Should I Cover My Cat Carrier When Traveling? Properly Way

When traveling with a cat in a car can raise several concerns. Cats do not react so calmly when it comes to the traveling part. At least, most of them. Anyhow, you may use cat carriers as solution for this problem. While using cat carrier, the thought of, should I cover my cat carrier while traveling, can come across.

The simple answer to this question is, It Depends! Especially on the behavior of your cat.

Hence, to find the best solution, you need to follow the guidelines shown below.

Further, there are few more TIPs that may help your travel journey with the cat

Understand your cat’s preference is important

Obviously, all the cats are different. They do have different personalities. Understanding your cat’s behavior or personality is essential to answer the above matter.

Some cats do prefer to go outside while watching the outer environment with you in a car or van. But, most of the time, they do not like that.

Mostly, the amount of rejection depends on your cat’s old bad experiences. Typically, if you had visits to your vet by using your car, then your cat can think getting into the car means you are taking him to the vet.

Well, cats do not like vets. At least the majority of them.

Furthermore, there are several other cats who hate to see the passing outlook through car windows. New incoming scents or unfamiliar noises can stimulate their fear or curiosity.

So ultimately, they may seek for a refuge place or try to explore the new environment by itself. Definitely, we do not need to happen that inside the car while traveling.

Because of these reasons, first, you need to have an idea about your cat. How he/she behave while in a car? Does he have a preference for traveling other than cars?

Select a right cat carrier to travel with cats

Depend on your cat’s behavior, you can think of several precautions that you have to take before going for road travel.

However, we recommend the usage of a cat carrier. It is the safest way to travel with your cat. A scared cat (like she saw balloons) can try to escape from your car. If it happens, a cat can scratch or bite you to find a way to go out.

Even Dr. Ruth MacPete from Health Pet Network, recommends the use of a cat carrier inside a car because of above reason.

However, do not buy a cat carrier just before starting your car journey. You need to give some time to your cat to familiar with the carrier.

Further, pay some attention to purchase the matching cat carrier. There are a lot of varieties out there like wired mesh types, hard plastic-based designs or fabric carriers. Each cat carrier has its own pros and cons.

There are cat backpack carriers available too. Several cat backpack carriers can suitable not only to travel on foot but to travel by car.

By the way, we have an extensively explained article about cat backpack carriers here.

Getting your cat used to the carrier in the car

With a cat carrier, the first thing you need to do is make it a familiar item for your cat. You can do this by using few small steps.

At first, do not put the cat inside your cat carrier by forcing it. Just leave it a place where your cat loves to be all the time. Use some cookies to entice the cat to go inside the carrier.

Slowly, you can even put your cat’s bed and toys near it or inside it. This way, your cat will look at the cat carrier as a friendly item.

Once he seems to accept the carrier, you can put the next step forward.

Get your cat into the carrier and just go around the house. If things seem to be okay, then put the carrier in the car and just start the car to see your cat’s response.

If everything looks fine and calm, you are good to go for a minimal ride. Just keep in mind, the very first ride can stimulate your cat very much.

Some cats get car sick; some may not like the wind, noise and the view pass by around them. So keep noticing the response of your cat.

Where to put cat carrier in the car

The place where you want to put your cat carrier is important. Depend on the location, cat can act differently

Sometimes, you may think that you need to secure your cat carrier on the floor for safety concerns. It is a good approach.

However, there were some incidents that cats behave violently when they do not see the cat owner while traveling. So, to understand the favorite place for your cat, you have to go for a few short preliminary test drives.

One more thing, do not ever put your cat inside the back storage area of your car. Even if you had good intentions, it would only do harm to your cat.

How to calm down a cat in the car – cover the carrier or not?

Now we enter the main question again; should we need to cover our cat carrier while traveling inside the car/van?

Yes, if your cat seems to have some uncomfortable behavior during your test car drives.

You can use a soft fabric like a towel or blanket to cover the carrier. Make sure it is easy to breathe inside the carrier after covering it.

Further, when covering, make sure to use a clean towel or blanket. Otherwise, the scent coming from towel can cause a new problem.

No, if your cat seems to be very calm and enjoy the new change.

Most of the cases may end up covering the cat carrier. Because it will reduce the noise and wind (if windows open), blurry passing outer look, and unfamiliar environment.

Moreover, the traveling distance should increase gradually. Your cat will slowly improve it’s sensation inside the cat carrier while traveling. You have to give some time to adjust and do not forget to treat a small cookie as an encouragement gift.

Final Thought

When traveling with your cat, you can face numerous problems. As a solution, you can use a cat carrier. The usage of a cat carrier inside a car has its own challenges. To address them, one approach is to cover your cat carrier. Anyhow, we found that the decision to cover or not totally depends on your cat’s behavior.

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Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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