How to transport your cat without causing it to stress?

54% of cat owners dread a visit to the vet and 38% experience stress just thinking about it!
Transporting your cat to the vet or to other places can be difficult and challenging. We would like to help you make these occasions less stressful with a number of tips that have more than proven their value.

Always transport your cat in a good transport basket

You should never transport your cat loose in your arms or in a car, instead, use a suitable transport basket. This is not only nicer for the cat, but also much safer. With the correct use of a transport basket, the basket (and your cat!) won’t fly through the car in the event of a collision or rapid braking. You can know that the basket is suitable when:
  • the top half can be easily taken off and put on again
  • there is a good handle and all parts of the basket are firmly attached to each other
  • the basket can be opened at the top

We do not recommend traditional wicker baskets for transporting cats because they don’t comply with the standards above.

Let your cat get used to the transport basket

Place the transport basket in your living room at least a few days before your visit to the vet or trip and use it as a playhouse for your cat. You should regularly place treats inside the basket and also place a blanket or a soft cloth inside the basket to invite your cat to sleep in it.

Use a different basket for each cat

Cats are very sensitive to territory and therefore very focused on (other people's) odors. A basket that has a different cat’s smell on it will raise a red flag with your pet.

Transport your cat as comfortably as possible

  • Place a towel or blanket that your cat lies on daily at the bottom of the basket. Objects that have your scent on them can also reduce the feline’s stress. If your cat has a tendency to urinate or defecate during transport, put moisture-absorbent material such as a wee-wee pad underneath the blanket.  Cover the basket with a blanket, as cats like to feel sheltered. Make sure that the cat can still get enough air.
  • Spray the inside of the basket with Feliway spray, which contains a calming hormone odor for cats and is also used in many veterinary practices.
  • Always transport the basket in a stable and horizontal manner.

Place in the car

Place the basket on the ground behind the passenger seat (if you have two cats, place the other basket behind the driver). Crash tests have shown that this is a safer place than the passenger seat or rear seat, even when secured with seat belts.

If your cat is really nervous...

There are medications that you can give your cat 1.5-2 hours in advance if it is very sensitive to stress. You should be sure to consult your vet before giving your cat any medication.