Safeguarding Fido While on Vacation

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Should You Take Your Cat On Vacation?

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You're going on vacation and will be staying in pet-friendly lodgings. Should you bring your cat with you? Typically, the answer to that question is no. However, there are a few exceptions.

Most cats don't like change. Extended travel time, when they're confined to a cat carrier with no litterbox access, can also be very stressful for them. Arriving and adjusting to a new temporary home, with its strange sights and smells, can take a toll on your pet's nerves. If they try to escape your vacation digs to "return home" they can easily get lost in unfamiliar territory, which is a nightmare for any cat owner.

Know Your Cat

Some cat breeds might be suited to travel, though, according to an article in Catster, the publication previously known as Cat Fancy. Cats that are naturally laid-back and secure tend to tolerate change and new places well. It also helps if the cat is more attached to its owners than its home.

Cat breeds that are known to be people-oriented, relaxed and even amenable to walking on a leash include the Japanese Bobtail, the Pixie-Bob, and the Scottish Fold, making them most likely to be great traveling companions. Of course, if you own a Scottish Fold that hides from visitors and generally acts skittish, recognize that your cat is probably an exception to Catster's recommendation.

Tips for Travel with a Cat

If you're bringing your cat along with you on vacation, regardless of its breed, make sure the cat is microchipped. This can give you peace of mind that you'll be reunited with your cat if she gets loose outside.

Always keep your cat in its carrier during car travel, and secure the carrier in place with a seatbelt. Not only will this prevent your cat from escaping, but the cat will be better protected in the unlikely event of a car accident. If you're taking your cat on an airplane, most airlines will allow a cat in the cabin if it's in a carrier that is small enough to fit under the seat. Advance reservations are usually required.

Bring as many of your cat's things from home as you can to help make your vacation lodgings as familiar as possible. Food and water bowls and your cat's usual brands of cat food and litter will likely be appreciated.

If your pet is timid or elderly, you'll be doing her a favor by allowing her to stay at home instead of bringing her along. Arrange for a pet sitter, or if that's not practical, keep your cat safe, secure and well-cared for at a reputable pet boarding facility, like Doggie Daycare & Motel or others in your area.