Vacation Prep 101: Ensuring Your Cat Feels at Home

Being well-prepared for your vacation can save headaches, especially when traveling with pets. Grab our cat travel checklist to ensure a smooth experience for everyone.

Dec 24, 2023By Monika Dimitrovska
vacation prep 101 ensuring your cat feels at home

Leaving your cat at home while on vacation can make you feel guilty for having fun.

However, some felines don’t mind staying at home with a pet sitter, patiently waiting for you to return. Others experience separation anxiety and stress. In this case, taking your cat on vacation is recommended, but you should prepare well.

Below, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of taking your cat on vacation and share our cat travel checklist if you decide to travel with your feline, so let’s dive right in!

Is it a Good Idea to Take Your Cat on Holiday?

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Image credit: dominickvietor from Pixabay

Taking your cat on holiday can be a wonderful adventure, but like anything in life, it has pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of bringing your furry friend along:


  • Cuddle Companionship: If your cat likes to cuddle, having them along means you’ve got a fluffy friend for those quiet moments.
  • New Sights and Smells: Cats and curiosity go hand in hand, so a change of scenery can be a sensory playground for them.
  • Avoiding Cat-Sitter Blues: No need to worry about leaving your cat with a pet sitter. Bringing them along means they won’t miss you or experience separation anxiety.


  • Travel Stress: Cats like having a daily routine. In other words, they’re creatures of habit, so a car ride or plane trip might turn them into a ball of nerves.
  • Strange Surroundings: Cats also act protective of their territory, so new places can overwhelm them; they might need time to adjust to the holiday digs.
  • Vacation Vet Visits: Finding a vet in a new place can be time-consuming, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for unexpected health hiccups.

The Ultimate Cat Travel Checklist

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Image credit: ALEXNEWWORLD from Pixabay

Holidays just don’t feel complete without the whole family, and for some, that includes their furry friends. Moreover, taking your cat on holiday can be a blast, a real bonding experience. But hold your catnip because a bit of prep is key.

So, grab our cat travel checklist; it’s about to become your new best friend!

Pre-Travel Preparations:

  • Call your vet and schedule a health check before leaving for your trip. Also, update your cat’s vaccinations.
  • Ensure your cat’s ID tag has your current contact information.
  • Consider microchipping for extra security.
  • Have you informed yourself of the local and destination pet regulations and requirements?
  • Buy a sturdy, well-ventilated, and spacious cat carrier.
  • Practice getting your cat into the carrier days before the travel. We also suggest crate training your feline; it has many benefits for you and your pet, especially for future travels together.
  • If traveling by plane, inform yourself of the airline’s pet policies. Additionally, make sure your carrier is airline-approved.


  • After visiting the vet, make sure you pack your feline’s medical records, just in case you need to show proof that they’re vaccinated.
  • If traveling internationally, don’t forget to obtain a pet passport.
  • Snap a photo of your kitten for identification purposes.
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Image credit: Darkmoon Art from Pixabay

Packing Essentials:

  • Take enough cat foot for the entire trip, plus a little extra.
  • Buy portable and easy-to-clean food and water bowls.
  • Don’t forget your cat’s favorite toys and comfort items for familiarity.
  • Bring a small cat bed or blanket for coziness on the road.
  • Litter box, liners, and enough cat litter, plus a little extra.
  • Scoop for daily litter maintenance.
  • Pack grooming supplies, including a brush.
  • If your cat needs any medications, don’t forget to pack them. We also suggest packing a first aid kit, just in case.

Travel Comfort:

  • Use calming pheromone sprays or wipes.
  • Buy a harness and leash for safe outdoor walks.
  • Cover your feline’s carrier with a familiar towel or blanket for added comfort.


  • Confirm that your accommodation welcomes pets, particularly felines.
  • Inform yourself of specific rules or restrictions for cats.
  • Set up a designated area in your vacation place with familiar toys, blankets, etc.
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Image credit: Nick Karvounis from Unsplash

Health and Safety:

  • Browse the location of the nearest vets at your vacation destination and save the addresses and phone numbers of each one in your phone.
  • Check for potential hazards in your vacation place, like toxic plants.

Routine Care:

  • As we already mentioned, cats don’t welcome change with open paws, so make sure you stick to your kitten’s regular feeding and exercise schedule.
  • Closely observe your cat’s behavior for signs of stress or discomfort.

Transition Period

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Image credit: Frank Lam from Unsplash

If your kitten seems stressed or scared, don’t panic right away. Cats need time to adjust to new environments, so give them some time to get familiar with the place and mark their new territory. Follow these simple steps:

  • Gradually introduce your kitty to different areas of your vacation spot.
  • If you notice signs of stress or discomfort, call the nearest vet and ask for advice. Perhaps they can prescribe something that will make your kitty feel less stressed during the stay.
  • Lastly, consider a cat pheromone collar and diffuser. These items aren’t a magical cure-all for feline stress. However, they can be a good place to start. The best part? They’re budget-friendly and have proven to help cats with mild anxiety, so they’re definitely worth a try.

Safe Travels

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Image credit: mkupiec7 from Pixabay

In a nutshell, vacationing with your cat isn’t a walk in the park, but it can be a wonderful experience for both of you with a little prep.

Still, consider the pros and cons of bringing your cat on a vacation with you, whether it’s a short or long stay, before deciding.

Hopefully, our tips above can help you make a well-informed decision and ensure you pack everything necessary for a safe and smooth trip!

Monika Dimitrovska
By Monika Dimitrovska

Monika is a pet enthusiast and seasoned copywriter with a tech degree. She loves writing, but her heart belongs to her two mixed dogs, Buba and Bono, a mother-son duo. Bono’s siblings found loving homes, sparking Monika’s advocacy for neutering and deepening her curiosity about animal care.

But Monika’s pet family doesn’t end there. She also has two cockatiels and two rescue cats, proving her home is a haven for creatures big and small.