When we choose to travel with our cat, we should be prepared for many probable events. What to bring with you so that the comfort of a journey is as high as possible? How we can secure a safe trip for the keeper, passengers, and our animal?
We should always use a cat carrier that we can secure with a seat belt. Why? For safety reasons.
In the US over 6 million road accidents occur every year. If the animal is unsecured, during an accident it bumps into the car’s interior. If the force is high enough the cat can break the front/side screen and fall out of the vehicle. Cats during vehicle collisions usually suffer from many internal and external injuries. Unfortunately fastening the can only with braces does not guarantee proper protection. During a stressful situation, the cat is able to free itself from them. Even a relatively small collision causing broken windows can make a stunned cat jump and run right under the oncoming car.
Safety of the driver and passengers
Remember that we are not alone on the road, so we are responsible for the safety of ourselves, our passengers, but also other road users. Animals do not behave rationally, and the driver is not able to control everything that happens in the car. The cat may be frightened by an unknown sound from the exterior and try to find safety under the driver’s feet or jump on your head when he sees a fly. Results of such actions you can see below: it was the incorrectly transported cat that caused the accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the financial losses where high.
Good cat carrier should be:
– made of hard, moisture-resistant materials (not fiber),
– big enough for the cat to turn and lie down in it,
– have a metal grille in front.
The video above shows crash tests involving various forms of animal protection and its influence on a dog-shaped crash test dummy. Of course, the force impact of a crash on the animal also depends on its weight. Cats are usually lighter than dogs, so breaking the carrier will not be so easy. But watching this should give us some sense of what can happen to our beloved animal.
The quality of the carrier and its placement in the car is very important. In 2016, an accident occurred in Poland in which three people died, a couple from one car and one person for the other. The couple rode with the cat (Rudy) and the rescue team found only an open cat carrier. If your portable cat kennel is not adapted to seat-belt fastening, to minimize the risk of injury during a crash it should be placed on the floor. The best site is behind the front passenger seat. This placement gives the pet the best protection. You can peek on the cat when you stand at the traffic lights.
Cats can withhold urination for a long time. However, it is recommended to cover the transporter with an absorbent hygiene pad for long journeys. You can buy it cheaply at the pharmacy or in larger supermarkets. Paper towels and plastic bags will also be useful. It is better to be prepared for any opportunity than be sorry. Cleaning the interior is time and money consuming.
Disposable litter box
This kind of kit is a great solution for longer journeys, it includes a folding kennel made of cardboard, wooden sand, and shovel. You can find different sizes from mini to maxi.
Toys and bowls
We can’t forget that during a few hours journey, a cat should have access to water and food. Our pet should be enabled to stretch its paws once every few hours. Unfortunately, cats can suffer from motion sickness, so they can throw up the whole meal.
Check prior for a good vet at your destination
Remember Murphy’s laws: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”?. Instead of nervous searching on the Internet or asking locals, it’s worth being prepared.
I wish you only safe travels!