How to Keep Your Cat Safe When Traveling by Car

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
Have cat, will travel. It’s a lot easier to travel with your cat by car. Make sure the journey is a safe one with these cat-friendly car tips.

Are you planning on taking your cat for a car ride? Whether your journey will be a short one or a long one, taking steps to keep your kitty safe along the way is a wise move.

Check out the tips below to discover a few ways to maintain your pet’s safety while in a moving vehicle.

It’s All About Restraint

If you’re thinking about letting your kitty sit in your car, or even roam around your RV, without being restrained, you might want to reconsider. Experts recommend properly restraining your pet while the car is in motion because doing so can help ensure your kitty will remain safe at all times.

Related: 7 Road-Trip Essentials That Make It Easier to Travel with Your Cat

When your cat isn’t restrained, the odds are higher that she could get hurt or even killed during an accident. And properly restraining your feline during the car ride can also prevent her from distracting the driver and potentially causing an accident as a result.

Plus, for cats that feel stressed in a car, being in a carrier might help them feel more relaxed, and it will prevent your kitty from frantically moving around the car while you’re driving.

Choose from a Variety of Products to Keep Your Cat Safe

To help keep your cat as secure as possible during any car ride, there are a variety of high quality pet travel products available.

One thing you can do is let your cat sit in a hard- or soft-sided carrier or crate that has a comfortable blanket inside. You can opt to use a carrier that can be placed on your car’s seat and then secured with the seat belt for extra stability, but just be sure to gather information from the manufacturer, including crash test videos that prove the carrier won’t be crushed by the seat belt during an accident.

Related: Product Review: Gen7 Traveler Portable Pet Bed

When choosing a carrier for your cat, make sure that it’s big enough for your pet to not only sit and lie down comfortably, but also to turn around in and stand in. If multiple cats are traveling in the car with you, a carrier or crate that’s big enough for all of them might be a good way to help them feel at ease; otherwise, you can use a separate carrier for each pet.

A booster seat that’s designed for kitties is an alternative option if you think that your pet would prefer being able to look out the window during the ride. With the booster seat properly set in place, and your feline held securely with a harness, you can rest assured that your cat could be safer if you have to stop suddenly or you end up in a collision.

The Safest Place in the Car for Your Kitty

According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, a hard-sided kennel style carrier is considered the safest choice for a traveling cat. And, when it comes to where in the car to place the carrier, the front seat isn’t the best idea because, if the airbag were to deploy during an accident, it might put your pet in danger. So, if you’re placing your kitty in a carrier, you can simply set it behind one of the two front seats, on the floor.

Enjoy the Ride!

Keep the tips above in mind as you work on developing a plan to keep your cat safe and comfortable when traveling by car. And don’t forget that you should never leave your kitty alone in a parked car.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

More by Lisa Selvaggio