Compared to putting a leash on your dog and securing them in a car, taking a cat on a road trip around the UK is pretty hard. Cats tend to be more territorially focused, and that can make travelling outside of their immediate area stressful on them – even when they enjoy getting to sniff out the new sights and sounds.
Let’s not forget that it feels like the world can be pretty hostile towards cats too. Lots of ‘pet friendly’ places will allow a dog through the door, but take a cat in and you’ll probably be asked to leave again.
We’re a nation of dog lovers, but does that mean your cat can never travel with you? Not in our opinion – it just takes a bit more careful planning.
Schedule Quiet Place Stops
Cats are going to need a bit of time in a peaceful and quiet area. Keep this in mind when planning your journey around the UK – you’ll want to schedule stops where you can take your cat and just breathe in the fresh air where no one else is around.
This will allow you to destress, enjoy the sound of bird song in the air, and properly stretch your legs. It’s likely your cat will have spent most of their time in your backpack or their carrier at this point, but there are plenty of green spaces around the UK that can help.
Secure the Carrier Properly
The most important thing for road tripping with a cat is to get them used to being in the car, and then to make sure they feel comfortable in it. If you don’t already have a cat carrier that’s good for long haul travel, invest in one now and get it secured in the car. Make sure it’s properly strapped in through the seatbelt – think of it just like a baby’s car seat!
You can then put the cat into the carrier and start going on shorter trips, to build up their tolerance to travel and make sure they’re comfortable in the carrier you’ve chosen for them. Put a familiar smelling blanket in the carrier with them and make sure water and treats are available at all times.
Pack as Many Travel Versions of Equipment as Possible
There are lots of travel items for cats that your road trip will benefit from. A travel litter tray or bag, for example. You can also take along a water bottle with a compartment you can pour liquid into and food bowls with easy to apply lids. These items are much easier to pack into the boot of a car and are much easier to set up when your cat needs to use them.
Of course, in crowded places, you won’t want to keep all of these items with you, however. Say you’re off to London – if you’ve got both a separate carrier and backpack that seats a cat, you can always use luggage storage in london to check one of them in until you need it again. Travel light where you can and you can focus on your cat much better.
If You’re Not Sure, Ask!
If you want to know if a venue is going to be cat friendly, and the information isn’t immediately available on their website, send them an email or a message and ask! You’re never going to get in trouble for just asking, but you will if you take a cat into a hotel or a ‘pet friendly’ bar where they aren’t allowed. It could even land you with a huge fine!
Make sure to state your cat’s age and typical behaviour, such as if they’re calm and sleepy and like to stay in their carrier. Provide details of your planned visit as well, including how long you’re planning to stay and what equipment to take care of your cat that you’re bringing with you. 8 times out of 10 the venue will say it’s absolutely fine, but you always want to check first before you land your cat in a situation that could be very stressful for them.
Taking your cat on a trip around the UK is doable – you just have to be very careful. Cats love to explore and can be just as relaxed in the middle of London as they can at home. Just make sure you’re aware of your pet’s body language and you’ve got clear permission to take them into a hotel or hostel with you.