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How to travel with your pet

Weekends, short getaways, holidays... We all like to travel, but if you have a pet things can get complicated; you have to find a kennel, convince a friend to take care of your pet, or plan a trip according to your pet's needs. If you're planning an upcoming trip and you don't want to leave your cat at home, here are some basic tips to prepare you for the journey.

Before you begin, you have to decide if it's worth bringing your pet along. Long trips by car, train, or plane are stressful enough for us—never mind for your cat! If you’re planning a five-day getaway to the Mediterranean, your cat might be more comfortable with a friend or neighbour, or at a cat hotel.

It’s also important to read up on the documentation your pet will need to travel. For most destinations within the European Union, your pet needs to have an implanted identification microchip as well as a pet passport for companion animals, where their vaccinations are also recorded. Find out ahead of time which injections your pet needs in order to be allowed to enter the country you’re travelling to.

Select the appropriate carrier. If you’re flying, keep in mind that many airlines will allow you to bring your pet in the cabin if the weight of the whole (the carrier and the pet) does not exceed certain limits. Whenever you can, choose a comfortable carrier that doesn't weigh so much that your pet has to travel in the hold.

Plan your trip with your cat in mind. If it’s going to be a long car trip, plan rest stops so that your cat can use the litter box, drink water, and relax. And, lastly, prepare your pet for the day of the trip. It’s not uncommon for vets to recommend light sedatives or medication for motion sickness—a problem that could make the journey very uncomfortable for a pet.

Travelling with animals doesn’t have to be hard if you follow these tips, along with any recommendations from your vet. That way, you won’t have to leave your pet behind for your next holiday, and you can enjoy their company wherever you go. Bon voyage!