It has been a very tough year for everyone, and with most borders still closed and international travel off the cards at the moment, more and more people are now traveling by car within the US. While it is a bit easier to travel with a dog because they tend to be used to being in a car, even if it’s only for a short trip to a local park, many cat owners don’t even consider traveling with their cat because it sounds like a crazy idea. However, it’s all in our heads, and traveling with your pet, whoever they are, is not only possible but also can be stress-free and enjoyable!
Simba and Shasta, for example, have been to England, Korea, and Hong Kong, and have just returned from a 12-day car trip to North Carolina. They are now preparing for their upcoming 18-day car trip to Florida.
In this post, we pooled our experience of traveling long-distance with cats and dogs and created a checklist for you to make it easier for you to plan your upcoming trip. We personally tried all products mentioned in this post and liked or loved them. This doesn’t mean that there are no better options out there though! None of these brands have contacted us, paid us, or incentivized us in any way to mention their products. If you have any recommendations from your own experience, please send us a message, and we will consider updating the post to include your tips!
Simba and Shasta heading to North Carolina
#1 Pre-Order & Packing Checklist
Here is our ‘should-have” list of items that you should order 2 weeks in advance to ensure they get delivered before your departure:
Anti-stress collars for cats (seen on Simba and Shasta in the photo)
Anti-stress collars for dogs
Car seat protection for dogs
Car barrier for dogs
Car enclosure for cats (is secured by seat belts, includes mobile cat litter tray & collapsable water bowl)
Anti-anxiety spray for pets
Anti-stress spray for you
#2 Prepare Your Pet
Out of all actions below, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of pet tags with your contact details, because if your pet accidentally escapes while you are away from home, you need to ensure that people who find them are able to contact you immediately.
#3 Transport Your Pet to the Car
For cat owners: Don’t underestimate the importance of a hot water bottle for cats – they feel more relaxed when there’s something warm next to them to reassure them. Put it in a special cover to avoid scalding and wrap it in your old t-shirt or jumper, your cat will really appreciate the gesture.
#4 Driving with Your Pet
The most important point here is to use your car’s child safety locks’ feature because sometimes dogs and cats can accidentally open a window or even a door and fall out.
Moreover, never ever let your pet roam free in the car, even if they are well behaved. There have been many cases where a dog sees another dog or a cat hears a sudden noise while you are on the road. Out of fear or excitement they may jump on the steering wheel or crawl under the gas/brakes’ pedals, causing a serious accident.
For dog owners: Please never ever drive your dog in the back of your truck. A friend’s Labrador who was used to being transported in the back of the truck saw another dog and jumped out while she was driving at full speed, breaking his back. She had to take him to the vet and put him down, which was really heartbreaking.
#5 Hotel Stays with Pets
We wish you an amazing trip with your pets! Let us know how it goes, and if you have any tips you would like to share with our pet parent community, please CONTACT US and we will update the post accordingly!