Sometimes holidays just aren’t right unless the whole family is there, and for some people that includes their pets. Holidays with your cat can be an extremely fun way to bond with your pet, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared with a cat travel checklist!
You can usually take your cat on holiday, whether you’re staying at home or going abroad. After all, family holidays wouldn’t be the same without your pet! However, there are a few things that you’ll need to organise in advance, especially if you’re leaving the country.
It’s perfectly possible to go on holiday with your cat as long as you are ready in advance. Taking cats on holiday might mean a little extra organisation; as long as everything is sorted in good time, and you know your cat can cope with the journey, you should be fine.
It’s true that cats like their own territory, which is why many owners decide it’s best to leave them with a trusted carer – you’ll know what’s best for your own pet. On the other hand, modern pet carriers, pet passports and vaccinations have made it far easier for people to go away with their cats.
If you are planning to go on holiday with your cat, check out our tips for preparation – and get packing!
How to take cats on holiday
If you’re taking your cat on a holiday in the UK, things couldn’t be easier. If your accommodation is pet-friendly, your cat is microchipped, and you think they’ll happily adapt to their temporary surroundings, you’re ready to go. Cats can travel freely in Europe as long as they are vaccinated against rabies, have been microchipped, and have a valid ‘pet passport’. Most vets will be able to issue pet passports; they contain up-to-date details of your cat’s treatment, so you can prove that they are healthy. If your vet doesn’t issue these, they should be able to recommended one who does. You may also be interested in the Pet Travel Scheme, which can make holidays with cats even easier. Read about this scheme below.
Your airline carrier will need to be alerted that you are bringing at cat with you long in advance; they can tell you what else you need to do in order to get your cat through the airport.
Whether you’re staying in the country or going abroad, you should familiarise yourself with travelling with your cat by plane or car.
Vet check-ups before taking your cat on holiday
In most cases your cat won’t require special medication before going on holiday; but if you’re unsure, ask your vet for peace of mind. In any case, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet about your cat’s suitability for a long journey, as every pet is different and there may be things that you haven’t considered.
When you’re talking to your vet, consider your cat’s general health and any history of anxiety during confinement. If your cat has been unhappy about travelling in the past, you might want to consider whether taking them along on holiday is the best thing you can do. After all, your cat can’t communicate their feelings like you do, so you have to work hard to find out how they feel!
You might also want to think about some of the practical aspects of taking your cat on holiday with you. If your cat takes medication, make sure you have a big enough supply to last the whole trip. If your vet suggests a sedative for their journey to keep them nice and calm, be aware the effects could last longer than the journey; if this is the case, your cat will need somewhere warm and secure to rest until they’ve recovered!
If your vet prescribes your cat medication for the trip, it may be helpful to ask about trialling it in advance, particularly if you are planning to travel long distances. If you know how the medication affects your cat in advance, there is less room for last minute mishaps, which all travellers can do without!
Planning holidays with cats