Travelling with a Cat: How to Keep Them Happy on Holiday


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woman walking on the beach with a yellow backpack with a black cat inside it

Welcoming a feline friend into your family is an exciting and heartwarming experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges – especially when it’s time for a holiday. Whether you’re taking your cat along on your vacation or leaving them behind, ensuring their happiness is key to a successful and stress-free getaway. This blog explores the purr-fect solutions and tips for keeping your cat content and comfortable during your holiday adventures. We’ve got you covered, from pet travel essentials and safety measures to entertainment and relaxation ideas. So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey that both you and your whiskered companion will truly enjoy!

Things to do before travelling

Acclimate your cat to its carrier

Before embarking on your trip, ensure your cat is familiar with their carrier. Leave it out in your home for a few days, allowing your cat to explore it and feel completely comfortable inside. Place their favourite blanket or toy in the carrier to create a familiar and inviting environment.

Choose an IATA-approved carrier

In relation to the above point about pet carriers, make sure the one you choose is IATA-approved. The IATA standards mean it is safe and comfortable for your cat. They should have enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Pay a visit to your vet

Schedule a pre-travel check-up with your vet to ensure your cat is in good health and up-to-date on vaccinations. Obtain a copy of your cat’s medical records and any necessary pet travel documents, such as a health certificate. This will help you to avoid any delays or troubles when flying.

Pack the essentials

Before travelling with a cat, making a checklist is a good idea to ensure you don’t forget anything!

Bring along food, water, treats, a collapsible bowl, litter, a portable litter box, waste bags, and any medications your cat may need. Don’t forget to pack a few toys and a blanket to help keep your cat entertained and comfortable once you arrive at your destination.

Prepare for your destination

Research your destination ahead of time to identify pet-friendly accommodations, parks, and attractions. Familiarise yourself with local pet-related rules and regulations so that you can enjoy a stress-free holiday with your pet by your side.

Once you arrive

Cats are creatures of habit, so once you arrive at your destination, you will need to take extra care to ensure they are happy.

Let them explore the area

Once you arrive at your accommodation, give them plenty of time to sniff around and explore the area. Make sure they have places where they can hide or have some alone time if they get overwhelmed, and never force them to come out of these spaces, as this will only stress them out.

Maintain a consistent routine

Cats thrive on routine, so try to replicate your at-home routine as much as possible. Feed them at the correct times, let them sleep when they normally would, and play with them regularly to stop them from becoming bored.

Give them plenty of attention

When travelling with a cat, the only familiar thing for them is you! Make sure to let your cat know you are there and provide them with all the comfort and attention they need to feel safe and at home.

If your cat will be sleeping in a separate area of the accommodation from you, leaving a t-shirt or towel with them that smells like you is a good idea. This will give them peace and comfort.

Use calming aids

If your cat is particularly stressed, trying a calming aid such as a pheromone diffuser, calming collar, or supplement may be a good idea. This can help to relax them, which is a huge help whilst you are on holiday.


Remember, every cat is different and will react differently to pet travel. It is important to consider your cat’s personality and individual needs and recognise their cues for when they need space or comfort.

If you have any more questions about travelling with a cat, get in touch with us, and we will be happy to help.