When you take your cat on holiday, it is your cat’s holiday. As a cat does not want a holiday, there is no point in taking your cat on holiday. What I am saying is that when you take your cat on your holiday, you have to give over so much of the holiday to your cat’s welfare that the holiday is substantially one that is for your cat.
The Downsides – Notting Hill Gate, London to Kilfenora, Ireland
It can be tricky to take a cat on holiday. I have done it twice, taking brother and sister cats to Ireland, on one occasion. From Notting Hill Gate, London, we drove to the ferry in Wales, and then, once we arrived in Ireland, we drove to the cottage; a long drive. We smuggled the cats onto the ferry, which was distinctly tricky. I was younger and more adventurous then! Because there was so much driving the cats got used to it, and settled down nicely after about 4 hours ;). The girl cat spent a lot of her time on the car’s dashboard. However, there was the initial worry about how the cats will settle down but we should give the domestic cat credit for being very adaptable.
This is the trip:
However, one’s behavior is constantly modified by the presence of the cats. There is always a big question mark about cat welfare hovering over you. When you arrive at a rented home, which incidentally must accept cats, you have to be really concerned about them. Strange places do strange things to cats. They hide and then explore and wander into places or onto places that you were unaware of. You can lose sight of them and lose control over them. It is fun, but the experience can be unnerving.
The problems for a cat going on holiday with their owner revolve around two main issues:
- Cats like routine and familiar places and;
- Cats don’t like traveling.
Both are in conflict with going on holiday.
Yes, cats like routine but if you are going to a holiday environment that is much more cat friendly and exciting than where you live, it can be a fantastic experience for a cat. Of course, this supports my argument that the holiday becomes a cat’s holiday and not a human holiday, but who cares?
For example, if a cat has little chance to climb trees and frolic around on grass it can be very stimulating for a cat to experience it. The problem is that he or she has to go back to a less interesting environment on his return.
Most people don’t take on the burden (is that a fair word?) of taking their cat on holiday. It probably does not enter their head. Boarding catteries can be difficult places for a cat. Nearly all cats cope well in boarding catteries but some get stressed, which may bring on health problems while you are away, plus there may, exceptionally, be some transmission of infections to your cat. In the UK, your cat will also need a routine vaccination to get into a boarding cattery.