paws. Both the standard design and the jogger three-wheeler design comfortably fit larger felines, while the double stroller can transport two cats, possibly three depending on their size. They are available in a variety of colors, from pinks and blues to dark greens and red.
Calm and Collected
The popularity of the ThunderShirt for dogs prompted the creation of the feline version with the idea of easing travel anxiety during trips to the vet and, of course, during longer journeys. Manufactured by ThunderWorks, the shirt is based on the swaddling principle used by mothers to carry their babies. It has met with approval from various feline behaviorists, including Professor Nicholas Dodman from Tufts University’s Small Animal Clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, Mass.
Pet Naturals of Vermont makes a Calming line of fish-shaped chews that contain what the company describes as a unique calming complex. It contains ingredients not found in other products, such as L-theanine and thiamine (vitamin B1) and it’s specifically designed to alleviate feline stress-related behavior that is often associated with changes in the environment as well as travel. It is also available in liquid form.
“We prefer to call them supplements and not treats,” said Pet Naturals strategic brand manager Sara Phillips. “We also provide samples to retailers on request and do special offers at certain times of the year, such as the summer travel season and around the end of year holidays.”
The company makes good use of social media platforms such as Facebook to let their followers know about their solutions to address pet problems and stress-related issues.
Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic tincture that contains five flower essences, was first made by Dr. Edward Bach in England during the 1930s and is still made in accordance with the traditional methods he developed more than 75 years ago. Originally formulated for people, it is now also available for pets. The recommended dose can be added to a cat’s food or water bowl or even put on a treat. It can also be rubbed directly onto an ear, nose or paw. Because it is an all-natural remedy, it can be repeated as often as necessary when used to ease the stress of traveling.