Unfamiliar territories, unfamiliar sounds and unfamiliar scents maketh for a grumpy ginger tom! While there's little a feline pet owner can do about territories and sounds, setting up a space with familiar scents can go a long way while transporting cats. To ensure there are no concerning whimpers of fear or loud and frightened meows, here’s a lowdown on how to travel with a cat as you combat its stress with familiar scents.
Deciphering the travelling stress
Cats are creatures of routine. Even the slightest dissimilarity can get their little minds really stressing out. While travel can be pretty exciting for us humans who love a little change once in a while, it can be pretty daunting for a cat. To make it worse, the last thing it wants is to be tucked into a carrier for a few hours!
How scents help
It is a known fact that the territory of a cat is marked by smell. Familiarity is key to ascertain a comfortable journey with your feline pet. The acquaintance of smell or the lack of it induce recognition in a cat which can further be a make-or-break for your cat’s travel.
How to go about it?
Along with ensuring a comfortable carrier, also make sure it is one that gives you enough scope for spot cleaning viz-a-viz cleaning the entire carrier. This is because your cat has marked its territory in its own way inside the carrier and would not like that smell to be washed off. Not to mention the time your cat will take to get familiar with the carrier all over again will only be a task for you!
- Cheek rubbing to mark territory
A go-to way for cats to get comfortable with a space is by rubbing their cheek across it. Cat parents who are aware of this trait must take full leverage and let their pet cheek-rub the mode of transport. In doing so, they spread their scent across or parts of the object and start resonating with it as their purr-sonal territory!
- An object of their own smell
Your cat’s favourite blanket, bed or towel can be a major comforting factor in travel. Imbibed with its own smell, you may place it inside its carrier or its place of travel. The fact that it is their personal belonging will indeed add to their ease. Also placing this inside before it enters the carrier will add a sense of association in the cat.
- Ensure there’s no other cat scent
To feel secure, cats like to know that they are the only cats around. Any scent of another cat can trigger stress. Thus, you must ensure that the mode of transport does not smell like any other cat in order to keep yours calm!
One of the best ways to soothe a stressed-out cat is resorting to catnip! Comprising of an organic compound called Nepetalactone, Catnip is actually a plant used in various ways for cats. One of the best inventory items for cat-parents is catnip toys! These toys exude an irresistible aroma that most cats love. However, this is recommended only if your cat is familiar to the smell!
Last but not least, your presence can combat your cat’s stress in various ways -- your touch, care and of course your scent! Being around its parent can definitely be the most soothing thing for the tabby.
While scents are just one part that can add to the comfort of a travelling cat, they indeed are the most vital. Following the above tips, rest assured your cat will be one happy cat while being transported!