So Glad We Made the Family Trip!

I am so glad that we made the family trip to Sedona with two cats! I’ve dreamed of car travel with Tora and Mimi for a long time – now, we did it without anybody being traumatized by the trip, including humans. Whew! Mimi was nervous and scared in the car and at the hotel on the way to Sedona, but once we got settled in at the rental home in Sedona, Mimi’s adjustment to a new environment was smoother and faster than I expected. Both cats’ complete adjustment took about five to seven days. An Interesting “side-effect” of the trip was that Tora and Mimi became closer! They were sleeping next to each other, which were unheard of in my family before. Maybe it was because they had to spend time together in a small space in the rental and in the car for a long time?!

Now, I’m looking back the whole experience and reflecting on what worked well and what didn’t. For other cat lovers who are brave enough to attempt a family vacation with cats in the future, here are 10 tips to offer from my humble leaning:

  1. Train your cat for a car ride gradually, with short daily trips and way before the trip.
  2. Talk to your cat beforehand about what is going to happen in a very positive and soothing way, for example, “We are going to Sedona in a month. It is a beautiful place with lots of nature, and we are together in a very safe car, so you don’t need to worry about anything. We’ll protect you, and we’ll have a wonderful time together”.
  3. Be calm and happy in the car with your cats.
  4. Be patient with your cat’s adjustment – cats take about five to seven days to fully settle in a new place, in my experience. Because of their instinctive protective nature, they may hide in unimaginable places. Mimi’s favorite hiding places were behind the TV set, under the bed, and in a tiny opening deep in the closet!
  5. Cats are smart. They learn new and unfamiliar noises after four to five times of routinely happening. Hey, that’s not bad at all – I still freak out with my cell phone rings.
  6. Play with your cat twice a day. Cats need play sessions to release stress with their indoor lifestyle. It will strengthen our bond, too!
  7. Buy pet grass and organic pure pumpkin puree. You can understand how regular fiber intake is important once you’re away from home… so as for cats…
  8. Enjoy the family time relaxing – your home is wherever your family is.
  9. Trust your cat’s ability – I’ve learned to trust my cat’s inner strengths through this trip.
  10. Remember to enjoy your vacation with your human family members.

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