Most cats are not particularly happy travellers – they are usually bonded strongly to their own territory and feel very vulnerable off home ground.
The rewards of staying with the family 'pack' or the potential of exploring or walking somewhere new at the end of the journey do not excite the average feline in the same way as its canine cousins.
It can be very dangerous to have a cat loose in the car – not only could it cause an accident by becoming entangled with the driver, but if a window or door was opened or an accident occurred, the cat could escape and become lost.
You will need to invest in a carrier which is strong and easy to clean should the cat urinate or defecate or become sick during the journey.
There are a wide range to choose from – wicker, solid plastic, fibre-glass, plastic-coated wire mesh etc.
It is best to avoid the cardboard or very cheap, light plastic boxes which are suitable for short journeys or very temporary confinement but would not be strong enough for longer periods, especially if they became wet.
See our information on how to choose and use a cat carrier.
Also consider the weather you will be travelling in – both your present situation and the likely temperature of your destination.If it is likely to be very hot then use a basket which allows a good air flow through – if it is going to be cold then one which can provide draft-free warmth while still allowing a good air flow would be useful.If your car journey is going to lead to another type of travel, eg, in a plane, then you need to find out the type of carrier which the airline prefers or demands (see later).If you have a large metal pen (such as those used for a dog when in the back of the car) then you may wish to put your cat in this, however, do bear in mind that larger is not necessarily better when it comes to the cat feeling safe and secure.Cats quite like to sit in a small space and are unlikely to move around a great deal anyway.If you are using a larger crate which fits in the back of the car you will still need a small carrier which can be carried to and from the car to keep the cat safe at either ends of the journey.