As a cat owner, holidays and staycations can leave you wondering whether your cat can go away with you on holiday. The bottom line is that you have two choices, either your cat stays put or they go with you . If you have decided to take them with you, then it leads us on nicely to the question - how can I take my cat away with me?
How Can I Take My Cat Away With Me?
- Plan for taking your cat away
- Find Cat friendly accommodation
- Protect other peoples furniture from scratching
- Relax their territorial instincts
- Don’t lose your cat
- Train them and help them adapt with good equipment
Now you know the basic summary, lets dig deeper into each of these topics.
Step 1 Plan For Taking Your Cat Away
Establish where you are going to go make sure it's pet-friendly and make sure that it's safe for cats. Think about how you are going to travel if you were going to going to go in the car will they get car sick? Have they ever been in the car before? if you were going to go by a different method such as a train or boat - is it possible to stop for cat toilet breaks and a breath of fresh air?
- Check ahead to make sure that your accommodation is cat friendly. Make them aware that you will be bringing along a cat and not a dog otherwise it could make for an interesting conversation when you arrive.
- If your cat is not naturally an outdoor explorer then make sure the accommodation has the security required that will keep them indoors safe and secure and comfortable.
- When speaking to the hotel or place of accommodation you are staying, check to see if other pets are around there for example there may be a dog or another local cat that wanders around the vicinity.
- Take items with you such as a familiar scratching post or some other small item that will ensure your cat still still feels like they are at home.
- Take the right accessories to ensure cat your can be hydrated and fed easily. This could include collapsible cat bowls or a cat water bottle that can be used to hydrate them when you are on the move. Don't forget the cat food!
- Take a cat litter tray with you you or alternatively take disposable cat litter trays that you can quickly put up and then break down and dispose of at your convenience. Make sure disposable ones are environmentally friendly.
- Have a cat carrier ready for them which will be their new mini home whilst travelling. The most important thing is to make sure they are used to staying in this carrier many many weeks before you leave for your holiday. Don't test it out the night before you go.
- Ensure that your cat is microchipped before you go on holiday you should do this anyway regardless of holidays or adventures. it is compulsory if you are going overseas and ensure they have a GPS tracker.
Step 2 Find Cat Friendly Accommodation
If you are booking a pet friendly hotel and you are taking a cat make sure you phone them first. You might find the conversation goes something like this, ring ring....
You: I understand you are a pet friendly hotel
Hotel: Yes we are
You: Great, just phoning to let you know that we are bringing our cats is that OK?
Hotel: Yes.....(long pause) Hang on did you say cats, not dogs?
You: Yes cats.
Hotel: Really. oh ok I've never heard of that before.
This is the normal initial response you will receive but once you explain a little more to them, they will realise that it will more than likely be less trouble than a dog and you'll have no problems. The good news is that more and more places and people are getting used to the idea of travelling cats so even as I write this, awareness is spreading. Could 2022 be the year of cat travel?
It is probably worth considering that when you're staying at pet friendly places there may have been dogs or other pets that stayed there before. No doubt scents will still linger and your cat might get stressed out by this. Think about what kind of products you might take to try and hide or mask that scent to make your cat feel a little bit calmer in their new environment.
Step 3 Protect Other Peoples Furniture From Scratching
Take furniture throws. Another thing to consider will be take throws so that you can throw them other furniture and other things to protect them. Cats like to scratch and they may scratch things that you don't want them to which could damage property where you are staying. Cats scratch to:
- Threaten potential predators
- Sharpen the claws
- Mark their new territory
Step 4 Relax Their Territorial instincts
Expanding further on the furniture dilemma above, cats are attached to their territory and they can use several different methods to mark their territory which is quite natural. They use visual clues such as scratches and their scent. When we take them away from their typical territory and we take them into a new territory such as a hotel or holiday home then you can cause a little bit of confusion for them and we need to ensure that we put things in place then make them feel more relaxed in their new temporary home. This is where scratch polls, routine and other home comforts will help.
Step 5 Don’t Lose Your Cat
They won't run away if you do one or all of the following:
- Use a cat leash and harness to adventure out with them.
- Ensure the place you are staying is secure so they cannot escape but can still explore.
- If you are really worried, then have peace of mind by using a cat/kitty GPS tracker.
Step 6 Train Them and Help Them Adapt With Good Equipment
At traveller we have many cat owners that have trained them from when they were a kitten and got them used to being in cat carriers, being on trains being in different holiday homes. They have essentially socialised them to the outside world, similar to what people would do with puppies. This alleviates a lot of potential stress. They are capable of adapting to new surroundings quite quickly. Unfortunately not all cats have been put through this at a young age so they are not easily adaptable to car journeys, new environments etc. so the journey itself to the holiday home can be quite a stressful event for them.
This is where getting them use to a cat carrier weeks before you go is important, the use of natural herbal supplements during the journey can also help them to feel more relaxed. Avoid heavy meals before you go too. There are ways to work around the challenges, but nothing beats training them from a young age.
If I Can't Take My Cat With Me, What Are The Alternatives?
Maybe your cat is a little bit older or is simply far too nervous to be leaving the home and going on holiday with you. In that case you'll need to consider having a cat sitter and having things in place for the time that you are away, which is unfortunate but sometimes this is just the way It Is. Your cats comfort and happiness should always be more important than our 'wants' as pet owners.
To conclude, cats can go away with you and many people are doing it. It is on the rise and can be exciting for both you and them but care and consideration is an absolute must to keep them happy.