NEWS AND COMMENT: This is another good news story for domestic cats and dogs for which we have to thank Covid-19. It is ironic that such a devastating virus to humans is proving so beneficial to cats. When cats get the disease, they have very mild symptoms so the downside for domestic cats is quite slight. In contrast, the upsides have been substantial firstly because people are spending a lot more time with their cat as they work at home and we now have a study which indicates that millions of Britons are taking their cats on holiday after lockdown.
It seems that cats are joining dogs in that owners are taking them on holiday with them when taking vacations in the UK. This is the key I suppose: as people can’t fly abroad, they stay within the UK and drive to their holiday resort. This facilitates taking their cat with them. The issue of holidays is a big one for domestic cat owners. A lot of cat guardians don’t want to leave their cat at a boarding cattery which I would suggest prevents them from going on holiday abroad.
The trend of taking your cat with you in the car is apparently being driven by young adults with 33% of cat owners in the age bracket 18-34 taking them on holiday. For cat owners over the age of 55, only 4% take them away. I suspect that this difference is being driven by videos and stories on the Internet of cat guardians taking their cats on trekking and hiking holidays. This is more likely to appeal to young people as they use the Internet more and are more adventurous.
The information comes from a poll of 2,000 pet-owners conducted by Direct Line Motor Insurance. The survey also suggests that 6.3 million dogs are going on staycation holidays. In case you were unsure what that means, ‘staycation’ holidays mean holidays in the country where you live to avoid flying.
20 million people (37%) said that their holiday habits have changed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. 20% of Britons would not normally drive on a UK holiday and 14% would not normally take their pet on the UK holiday, but they will this year.
About 3.6 million cat owners plan to take their cat on a road trip over the next few months. On average the trips will be around 98 miles in distance. This means that cats will be travelling a total of 349 million miles on staycation holidays!
The fact that cats can be with their owners a lot more even while on holiday is obviously a good thing but there is a downside, of course, which is that driving with your cat can be tricky and stressful at least initially. My experience tells me that cats do settle down quite quickly in cars.
You just have to be careful. I purchased a very large cat enclosure/carrier for my cat which I put in the back of the car with the back seats folded down. It covered the entire space. This allowed him plenty of room to walk around and be active while being secure at the same time. Within an hour or so he was comfortable being in the car.
There is also the issue of ensuring that a cat is secure while on holiday. A new place for a cat will be discombobulating for her. She will be out of her comfort zone and in a new environment. It is stimulating but they need to be watched and supervised. It can work fine with carefully supervision. I took my cats by car to the west coast of Ireland once. It worked out well even on the ferry.
A cat stroller might come into its own on staycation holidays.
My thanks to The Daily Mail.
SOME MORE ON CAT STROLLERS:
If I take my cat for a walk on a lead or cat stroller, am I damaging the relationship between us? Do they feel humiliated or disrespected by this?