Should we take our cat traveling with us?

Should we take our cat traveling with us? Cat behavior questions answered by Dr. Baum and associate cat behavior specialist Mike Chill

Should we take our cat traveling with us on a two day trip, every week, or every other week? Or is that crazy?

Dear Dr. Baum —

My wife Linda wants to look into purchasing or renting a small place near a lake or the ocean within a two hour drive of L.A. as a weekend get-away. I am not pleased at the idea of putting our 4 cats in carrying cases for such a back-and-forth time period every week or every other week. They have such a difficult time on the ride (10 minutes) to your office! I would rather leave the cats at home and have someone come to the house and care for them for the 2 or 3 days we would be away. Linda wants to be with the cats. She says there are people who travel with cats. What do you suggest?

Jerry F., Los Angeles
P.S. – This issue is not a threat to the marriage!

Dear Jerry —

I don’t think that the traveling is as much an issue as how the cats will behave in a new environment vis a vis their bathroom habits.

To start – get them used to their traveling crates by leaving the crates open in their environment- place familiar bedding and cat treats in the receptacles. Then do a couple of trial runs — not taking them into the office — let them realize that there is a higher purpose to traveling.

Once you get where you are going it’s anyone’s guess how they would react. All in all, in my humble opinion, too much preparation and risk for two days.

As an added bonus I will cc my friend and trainer par excellence, Michael Chill, to see if he has any other thoughts.

Dr. Baum

From Michael Chill —

I agree with you 100%. For only a few days at a time at the cabin, the stress of traveling would not be worth it. It can take cats weeks to adjust to a new home, and most of the benefits of a lakeside cabin, walks in the woods, playing in the water, etc… would be heaven for a dog, but not things one can do with cats. And, yes, his wife is correct that some people travel with cats. Those cats don’t get stressed by car rides or airplane trips, or the length of time they’ll be gone make the stress well worth it.

Michael Chill

Again, with our thanks to animal trainer extraordinaire, Michael Chill. You can contact Michael Chill directly through his website:


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