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Cat car rides are tough – get these accessories to make them easier

Cat car accessories make road trips easier
Raindom/Pixabay

Most dogs love jumping in the car — even if it’s just a trip around the block. Cats, on the other hand, aren’t usually the biggest fans of car rides. They prefer staying home where everything looks and smells familiar. That doesn’t mean you have to line up a cat-sitter for your next vacation, though. With these handy cat car accessories, your feline family member will enjoy the trip every bit as much as your dog.

Preparing for the journey

Before you hit the road, make sure you have everything you need. You don’t want a frantic scramble at the last minute. Worse, you don’t want to have to track down emergency supplies on the road.

Taking a car ride with your cat means checking that you have the following on hand:

  • A collar or harness with a current ID tag
  • Recent photos of your adorable kitty (on your phone is fine)
  • In a perfect world, a registered microchip

Use your cell phone number on the identification. After all, you won’t be home. You’ll increase the chances of reuniting with your cat if you get separated.

Cats with medical issues

If your feline has a medical condition, eats a prescription diet, or takes any medication, make sure you have everything you need. That includes a copy of your kitty’s medical records. Trying to coordinate with pharmacies or unfamiliar veterinary hospitals on the road doesn’t always work. Order any refills before your trip. And set up a pet first-aid kit.

Relaxation is key

Cats don’t always appreciate travel. You can ease the journey with a couple of key cat car accessories. Your cat will stay comfortable, taking the stress off your shoulders while you navigate traffic or negotiate directions.

Home away from home

You want your cat to feel comfortable in the car. At the same time, they need to stay safe. It’s a careful balance.

A sturdy yet secure cat carrier ensures your cat stays safe on the journey. Soft-sided cat carriers, such as the Sherpa Deluxe, make excellent choices. They provide plenty of room to stretch out while securing to a seat belt for extra protection. If you have more than one cat, they each need a carrier of their own. While cats may get along okay at home, a long car ride confined together can lead to squabbles.

Sherpa Travel Deluxe Pet Carrier for cat car rides
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If your cat’s not a fan of their carrier, a calming spray should go on your cat car accessory checklist. Nature’s Miracle uses a blend of herbs that create a sense of safety for your nervous little traveler. You can use the spray inside of the carrier, on the car seat, or on the blankets you line the carrier with. Your cat will settle down and relax.

Everyone needs a chance for a bathroom break on a road trip. Your cat’s no exception. You don’t want to drag their monstrous litterbox with you, though. Good thing Wonder Box makes a set of disposable litterboxes you can toss in the back of the car. The boxes are portable, won’t leak, and feature recyclable materials. All you need to do is remember the litter scoop and plastic bags (no one wants to sniff the perfume of “kitty business” the entire car ride).

WonderBox Disposable Cat Litterboxes make great cat car accessories
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Kitty car games

Depending on how far you’re traveling, you want to give your cat something to keep them entertained throughout the journey. Cats don’t care for “20 Questions” or the “License Plate Game.” You don’t want them roaming the car, either; it’s not safe for them or you. So how to keep your little feline from getting bored?

Good thing there are cat car accessories like the PetSafe Egg Cersizer! You can tuck a few treats and some of your cat’s kibble inside and put it in their carrier (no more than 10-15 pieces). They won’t end up with a full tummy (no one wants their cat to get car sick), but they’ll get mental stimulation batting the toy around. And since the toy’s in the carrier, you won’t have to worry about chasing treats all over the car!

PetSafe Egg Cersizer Treat Dispenser keeps your cat enterained in the car
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If your cat’s comfortable on a leash, you can break up the view by taking brief walks with the GAUTERF Walking Jacket. Your kitty gets a chance to stretch their legs and safely examine some new surroundings. (And you can use this cat car accessory around the neighborhood when you arrive at your destination!)

Additional road trip safety tips

With your cat car accessories on hand, make sure to keep a few other safety tips in mind:

  • Know the locations of veterinary hospitals along your route and at your destination (just in case).
  • Keep your bathroom breaks super short.
  • If you need to leave the car, have a spare set of keys so you can leave the air conditioning running.
  • Time for a food break? Where you can, consider pulling over and eating in your car, so you don’t leave your cat unattended.
  • Provide fresh, clean water at all times.

With time to adjust to their carrier and driving around in the car, cats can become acclimated to road trips. A few handy cat car accessories go a long way to making those adjustments easier to handle. Just take it slow and offer plenty of encouragement.

Bon voyage!

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Andria Kennedy
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Andria's work has appeared in BoneandYarn.com and the Bidwell Hollow Literary Newsletter. When she's not writing about pets…
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