Raise your hand if you’ve traveled with your cat outside of hurricane evacuations. It’s something our little family does several times a year and each time, I look for ways to simplify and — if possible — elevate the experience. In our case, we bring our cat Mr. Percy along for our family road trips because he’s diabetic and it’s better to bring him when we are going to be out of town for more than two or three days. We have an amazing group of friends who enthusiastically volunteer to help and learned how to inject insulin into our good boy. But with his condition, being left alone for too many days at a time can be stressful, despite a rotation of two visits a day for food, medicine, playtime and pets by his aunties and uncles, aka the Percy Care Team, aka The Catty Sitter’s Club (coined by our friend Adrienne, because we all help with one another’s cats). Also, we of course don’t want to take advantage of our friends. Finally, it’s fun having him with us. Since becoming Mr. Percy’s huMom in 2019, these are a few of the travel essentials we’ve acquired that I think are worth sharing.
- Mod Capsule Dog & Cat Carrier: While Mr. Percy is a happy camper once we arrived at our destination, he gets anxious in the car. Our vet prescribed a mild sedative to help with the stress of car rides and we got a carrier designed for anxious pets. It zips from the top (which has made loading him in so much easier) and he can hide out a bit with his back to the front zipper flap if he feels the need for privacy. It has revolutionized not only getting him into the carrier (no more fighting, scratching and chasing), as well as the car ride.
- Travel Litter Box with lid and handle: If you’ve ever carried a cat litter box into a nice hotel, you will appreciate this product. Bringing the litter box in and out of a hotel is awkward at best and, even though we are diligent scoopers, it’s kind of gross if you think too much about it. We keep his box handy in the car in case he needs to go (and he has used it a few times). For that, popping it into the car is fine. But it’s cumbersome to haul it in and out of our hotels or short-term rentals. This travel box looks like a little suitcase, and no one is the wiser. The box we usually use when we travel with him slides right inside it, so we can remove the hard sided box in the hotel room and tuck the “suitcase” away until it’s time to go.
- Tidify Dog Travel Bag: To date, I’ve used a combination of a mini cooler (for Mr. Percy’s insulin), along with an absurd number of totes all shoved into a larger tote to transport food, meds, bowls, blood sugar testing accouterments, toys, the litter scoop, a dustpan and brush and any other odds and ends the King of Our Lives requires. This bag has several compartments two small, insulated bags (I use one for insulin and ice packs and the other for kibble), as well as a first-aid pouch, another pouch and collapsible bowls. It has exponentially consolidated his stuff. Technically this bag is for dogs, but Mr. Percy will never know. It’s a lot like a diaper bag, honestly.
- Rabbitgoo Escape Proof Harness: This one is optional, but if you have a little harness Houdini like Mr. Percy who likes walks outside, an escape proof model is a must. We had one with Velcro clasps for our first adventure with Mr. Percy during a trip to a sweet little cabin in the woods in Mississippi. He loved our morning and late afternoon jaunts around the cabin. Back home and over time, he started to get a little too confident during yard walks and wiggled his way out of it. After some trial and error with other harnesses, I found great reviews of the one from Rabbitgoo. It is well-made, sturdy, secure and exactly what I’ve been looking for in a harness. I’m glad we worked our way up to this one via the Velcro style however, because it’s a little tricker to get him into it. The earlier style was good training.
Do you have any tried-and-true cat travel products that you won’t leave home without? Or do you think taking your cat on road trips is the height of stupidity? Email me at email@example.com.