How To Get My Cat Comfortable With Riding In A Car?
Whether you are bringing your cat to the vet or you are going on a vacation with your furry baby, it is undeniable that a car ride can potentially be stressful to your feline friend. Instead of having an easy, pleasurable trip, you might find yourself traveling with a scared, nervous, and anxious cat.
So, what could be some of the best ways for you to make your cat comfortable riding in your car? Here are some of the helpful tips you should take note of.
Nobody wants to get involved in a road accident, but it can happen to anyone and in the most unexpected way. Thus, it is always important to think about the safety of your cat.
The best way to keep him not just comfortable, but safe inside your car is to put him inside a carrier. Remember, a loose cat can easily fly almost everywhere in case of a sudden stop or bumpy ride. As a driver, you can also better focus on the road if you don’t have your cat on your lap or under the pedals.
Get Your Cat Familiar With Your Car
Cats love to stay on their territory and places where they are familiar with. That’s why, if given the choice, they would rather just stay at home.
Thankfully, you can make your car part of his territory as well. You can let your cat get inside the car without turning the engine on. Just give him about five minutes to explore the inside and outside of your car. Let him walk inside and around the car. Let him take a nap inside the car or let him spread his scent there.
When your cat sees your car as an extension of his territory, it would be easier for him to relax during a car ride.
Bring Your Cat’s Stuff With You
During a car ride, you can bring your cat’s bed, towel, blanket, and toys. All these familiar personal belongings would help reduce the anxiety level of your furry friend.
Moreover, if possible, you can also feed your cat inside your car or give him treats while inside. The point is that when your cat can associate your car with pleasurable experiences, then he should be more than willing to hop inside the car with you.
Desensitize Your Cat
Hearing the engine start for the first time can be scary to your cat. For this reason, you may try to desensitize him first.
What you can do is bring your cat near the car. Start the engine and turn it off after 1-2 minutes. Get off the car without going anymore. If you see your cat isn’t bothered by the sound, then you can bring him inside the car the next day.
Repeat the same procedure. This time, your cat should be inside your car. Start the engine and then turn it off. Do this in a few days so that your cat won’t get scared when you begin your travel.
Once your cat is used to being in your car while the engine is running, you can then move your car to the end of the driveway and stop. Move back your car to your initial position. Repeat this procedure until your cat is not scared of riding a moving car.
If your cat is now okay traveling just in your driveway, you can now travel in short distances. Perhaps, a quick ride around the neighborhood would suffice. Observe your cat and if he is getting stressed out, you might be moving too fast or too far. So, adjust your car ride experience as necessary.
Increase your car-time and distance incrementally until your cat gets comfortable riding inside your car.
Have A Wonderful Trip!
These are just some of the best trips you can do to help your cat feel comfortable during a car ride.
If you are still unsure what to do or these tips didn’t work, don’t hesitate to speak to your vet. Your vet should be able to give you more tips on how to deal with your cat’s anxiety while inside your car. Do your own research as well. The more information you have, the better.
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