Cats are cute and lovely, as long as you don’t surprise them with any sudden changes. Transportation is often challenging to a cat. It could get her overly anxious, and by the time she reaches the vet, she would be excessively agitated.
Cars are usually our first resort when we think about moving around with pets. But if it’s not readily available, there are several other means of transportation. Starting with carrying your cat in a sling and walking with it, taking it on a bike ride, all the way to using public transportation.
Read on to find out how to get to the vet, without a car, and reduce any risks. In the following guide, you’ll find all the options of cat transport, plus some pro tips to put your cat at ease and make the trip safe and comfortable.
Cats pick up stress cues from pretty much anything, but mostly from their human friends. If you’re jittery, your cat will feel it right away, then it’ll start showing signs of anxiety. The opposite is also true, remaining calm will inspire trust in your cat and keep her relaxed.
Remaining calm also helps a lot when you’re in a situation that calls for resourcefulness and flexibility. While there’s a procedure in place to transport your cat, things might not go according to plan. If you keep your cool, you’ll be able to handle any setbacks or hiccups.
Pick a Mode of Transportation
Cars aren’t the only available means of transportation.
Several cat owners don’t own a car. Instead, they run their errands on a bike, take walks, or use public transportation. If you’re one of these folks, you can still take your cat to the vet safely and comfortably.
Just decide which method of transportation works best for you. Here are some ideas:
Lead and Harness
If your vet is right around the corner, and you’re used to taking walks with your cat, then you can go with this simple option of lead and harness. If you like the idea, but your cat hasn’t been fitted with a harness before, then this is a good time to start.
You’d need about a week to three weeks of regular training to get your cat in good walking form. Leave the harness and lead around your cat to make it more familiar, and hence, less intimidating. Then, walk your cat around the house with the harness on.
If your cat is not feeling well, or if the weather outside is unfavorable, the lead and harness idea cancels automatically. You’d need to look for a different option. Luckily, you’d find several such solutions as you scroll down.
If your cat doesn’t like walking with a harness attached, or if it’s not feeling too well, a pet sling carrier could be optimal. It’s safe, and the act of carrying your pet so close is also quite comforting.
Choose a sling with wide shoulder straps, that are also padded and adjustable. Your comfort is important too, as you’ll be carrying your cat for a while, in addition to walking. Also, make sure the material is waterproof and easy to clean.
Cat Backpack Carrier
This is another brilliant option for easy carrying. A cat backpack carrier has the added benefit of allowing you to carry a bigger cat with relative comfort. The distributed weight over the backrest and two shoulder straps certainly helps in that regard.
Several backpack cat carriers are also well covered, so you could venture out, even when the weather isn’t too mellow.
Here too, you need to make sure the material is durable, waterproof, and easy to clean. A few pockets and extra storage would certainly come in handy. If it also looks good, then that’s an added bonus. Form and function should always come together.
Taking long walks is a relaxing activity that happens to be quite healthy. Even though it’s an unusual sight, taking your cat along is easy. Walking with a harness and lead is an option, but what if kitty doesn’t like it? Does that mean you have to take a car? Not necessarily.
Pet strollers look quite similar to baby strollers. There are several models you can choose from to suit your walking style, the temperament of your cat, and the number of cats you have onboard.
A lightweight stroller would be practical, especially if it’s also foldable into a small size. It’ll take you to your destination, then you can carry it like a large umbrella or bag.
A good durable material would serve you well, and take the scratching and chewing your cat would most probably inflict on it. Make sure it’s also waterproof, and if the cat relieves itself inside it, then cleaning up later on shouldn’t be troublesome.
If your cat would be entertained by watching the street, a stroller with a mesh window to the front and sides would be a good idea. If keeping her eyes on you would make her more at ease, then a stroller that puts you in close proximity would be best.
Cats that get all scaredy from the street buzz, would feel much better in a stroller with minimal viewing space. And if you have two of these cats, consider buying a double-decker stroller. With each cat occupying her own floor, the travel to the vet should be a breeze.
Provided of course that the walk is not too long, and the weather allows it.
Bike With A Trailer
For a longer distance, and if you’re into bike riding, then a pet trailer should be the way to go. Pick one that’s not too small so it would bother your cat, nor too big that your pet would feel lost. It could also get bumped around with the movement, so an all-around padding would be good.
You could leave a blanket and a toy for your cat for more comfort. Skip the treats though, that’s not advisable during a ride.
Some people prefer a cat carrier basket that they can attach to the front of the bike, and that’s totally fine too. Get one that you can install easily to your bike, and make sure it is 100% safe and stable.
It should also have safety harnesses to keep the cat from jumping out. Some pet baskets have a wire covering to provide more safety, which is quite welcome if you have a somewhat energetic cat.
Again, look for models that suit the temperament of your cat, and how many passengers you’ll carry along.
Several buses or underground travel services allow pets on board, as long as you follow some rudimentary guidelines.
- Keep your pet restrained.
- Contain your pet in a carrier.
- Use a leash and harness if there’s no carrier.
- Always put the pet’s ID tag on its collar.
- Make sure you’re not bothering any passengers.
- Put the cat carrier away from passenger pathways.
- Get two tickets if the cat carrier is a large one.
When public transportation is not readily available, we often take out our smartphones and open an app to get to our destination. Getting a cab, Uber, or lift is a daily activity we all do. But what if your pet is with you?
Some taxi services allow that, so all that you have to do is to check the availability of that option.
If your cat seems too ill to travel in any of the previous ways, then checkout the veterinary hospital ambulance services. This could also be essential if the cat needs immediate medical attention.
Let the Cat Play Inside the Carrier, Trailer, or Stroller
Cats are naturally curious, and if you leave the carrier around, your cat will check it out. Some felines even make a playpen out of the carrier, which is the best outcome. Other cats might be a bit wary of that new object, so try to give them a few incentives to get inside.
Motivating a cat is often done via good food, fun playing, or flirting with a cat of the opposite sex.
Treats and toys are always good, and more so when you pick a variety that your cat really likes. It’s a matter of personal taste, so you could use different things, until one really entices the cat to get inside the carrier.
And there’s a clever trick that a few cat owners swear by, which is putting a few drops of a pheromone on a blanket, and putting it inside the carrier. This scent is extremely hard to resist, and cats often throw caution to the wind, and rush to where it’s coming from.
Try to Teach Your Cat to Answer When It’s Called
Cats have a tendency to play hide and seek. You seek your pets because you need to take them to the vet, and they go hide. Here’s a nice trick savvy cat owners do: they don’t run after their cats, they just call their cats, and the cats follow them.
Teaching your cat to come over when you call its name is a huge deal with cats. Dogs are more obliging, and getting them to pay attention when you call their names is easy. With cats, it’s not exactly a walk in the park, but it’s doable.
Once your cat leaves its hiding spot, and comes to you voluntarily, you’re in a good position to lead it to the carrier.
Make Sure Your Cat Feels Safe
The trip to the vet is rarely a one-time thing. You’d most probably go on routine visits to do a general check up, for giving the various vaccinations, in addition to any emergency visits if the cat gets sick.
That’s why it’s necessary to create a positive relationship between your cat and your transportation method. If the first time goes well, then chances are that the next times would be even better. The opposite is also true, unfortunately.
Some cats get nervous from watching the moving objects in the street. They develop a condition very similar to motion sickness. A good solution for that is placing the carrier where the cat wouldn’t be accosted by all the street buzz.
Take Regular Trips With Your Cat
People rarely Drive around with a cat in the car, stroller, or bike trailer. This activity seems to be more of a pet dog thing.
However, cats benefit well from getting used to vehicle rides. That’s because they become much less disoriented, jittery, or stressed out as you drive across town to the vet’s.
Start with small trips that wouldn’t keep the cat on its toes for hours on end. A walk or drive around the block would be a great starter. Then, you can add to the trip duration in small increments. Ultimately, your cat wouldn’t keep worrying every time it finds itself in a moving vehicle.
Ask Your Vet for a Calming Medicine
If all else fails, and your cat is still stressed out, you might choose to give it a mild sedative. This is not an over-the-counter drug, it should only be given under close supervision from the vet, and only in the smallest possible doses.
This would also help the cat to be less apprehensive about being inside a carrier, stroller, car travel, and the whole vet clinic visit.
The checkup would naturally go smoothly if the cat isn’t strung up. The vet would be able to conduct a thorough inspection, and any irregularities would be easier to spot. This is important, as some illnesses don’t show clear symptoms at the beginning, and are usually hard to diagnose.
Stay in control at all times, and be patient. Choose a suitable means of transportations, and by suitable, we mean comfortable for both you and your cat.
Preparation ahead of time would make the trip much more pleasant, and stress-free. There are a few tricks, but the best thing to do is to get your cat used to its carrier, harness, basket, or stroller.
Feed your cat before going out, and if possible let her have a familiar blanket or toy. If you’re taking more than one cat along, then make the necessary provisions for the extra passengers. Safety always comes first, and it makes your cats feel much more at ease.
This was how to get a cat to the vet without a car, and reduce any risks. Hope it makes things easier for you and your kitty.