By Nada Aly

We all know how stressful traveling can be, not to mention, with a feline friend tagging along. Cat owners always want the best for their cats; that's why it's important to prepare and plan ahead to avoid the extra stress of an upset kitty. Here are some things you can do: 

Get them comfortable with their carrier ahead of time

Whether it's getting a completely new carrier (that they do not associate with any negativity), or turning their carrier into a sleeping area, it makes it a whole lot easier when your kitty likes and feels safe in the place they'll be in for some time. 

Cover their carrier with towels or blankets

Many cats do better when they can't see new changes around them. For example, seeing outside the window of a moving car could really overwhelm your furry friend. Covering their carrier so they don't get overstimulated or overwhelmed can help eliminate some stress. 

Spray their towels or carrier with Feliway

Feliway is a pheromone spray that can calm our feline friends down. Spritz some a few minutes before it's time for them to go in the carrier to help them stay relaxed. If you'll be staying in a hotel or new place, it may help to get a feliway diffuser which plugs into outlets.

Side view of cat sitting in the back seat

Familiarize them with the vehicle or mode of transportation if possible

As an example, if you are taking a long road trip it may help to get your cat used cars. Start with just a few minutes in the car a day; eventually, your kitty can graduate to the car turning on and off, then later the car can be moving. You can spray the car with Feliway as well. 

Provide their needs frequently

At at least every stop, offer your kitty water. If the carrier is big enough it is best to fit a small sized litter box inside; food or snacks can be offered at stops or around their regular scheduled meal time as well.

Play with your cat or offer toys whenever possible

Toys or activities can help them release some energy and hopefully destress. If your cat has a favorite stuffed animal, you can leave it in the carrier with them. 

Take preventative pet care measures

To protect and prevent illness and infections, make sure their shots are up to date and give them parasite protection before traveling. 

Contact their doctor

All in all, speak to your veterinarian about the best methods to help your cat while traveling. Every cat and situation is different, so it is important to update their doctor. 

If your cat struggles with severe stress or anxiety, anxiety medication might be a good option - ask your veterinarian if that would be a possible option for your kitty. Need to schedule your pet’s next appointment? Contact us here.

Enjoy your trip with your furry friend!

Cat in suitcase wearing sunglasses

The Drake Center for Veterinary Care, a staple in Encinitas, CA, is a trusted AAHA-accredited animal hospital. The Drake Center loves being a source of information for all pet owners across the country however if you have any questions regarding pet care and do not live in Encinitas, CA or surrounding cities, we encourage you to contact your local veterinarian.


  • cat behavior