From pet travel advice, to travel accessories, to pet-friendly hotel recommendations, it would seem that when people talk about traveling with pets, they mean “dogs only, cats need not apply.” Naturally, some cat parents end up wondering whether it’s reasonable, or even possible to travel with their cuddly little furkids.
Feline aficionados will be pleased to know that traveling with cats is more than possible–it can be a great way to bond with their pets and have a fun adventure together. In fact, more and more cat parents are planning trips with Tiger in mind.
Why cats are less likely to travel
Cat parents do travel less often with their felines than their canine parent counterparts. One reason is that cats are, by nature, more skittish and less fond of crates, car rides and adventures. Another reason is that cats are more independent, more self-sufficient, and less needful of human companionship than dogs, which makes it easier for pet parents to arrange care in their absence.
With all that being said, cat parents show an increasing desire to travel with their feline furkids.
"We get a lot of inquiries asking about cat travel," says Kim Salerno, Founder and CEO of TripsWithPets.com. "There's definitely a growing interest in hotels, destinations, and activities that accommodate cats."
Cat travel and dog travel aren’t so different!
Pet parents may find it surprising that planning a trip with a cat is fairly similar to planning a trip with a dog. While in general dogs may find travel more enjoyable than cats, every dog is an individual, and some are more suited to taking trips than others. Likewise, some cats have an easygoing, adventurous temperament that makes them great travel companions, while others are skittish, grumpy, or hate being hauled around in carriers. Cats who have a great temperament for travel, but are sick, injured, or unaccustomed to safety restraints are better off skipping this trip and waiting to hit the road until their issues are resolved.
‘Pet-friendly’ includes felines
If you have a cat who likes adventures, there are plenty of places that would be happy to accommodate her. Many hotels that allow dogs also welcome cats. Make sure to do your homework regarding pet fees, restrictions, and rules about leaving cats unsupervised in your hotel room.
Even if your cat can’t stay in the room alone, you don’t have to hang around the hotel with her. Cats can go pretty much anywhere dogs are welcome: parks, hiking paths, outdoor flea markets, pet-friendly beaches, outdoor festivals, pet-friendly stores, and more. You can even have a meal on a restaurant patio with your cat, just as you would a dog.
Keeping kitty-travel safe
While cats may be welcome, it’s up to you to ensure their safety. Keep kitty restrained by a leash or carrier at all times. Cat carrier backpacks are a great option-they’re hands-free and your cat gets to see the world safely.
Keep in mind that ‘pet-friendly’ means dogs will probably be there. Keep an eye out for curious or aggressive pooches, and never take your cat anywhere dogs are allowed off-leash.
To sum up, with a little care, the right cat, and thorough planning, you can take your traveling kitty just about anywhere you want to go!
Photo credit: istock/humonia