Cats are very much territorial animals and they do not have much affinity towards moving to any new place. As very much timid in nature, they do not like their daily routines to be interrupted for anything. Even a short distance movement can make them anxious. Moreover, if it is about a long period traveling, the entire scenario can become more stressful. It is always suggested to avoid carrying elderly, ailed cats or kittens while traveling.
But what to do if the shipment is unavoidable for you and what if there are no other options than taking your feline friend with you!? The whole process becomes nightmarish for both you and your pet, yet it is not impossible I must say. What you need to do is just to plan your move in advance and follow some preliminary precautions to make your fur baby’s journey safe and sound.
So, let’s focus on few essential predicaments to ship cat with ease:
- Your prior travel process starts from your home itself and must keep your and your pet’s inner zen cool. You should take more care of your pet on the very moving day. Ensure that its daily routine should not be disturbed anyhow. Keep it aside into a calm and confined separate room and do not allow anyone to go inside that particular room except you.
- The next task is to select a IATA affiliated travel carrier for your cat. Choose a sturdy constructed crate that should be well-ventilated from almost all the sides. Instead of choosing a fabric made carrier, pick a carrier that is made of hard plastic material as fabric might be torn because of a stressed cat’s scratching. Make sure that there is enough space for keeping food bowls and litter boxes separately inside the crate. The bottom of the crate should be removable and washable. Try to keep the crate’s bottom driest possible as cats get uncomfortable in staying to a wet surface. The crate’s door must have a spring lock system.
Make your cat accustomed to its new gear by treating it each time when it spends time inside the crate. Try to make the crate attractive and comfortable to the cat by covering the crate’s bottom with soft waterproof colorful rugs and also keep its favourite toys and treats.
- Keep the cat’s crate to the backseat of your car and buckle the same with the car’s seat belt. Keep the car’s windows closed, so that the cat won’t escape in case the crate’s door opens. You can also use a pet barrier to secure your cat to the backside of your car.
- In order to make your cat familiar to travelling, take it for frequent short trips and gradually increase the duration and distance of the journey. Always keep eyes on your pet’s behaviour while traveling. In case of any abnormality, immediately remove the cat from the car and allow it to roam around freely for sometimes.
- Take your cat to a licensed vet for a complete health check up and vaccinations. Ask him if there is any requirement for immunization or preventive measures to be taken for flying. Also, inquire about how to deal with the cat’s stress diarrhea and nausea due to motion sickness.
- Gather all the necessary travel documents, road permits or endorsements, medical certificates and vaccinations certificates signed by an accredited vet, transport policy papers etc before shipment. The whole paperworks should not be older than 10 to 15 days from the scheduled travel date.
- Attach a proper travel tag with your detailed contact information in it to your cat’s collar. You can also insert a customized coded microchip under your cat’s skin to ensure extra security while shipping.
- Make the feeding process done at least before 3 to 4 hours before starting the move. Keep your cat hydrated but never overdo. In order to keep water intake in control, provide wet food and ice cubes during the journey.
- Don’t ship your brachycephalic breed cat as a cargo hold. Because high altitude air pressure may cause fatal to it.
- Avoid tranquilizers to your cat in transit. Use pheromone based feline spray and Zylkene to keep the cat calm and comfortable while moving long.
- Pack a travel kit for your cat too that must include bottled water, ORS, food, tick remover, grooming supplies, litter bags, specific medicines etc.
- Avoid flying during summers or specifically in the holidays. As cats are very delicate, they won’t be able to bear with the rush and mishandling due to overloaded travel pressure in the airport.