Getting a cat to take car rides can be a difficult task. At least we think it is. Cats don’t like to suddenly be rushed into unfamiliar territory, so cat parents should take note.
One of our cats, Mr. Bittles, gets so nervous on car rides that he foams at the mouth. Taking him to the vet was terrifying for everyone involved – including us. So we started researching ways to help alleviate his stress on car rides, and here’s a few tips for those of you in similar situations!
How To Get Your Cat To Take Car Rides Without Fear
Notice that above I said “unfamiliar territory”? The trick is that we want the process of traveling to be familiar to our kitties.
Take your cat carrier from the closet or garage and place in out in the house where your cats will start to explore and accept it. Make it a happy place for your cat. We use the scent swapping tactic – rubbing their face with a clean sock and then rubbing down the carrier with said sock. Put their favorite blankets in the carrier to help entice their comfortability. It will be easier for your cat to take car rides if they are familiar with the carrier and feel safe in it.
To really familiarize your cat with car rides, trying taking them for practice runs. Next time you need to take a short trip to, say, the drive through at the bank or post office – bring your kitty along. When your kitty is used to the smells and sounds of a short drive she won’t be so scared when you have to take her to the vet. Try giving her a treat when you get back home too. This will make the experience easy, pleasant and rewarding!