Cat owners everywhere know the hassle of taking their pet to the vets. While dogs happily sit in the back, wagging their tails with excitement, your cat will be a ball of teeth and claws.
In fact, some cats will even balk at the sight of their travel case, running away in a flurry of fur and yowling.
But why is that cats hate cars?
Here, we list some of the most common reasons for kitty car tantrums, and offer some advice to make your journey more enjoyable. Understanding your pet makes for a better bond and a happier house. Without further ado:
1. Cats Are Independent
Felines are famously more solitary than their canine counterparts. They love to spend hours alone, exploring, sleeping or just being their cat selves.
To your cat, the idea of being trapped in a confined space with a group of noisy humans is not great.
If possible, it’s a good idea to create the impression that your cat is choosing to spend time in the car. Its travel case should be something that he or she likes to be in of its own accord. It should be spacious and filled with things that your cat likes. Cats like to feel safe and warm, so ensuring its travel case is both of these is a good idea.
2. Your Cat Loves Its Territory
If you’ve ever seen your cat’s reaction to a rival kitty on its turf, you’ll know how much cats value their space.
Not only this, but they know that other cats value theirs, too. By leaving their hard-won territory, a cat will be entering another feline’s stomping ground. This is intimidating, and your pet will become anxious. Be sure to reassure your cat that it isn’t in danger.
3. It Senses Your Trepidation
As you prepare your cat for its venture into the wild, your own sense of dread might be picked up on by your pet. With keen senses for emotion, your cat will know something is wrong and react negatively.
In a situation where your pet already feels tense, it’s important that you act calmly. He or she will pick up on body language more than you may realise you’re showing, so the best way to reassure your pet is to approach the journey with an open mind, and try to put previous car disasters to the back of your mind.
4. The Dreaded Vet Association
Most cats dislike the vet, remembering sweaty paws on operating tables and being touched by strangers in latex gloves.
As there will unlikely be many other reasons to travel in the car, your pet will grow to think of the car as an extension of the dreaded vet visits. To reverse this, try going for drives with your cat in the car, giving them treats along the way, and going straight home. This way, the occasional trip to the vet won’t be expected, and your cat’s car memories will be more neutral.
By considering your cat’s real worries about getting in the car, you’ll dampen temper tantrums and make necessary car rides a lot smoother. Cats on the road? No problem!
What does your cat think of road trips? Do they love them or hate them? Let us know with a comment below!