Plastic cat carrier
Sometimes we have to take a cat to a veterinarian or somewhere else. What is the safest way to do it, and how can we make our pet's trip as comfortable as possible? Don't worry, most cats will easily adapt to any kind of transportation. However, there are a few general practices to follow to minimize your companion's stress.

General recommendations

A special cat carrier is usually the best way to transport your cat, whether you go by foot, by public transport, by car, or by train. There is a great variety of cat carriers available on the market. They are made of different materials such as plastic, fabric, wicker, willow, etc. They also come in various shapes and colors. Some have a special shoulder strap designed for your convenience. Some allow placing a litter box into them, and some have inbuilt food bowls. Whatever carrier you choose, ensure it has good ventilation. How would you feel locked in a small stuffy space for hours? Another thing to check is the locking system. It should be secure enough so your cat doesn't manage to unlock the door and escape. Nor should you be able to unlock it by accident.

It's always a very good idea to let your cat get used to its carrier before you go for a trip. Place the carrier on the floor, and let your cat explore and smell it. Put your cat's favourite toy, blanket, or a treat in the carrier to encourage your furry companion to go in. A familiar or tasty thing inside the crate will make this foreign object less scary but more friendly. Leave the carrier on the floor until your cat shows no signs of anxiety and fear walking around it. If your cat decides to have a nap inside, that's excellent!
Fabric cat carrier

When the travel time comes and you have to place your cat into the crate, do it quickly but gently. Make sure you've locked the door after your cat is in.

Cats need documents too

If you're going for a long-distance trip by train, by sea, or by air, make sure you have collected all the necessary documents that may be required for your cat. What documents you must have on hands is usually determined by your local laws. For example, it can be a special ticket or a veterinary passport with your cat's vaccination records and other veterinarian information. Obviously, make sure all the mandatory vaccinations are up to date.

Other useful tips

- It is recommended that travelling time with a cat doesn't exceed 8 to 10 hrs.
- Just like humans, some animals can have motion sickness. Don't feed your cat at least an hour prior to the trip. This is to prevent vomiting. If your cat suffers from severe motion sickness, consider getting an anti motion sickness medication appropriate for cats. They can be found at veterinary pharmacies. Make sure you've read the instruction! (To be on the safe side, it's actually a very good idea to speak with your vet before you give any medication to your cat.) Another option is to give your cat a natural sedative such as catnip.
- If your cat isn't microchipped, make sure it has a collar with your contact details. If your cat escapes, it can help you reunite.
- Always minimize travelling time as much as possible. Choose the shortest way to get to your designation.
Cat carrier with food bowls

- When you travel by car in summer, NEVER leave the car under direct sunlight with your cat inside. The cat may have a heat stroke or a heart attack, which is often fatal. If you have to leave your cat inside for a while, park the car in shade and ensure fresh air inflow by opening two opposite car windows.
- NEVER transport a cat inside the trunk. Your pet can suffocate or be intoxicated with petrol fumes.

The pictures used in the article are taken from this website.