What should you pack when traveling with your cat? Traveling with your cat doesn’t have to be stressful because you are unprepared. Take the lessons we’ve learned from years of exploring with our kitties.
Start With A Cat Harness
The first step of any cat friendly adventure is getting your kitty into a harness. We always put Fish and Chip’s harnesses on before leaving the safety of our house (or tent when camping). This is important because they don’t wear collars with our contact information on them, but they do have ID tags on their harnesses. So if they somehow get lost, we’ll have a much better chance of getting them back.
They also have little lights (Nite Ize LED Collar Light) on their harnesses, which really come in handy when we’re camping. As soon as it starts getting dark, we flip their lights on. It’s much easier to keep track of the little guys and helps us keep them from sneaking out of the car or tent.
Along with the harnesses, we pack their leashes and tie outs if we’re camping or staying in one spot for an extended period of time.
The Litter Box
Many cats are uncomfortable doing their business in a new environment, so it may be necessary to bring a litter box. If you’re planning to travel with your cat frequently, we recommend getting a second litter box. Is much more convenient than packing up your usual one every time you want to head out. For traveling, a hooded litter box to help minimize the smell and mess. We keep ours by the door with an extra scoop so it’s always ready.
If your cat is willing to walk on the wild side and relieve himself outdoors, pack plenty of dog waste bags to clean up. These can also be used to clean the litter box. We find the EarthRated lavender-scented waste bags with the easy-tie handles work well.
Of course, your cats aren’t going to be happy if they’re hungry or thirsty! When traveling with a cat, make sure to pack enough water for you both. With food, dry kibble is the easiest to pack. But if you normally feed raw food, there are dehydrated cat food options that are light and pack easily.
We use Kurgo’s Kibble Carrier to keep their food fresh and contained. It also keepsFish and Chips from ripping open the bag and making a huge mess.
Collapsible food and water dishes (also from Kurgo) are perfect when it’s time to stop for a drink and bite to eat. They fold flat for easy packing and are super-easy to clean.
One thing we’ve found is essential for enjoyable walks and hikes with Fish and Chips is a good backpack. Since our cats are accustomed to riding on top of our packs, we always make sure we have them with us. Stuffing them relatively full, using extra jackets or towels to fill any empty space, makes it easier for the kitties to balance on top. And having a comfortable ride means they’re not constantly shifting and moving while we make our way up or down the trail.
If your cat is more comfortable being enclosed, there are also backpack-style pet carriers that may work better for you.
Anytime you’re traveling with a cat, there’s bound to be a few messes. So we recommend that you pack some cleaning products when traveling with your cat. Paper towels and pet wipes like Tropiclean Hypoallergenic Wipes for Pets are helpful if you have a carsick kitty, or just need to clean some muddy paws.
And we never leave home without…lint rollers! They’re invaluable when you need to remove the fur from your sleeping bag, car seats, or sweater. You can get reusable pet hair removers or traditional lint rollers with sticky sheets.
It’s also important to consider the weather when you pack for your cat. If it’s warm, take extra water. And remember that cats (especially lighter-coated felines) can suffer sunburn – just like a person. So, plan to keep your cat out of direct sunlight, or get him a shirt to protect him from the sun.
If you’re bringing your cat out in the cold, consider a pet jacket or sweater. Fish and Chips are both shorthair cats, so they get chilly easily. Dog jackets from Kurgo help keep them warm, and they both actually enjoy wearing them!
One thing people usually forget to pack with traveling with their cat is a first aid kit. Just like us, our furry companions can scratch or cut themselves on something sharp, or pick up a sliver while walking along the trail. There are “pet specific” pre-packaged first aid kits available. But pre-packaged kits for people work well. Or you could put together your own pet first aid kit with everything you’ll need.