How To Travel With A Cat


Captain Dad and First Mate Piper

She sat staring at us sitting by the fire pit, ticked.
Taking your cat on the road with you can be done!

We rescued Piper from our local no-kill shelter (Ventura County Animal Services) after I lost my cat to a hungry coyote. In my life I’ve had so many cats, starting with Poncho, then Bach, Patty Mayonaise, Buster and Arya.  Not one of my cats has had the same personality.  In hindsight, they were all rescue cats!

Because cat has its own personality it is absolutely a factor as to whether or not your cat will dig riding in the car.  Patty Mayonaise would have sliced my eyes out within 2 seconds.  Buster would have just hung out in the back with the dogs, Arya wouldn’t have tolerated confinement and dogs.  So, you have to be realistic in your demands of your pet.



We are at the start of including her in our family adventures.

So far, so good!

We got this amazing carry case from bergan while visiting Portland Oregon. It gives her enough hiding space but also allows her to peek out while in it. Now she goes into it willingly on her own. We leave it open in our house and she oftentimes just finds it to relax in.

While driving we have the windows up 90% of the way because we’re not sure she won’t get sucked out! The truck has enormous windows for both dogs and the cat to get a great view.

Dad went to talk to a man about a horse, Piper found the warm dash.

Piper wanders all over the truck but loves our laps the most.

No complaints from the backseat on our family road trips…ever!
After we begin the trip and get comfortably rolling we unzip the case and let her roam. I have a blanket in my lap for her to stand or relax on. She normally chooses the center console or our laps. She never sits still and will pop her head up to see where we are (not sure what triggers that).
Overall we are taking small steps toward her independence (like our dogs) on travel.

Here are the few factors to consider:

  • Transport to and from car in a pet travel carrier. Leave it out for your cat to sniff and hide in during the time you are not traveling.
  • Cat box. We bring the cat box from home because she is comfortable with it. We only bring her with us while traveling with the RV trailer. You need to have a solution for your cat to go potty.
  • Short trips. Start off just driving around the block. Cats are super sensitive to sounds so don’t play the radio blasting (or at all) or play calming music.
  • Once your cat seems less nervous on the trips (and with someone else in the car) open the carrying case and let them exit on their own. Never open the door with your cat roaming free.
  • Cat Harness. We have a harness we leave on her full time during the day. We take her out on walks and that is getting better and better. She is getting comfortable being on a lead as The place you take a walk at should be calm. We tried the ocean and the crashing waves freaked her out.
  • Food and water. In our little trailer we try to feed her separately from the dogs. She still gets irritated when they walk on her planet and gives a hiss and sometimes a little swat. We have a community water bowl and all three of them sip from it no problem.

With a little practice off and on we are grooming Piper to relax while riding in the truck as well at a campsite to roam on her leash and check out the planet too!

She still prefers to sleep most of the day and roam the trailer during the night (sometimes landing on my feet…which I love!)

Good luck.

Published by Sarita Shoemaker

I love my kids, husband, pets, the Earth and family. My Top 5 feelings: gratitude, honor, honesty, respect, encouragement. Pretty certain this is how most of us would answer the prompt "About Me". Enough about About You?

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