Moving home with your cats? RSPCA adopter Mel share her cat travel tips!
Nathan and Winnie were both adopted from RSPCA Queensland by Mel and Rian. Their new journey to Townsville was a two-day road trip with a Bundaberg stop-over.
Nathan is no stranger to travel, originally adopted from the Bundaberg RSPCA. Mel and Rian did the Bundy to Gold Coast trek with her a few years ago!
The largest segment of the trip came when the couple travelled roughly 11-and-a-half hours, with Mel suggesting cat owners break their trip up into smaller, more manageable increments to benefit their furry friend.
"What I would do next time is eight hours one day and eight hours another, or we'd do that trip over three days instead," says Mel.
During preparation for the journey, Mel noticed both Nathan and Winnie were out of sorts, as every time suitcases were brought out they associated that with the couple leaving them.
"They just became a little clingy and wouldn't really leave our sides, but other than that there were no other notable changes."
Thankfully, Nathan and Winnie took no time at all settling into their new home. With Mel and Rian travelling to beaches and outings with them so often normally, the move was a breeze.
"The first night or two is a novelty for them so they're usually up all night full of energy and exploring around the house."
"I think it always helps having familiar things around them, like scents that make the adjustment so smooth."
For those thinking of hitting the open road with their cuddly companions, here are a few things to remember to have the safest possible journey:
- Use restraints and carriers
Cats should be secured in a cat carrier or create with a seatbelt buckled around it. The safest place is inside your car with you.
- Get a health check with your vet before travelling
Not every cat travels well, you may need medication from your vet before you travel to ease their nerves, and consider using products like Feliway. A vet check is a good idea before you leave so you know your furry friend is fit and healthy to adventure!
- Bring a kit of treats, toys, litter and more...
A good way to prevent any accidents is to line your cat's carrier with an absorbent sheet and change if/when required along the journey. You can never pack enough cleaning gear!
- Take extra water
For cats, you can purchase water dispensers that attach to their travel carrier so that they can keep hydrated as you travel.
- Ensure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar with identification
Pets can escape and go missing and it can be even more stressful if they're in a foreign area to home. Check your pet has a microchip and your mobile phone and details are up to date. It also pays to have a collar with identification and your phone number easily visible.
- Take rest stops
Your cat will need regular stops to get out and stretch their legs, sniff around, and have a toilet break. Make sure you can find a suitable, safe place to do this along the way. Cat leads and harnesses can help, but not all cats will be comfortable exploring new stops.