Tips and suggestions on How to Travel In a Car With a Cat!
Last, last weekend we went back to Pennsylvania we went back to visit my family. This is my annual pilgrimage to Pennsylvania where Dad feeds us calories to last us a month, while I poke around in picture books and share memories of where I grew up with Matthew. Since my Dad hasn’t been up to NYC in a while that means he hasn’t seen his favorite Meowza girl, Xanadu.
My dad has a sweet relationship with Xanadu and Xanadu loves being spoiled by him. Since he was missing her, we decided to take Xanadu back to Pennsylvania with us. She’s done this road trip before so we figured she’d be fine again. We also took Toes because my Dad hasn’t met her yet and she’s a awesome girl.
Not to tell you the outcome of the story this quick but Xanadu didn’t like her road trip. Actually she really hated it. She didn’t like any part of it, except when we left my Dad’s a day early to come back to NYC because of how sad Xanadu was. Something upset her during this road trip and she didn’t take well to the car ride there, or his house.
During the car ride, Toes crawled out of her carrier and into Xanadu’s to comfort her. It was a tight fit, but this did stop Xanadu from meowing. This was also another example of how sweet Toes is.
Once we got back to my dad’s house it got worse. The meows stopped, but instead of being excited to see her Grandpa and his new house she was scared to go anywhere. The only place she wanted to go was in my room and under the bed. Here she is, begging to go into my bedroom. Ignore the deer, I was trying to play with her.
If she in the bedroom with just me, she was calm. At night she slept with me under the blankets, just like at home. But once the door got opened she freaked out. If anyone came into the bedroom she ran under the bed until they left and then I had to sweet talk her out. By the first night I was already feeling like a horrible Cat Mom because Xanadu obviously wasn’t enjoying her time and that was the most important thing.
So Matthew and I decided it was time to go home early. As much as it broke my heart to say bye to my Dad a day early (and how I could tell he was equally sad) we loaded the car, said our goodbyes and drove back to NYC. Once in the car, it’s almost like Xanadu knew she was going home. She was purring, she slept on my lap being rubbed, and once we got back to our apartment she didn’t hide or act scared. Instead she walked out of the carrier, jumped onto the couch and got comfortable.
Oh and if you’re curious… Toes loved Pennsylvania! With a fire place to get warm near and endless amounts of gourmet food that their Grandpa got them, she was being spoiled.
Next time we’ll travel we’ll be bringing along all the Feliway products we can fit into a car. Do you guys know about Feliway? We’ve used their diffuser a few times in the house, more specifically with Essy when she was older and with FiFi Bofinkles because she tends to get stressed and territorial (that leads to bathroom accidents). With the diffuser, you plug it into the wall and it releases a “Feline Facial Pheromone,” which is naturally produced when cats are happy and feeling comfortable in their environment.
By releasing this the cats will feel comforted while reassuring them they are safe if they are coping with a difficult situation (traveling, new house, territorial cat, friends over during the holidays, etc). If you’ve visited your animal clinic you might have noticed they often have Feliway products in their exam rooms.
Their products not only come in the diffuser but now they offer spray and wipes which are PURRFECT for traveling.
With their purple cat blanket, all I have to do is spray a little on it or use a wipe, then the cat feels much safer and comforting. You can use the spray directly in their carrier before a vet visit too. I do this when I have to take the cats in taxi cabs to calm them down.
See, Xanadu… all safe now!
Goblin loves feeling safe!