Traveling with pets can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! We traveled over 48 hours with our cats to move into our new apartment, which could have easily been a disaster. We were prepared and it was a GREAT experience. We’ve traveled with our cat across the country a number of times, so we have plenty of practice. If you’re traveling with your pet on a plane, this post about how to fly with your pet will be super helpful for you. Check out these 10 things to bring when traveling with your cat to avoid a disaster!

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1. SENTRY Calming Collar for Cats

This product has SAVED our lives (mostly our ears). We have two beautiful, but highly active breeds of cats (a Siberian and a Bengal). These Sentry collars do a great job of keeping them calm and quiet while we are driving. It releases a calming pheromone that helps your pet deal with stress for up to 30 days, making the trip go smoothly.

2. Calming Treats

These are also a life saver! Occasionally our Siberian will sit and howl in the car, mostly because she’s not allowed to walk around in the front seat with us. We give her one or two of these treats and it puts her right to sleep. It made the trip much easier for our girls since they were sleeping most of the time. They would wake up and walk around when we stopped for gas, then go back to sleep when we started driving again from these nifty treats.

3. Harness and Leash

It’s important to have a harness on your cat while traveling as it’s easier to grab than a collar. If they somehow figure out how to escape while you’re getting in and out of the vehicle, you’ll have a better chance of grabbing them during their escape. I would make sure that your cat doesn’t squirm out of this harness. We couldn’t find a bungee leash for sale by itself, so we bought the bundle and used our own harness on Sasha after she escaped out of the harness that came with the bungee leash a few times. We love these bungee leashes that allow your pet to have some slack before they hit the end of their leash. We use the harness and leash to walk our cat Sasha into the house when we get to our destination. Sasha is ready to get out and run around, but Aspen is shy so that she likes to take her comfy cat carrier inside.

4. Large Plum Pet Carrier

We LOVE pet carrier with a Sherpa liner. They are big and spacious and comfortable to carry. I also love that they can stack on top of each other in the truck. We had them stacked up like a little cat condo for the cats to crawl into if they didn’t want to lay on the blankets or climb up onto our pile of suitcases. Our cats are always comfortable in their carriers and they’re so stylish most people think I’m carrying a cute duffle bag (until the duffle bag starts shrieking that is).

This is a terrible quality picture, but it shows you that the large plum carrier can fit our 12 lb cat and our 4 lb cat and they’re still comfy as can be.

We got Sasha a Large Plum Pet Carrier since she’s a Siberian who could grow up to 22 lbs and we got Aspen a Medium Teal Pet Carrier since she’s still quite small. You can only get the teal from Petco and we HAD to have it since all of Sasha’s stuff is purple and all of Aspen’s stuff is teal (my two favorite colors. Sasha fits just fine in the medium one, but the Large is definitely a better fit for her fluffy self.

5. Pet Car Seat Belt Safety Leads

YES! These are a thing. They are the best invention EVER!!!! You simply hook the clip onto your cat’s harness and then clip it in just like a seat belt. You can adjust the length of the seat belt to give your cat as much or as little slack as you want them to have. It was great to be able to let our cats walk around the back seat and use the potty on the floor without giving them enough slack to come up front. Hilariously enough, Sasha figured out a way to jump up on top of the seat and slide down butt first to snuggle in my arms when it was my time to sleep.

You can see that she is taking a nap while still having her little seat belt on (the black strap that says Vastar)
Bonus picture of how Sasha figured out how to snuggle with me in the front seat AND still be attached to her seatbelt.

6. A comfy bed

We brought a few different beds along for our cats to choose from because let’s face it, they change their mind on which one they like on a daily basis. We brought a large one to put in the middle seat for them to snuggle together, one on the center console for Sasha to feel like she was part of the action, and one on top of the suitcases for Sasha to fall asleep on while she looked out the window. This gave them plenty of options and allowed them to rotate throughout the 24 hour drive. P.S. My cats are very picky and we have gone through MANY beds. These are all very plush and snuggly. You may even want to use them as a pillow to take a nap!

Snuggle time in one of our pet beds in the car!

7. A Super Soft Blanket

Make sure you bring a soft blanket. You know, the plush super soft ones that makes you sigh when you snuggle up in it? Bring one for your cats to snuggle up with on the back seat. Aspen laid on the blanket in her bed kneading it for 20 minutes straight with her eyes closed. She was so happy and comfortable that I think we could have driven another 24 hours!

8. A few small toys

Let me preface this by screaming, I mean saying: DO NOT BRING TOYS THAT MAKE NOISE WHEN THEY ARE TOUCHED. You know the ones I mean. Those chirping toys that make noise when your cat plays with them. That’s adorable and all, until you’re on the highway and all you hear is that stinking little chirping noise but you can’t find it… I felt like I was going insane. Bring a small ball, a catnip toy, or a mouse toy for your cat to play with. Sasha liked to take her favorite mouse on tours up to see us, to see Aspen, and finally to the window to shake it at cars who passed us so they knew it was hers. She doesn’t like to sleep quite as much as Aspen so that kept her busy (and kept us entertained) when she was awake.

Our cat’s favorite catnip toy

9. A cat litter box with a kitty litter mat

We brought a full sized cat litter in the vehicle since we had two cats and were driving for 24 hours at a time. When we stopped, the cats were let off their seat belts to use the potty. We stayed pretty much litter free thanks to the litter mat we used. We also used Ultra Unscented cat litter so that it didn’t smell like kitty litter in the vehicle. Lay down your kitty litter mat underneath the cat litter box with a kitty litter mat so you can just pick it up and dump it off when you get where you’re going. Don’t forget a kitty litter scoop and a few Walmart bags so you can clean it when you stop.

10. Food and water bowls

Make sure you bring some little baggies of your cat’s food with you to give them little snacks. We didn’t feed them too much so they weren’t pooping and stinking up the truck, but we did make sure they weren’t starving. We gave them a combination of their dry food and some Freeze-Dried Raw Chicken as treats. They go crazy for their freeze dried chicken. Make sure you bring a couple water bottles just for your pets so they always have a drink of water. Give them a drink every time you stop, if not before. We found these awesome Collapsible Silicone Pet Bowlsafter our latest big road trip. I’m excited to try them. If you beat us to it, let us know!

So there you have it. If you’re going on a road trip with your cats, these are 10 things you have to have before you go! Traveling with your cat doesn’t have to be hard. Your cat will be feeling right at home in your vehicle, so much in fact, that they may want to do it full time. Make sure you save these things you need when you move with your cat or when you’re traveling with your cat to your Pinterest board so you can easily find it later.

Click on the pin below to pin it to your board!

If you're planning a trip with your cats, you HAVE to read this post first. We've done many road trip with our cat and want to help you make sure your trip goes smoothly! Come see what things to pack for a road trip with your cat. Make sure you save this post about how to move with your cat so you can find it later. #pettravel #travelwithcats

8 thoughts on “10 Things to Bring When Traveling With Your Cat

  1. I totally could have used this post when we evacuated Florida with Hurricane Irma. My cat HATES the car! I need to invest in a bigger carrier for her I tink

    1. I hope you and your cat are safe! Our cat isn’t a huge fan of being shut in her carrier. Since we trained her on a harness and invested in those super cheap pet seat belts, she has been fine in the vehicle. Those Sentry collars and the treats REALLY help too though and pretty much put them to sleep. Thanks for reading!

  2. The picture of the cat on the pink bungy is very cute. I shipped my cat from the UK to NZ a few years back. She’d never been outside before (I lived in a London flat) so I was expecting very nervous kitty at the other end. She just sauntered out like she owned the place!

    1. Thank you! Our cat Sasha LOVES to be outside on her harness and leash. It definitely took a while for her to become comfortable walking around outside. I love that she was so confident and excited to be outside. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. The photo of the cats at the end snuggling totally got me! Going to save this for a friend who also has 2 cats great tips!

  4. What an adorable post with wonderful pictures and tips! I guess traversing the U.S., this’d come in real handy. Also, purple is my favourite colour too – so a post with cute purple cats is adorable! Thanks for sharing

  5. Oh my gosh I looove this!! You thought of everything! Your kitties are adorable ! No way would my cat tolerate those belts .. ha she’s a finicky princess!

  6. This is something we’ve done quite a lot, traveling with cats. I have many stories, but one that really fits this post is the Sherpa cat carrier. We used one, too, and our cat preferred being in it instead of wandering about the truck. However, she’s spoiled, so she wanted the “option” to walk around. We realized leaving the door open, with the cat carrier between us in the truck, was the way she drove for hours and hours and hours.

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