How To Transport A Cat By Car Long Distance

Transporting a Cat by Car

Cats are a treasure for the internet, and they certainly fill our hearts with joy whilst simultaneously giving us multiple scratches on our forearms as a result of their playful nature. We love them. We like to play with them and watch them eat. One thing you may not have a lot of practice with could be cat transportation, though.

Cat pet owners know that you can’t just whistle up a cat and take them out for a walk. Transporting your cat to the vet requires more planning and some practice before you actually take your cat on a car ride.

Veterinary care in Newport Beach is not just about dogs. We also like to talk with pet parents about everything they need to know about cats. Did you know we also give advice on what to do about how to treat cat sneezing? Well, if you have any other emergencies, you’ll want to know how to transport your cat safely.

Let’s talk about some tips for cat owners about taking their cats to the vet and on car rides in general.

Get a Carrier for Your Cat

Ok, so we can all agree that cats have two moods, right? They may like staying inside your home in that cozy, welcoming, and safe environment, or they may like going outside during nighttime, meeting other cats, and even doing some hunting.

Cats, however, are not usually like other pets that like to go outside with their pet parents and walk around a park. This is one of the main reasons why it can be so challenging to take a cat to your Newport Beach vet.

To help you get your cat from point A to point B, you should consider investing in a good carrier or crate. Still, this creates a new set of challenges cat owners should take into consideration.

Cats do not like to feel like they’re not in control. As such, they may initially hate the idea of being inside a carrier, especially if they know that this is only synonymous with a visit to a vet they don’t like.

Well, carriers are a necessary evil in that you have to ensure your cat won’t become a distraction or hazard when you’re driving to an animal emergency hospital or any other destination. Just like we have children buckle up when they jump in a car, so must we ensure our cats are staying put and remain safe throughout the trip.

Help Your Cat Get Used to the Carrier

You’ll need to help your cat get used to their carrier if you want to safely transport them to the vet or any other point of interest, and since most cats loathe a harness, you better get practicing with that carrier.

If you want to make your cat feel comfortable about their chosen carrier, you could try leaving the carrier door open when you’re both in the house. Place a few treats and a toy inside the carrier and let your cat explore the area.

Once your cat feels comfortable going inside the carrier for treats, you could move forward and place their food bowl inside as well. Help your pet understand that the carrier is a safe space where they can get all the things they like. 

The goal here is to let your cat stay inside the carrier for as long as you need them to while helping them feel safe and secure.

How to Pick the Right Carrier for My Cat?

The process is not as complicated as you might fear.

Start by choosing one with a wide opening that lets you and your cat’s veterinarian gently place them inside and avoid any discomfort or accidents. You should also consider getting a cat carrier made out of plastic instead of fabrics as your cat may want to scratch the inside and severely damage it.

Please note that the most important factor in choosing a cat carrier is not the materials or general decoration. Rather, you should focus on the carrier’s size. You’ll want to get a carrier for your cat with enough space that they can turn around whenever they feel like it.

Traveling by Car With a Cat

This is also a matter of helping your cat to get used to their new environment. Cats may not necessarily be trusting of car rides, which will only make a trip to the vet more challenging. 

There are several ways you can help your cat get used to your car without taking them with you on every errand trip to the grocery store. However, you might want to consider taking your cat with you in your car for a spin around the block.

When you bring your cat to your car inside their carrier, stay close to them for a couple of minutes before turning on the engine. Help your cat grow used to their new environment before turning anything on. You could gradually turn on the AC, and radio and push every other button that makes some noise, so your cat grows used to them.

Please remember to put your cat in the back seat, as it is a much safer option for them and the driver. Speaking of which, try to get a friend or relative to help you in this stage. You won’t want to go driving and have to constantly turn back to check that your cat is not destroying your car.

Have your friend, partner, relative, or any other acquaintance start driving your car while you encourage and congratulate your cat’s good behavior. You might even want to keep a few treats on hand to reward your cat’s good behavior.

Keep these test drives to a short time and gradually increase the trip’s length and frequency. This process is not immediate, but it can yield great results.

Get Your Cat to a Newport Beach Veterinary Hospital

When a veterinary emergency happens, you’ll want to know where to go and find the help your cat needs. Get in touch with our team of specialists who, alongside Dr. Joo Kim, will provide your cat with the highest level of care.

Make sure you give us a call to let us know you’re coming and give us the heads up we need to prepare for your arrival. We’re here to do everything we can to help you.

Picture of Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>
Picture of Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>