How can you transport a cat on a long distance trip?


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We who have mininos know how traumatic the changes are for them. A mere visit to the veterinarian can become a whole odyssey, with whining whines that make you feel the worst human being on Earth and even episodes of hyperventilation.

With pets

See "12" photos "Gatuno tourism"

By land, sea or air © Getty Images

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Even changing a vase can cause stress! It is explained by veterinarian Belén Amil (collegiate No. PO-1110), which we have consulted for this article.

Therefore, when it comes to travel, We think very much if we take our beloved pets with us, and we almost always finish deciding for no, that, as we are told from the ABRIGA-FELVET association - the same ones that carry the fantastic Madrid Gatoteca - is the best.

Here we tell you, among other things, how to carry out this separation without great dramas. But what if, for example, you have to go to live outside for a season? There is no possible discussion there: You need your kitten (s) with you!

Typical face of "Are you really going to leave without me?" © Corbis


- "In case you do frequent trips to the same place, for example, at the home of relatives, you can perfectly get used to the cat on these trips and enjoy the experience, or at least the place of destination, "the experts at La Gatoteca clarify.

- This same center explains that, for trips of less than ten daysThe best thing is that the kitten remains in the home and "That some trusted person spend daily (or every two days maximum) to clean his sandbox, feed him and keep him company". If you do not have anyone who can take care of these tasks, it is best to hire a home care service such as Kitty-Sitters, from the Gatoteca itself.

- As for animal residences, from ABRIGA-FELVET they advise against it, because, in this way, our mininos "accuse the lack of security of not staying at home, the stress of being in an unknown place and even the smell of many cats."

- If you are finally traveling with him, always take your cat in a hard carrier, homologated and large enough so that he can lie down and turn around.

- The ideal is to carry too a sheet or similar to cover the carrier: "Most cats are fascinated by small, dark sites," explains our veterinarian.

- Try do not feed him during the previous hours to the trip, to avoid a possible stomach upset.

- Always carry fresh water with you and a container in which the cat can drink as comfortably as possible.

- Try that the climatic conditions are not very extreme. For example, if it is cold you can put a hot water bag in your carrier.

- Utilza absorbent rugs to make your needs in the transport itself, if it does not have its own waste channeling system. They are like a kind of diaper paper that you can buy at your veterinarian.

Oddly enough, cats should not go in the suitcase, but in an approved carrier © Corbis

- If the trip is going to be long, you will need a largest carrier in which a sandbox and a drinking fountain fit, as recommended by the veterinarian Belén Amil.

- If you can, spray the carrier with cat pheromones (sold in spray). "As they simulate those that the mother secretes during the time of breastfeeding, it makes them the most bearable trip," adds Amil.

- If the cat has a high peak of anxiety during the trip, we can use the natural treatment Rescue Remedy, according to the specialists of the Gatoteca.

- Always carry with you the cat's health card (passport) and all his vaccinations and deworming up to date.

- "If it does not have microchip, consider putting it on, as it is mandatory and necessary in case of loss, "Amil tells us again.

- Another veterinary advice: "If you can, put a toy in the carrier or some blanket that the cat especially likes, "with a towel or blanket that the cat likes. Those objects, together with the presence of the owner, help you to be a little quieter during the trip."

- If the trip is very long, you may want to consider giving it a mild sedative to the pussycat Amil explains to us how: "If we know in advance that our cat has a terrible time, that he meows during the trip, that he vomits or that we notice him very disturbed, there are some calming and / or sedative medications that we should use as indicated by the veterinarian, now that depending on the dose in which they are administered they can cause an innocent relax or a deep sleep, and not all cats react the same. They must be used with caution ".

- In La Gatoteca they opt for natural therapies before the trip, so they recommend treating the cat the previous days with products that help strengthen the immune system in the face of the stress it will suffer during the trip, such as echinacea or Bach Flowers.

- Plan the trip well in advance, since there will be countries that require documentation or vaccines that you do not have (and some must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the destination from before your arrival).

"The traveling cat" has its own bus pass in Reading (England)! © Corbis


Car: The good thing about traveling by car is that you can stop when you consider it necessary and drag out for a while (of course, with the windows and doors closed). However, from the ABRIGA-FELVET association they consider that The longer the trip, the worse, so if the journey lasts a long time, it may be better to think of another means of transport.

The safest is usually to place them on the feet of the rear seats. It is also the most appropriate, because pets cannot, under any circumstances, restrict your freedom of movement or your field of vision while driving (you are exposed to a DGT fine of up to 200 euros).

However, La Gatoteca experts give us another option: "If we decide to travel in the carout of your carrier because it does so more calmly, they should always be tied to the seat belt anchorage of the rear seats by a special strap next to a harness (better than necklace). If not, we will be violating the traffic regulations. "

Bus: The trip in this environment with cat is quite restricted To start, only one animal is accepted per service and in addition, this You must always travel in the cellar (in the passenger compartment is prohibited), at the owner's risk and account. This is the one that will leave you there following the driver's instructions, so you must show up at the station about 15 minutes before leaving.

However, ABRIGA-FELVET insists that the owner has to go with his pet: "A trip in the cellar or trunk can be very traumatic for them." To minimize this fact, there are some bus lines that do have specially heated and adapted places for this purpose, such as the Alsa Premium line (with prior reservation).

Train: Renfe has very clear instructions for transporting animals, which you can read here. In general, traveling with cats by train is comfortable and safe, and it is allowed as long as the rest of the clients are not opposed, so if you can choose a seat, choose it in the less crowded part of the train, for what may happen and for your cat's own peace of mind (only one is allowed per passenger). That means, above all, that you stay away from the cafeteria and the bathrooms.

The price for transporting it corresponds, in tourist class, with the 25% of your ticket, while in higher classes this service is offered free of charge. In addition, if you travel in Cercanías you do not have to pay anything to take it.

We already talked about Georgie, the sailor kitten © Matt & Jessica (MjSailing Facebook)


Ship: Unless you travel with your kitten in your own boat, as this globetrotter couple does, you will have to adapt to the conditions of each shipping company. Usually, they will let you take the cat or cats with you (if there is more than one in the carrier, some companies allow it) following the advice we have recommended at the beginning and booking your place in advance. Some, such as Transmediterranean, charge for this service a different price depending on the route, while others, such as Balearia, charge a fixed rate of 10 euros Or offer it for free for some destinations.

Some companies make it easier than others to travel with these living stuffed animals © Corbis


In order for your gate to accompany you on your plane trip there are some general guidelines: you will have to call ahead to book your ticket (for example, it may not fit in the cabin because there are already too many animals on that flight) and your carrier will have to be IATA approved (International Air Transport Association). In addition, you will have to inform you about the rules of the airport and the country you are going to, preferably at the corresponding embassy or consulate to avoid surprises. In Japan, for example, it is mandatory for the animal to spend 15 days of quarantine from its arrival.

Preparing the cat for the trip

  • If the cat can be restless, it is advisable to consult with the veterinarian to provide a light sedative
  • On especially long trips it is recommended that the cat be fasting about 10-12 hours before traveling, especially to avoid vomiting
  • Transport the cat in a safe and comfortable transport (you can spray it with feline pheromones to facilitate the journey)
  • Take the documentation of the cat (veterinary card a day, and preferably a passport -in international travel may be mandatory-)
  • During the trip, have fresh water on hand in case the cat is thirsty
  • Avoid temperature contrasts, for example, putting the cat in the shade if it is very hot, or placing a bag of hot water if it is very cold

How to transport a cat in the car?

It is the recommended transport for the freedom that allows you, being able to stop from time to time to get the catof the transport (with the doors and windows of the car tightly closed) and let him walk and caress him.

In Spain, the rules of traveling by car are governed by the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT), which only says that the driver "is obliged to maintain his own freedom of movement, the necessary field of vision and permanent attention to driving" adding that "he must take special care of the proper placement of objects or animals transported."

According to the DGT, transporting a loose animal that can be inferred while driving can be a fine of € 100, and taking it sitting on the lap could be considered negligent driving (€ 200 fine).

So, the Legal and safe way to carry it is in a trasportín.

In the "crash tests" (tests that simulate the car of vehicles with animals) it is said that the The best way to transport a cat is by placing it in the carrier on the floor at the back, just behind the front seats.

Other ways of transporting cats

In addition to the car, the airplane It is another option to travel with your cat. The trip may be faster, but it is recommended that travel with you in the cabin. The wineries of the airplanes are usually cold places where, in addition, they will be accompanied by packages and suitcases. The cold, the blows, the fear and not being you are not the best allies for a feline plane trip.

There are many companies that allow you to fly with your cats in the cabin, as long as you communicate (and pay for it, normally). The rules are usually the same as in any other transport: documentation in order, transport, etc.

The following area companies report how to travel with pets:

In this article we have only commented on the cases in which you travel with the cat, in the next one we will talk about the transport methods in which you do not go with the animal: courier companies, animal transportations, etc.