Car Travel With Cats: What You Should Know

Cat Carrier Going Into Car

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows cats that most felines don’t like traveling. My two cats are no exception.

However, in the last few years, our family life has required several unavoidable multiday car trips with our cats, so I’ve learned a few things about cats and travel — more than I ever hoped to know, actually.

Truths About Traveling With Cats

The cats aren't going to use the litterbox in transit. My husband and I thought we were so smart by creating a designated litterbox spot on the floor of the car behind the driver's seat. We planned to bring the cats out one at a time for a potty break when we stopped for our own. We found out quickly that the cats had zero interest in using a roadie litterbox. We also learned that you can never really get rid of all the cat litter once it spills on the floor of your car.

Cat-friendly hotel rooms are not easy to find. If you’ve ever traveled with your pet, you know that planning hotel stays in advance is a must. Pet-friendly hotels don’t always have their pet-friendly rooms available. And did you know that not all "pet-friendly" hotels accept cats? Be prepared for some hefty fees for the convenience of bringing your kitties along. I spent a lot of time on the phone tracking down hotels along our routes that would welcome our furry family members.

Photo credit: Caroline Golon
Beware of small spaces in hotel rooms where cats can hide.

Your cats will hide in your hotel room. When you do find that cat-friendly hotel, do a sweep and block all entrances to places you can’t reach, like behind or under the bed — before you let your cat loose in the room. And don’t underestimate your cat and where he can shimmy. One of my cats flattened himself into a furry pancake and stayed under the hotel’s armoire for most of our overnight stay. I never thought he’d be able to fit under there, but he did.


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