Keyword Search

Enter search term to search our articles and learning center.

Learning Center

How To Prepare Your Cat For Car Rides

Preparing cats for car rides
Rocket enjoys riding in the car

Like most of us, cats prefer routine.  And most cats do NOT like car rides because this way out of their normal routine–and comfort zone.  However, sometimes it’s necessary to take your cat somewhere, so here are some tips and suggestions on how to prepare your cat for car rides. 

When you view the experience from their point of view here are some possible thoughts going through your cat’s mind:

“This is not my house!  Where am I?”  

“Where are they taking me?  The last time they put me in this carrier I ended up at the vet!”

“Where can I hide?  Maybe if I cry really loud they’ll turn around and take me back home.”

Yes, car rides can be stressful, but there are several things you can do to make them less so and reduce your cat’s anxiety.

Prepare your cat for car rides
Rocket and Aylen love to play in the carrier

Four simple steps to prepare your cat

The cat carrier is their first warning that something is up.  Therefore, I suggest you help your cat become totally comfortable with it.  The first thing you can do is to leave it out, letting it become part of your cat’s natural surroundings.  Put a comfy blanket inside it so your cat can use it as a cozy spot to nap.

The second thing you can do is make it the center of play sessions.  Using a wand toy or other favorite toys, play with your cat in and around the carrier.  Cats love to use it as a hiding spot, similar to a box or tunnel when “watching and hunting” the toys.

The third thing you can do to help prepare your cat for car rides is put your cat in the carrier, zip or close it up, and walk around the house. Get them used to being inside it.  After you let kitty out give them a reward, like a favorite treat.  And don’t forget to praise them!

Next, go for “practice” rides.  My cats prefer to be next to me in the passenger seat so they can see me.  Plus, I can also put my hand inside the carrier with it slightly unzipped and pet them.  Drive around for 5-10 minutes and then go back home.  Be sure to offer them a treat and give lots of praise when you return!  You can make more practice rides and increase the amount of time.  Playing soft, relaxing, or classical music in the car can help ease your cat’s tension and nervousness.

Aylen’s first road trip was our family vacation to Montana.

Flower essences can ease the stress of car rides

Finally, I like to use Bach’s Flower Rescue Remedy.  This custom flower essence blend is ideal for helping calm cats in stressful situations.  On the day of the car ride put 4 drops in your hands, rub them together, and then pet your cat from head to tail.  Be sure to give special emphasis around the face and ears.  You can repeat every 15 minutes until the cat calms down. 

The key to successful car rides is preparing your cat in advance.   By getting him used to being in the carrier first and then taking short car rides so he can get accustomed to the car, sounds, smells, and motion will provide a much easier and less stressful experience.    

Our Purpose Comes From Those That Touch Our Heart.

To help cat owners learn about the options and benefits of natural, holistic health in order to not just live but to thrive. After all, our cats aren’t just pets...they’re family.

Be Inspired. Let's Stay Connected.

Trusted By Those That Love Their Best Friends

Animal Communication with Nina
I had the good fortune of meeting Nina in 2007 through horses. Nina has been a very important part in helping me keep my horses happy and healthy...both in the form of Equine Bodywork and Communication. She is both astute and intuitive in her communication. Often helping find issue that my veterinarians and I haven't quite been able to figure out.

Suzanne W.

Contact Us
We welcome comments and questions and love to hear from fellow cat lovers!