More Cat Care Information:
Traveling with a cat can bring unique challenges to your holiday. Dogs are often trained ahead of time, but people rarely think about training a cat. So, where do you start with travel-proofing your fussy feline and making sure you all get along on the road?
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
Before you leave home, it's a good idea to spend a few weeks preparing your cat for holiday. They need to get used to three things before you travel: wearing a harness, using a leash, and being in a cat carrier.
Practice getting your cat used to these before you take your pet on holiday and it will make for much smoother sailing when it comes time to depart. Your cat needs to be comfortable during your holiday, but the only way to keep control while traveling with a cat is to keep them confined in a small, comfortable and secure area.
While your cat is in the vehicle, they should be in a cat carrier at all times, and it should be buckled into the back seat with an approved harness for added safety. When you go to release the cat from the carrier, you need to be ready for her to come out quickly. Before you open the carrier door, all car doors should be closed, and all of the windows rolled up. With these precautions, if your cat gets spooked and runs, she is still confined to the vehicle.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
You should be seated in the back seat beside the carrier, with a leash in your hand and ready. Open the cage door, let your cat out, and secure the leash clip to the cat's harness before opening any car doors and moving inside. Alternatively, keep your cat inside its carrier until you are inside the holiday accommodation and enclosed with all doors and windows closed.
On holidays, you should always use a harness, which are much more secure than collars for cats. It also stops them choking on a collar if they become spooked or get caught on something in an unfamiliar environment.
Of course, you should also make sure that the hotel or rental booking you have chosen specifically allows cats. Traveling with a cat can be challenging in pet-friendly accommodations, because many hotels that call themselves 'pet friendly' are actually only welcoming of dogs. Double check that the pet-friendly holiday option you have chosen will allow cats before you leave for holiday.
You should also bring food, litter and favored toys that your cat is used to using at home. Cats can be disturbed by new surroundings on holidays more than other pets, but little comforts like a favorite toy or their own brand of litter can make them feel more at home. Taking your pet's food along will also prevent upset stomachs during your trip.
Make sure they know where their litter, food, and bedding is as soon as they get to the holiday location, and keep these items in the same place while you are travelling with a cat.
Like many humans and other pets, cats are creatures of habit, so as long as they know they are safe and secure, and have familiar routines and items around them, they can make great holiday companions.
Just know before you go how to be clever when travelling with a cat!
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|