Taking your Cat on Holidays with you

Can’t imagine leaving your cat behind while you go on holiday?  With just a little planning, you can bring all members of your family along on your next getaway, including your beloved cat.

Do you feel that your cat is a genuine part of the family?  Chances are your pet feels the same way.  It is unsettling for animals to be left behind when you go away on holiday.

Not so long ago, you had little choice but to place your beloved animal in a kennel while you were away.  While these are still valid choices, they are costly and simply not suitable for some owners or their pets.

Fortunately, more and more destinations are willing to accommodate people holidaying with their pets.  So with just a little extra planning, you can enjoy taking your furry friend on your next trip away.

TRANSPORT

Train, plane or automobile?  Whether you are taking a driving holiday or flying to your destination, you will need the right restraints to keep your cat safe.

For driving, a safety harness or a barricade across the backseat is important.  Also make sure there is good ventilation.  If you have a cage, be sure that it is an ample size and don’t forget about shade.

For those taking to the skies, check with your airline as they will have strict rules about cat carriers and even cat breeds.  For instance, Qantas provides detailed guidelines online.  Excess baggage fees may also apply so do your homework in advance.

You will also need an authorised crate or carrier to fly on a plane.  Luckily, there is no need to invest in purchasing an expensive carrier just for a one off holiday.  You can easily hire one from places such as Jet Pets which are specifically designed for air travel.

TOILET STOPS AND BREAKS

Head off on your Aussie road trip with a water bowl, treats and food for your cat.  Keep plenty of bottled water on hand in case tap water isn’t available.

Make sure you allow extra travel time for toilet and exercise breaks when planning your drive.  It’s nicest, and safest, to take rest stops at a park or playground so you and your cat can have a walk around.

Cats easily suffer heat stress, so never leave your pet in the car unattended.  Also consider buying shade screens for the windows if the cat will be travelling in the back of your car.

ACCOMMODATION

The internet is your best friend when it comes to finding pet friendly accommodation.  This can range from farm stays to pet-friendly B & B’s, camping and caravan parks.

Before you book, it is important to check the in-house rules.  Do they allow animals matching your pet’s size?  Do you need to bring your pet’s bedding?  Are cats allowed inside or outside only?  Is there a fenced area for them? It is best to pick accommodation which allows a close match with your cat’s usual routine.

Best of all, you are no longer stuck with the outskirts of town.  If you want to enjoy a city-escape, you can now stay in an inner-city Melbourne or Sydney hotel and not compromise on lifestyle.  For instance, right on Sydney Harbour The Sebel Pier One hotel has a pet-friendly policy so why not let kitty enjoy a bit of pampering while you are away?

PET HEALTH

Although we hope it never happens, anyone can get sick on holidays.  So before heading off, find out where the local vet or pet hospital is.  This is particularly important if you are going camping or heading somewhere remote.  Also don’t forget to pack any pet medication you may need and take enough for the whole time you are away.

CAT SITTING

Once you are on your fabulous holiday, what do you do if you want to check out that fantastic new show or gourmet restaurant up the road?  If you think you will want some time without the cat in tow, enquire about a cat sitter.  Check with your accommodation first.  Do they offer this service?  If not, are there any reliable sitters in the area?  Will they come to you or do you take the catto them?  Just look into this before you go ahead and book your accommodation so you will not be disappointed.

PETS ARE A BIG PART OF OUR LIVES

It’s great to be able to include pets in our family fun.  Although a little extra planning is needed, taking the cat with you on holidays is a rewarding experience for you and your pet.  By choosing the right accommodation, taking the cat’s favourite toy, familiar bedding and paying attention to details for your cat’s health and safety while on the move, your holiday can be fun and a stress free for everyone.