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Options for Travelling with Your Cat

A cat in a travel box, looking at the camera

For pet owners, the thought of travelling with a cat can bring a mix of anticipation and dread. Cats are known for their love of routine and can often find travel stressful. Whether you're moving, going on vacation, or just heading to the vet, understanding the nuances of travelling with your cat is essential. 

This guide will delve into practical tips and considerations for making travel as seamless as possible, focusing on car travel, public transport, and even flying.

Preparing Your Cat for Travel

Acclimating to the Carrier

The first step in a stress-free travel experience is getting your cat accustomed to their carrier. Place the carrier in a familiar space at home, with the door open, allowing your cat to explore and enter at their leisure. A comfortable blanket or favourite toy inside can help make the carrier feel like a safe space. Calming sprays such as Feliway or Pet Remedy, can also help reduce the stress of the carrier.

Safety and Comfort During Car Travel

When travelling with cats in a car, securing the carrier is paramount. A carrier can be secured using a seatbelt or a carrier restraint system to prevent it from moving. Inside the vehicle, ensure there is adequate ventilation and that the carrier is not directly in sunlight.

Key Tips for a Smooth Car Journey:

  • Provide water for your cat to avoid dehydration for longer journeys.

  • Avoid feeding immediately before travel to prevent motion sickness.

  • Schedule breaks for longer journeys to allow your cat to stretch and use the litter box.

Navigating Public Transport and Flying

Public Transport Guidelines

Travelling with a cat on public transport requires checking the transport provider's pet policy. Many require pets to remain in their carriers and may have restrictions on travel times or types of transport. In the UK, cats can be carried on public trains or buses when in a secure carrier, but always check before travelling.

Flying with Your Feline

The process of how to travel with a cat by air varies between airlines. Contact the airline in advance to understand their specific pet policies. Always ensure your cat's microchip, vaccinations, and any necessary health certifications are up-to-date before flying.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: How can I keep my cat calm during travel?

A: Use pheromone sprays or include a familiar item in the carrier. Consult your vet for advice on calming aids or medication if your cat is particularly anxious.

Q: Is it safe to leave my cat in the car?

A: Never leave your cat unattended in a car, especially in warm weather, to avoid the risk of heatstroke.

Q: How often should I stop when travelling by car?

A: For long trips, plan to stop every 2-3 hours to allow your cat to use the litter box and hydrate.

Q: Which is better for my cat, car or train travel?

A: This depends on your cat's temperament and the journey's length. Cars offer more control over the environment, while trains can be less stressful due to their steady movement.


With proper preparation and understanding of your cat's needs, travelling with your cat can be a positive experience. From car trips and public transport to flying, each mode of travel offers unique considerations. By prioritising your cat's comfort and safety, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for both of you.


Order Dr Hannah Parkin's Amazing Guide To Caring For Your New Puppy.
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