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What to Pack for a Trip with the Cats

February 16, 2012

As we look forward to our weekend trip with Ellie and CG, I wanted to start making a CH kitty travel list. Here are the things we plan to bring, along with several other recommendations for others who plan on traveling with their CH kitties:

Cat Carrier: This is essential. As tempting as it may be to let your kitty out in the car, it’s a safety issue for the both of you. You certainly don’t want to distract the driver, and odds are there will be many new smells, sounds and sights that can frighten your cat.

We have hard-shell carriers for each of our cats; they are large enough so our cats can move around in them a bit. Speaking of, you’ll want to put some sort of towel, carrier pad, or, in our case, their beds, on the floor of the carrier so your kitty is comfortable.

Food & Water: For weekend trips, I simply fill up a plastic zip-lock bag with the right amount of food — plus a little extra.

You also may want to consider bringing bottled water for your kitties. Instead of bottled water, you can fill up an old, clean gallon milk container with water from your tap. Sometimes a change in water (city water vs. well water, etc.) can impact your cat’s stomach.

Also remember to pack their food and water bowls, along with any wet food plates, forks, wet cat food can covers, probiotics, etc.

Medications: There are another essential that can be easy to forget — especially if they need to be kept in the refrigerator. Put a note out with the rest of your packed items so you don’t forget them. If they need to be kept cool, pack them with a cold pack.

Towel/Tray: Depending on how messy your kitty is, you may want to bring a towel or tray to put under her food and water bowls. Ellie’s a pro at stepping in her water dish, but keeping it on her tray usually contains the spill.

Litter Box: Another obvious one. Don’t forget the scoop, litter bags and a towel or another type of mat to put in front of the litter box to catch excess litter.

Ellie’s a litter-kicker, so I always bring along a tiny dust broom and pan to clean up her messes. I usually try to borrow my brother’s vacuum before we leave, too, so I make sure that we leave the area as clean (if not cleaner!) than we found it.

You may also need to bring additional litter depending on the length of your trip.

Beds, Blankets & Toys: These should be your cat’s favorite things that will make her feel comfortable and at home. CG has a favorite blanket and cat bed, and I’ll be bringing Ellie’s bed and her favorite toys, too. (Just a few, and remember which you bring so you won’t forget them!)

The not-so-obvious list:

More Towels: I always bring an extra towel or two (generally a face cloth and a hand towel) whenever I travel with our kitties. This is especially helpful if there’s a spill along the way, and even more helpful if one of them steps out of the litter box with a poop and litter-caked foot. I’d much rather wash her foot and dry her with my own towel, than use one of my host’s towels for the clean-up.

You may also want to bring a large towel to roll up around the edges of sharp-cornered furniture.

Leash & Harness: Depending on the length of your trip, you may want to bring a leash and harness so your kitty can get out of her carrier and stretch her legs every so often.

Photo courtesy Mr. T in DC

Barriers: This really depends on your destination, as your cats may be limited to a certain area of the house — or you may need to block off your host’s stairs. This can be anything from a baby gate to a big box or piece of cardboard to block a doorway/stair access. You may even be able to use your luggage, so long as your kitty can’t climb it. We haven’t ever needed to bring a barrier for CG, but I’m pretty sure Ellie’s going to need some boundaries!

Lint Rollers: These are helpful if your kitty decides to leave half her coat on your host’s couch, lap, etc.

Medical Information: I don’t want this to sound dramatic, but these will be necessary in case you need to take her to a clinic during your trip. You’ll need (at least!) your vet’s name and phone number, any information about your cat’s medication and doses, your cat’s microchip number and the company’s name, and anything else that applies.

Extra Bags & Paper Towels: I always bring a few *just* in case.

Treats: Travel can be stressful for a cat, but treats and snuggles can go a long way!

Do you go on car trips with your cat? What do you bring on each trip? Please share in the comments!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Paciotti permalink
    February 16, 2012 8:11 am

    What a darling little model in the carrier and the covered litterbox!

    • February 16, 2012 8:18 am

      Haha, thank you! That’s CG in the carrier and little Ellie in the litter box. They certainly know how to pose!

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