The Ultimate Cat Behavior Guide.
THE PROBLEM – TRANSPORTING YOUR CAT
IMPACT ON OWNER – occasions when you may need to transport your cat
include taking him to the vets or cattery, moving house or going to the grooming parlour.
CAT’S PERSPECTIVE – can be a highly stressful experience if careful thought and
planning is not carried out.
Causes of stress include
1. Knowledge that once in a cat basket the outcome is generally bad! Your cat either ends up at the vets or in a strange environment with different smells and sounds making him feel insecure.
2. Motion sickness – flashing lights, bumpy roads and cornering.
3. Discomfort – too little room in carrier / too much room in carrier.
4. Carrier too enclosed / too exposed.
5. Feeding just before a journey.
6. Lack of ventilation and overheating.
1. Confine your cat
Never let your cat run free in a car when transporting him. He could cause an accident by becoming entangled with the driver and if a window or door was opened or an accident occurred, he could escape and become lost.
Use a carrier that is strong, secure and easy to clean – the solid plastic types are ideal but others such as wicker or plastic coated wire are adequate. Cardboard carriers are not ideal as they can collapse if become wet with bodily fluids and cats can easily escape from them.
Remember that to a cat, the larger the carrier, the more insecure your cat will feel. Your cat should fit comfortably on a bed in his carrier. It is generally not necessary to provide litter tray facilities as cats will seldom use them when travelling – it is better to provide an absorbent material on the carrier floor to catch any accidents that may occur on the journey.
If you have more than one cat, they should be transported in separate carriers
2. Make your cat feel secure
The inside of the carrier can be sprayed with synthetic feline facial pheromones (Feliway) about 30 minutes before you are due to travel.
Try not to allow a negative association to develop towards the carrier by not only using it for transport but also feed your cat inside it from time to time and hide some of his favourite treats inside for him to find. Make a cosy bed of familiar smelling bedding which can be used on the journey
Place the carrier in a seat below window level either on the seat and secure with a seat belt or in the foot well so the carrier does not roll.
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Paul, Sarah & Merlin