Should Cats Travel With Their Owners?

When you are traveling, it can be hard for cat owners to decide what to do with their pets. Our Gardena vets discuss if bringing your cat with you on your travels is a good idea, and when it would be best for them to be boarded or cared for at home.

Should You Travel With Your Cat?

Generally speaking, it is not ideal for cats to travel with their owners. There are a few main reasons why you should try to avoid traveling with your cat.

Cats are homebodies and get very comfortable in their environment as it is a relaxing, stress-free place to be.

Our veterinarians here at Alondra Animal Hospital list a few reasons why you may want to make other arrangements for your furry friend while you are traveling.

Traveling is Stressful for Cats

One of the main reasons to leave your cat at home is because your cat can develop anywhere from mild to severe anxiety if their daily routine is disrupted due to traveling.

Cats are routine-based animals and are not conditioned to travel. Travel can be a scary experience for your pet, so it would be ideal to leave them at home with a pet sitter or have them boarded.

If your cat is not exposed at a younger age (approximately two to seven weeks old) to the car, crate, and all the sights and sounds of traveling, they may not handle these situations well.

Traveling Can Cause Illness

The stress that your cat can experience while traveling can also have a large impact on their health. 

Stress is the number one cause of upper respiratory issues in cats. This can lead to further issues while you are traveling with your cat and makes for an unpleasant experience for both cat and owner.

Cats with ongoing or chronic conditions can experience a temporary worsening of symptoms when exposed to stressful situations such as traveling.

Concerns With Litter Box Logistics

When you’re on the road, your cat won't have access to their normal litter box routine. This can be quite problematic for cats with specific litter box needs.

Some cats may try to 'hold it' until they feel they are safe to go. They may experience health issues if they don't feel like they can go to the bathroom like urinary tract infections or cystitis.

Alternate Options

If you are looking to travel and don't want to put your cat through the stress of traveling with you, there are some options as to what to do with your feline friend. Here are a few options for your cat.

Get a Cat Sitter for Your Home

Whether you hire a cat sitter or get a friend or family member to care for your cat at your house, this is probably your best option. This will allow your cat to be comfortable in their environment while you are away.

Although they will surely miss you while you are gone, this option will otherwise cause little to no change in their daily routine. Just ensure someone will be able to care for them daily to provide them with food and water, clean their litter box, and provide them with some attention.

Leave Your Cat With a Sitter

This is a good option as well, but your cat will need some time to adjust to their new environment. They should get used to their new surroundings in a few days and will definitely appreciate this option over traveling.

Board Your Cat at a Veterinarians Office

Although your cat will have to adjust to their temporary new environment, they will be in good, professional hands and will receive the proper care that they need and deserve.

Boarding your cat with a vet will also allow your cat to receive any care they may need if they are experiencing symptoms of stress.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Are you wondering whether or not traveling with your cat is a good idea? Contact our Gardena vets for information specific to your kitty.