Are you familiar with the struggle of getting a cat into the car? From hiding under the bed to hissing and scratching, most cats dread car travel. Of course, it’s understandable. Cats rarely take car rides. With the exception of annual veterinarian visits and maybe a weekend getaway, our feline friends rarely hit the road.
When they do, fear, anxiety, endless meowing, and nausea are all common side effects.
No wonder travelling with a cat is so stressful!
Luckily, Wise Move is helping thousands of people like you to find professional pet couriers across NZ. Today on the Wise Move blog, our pet transportation experts go over how to make a cat comfortable in the car, so you (and Whiskers) can both enjoy the trip!
Whether your journey is 10 minutes or 4 hours, all car rides can be more “kitty-friendly”. To reduce the stress associated with road trips, do the following:
First, introduce your cat to the vehicle. If they haven’t been inside a car since they were a kitten, the loud noise and vibrations will probably be scary! Keep the engine turned off. Roll up the windows. Gently carry your cat to the car and place them inside – with you there for supervision, of course.
Give them time to sniff, walk around, and become familiar with this new environment.
Secondly, invest in a reliable cat carrier. Leave it open inside the house so they can enter and exit freely. Once they go in and out calmly, close the door and practice walking around with them inside. This will help prepare cats for the day of the big move.
Preventive Vet also says to never let a cat roam loose while driving a car. Not only is this a dangerous distraction, but it’s also possible your cat will jump out a window or sneak out the door…and get lost! Or worse, injured in traffic. Yikes.
Better safe than sorry! Use a cat carrier.
Pro tip: feed yummy treats in the carrier to increase your cat’s positive feelings towards their carrier.
Speaking of kitty psychology, did you know? Cats are territorial animals. Their sense of smell is 14x stronger than humans. By putting a soft bed, blanket, or towel in the cat carrier, their scent will transfer, thus helping them to relax.
In New Zealand, it’s illegal to drive without a seatbelt. Keep your kitty safe (and comfortable) by buckling them in! Cat carriers should be either a) secured with a pet-safe seat belt or b) placed on the floor of the vehicle to minimize sliding, jostling, bumping, and flipping.
At Wise Move, we know cats are cherished members of families across the country, so their welfare needs to be the highest priority too.
High temperatures can be deadly for pets. Sadly, every year cats and dogs die after being left in hot cars. Plus, there’s nothing worse than feeling carsick…except feeling carsick on a hot day!
Keep your kitty comfortable while driving around New Zealand and turn on the air conditioning.
Practice makes perfect. Teach your cat to tolerate – and hopefully, enjoy – car rides by incrementally increasing lengths of drives. Begin with a quick loop around the block. Slowly build up their tolerance with longer trips, always watching for signs of discomfort.
Hooray! The cat car rides are going swimmingly. Be sure to praise your kitty and reward good behaviour with their favourite treats.
Lastly, if all else fails, talk to your vet about medications for cats who hate car rides. Most cat travel sedatives are given orally. Or you can spray calming pheromones, like the ones suggested by Excited Cats. Both will lower a cat’s anxiety and help them sleep during car rides.
Planning to move with a cat? Follow these tips and tricks to guarantee a smooth, comfortable, and cat-friendly car ride.
At Wise Move, we are pet parents too. Our staff understand that when it comes to New Zealand pet transportation, your cat is precious cargo. That’s why we’ve created the first-ever pet courier NZ online platform to connect domestic pet transport NZ movers with the customers who need their services the most.
For trusted, safe, and secure pet transport within NZ, go with Wise Move.
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