Should You Take Your Cat on Vacation?

Cat owners often struggle when deciding whether they should take their cats on vacation. You want your trusty companion by your side, but you also want to keep them safe.

Jun 20, 2023By Ashley Kulak
should you take your cat on vacation

You can take your cat on vacation with you as long as you have a safe place for them to stay. Also, you must prepare ahead of time for every possible situation, including travel, maintenance, and entertainment.

If you are looking for some advice on what to do with your cat when you leave town, here are some tips and tricks to help you out.

Should You Take Your Cat on Vacation?

leaving cat at home cat looking out window

If you are leaving for vacation and your cat is comfortable tagging along, there is no reason you can’t take them with you.

However, if you are heading off on a camping trip, backpacking through the mountains, or staying somewhere that doesn’t allow pets, then your furry pal should probably stay home.

There are some vacation spots that are perfect for bringing your cat along for the adventure, without putting them at risk. This includes staying in pet-friendly hotels, VRBOs, or a family or friend’s home that is okay with your bringing your beloved pal along.

How Do You Prepare Your Cat for Vacation?

cat supplies

If you do plan on taking your cat on your upcoming vacation, there are a few ways to prepare them for the trip.

Bring All of Their Essentials

Grab a pen and pad of paper and create a checklist of all the essentials your cat will need while you are away from home. This list should look a little something like this:

  • Food and water dish
  • Food
  • A quality carrier (labeled)
  • A comfy bed or blanket
  • Their collar and a leash
  • Identification (typically on the collar)
  • Some toys
  • Treats

While cats are light travelers, you want to ensure they are as comfortable as possible during your travels. Keeping them packed with all their favorite things will ease your cat’s anxiety and keep them entertained.

Can You Take Your Cat on a Plane?

cat carrier

You can take your cat on a plane with you, but it is recommended to avoid it whenever possible. Air travel can be stressful for some pets and can even be dangerous to those with “smooshed faces” like Persians, due to breathing issues.

If you are preparing to take your cat on your upcoming flight, there are a few things to do before you go.

  • Call the airport ahead of time- Call the airport to see if your cat can sit in the cabin with you. Many airlines will let your cat stay in the carrier in the cabin, under your feet. (You will be expected to pay a small fee, but it is well worth it.)
  • Book Your Flight Well in advance- Most airlines will only allow a small number of animals on the flight. Make sure you book well in advance, so you don’t run into any problems while you are boarding.
  • Purchase a comfortable, practical, and safe carrier- Your cat will be in their carrier for quite some time, so make sure it is comfortable and very safe. It is imperative you use a carrier that will fit underneath your seat, so you may want to consider investing in a soft-sided one.
  • Bring along all vet records- Make sure your cat’s records are up-to-date and bring them with you to provide proof of health status.
  • Avoid food on the day of take-off- It is best to have your cat fly on an empty stomach. Keeping food from them before a flight will reduce the chances of vomiting. (Bring a little with you in case they get hungry during the flight.)

Should You Leave Your Cat Home Alone While on Vacation?

cat looking out window

Your cat will feel most comfortable at home if you cannot take them with you on vacation. However, they still need to be cared for and checked on multiple times a day.

While many people believe cats are okay on their own and will typically leave them alone for a weekend, they need much more attention than that.

If you are planning on leaving your furry friend for more than a day, you should request the assistance of a friend or family member to pop in a couple of times each day to feed, water, and play with them.

You can also hire a pet sitter to come and stay at your home while you are gone or at least care for them during the day.

Should You Leave Them with Someone Else?

It is always best to let your cat stay at home where they are most comfortable. However, if this isn’t a possibility, you can always leave them with someone you trust and someone the cat is familiar with.

If your cat isn’t familiar with this person’s home, it is a good idea to start visiting the house, feline in tow, to slowly acclimate them to their temporary living quarters. Introducing your cat to the place they will be staying in well ahead of time will reduce stress and help them feel at ease about you leaving.

If you are preparing for a vacation, there are many ways to ensure your pet is safe and happy. Whether they are hanging out with you in a luxurious hotel or enjoying a quiet home all to themselves, ensure you take the proper precautions to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible.

Ashley Kulak
By Ashley Kulak

Ashley is an animal lover with a special place in her heart for dogs. When she isn’t writing about animals, she is spending a lot of her time outdoors exploring the world with her family and 3 dogs, Letty (black lab), Deizel (Husky), and Gunnar (Unknown).