Are you planning a cat friendly trip? Here are some tips for travelling with a cat in India

Featured 14th Jan-2022

Are you planning a cat friendly trip? Here are some tips for travelling with a cat in India

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For a lot of you cat-parents out there, a holiday may not feel just right because the whole family isn't there! And if you’re one of these people who can’t bear to leave their beloved cats behind when they go on vacation, we’re here to tell you you’re not alone, and that there are tons of ways you can include even the furry members of your family on your next trip. 

But, if you’re planning a cat friendly trip, you should know that it requires quite a bit of preparation. Remember, it will be your job to keep your fur baby comfortable, happy and healthy on the road. 

However, once you’re actually on your way, you’ll realize that travelling with your cat can be a great bonding experience for both of you!

So, here are some tips for travelling with a cat:

  1. What’s your cat’s personality like?

It’s very important to remember that a cat is not a dog! While a dog might jump at the chance of an adventure, lots of cats are homebodies and travelling can make them pretty stressed. So, before you even plan your trip, keep in mind your kitty’s general health and personality.

If they’re generally anxious or prone to get sick a lot, you might want to consider whether travelling with your cat is actually a good idea. After all, your cat can’t actually talk to you, so you have to work out how they feel!

  1. Talk to your vet before you go

Have a quick chat with your regular veterinarian to see if it’s a good idea to take your cat along on your trip. If they have anxiety or motion sickness, you can even consider treatment options that will make travelling a better experience for your fur baby. You’ll also need them to give you a kitty health certificate with your cat’s medical and vaccination records.

You should also find out if it’s even safe for your cat to travel, as some breeds (like Himalayan and Persian cats) aren’t allowed on planes because more likely to end up facing stress, breathing difficulties, or even heat stroke; you can see the full list here.

  1. Have fully updated ID tags, or microchips

The last thing you want is for your kitty to get lost with no way of being reunited with you! So, ensure that your has an ID tag with your correct and up-to-date info (like your name, phone number, and address, and perhaps your vet’s details in case of an emergency). If they aren’t already, consider getting your kitty microchipped*.

*(A microchip is basically a TINY computer chip – smaller than a grain of rice! – that unique code and injected under your cat’s skin. Vets and other authorities can read the code on the chip with a special scanner, all you need to do is register the code to connect your pet to you. It’s quite painless and the material is non-allergenic, and literally lasts a lifetime, so it won’t cause any problems.)

  1. Find a great Cat Insurance plan

Getting a pet insurance will be a great help for both you and your cat on your trip. Having a cat travel insurance will help cover for any accidents and healthcare costs that may happen during your trip. This can be especially useful if you're travelling abroad with your furry friend. 🐾 If you’re going on a road trip, a car insurance will also be super helpful to deal with any incidents or damage to your car during the journey!

  1. Choose the right destination

Since the whole point is to travel with your furry BFF, you need to look out for cat-friendly destinations. These days, there are many places you can choose from, both domestically and internationally.

Just remember to do a bit of research about the destination. For overseas destinations to visit with your cat, just ask your vet if there are any specific vaccination requirements or quarantine periods, and how the weather there will affect your cat!

  1. Look for some cat-friendly accommodation

First of all, when you’re travelling with cats, whether it’s a hotel or a homestay, make sure the accommodation you pick is pet-friendly. Make sure it’s nice and secure so your cat won’t get lost! Then you’ll need to let them know you’re bringing your furry friend along, so that they are also ready for your cat’s arrival.

  1. Find out which Cat Carrier you need

However you plan to travel (be it in a car, a train or a plane) you’re going to need some kind of carrier, or cat travel bag, for your kitty. 

It’s not always safe to let your cat roam free when travelling, as they could be injured (or if you’re driving, distract you from the road!). So a carrier is a safe and quiet space for them. Just make sure that it’s big enough for your cat to get up and move around in, and that you take the time to get them used to the carrier before you leave on your trip!

  1. What do you need to pack?

Just like you, your kitty is going to need a lot of things on your vacation! A brand-new place might be a little bit stressful at first, so it’s a good idea to take some reminders of home (like some favorite toys and comfy bedding) apart from this, you will need to take along cat food (and food and water bowls), catnip, kitty litter, and a scooper. 

If your cat has a delicate stomach, you can also consider taking along your own water in some plastic bottles so that they don’t fall ill from drinking unfamiliar water! You can also bring along some new and exciting toys to keep your cat busy and happy on the trip. 😊 

  1. Pick a mode of travel

When you travel, you need to know how it is going to affect your cat, because it’s sure to be very different from how it will affect you. For example:

  • When you choose air travel with cats, your cat might have to spend the entire trip in a carrier. In India, only Air India allows pets to travel inside the cabin with you. 

  • Trains have a lot more space and are less expensive, but pets are only allowed in First Class compartments, and you might have to move them to the luggage van to avoid bothering any co-passenger.

  • Most buses in India won’t allow any pets to travel, except for the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (plus a few private operators). But buses have very little room so you’ll be required to keep your cat inside the carrier for the whole trip.

  • When you travel with your cat by car, you can stop as many times as you want to eat, stretch your legs, and a whole lot more!

  1. Ensure your cat’s comfort

Remember, throughout your trip, you need to ensure your kitty’s comfort. Like you and me, your cat can also start to feel homesick while traveling, so you need to do all you can to reduce any stress and anxiety. 

Things like taking along familiar smelling objects (like a blanket or even an old t-shirt) can be an excellent reminder of home. You can also try to stick to some regular routines to make the experience as normal as possible. 

Once you and your furry-BFF get through a couple of vacations together both of you will be a whole lot more relaxed. You’ll find that cats actually make really good travel companions!

However, if you’ve read this list of cat travel tips and you’ve realized that your kitty would be happier if you left them at home, that’s okay too. Just remember to find a friend to take your cat in, or a neighbor to look-in on them every day. Then you can go on your vacation and look forward to returning to some very happy purrs! 

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For most of us, our dashboards are our dumping drawers in the car! One will find things like broken sunglasses, an odd Bollywood CD from the yesteryears, expired insurance policy papers, fragrance