Cats hate car journeys, they are territorial animals that do not support that we change their habits and like to be in their territory. The car is also an environment that seems hostile to him, the cat being locked in a cage in addition to undergoing many jolts on the road. And you’re probably wondering how to calm a cat in the car?
Fortunately, many solutions exist and will allow you to travel with your dear 4-legged friend. Let’s go for an overview of all the solutions available to travel with your cat in peace.
How to calm a cat in the car? Understand your nervousness
It’s totally normal for him to be nervous, it’s new for him, he moves quickly, he spins, he shakes, all of this generates a state of panic. Cats love stimuli in their environment and hate novelty especially when it is so restless.
It is also important to understand that your cat is in its box and therefore cannot move, which will increase its stress level.
There are many ways to calm your cat in the car that will make it totally comfortable. I show you the 9 solutions that will allow you to travel peacefully with your cat.
1- Choose the transport box carefully
The choice of box is important because your cat should feel comfortable and safe when traveling in the car. Choosing a high quality box with durable materials will ensure your cat’s safety.
Also take a wide model in which he can move and stand, he will feel freer and therefore be less nervous. The more space the cat has, the less it will feel in danger.
You can also choose a cat carrier, as long as it offers enough space.
The choice actually depends on the personality of the cat, a hard support is preferable if he tends to get agitated for example because he will scratch and attack the fabric.
If it’s a cat that doesn’t move when stressed, a soft support may be more comfortable.
Finally, never choose a model that does not let the exterior show through, otherwise your cat will panic.
2- Get used to it at an early age
A cat that has been used to traveling since a young age will naturally be more accustomed to being more adaptable when young. With age, cats are less and less adaptable to novelty and it will be more and more difficult to get them used to traveling by car without problems.
Try to get him in on his own, with food he likes for example, then let him in for a few seconds and then offer him a second reward. The cat will associate the car with a reward and if it has since a very young age, it will be calm in the car.
3- Get him used to it step by step
When the cat gets used to riding in the car in its box, then it can start traveling by car. Put it in the box for a few minutes, without moving it.
Then, start by doing short trips of 5 or 10 minutes observing his behavior, to see the progress. Make the first journeys at a moderate pace, also go there gradually and avoid journeys at high speed or with many turns.
Also try to get her used to being in her transport box from time to time at home, by putting food that she likes for example, then she will be completely familiar with the cat. The idea is that he associates it with something pleasant so that he feels comfortable in it during every car journey.
4- Offer him a suitable environment
Start by bringing water and food that he likes and giving it when he gets restless to calm him down. However, be careful not to overfeed it, otherwise it will cause nausea. The goal is just so he can have a familiar food he loves to comfort him. An easily digestible food is essential in the car.
Make sure the temperature is moderate, with heating in winter and air conditioning or a bag of ice cubes in winter. Cats are very sensitive to temperature changes and this can increase their anxiety when cats are in the car.
Give him some exercise, if you can play with him while someone else is driving that’s great, but be careful not to move him too much, because he stays in a box and can’t move easily.
Finally, avoid smoking to keep the air healthy, cats hate unhealthy air and will react badly to it.
5- Stay close to your cat
If you can, when you are not driving, stay close to him, it will comfort him because he will have your familiar scent close to him and showing him affection will necessarily reassure him.
Talking to him will already allow him to relax, the best thing is to pet him if possible.
6- Anti-stress products
Pheromones can be reassuring, as they generate familiar scents that manage to calm cats. You can spray it in the car to calm him down.
You can also offer him soothing food supplements.
Finally, certain essential oils will help him to be calmer.
7- Sedatives as a last resort
If nothing helps, especially if your cat is old, then the veterinarian may prescribe sedatives to keep him completely calm during the journey.
8- Manage visual stimuli
If the landscape passes very quickly, your cat may be afraid, so it is essential to cover the box to cover it from everything and prevent it from panicking.
Preventing him from seeing is sometimes necessary and by being combined with pheromones, it will allow him to reassure himself much more easily.
9- Listen to classical music
Classical music sometimes helps calm cats. Avoid aggressive music that will excite him even more. Soft and melodious sounds are to be favored so that your cat’s mind can relax.
10- Drive carefully
The more movement there is, the more stress your cat will have. Offer him as much as possible a smooth and jerk-free journey.
11- Don’t leave him alone
If you travel for long hours, avoid leaving him alone during breaks and ventilate the car while you take a break, which will be very pleasant for him.
Calming a cat in the car; The final word
To calm a cat during a car journey, it is essential to properly implement the right habits, because if they are put in place, then the cat will be able to travel without being stressed.