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Monday, May 19, 2014

More Travel with Pets--Cats

And in collaboration with @KendraThornton, here is my article about pet travel.  Enjoy!
On the Road with Kitty 
by Catherine Chin Schwartz

I used to travel with my cats, Smokey & Sabrina, whenever I would visit my parents or whenever we moved to a new home(which was often), bringing them even to Europe!

Here is my list of things to make things a little easier when traveling with a cat:

    1.     A good site for finding pet friendly hotels is
    2.     Make sure while on the road, they have plenty of water.  I used a bowl with higher sides (to prevent     spills) on top of a plastic place mat on the floor of the car. 
    3.     Make sure you don’t overheat the cat—keep the air conditioner on in summer, and obviously don’t leave them in the car for more than a few minutes.  (If your air conditioning happens to break enroute, they will unhappily lie on a block of ice as a last resort, but be fine.  This was my husband’s genius solution to a very long and hot move from TX to MO during the summer.)
    4.     Pack Nature’s Miracle in a small spray bottle, an old towel or two, and some baby wipes in case the     animal soils the car or hotel in any way.
   5.     Ask your vet for a gentle sedative.  They still may meow for a few minutes when you first start your trip, until they settle in.  I used to put one of my cats on the seat next to me, petting him along the way, and he was fine.  The other preferred to hang out in the pet carrier.
   6.     Always bring a cat carrier to transport your kitty into the hotel, as well as to provide a cozy spot that he is familiar with during your travels.
    7.     Pack a small portable litter box, good clumping litter, and extra bags.  When you arrive at the hotel, set it up in the bathroom, and bring the cat straight to the box.
   8.     Cats can be skittish, and wary of new places.  In order to settle them in to a new place (hotel, temporary home), stay with them for a bit before leaving them.  It might be a good idea to order dinner in, or send someone else for food.     
    9.     Always attach a leash to your pet before opening the car door.  You can never be too cautious with your furry family member.
  10.   I have flown with my cats, and it always went well.  There are additional charges and you must contact the airline ahead of time to schedule even an under-the-seat pet. 

Your cat isn’t as comfortable on the road as he is at home, but he is comforted by the fact that you, his people, are with him. 

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