Holiday travels with a cat by your side? We can imagine that for many felines, the idea of leaving the house and discovering the world outside doesn’t make it to the top of their life priorities list - a comfy couch undoubtedly wins with adventures in the big litter box that hoomans call a beach. But there are cats who are not only used to travelling with their Carers - they actually enjoy every trip to the unknown. Today, dear fabCats, we’re taking on the topic of holiday travels with a cat and checking how to get ready for them so that the only thing you bring back from your vacation is good memories :)
Holidays from the cat purrspective
Planning a holiday for cat Carers is quite the logistical feat. Contrary to doggos who are quite happy to travel with their Hoomans and are often seen on beaches, in the mountains and in all sorts of holiday resorts, cats aren’t necessarily the traveling type and with some exceptions, they’re quite the rare sight at holiday destinations. But what happens to them when their people are chilling out away from home? Who gives them pouches and digs out the litter box treasures?
There’s quite a few options and it’s your place to say, fabCats, which one fits your and your cats’ needs the best. Living with cats under one roof we are aware that us leaving impacts their life circumstances as well - whether the cat stays at home with a visiting carer, someone stays with them the entire time for a few days or if they need to relocate to your family’s house or a pet hotel for the time you’re gone, each one of those scenarios will cause some stress. As beings who thrive on routine and feel safe with it, cats don’t look forward to the holiday season. But… it happens anyway. What then?
Holidays, the cat way - what to do with a cat when you go on vacation?
With a few different options mentioned before, it’s time to look at some of them a little closer.
The cat stays at home, with a carer coming to visit them daily. Whether it’s going to be a professional pet sitter, your friend, a family member or a neighbour, it doesn’t usually make a huge difference as long as the cat feels ok around them. What matters here is that the cat stays in their own house where they feel safe and can live freely without breaking their daily routine. Since they don’t have their Carers there 24/7, they will surely miss them, but if traveling makes a cat feel stressed out or sick, the option to leave them at home is definitely more safe. What should you remember about? If your cat has a carer coming to visit them daily, it’s good to make sure it’s not only once a day and for just a few minutes - the person should be able to stay with them for a while. Their role won’t be to just refill the bowls and clean up the litter box - a cat left all alone still needs their playtime and hooman company and if they’re a single cat, being lonely the entire time you’re away doesn’t feel good.
What does a cat sitter do? Check out our article about professional pet sitting here: https://blog.mykotty.pl/en/2021/05/10/professional-cat-carer-a-cat-sitter/
Cat gets a step-Carer 24/7. Both in a case where a family member comes to stay with the cat when you’re gone and when you take the cat to a family’s house to live there for the time being, a huge advantage here is that the cat has care and support 24/7. This is a great solution for cats who get their energy and happiness from interacting with people and don’t do well with being alone. If they stay at your house, the clear plus side is that they know the territory and feel self confident, but if you don’t have the option to do that, fabCat, taking your feline friend to a pre-prepped location at a relative’s house should go through without major issues. Our team cat Tosia always travels to her family when her Carers are away and though the first impressions after changing her location are always like she’s surprised, she quickly acclimates to the new space as if she had always lived there :)
Cat leaves for the holidays with the Carers. Our list could not be complete without the bravest of cats - the adventure seekers who see their Carers packing the suitcases and immediately stand in line to get packed up and strapped into the leash. Is it typical for cats? Of course not. But there are exceptions and if your cats don’t feel stressed out when traveling, they are happy to visit new places, love walking on a leash and you have the possibility to adjust your travels to their needs, we don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t take them with you. If you do so, there are things it’s good to take special care of beforehand.
How to prep a cat for holiday?
For this section of the article let’s discuss two of the options mentioned earlier: taking your cat to a family’s house for the time you’re away and taking the cat with you for the holiday, where they will stay at a hotel, a car, on the beach etc. alongside you. In both cases, the prep for your cat’s luggage will be similar so we won’t be splitting them further here.
- Before you leave, make sure the place you're going to is pet-friendly - whether it’s your family’s home or a hotel, nobody wants to be surprised by an unexpected cat guest :)
- Plan ahead for a health checkup at the vets. Update all the mandatory vaccines, deworming and do a general health check to have a peace of mind about your pet’s well being during your trip. Stress alone can cause them to feel unwell so it’s good to know their health is at its best. When you are at the vets, ask them to fill in your cats’ health book too, ask for protective measures against ticks and fleas and definitely make sure they have their microchip set up and registered with your contact data in case the cat goes missing.
What will be useful on the trip itself and once you get to your holiday destination? In your hand luggage, always take: food and water bowls, your cat’s favorite food and snacks, water, litter box with litter, a scoop and poop bags. This set will be useful both during the car ride and right away when you arrive. For your own and your cat’s safety, it’s good for them to travel in a carrier, but if you plan to let them out (whether it’s during the car ride or at a stop), keep a harness and a leash handy so the cat can’t escape the car and head for the unknown on their own :)
Holidays often require us to be minimalistic - it’s hard to take everything you’re using on a daily basis with you and fully deck out the place you’re staying at for a few days. However, when it comes to cats, it’s good to make sure they have a piece of their home with them - a cat bed soaked with their scent, their favorite scratcher they can stretch out and lounge on by the window, their best toys they can get crazy for and a safe carrier they can hide in and feel 100% secure. We know it’s not easy to transport big cat beds or scratchers, which is why we recommend our TOBI scratcher with its compact design that makes it very travel-friendly.
How do you organize holidays with your cats, dear fabCats? Are your feline friends traveling with you, staying at home, or maybe going to a family house to chill with your relatives? Drop your holiday stories in the comments and if you’re planning a getaway right now: relax and recharge, the summer is going to be wonderful :)