I originally wrote this post several years ago. But with our impending car and ferry trip from Bellingham to Powell River, I thought it would be a good time to share again for all my cat lovers.
I was really afraid when it was time to move my cat Stick Tail from Pomona to Bellingham. But the flight on Alaska Airlines, including a transfer in Seattle, went without a hitch (Flying with My Cat). Stick moved in with Mom and adjusted almost immediately to his new surroundings. Now they are inseparable (Stick on the Job).
The next challenge was taking Mom and Stick north to Powell River by car and ferry (Driving with My Cat). I was afraid Stick would try to escape, so I started out using his carry case. He voiced his complaint quite vociferously. I shouldn't have worried, he's such a fraidy cat.
Stick still gets car sick, but we are prepared. We carry towels and baggies to take care of the mess. Cats are like humans, they can get car sick too. After he has cleared his stomach, the rest of the trip is pretty enjoyable for Stick.
- Purchase a carrier that gives your cat plenty of room.
- At home, open the carrier for non-threatening exploration.
- At home, put some catnip in the carrier to make it attractive.
- Put your cat in the carrier for short periods of time.
- Take your cat on several short practice drives.
- Research airline and border crossing requirements.
- Carry your cat's original rabies immunization certificate.
- Get an additional Health Certificate for airline travel.
- Check with your vet or pet store about anxiety remedies.
- If you are traveling early, limit or skip your cat's breakfast.
- Use the carrier for initial car trips and all airline trips.
- Allow your cat to get out of the car carrier after acclimated.
- Use a leash or harness if needed to hold or catch your cat.
- Have a passenger hold your cat for about 20 minutes.
- Have a towel handy for car sickness or shedding hair.
- For long trips, have water and litter available.
- After arrival, hold your cat for about 20 minutes.
- Close bedroom doors before releasing your cat.
- Take your cat's own dishes, toys and litter box, if possible.
- Remember, cats are more adaptable than you may expect.
Happy traveling, cat and all! -- Margy