Best Way To Travel With A Cat In A Car

Your cat is just like family. If you are going on a vacation, you might want to bring your cat along to double the fun.

However, the discomfort that comes with traveling can make cats dread the trip. To a cat, the drive can be unpredictable and frightening.

It would help if you got your cat familiar with riding in a car so they can associate it with fun and happy experiences.

You can make them enjoy the ride by desensitizing them using classical conditioning. It may take patience and work, but you will have a contented cat that can be taken on trips in the long run. This article gives you some tips on the best way to travel with a cat in a car.

8 Tips on the best way to travel with a cat in a car

best way to travel with a cat in a car


What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? To make everything safe, kittens and cats must be in a carrier while in a moving car.

A pet that can move freely around the car can become a furry little missile and cause accidents. If you are driving, you need your full concentration on the road and traffic.

Your cat baby should be in its proper place. Don’t trust even the most well-behaved cat because once loose in the car, they could be harmed if an airbag accidentally pops out and crushes them.

This can happen if they are in the front seat. Crate train your cat before you go on a road trip.


What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? Even though your cat will be locked up inside a crate, you should still help them have positive experiences riding a car prior to starting the engine.

Cats are delicate creatures and are highly sensitive to their environment and territory, which is why they often choose to stay at home in warm and familiar surroundings.

Make sure your cat gets familiar with a car and regards it as a second home. Allow them to roam the interior and spread their scents to mark the car as their territory. Doing this will help them relax and enjoy travel.


What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? Put your cats and personal items inside the car behind the driver’s seat. This way, the cat will recognize his scent inside the car.


best way to travel with a cat in a car

What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? Allow your cat to get inside the car with you and close the door. Let them sniff and explore the car’s interior.

If you are dealing with small kittens, make sure they do not get stuck in cubbyholes beneath the dashboard. This desensitizing exercise should only last five minutes.

Once done, get your kitten or cat back into safety and familiar surroundings. You might find that your cat will be frightened inside the car.

They will fluff their hair, make vocalizations, and raise their tail. Repeat this desensitization process for several days, increasing the time when you see that your cat or kitten is calm

Meals in cars

What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? Once your cat has gotten familiar inside a car, serve their meals there for a week. Or, give them high-value treats within the car.

If your cat has a preference for play and catnip, indulge them with these favorites while in the car. They should associate the car with good things and experiences.

Crate training

What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? It is crucial to combine crate training with car exploration.

Once your feline cat has accepted the car as part of their territory, put them inside the carrier and set it behind the driver’s seat at the back, far from the airbag risk.

Start the motor, and go on a short drive. Repeat this up to four times a day until your cat accepts this routine. Offer them rewards or playtime once you release them from the crate.

Starting the car

After you start the car, back it up to the driveway’s end and stop the engine, do this successively up to three times, and let your pet out when you come home.

If your cat gets stressed, you may be moving the car too fast. Although this process may take forever, it works.

Increase the time

Increase car time incrementally. Drive farther distances starting with a trip around the block and then back home.

Ensure every car trip gives positive vibes and experiences for your cat, so they will look forward to every trip.

The best way to travel with a cat in a car with a Litter Box– long distances

The Dress Rehearsal

best way to travel with a cat in a car

What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? The best way to see how your cat reacts to long-distance travel is actually to ride with them in the car and go places.

Trips to the vet are quick and can’t be compared to long-distance drives. You will want to know how they will behave on long-distance road trips.

Thus, you can start by going on a few short trips near your home to see how your cat will deal with it. Almost every cat will be stressed at first.

Your cat might not be so different. Allow your cat out of the carrier in the car. They will be pacing around, panting, and may even make high-pitched cries.

This behavior signals that they are not happy. However, after a few minutes, you will find that your cat will begin to calm down.

Once you have gotten your cat familiarized with riding a car, they might still pace and cry on, but it will only last for several minutes. After about 20 minutes, they should settle down on their blankets and other stuff on the back seat and be chill as ice.

Choose the right cat crate or carrier

What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? Many cat owners will not invest time in choosing the best carrier for their cats.

Cat owners often don’t use carriers. But your feline companion will be spending a lot of time in a carrier or crate while on the road.

Make sure you choose something that is roomy and comfortable for your cats.

Carriers made with soft-sided mesh works fine. But you might switch to hard-sided carriers with removable fleece liners since cats are much happier with this setup.

When you take your cat to hotels or lodges, they will be curling inside their sturdy carrier’s soft mattress and nap.

However, it would help if you considered your cat’s personality. You might find that you don’t need a cat carrier at all.

If your cat is generally docile and calm, you might consider letting them sleep beside you in your rented room.

But, if you are concerned that your cat may get spooked at any time during the trip, a carrier will give added security and peace of mind.

Vet visit

This is a crucial step before the big day. Before going on a long-distance trip, make sure to make a stop at the local vet clinic.

Ensure your cat’s health is in top-notch condition before hitting the road. You might be required to bring prescription medication that will last the trip’s duration.

You will also need to bring along cat food if your feline has special dietary needs.

Getting your cat microchipped

If your cat has been an indoor cat all their life, they might get terrorized outdoors. They might think the outside world is a monstrous place, and something will be out to eat th

On your part, you might also be concerned that someone would run off with your cat, or they might just roam unfamiliar territory and get lost.

For these reasons, it is crucial to get your cat microchipped. Most vet offices offer these services these days, and it will only cost you around $50.

Microchips are extremely small and are only about the size of a grain and aren’t noticeable. It gives you peace of mind and eliminates the chances that they will go missing while you’re far away from home.

Bring your cat’s stuff

What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? It is crucial to make your cat’s environment as comfortable and familiar as possible.

During the trip, you might want to bring your cat’s favorite blankets so you can place them in the hotel room for them to snuggle in.

Bringing your cat’s items will also prevent them from messing up hotel furniture. Bring their toys, especially their scratching post.

Anything that has your cat’s scent on it will make the foreign surroundings less threatening to them.

Bring Cat Treats

You might be confident that you know everything about your cat. Stressful situations can make your cat behave in odd ways.

Some cats will be chill, but they will be protesting to the extreme once placed inside a carrier. They might get riled up in situations such as being in the car and being in a cat carrier inside a car.

You might find that natural calming remedies can help put your cat in a relaxed state. These remedies can be given as treats and can keep your cat from being needlessly frightened for several hours.

These treats will help them relax during car rides. It also lessens the stress during the first one or two hours inside the car.

Taking a lunch break on the road

What is the best way to travel with a cat in a car? Your cat might be disinterested in food on the road.

However, if you are medicating your cat, mealtimes are ideal to follow their meds with some dry food. You can stop halfway through your travel to grab lunch for yourself.

During this break, you can give your cat a small serving of dry food in their familiar food dish and let them have a snack.

Your cat might not eat much in these unfamiliar surroundings, but a few bites will be better than nothing.

Keeping your cat hydrated is also crucial. Your cat might refuse to drink inside the car. It is crucial to feed them wet food to get a bit of water in their bodies.

Pee Breaks

One of the hassles of long-distance road trips is bathroom breaks. If you are traveling with a dog, you will have an easier time since every place is a bathroom for them.

On the other hand, Cats need to be in the right mood and be in the right setting. It is crucial to bring their litter box to make bathroom breaks easier.

You might want to give your cat the grand treatment and put their litter box inside the car.

Stop by the roadside and take out your heavy suitcases, and put your cat’s litter box on the empty car floor space. They should be able to add one and one together and get the clue that it’s time for a pee.

Once your cat is done, wrap a plastic litter box liner on the litter box and put the entire thing back into their travel bag. Put your bulky suitcases back where it belongs and be on your way.

Keep It Cool

It should be noted that an animal should never be locked up for long periods inside a car.

During road trips, it is crucial to be by your cat while running the air conditioner. Having their human’s presence keeps them calm, and gives them a feeling of safety

Clean Up

One of the messiest parts about road trips with cats is the clean-up. Regardless of where you’re staying: in the middle of a forest camp, hotel, or lodge, you will have to clean up after your cat once you check out.

You can bring a rubber mat that can be placed under your cat’s litter box. Clean-up is easier, and you can pick up and shake out the mat over the garbage can when you are ready to leave. If it emits a foul odor, you can hose it down on the shower.

You can also pack a whole bunch of cleaning products such as portable vacuums and Swiffer kits.

If you are staying in an Airbnb, you will want to leave a good impression. Meaning, you want to leave your accommodations better than you found them.

Final thoughts


You want to keep your cat by your side as you Instagram and travel places. Although a lot of establishments allow pets, your pet might be uncooperative.

Make sure to work with your cat and get them ready for fun and enjoyable trips. It will only take a bit of patience and training, and your cat will be settling in your car like a real chill tripper.

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