Cat sitting inside a suitcase.

Vacation Planning

Prior to leaving on a vacation, there are certain items that need to be taken care of first. To begin, be sure you are aware of all the requirements necessary for taking your cat to its intended destination, including required health certificates, quarantines, and customs.

When traveling domestically and interstate with your pet, two items you should always have with you are your pet’s vaccination record and a current health certificate. A licensed veterinarian must issue this health certificate within 10 days of your trip.

If traveling overseas, the embassy of the country of destination can inform you of all the necessary requirements for the safe and legal transport of your pet.

Be sure that the carrier you have for your cat is sturdy and in good condition. Also, make sure that your pet’s collar has identification tags, including a phone number, if possible, of where you’ll be staying just in case your pet gets lost.

Of course, you’ll want to take a leash along for daily exercise, as well as your pet’s brush and/or comb for daily grooming. Finally, plan on taking plenty of your pet’s food along with you, just in case the brand you normally feed your pet is not available at your destination.

Consult travel guides or travel agents to find listing of those motels, hotels, and campgrounds that accept pets, and plan your overnight stops around these locations.

Finally, when you arrive at your destination, look in the local phone directory for the name and number of a local veterinarian in the area, in case of emergency.

Try not to leave your pet unattended in your motel or hotel room. If you do, be sure to place the “Do not disturb” sign on the front door so that your pet doesn’t accidentally escape if housekeeping comes to clean your room while you are away.

When camping with your pet, don’t allow it to roam or to interact with wild animals. Cats especially, being the natural-bred hunters that they are, could get themselves in trouble real quick!

It’s also a great idea to have your pet checked out by a veterinarian following these camping trips to be sure that it didn’t pick up any unwanted parasites from the local fauna.

Finally, there will be times when your cat will be better off staying at home rather than traveling with you. In these instances, choose a kennel facility for your cat as you would a hotel for your- self, making sure that it is clean, well ventilated, and staffed by a caring group of people.

Many newer facilities are equipped with interactive cameras attached to each run or pen that can be accessed over the Inter- net, allowing you to check in on your pet even if you happen to be on the other side of the world! Although it costs more to board a pet at such a facility, many owners feel it is well worth the price.

Another great alternative is to let your cat stay home and hire a pet sitter to check in on it throughout the day. If you can’t find a neighbor or friend to oblige, check your phone book for a reliable professional pet sitter near you, or ask someone at a local veterinary clinic to recommend one to you.