Thursday, June 17, 2010

Traveling With Pets, Part Six

Cats on the Road, Part One--Lodgings

Most cats adapt well to traveling in cars, but before you take yours on a long trip be sure to try him or her out several times on short trips. Be sure you have your cat secure, either on a harness and leash or in a carrier. If you are going to take trips in which you will be staying in hotels or motels, be sure your cat is contented in a carrier. Take along his bed or pillow and a couple of favorite toys, as well as a supply of his favorite food.

Any time you leave a cat alone in a hotel room, put him in his carrier. You may also want to have him sleep in his carrier, and only let him out when you can keep an eye on him. Why? With new territory to explore, your cat may disappear!

Perhaps you may wonder where a cat could disappear to in a hotel or motel room. The answer most often is the bed. She may hide under the covers, but you will easily find her there. However, there are three other bed places she can get into, and two of those can be quite hard to get her out of.

Many hotel beds rest box spring and mattress on a wooden platform about four inches inside the perimeter of the mattress.. The bedspread then hangs down to the floor, creating a small space all around the bed that is perfect for a cat to hide in. If that is where Kitty hides, though, you'll just have to pick her up once you find her.

Sometimes, though, the end of the wooden platform against the wall is open, and the platform does not quite touch the wall. Here's where you learn just how narrow an opening your cat can squeeze through! Cats are explorers, so any niche they can crawl into, they will. Consider how they love empty bags and boxes.

If your cat gets inside the bed's platform, you may may have a difficult time coaxing him out again. You don't really want to have to lift the mattress and box spring off to retrieve him, but there's another possibility that is even worse. Whether or not the bed rests on a platform, chances are there is a hole in the bottom of the box spring. Don't ask me why--since I started traveling with cats I have discovered holes in box springs from modest economy motels to expensive resort hotels. People don't go looking for them, but cats do!

If your cat gets inside a box spring, not only do you have the problem of coaxing her out--she may get caught in there! You probably took her leash off for the night, but not her harness--and she may get her harness caught in the springs. Then you have a real mess on your hands: a frightened, trapped cat, and the problem of getting her out without causing further damage to the furniture!

Better safe than sorry. When you go to bed, close your cat in the bathroom with his bed, food, water, and litterbox. Be sure to check the plumbing under the sink, though, to make certain there's not an opening that could let Kitty go exploring inside the walls! Even though he may prefer to sleep with you, this simple solution will keep him from spending the night discovering hiding places that could create big problems in the morning. It's a better solution--especially where the litterbox is concerned--than keeping him in his carrier all night.

Next week: Cats in Cars


Choosing the Best Dog for Your Kids

Homemade Dogfood Recipes

How to Care for Your Pet Bird

Worldwide Pet Sitting Directory

Click here for Seven Reasons to Visit India.

My posts on Travel and Cancer Survival begin here.

The series of posts on my trip to Japan begins here.

The journal of my trip to India and Nepal begins here.

The series of posts on my trip to Italy begins here.

Geezer-Chick's guest blog on York, England is here.

Geezer-Chick's guest blog about a fabulous carousel is here.

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Zoe said...

Interesting article. I have never traveled with a cat, other than moving house. I could imagine the mischief ours would get into if not contained. I had to take one of my cats to work many years ago to discorage teh mice, and hse spent the time hiding in the airconditioned office. He scent was enough so her job was done. I look forward to your next post.


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