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Satisfy your (and your cat’s) curiosity and sense of adventure with a fun road trip together. Car trips can be fun and easy ways to explore new places and they can be very enjoyable as long as you’re prepared.

Preparing Your Cat for a Long Car Ride

Few cats have much experience with cars. And the experiences they do have can sometimes seem stressful, such as when traveling to the vet or to a new home. So, if you don't want your cat to be under stress for the duration of your trip, you're going to have to introduce her to some positive experiences related to car trips.

The Cat Carrier

The first thing you'll want to do is get your cat used to her carrier. A road trip with your cat loose in the car is dangerous and must be avoided. To start, leave the carrier out in the house so your cat can investigate it. Let her sniff it, go inside and rub against it to give it her smell. 

To reinforce her positive associations with the carrier, give your cat a treat whenever she goes near it. Toss some treats inside the crate to encourage her to enter. You can place the cat's food in the crate as well to create a positive association. You may also want to leave the door open and place a soft mat in the crate for a sleeping area.

The Car

The next step is to put your cat in the carrier and take her out to the car. If your cat is scared in this situation, give her some time to calm down. Try giving her cat treats or a favorite toy, and maintain a calm and quiet environment in the car. Once she has adjusted and become calm, you can bring her back inside and celebrate. 

Make each excursion to and in the stationary car longer as your cat becomes more comfortable. Then, when she seems at ease with being in the carrier in the car, start the engine. Let her get used to that. Finally, take a short trip with your cat, maybe around the block, then take a longer one. Reward her with special treats for cats during each trip so she associates traveling with nice things. During the process, never leave your cat unsupervised or alone in the car.

Soon enough, your cat might even look forward to going for trips in the car!  Some cats may never become comfortable with car rides due to age, personality, or lifestyle.  If that is the case, do not be discouraged; there are great ways to create indoor adventures as well, like creating a DIY Hideout.


Before you start your journey, get our expert recommendation on the right Purina® Pro® Plan® formula for your cat’s unique traits and preferences.

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