Travel

‘Ways to Soothe a Cat During a Car Ride’

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By parm maan

With Easter just around the corner, many people are taking the opportunity to enjoy a getaway, and this creates an important dilemma: whether or not to travel with our cat. For cats, the simple act of abandoning their routine and experiencing travel can be somewhat traumatic.

If they also feel exposed to external conditions (too much movement, crowds or noise), their stress levels can increase significantly. Therefore, our advice, if there is no other travel alternative, is that you travel by car so that you always have more control over the well-being of your companions.

Sanicat, faced with this dilemma, offers ABC Mascotas some tips to reduce your stress when traveling or if, on the contrary, you prefer to leave it at home for a few days. You already know that if you leave it at home, remember that under the Animal Welfare Act, the maximum number of days allowed for it alone is three days.

For those who decide to share the trip with their family, it is important to consider the following recommendations:

Acquaintance with the carrier

It is advisable to keep the carrier at home for a few days so that the cat gets to know it, turning it into a comfortable space and does not reject it or find it strange. It is advisable to use a hard one with slats to keep the cat safe during the journey. No matter how calm your cat is, you should never let him roam free in the car. The best option for traveling in a car is one with grilles made of hard material that allow for proper ventilation and a secure closure. This should always be adjusted to the size of the cat, allowing it to comfortably stretch as it pleases if it so desires.

It is important that you have a clean, fresh water dispenser for your cat to drink during the trip. An excellent option is to use “guinea pig” type drinks that are anchored. Although there is an option to place the carrier on the back seat and adjust it with the help of a seat belt, it is recommended to choose to place it on the floor, in the gap between the front and rear seats. This ensures that the cat is exposed to fewer stimuli and will therefore be able to reduce stress levels. Additionally, it is vitally important that it never be exposed to the sun as well as the direct outlet of an air conditioner or heating pipe.

Training in the car

Starting with short trips can help your pet become familiar with the movement, gradually increasing the duration for a smoother transition. In addition, it is very important to acclimatize the cat to the sounds of the car by turning it on and letting it run while parked. This practice helps reduce the cat's anxiety and facilitates its gradual adaptation to the car environment, effectively preparing it for future trips.

Use of pheromones

Using cat-specific pheromone diffusers can be an effective tool to calm your cat while traveling, they promote calmness and well-being, reduce stress and improve behavior. Whether your cat is more or less nervous, applying synthetic pheromones or using mild sedatives can calm any anxiety she may have during the trip.

Synthetic pheromones can be purchased from a veterinarian and are substances that produce familiar smells to cats, providing them with peace of mind. The ideal is to buy them in an aerosol form so that you can vape them inside the car half an hour before the trip. If your cat is very lethargic and/or the journey is long, another option to discuss with your vet is to prescribe a mild sedative. In any case, never self-medicate.

Avoid eating before traveling

To minimize the risk of stomach upset in cats during car journeys, it is recommended to avoid feeding for several hours before the journey.

Sandbox:

It is important to ensure that you bring an appropriate litter box with you during the trip so that the cat is comfortable and able to meet its hygiene needs both during the journey and at the final destination.

On the track

There are various things you can do to keep your cat as comfortable as possible during the trip. Keeping the windows closed, keeping the music down, not making sudden movements, and speaking kindly are important steps to keep your cat from traveling scared. Furthermore, it is essential that you monitor the temperature inside the car at all times and avoid taking it outside. Try not to leave him alone in the car. This aspect can scare you or make you extremely uncomfortable. Once you reach the destination, remove it from the carrier and allow it to test and acclimate to the location. Little by little, your confidence will increase.

Leaving the cat at Easter

Tips if you stay at home

Conversely, for those who decide to leave the cat or cats at home in their absence, remember that it cannot be longer than 3 days as defined by the Animal Welfare Act. If the absence is longer than the specified period, it is important to arrange visits from carers, friends or family to check that everything is OK. In addition, you should follow the following tips:

Sufficient food and drink

It is important to ensure that the food containers are full and the water tank contains sufficient water. It is advisable to distribute these containers in different places of the house. You can also choose an automatic food dispenser, but it is recommended to start using it a few days before, so that the cat gets used to this new way of feeding.

clean sandbox

The litter box is important and it is recommended to choose a super absorbent or low maintenance litter when you expect to go several days without cleaning the litter box. If no one is available to clean it, it may get full and your cat may refuse to use it. Therefore, it is ideal to leave another litter box somewhere in the house so that your cat has a clean and adequate place to satisfy his physiological needs.

Security at home

Another aspect to remember if you leave your cat alone at home is to ensure that all windows and exits are tightly closed so that the cat does not escape or have an accident while you are away.

Toys

Although cats are usually calmer when we are not at home, if the absence is prolonged, it is recommended to leave them with toys to stimulate their minds and thus keep them entertained and not miss us too much.

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