Traveling with a Maine Coon can seem like a daunting task at first, and you may often ask yourself “Do Maine Coons travel well?” After all, it is a rewarding experience to take your beloved pet with you on vacation, especially if you can’t find anyone to pet sit. There are plenty of catteries that board pets for up to weeks at a time, but why wouldn’t you want to spend a vacation with the cat that you love so much? Keep reading to discover why Maine Coon travel is easier than you first thought!
Whether you are traveling by car or by plane, many Maine Coons can be trained to tolerate travel. To effectively travel with a Maine Coon, you should reduce stress as much as possible for your cat. With proper training and plenty of treats, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to bring your Maine Coon with you wherever you go.
Of course, the methods you use to travel with your Maine Coon can vary slightly depending on the mode of transport you are using. In this article, we’ll give you all the tips you’ll need to keep your cat safe and happy while you are traveling.
Traveling With A Maine Coon
There are countless reasons why it is valuable to train your Maine Coon to tolerate (and even enjoy) travel. Firstly, sometimes travel is necessary. If you are moving to a new location, or if you have to take your Maine Coon to the vet, you will want the transition to be as smooth as possible.
Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to share other parts of our lives with our cats. If you’re going on vacation, or you simply want to take a walk to the coffee shop down the street, it can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your cat if you bring your Maine Coon along.
Some people might be skeptical about whether or not it is even possible to travel with a Maine Coon, but don’t worry! With the right amount of patience, most Maine Coons can be trained to tolerate travel quite well.
Of course, no matter how many compelling reasons exist for traveling with your Maine Coon, there are still plenty of reasons why some owners might prefer not to travel with their cat. It is important to keep in mind that every cat is different, and while some Maine Coons travel well, others hate it with a burning passion. Female Maine Coons tend to be wary around strangers, which can make travel difficult for them. Maine Coons are also much larger than other cat breeds, which can make them more difficult to transport. If you don’t want to go through the time and effort of training your Maine Coon to tolerate travel, it might be best to hire a pet sitter or board your cat at a cattery.
Do Maine Coons Travel Well?
From my own experience, I have found traveling with a Maine Coon to work really well. Maybe this is because our gentle giant is so laid back, or maybe we are just lucky. Who knows!
What we do know however, is that our Maine Coon cat ‘Pippin’ has no issues riding in the car with us on long journeys. In fact, he came on our 10 hour drive to France a few years ago, and wasn’t at all distressed by the event. We spent six weeks in a French chalet and were amazed that our cat immediately made friends with the next door neighbours cat! It couldn’t have been more perfect, and for six weeks the two cats were inseparable.
For most cats though, travel is often considered quite a stressful event. This is where the Maine Coon cat breed differs to others, since they are unique in that they are highly intelligent and social. These Maine Coon characteristic traits help them to find travel more easy, than the average household cat.
Here are some of the different ways you can travel with your Maine Coon.
Dogs aren’t the only pets you can take on walks! With the use of a harness, you can take your cat for a walk around town, as well. Some cats hate harnesses, so it’s best to try one on at home, first, to see if your Maine Coon is comfortable in one.
Whether it’s a quick trip to the vet or a road trip across the country, you can safely bring your Maine Coon in the car with you. While some people let their cats roam around freely while driving, it’s usually safest to put your cat in a carrier. Otherwise, your adorable Maine Coon can easily become a distraction, which could lead to an accident.
Traveling by car is usually one of the best ways to transport your cat because you don’t have to worry about disturbing others.
If you’re taking a long trip, or visiting another country, you can take your Maine Coon in the air with you! However, if your Maine Coon is placed in the holding area of the plane, it will be an extremely stressful experience.
This method of travel is one of the most difficult, because you will have to notify the airline beforehand, and you will also need a vet certificate. If you are planning on taking your Maine Coon on a plane, you will need to make sure you have a cat carrier that is both safe and comfortable, as well as easy to identify.
If you are going to another country, you will need to get a separate passport for your pet, which we will cover later on in this article.
d) Train Or Bus
A well-behaved Maine Coon can travel safely (and for free) on a train or a bus, too! This isn’t always the best method of travel, however, as Maine Coons tend to be vocal cats, which can disturb other passengers.
It is also possible to bring your Maine Coon along on a boat trip, either for a quick fishing trip or for a longer ride across the ocean. While it can be hard to predict exactly how your cat will react, there are many Maine Coons who actively enjoy sailing.
20 Tips For Traveling With A Maine Coon Cat
There are plenty of ways you can make travel easier for both you and your cat.
Here are 20 tips to help you get started.
1. Start Young
Make travel a regular part of your cat’s life if you plan on taking your Maine Coon on longer trips in the future. Even short car rides around the block can help your cat learn that there is nothing to be afraid of.
2. Be Visible To Your Cat
Your Maine Coon will be more comfortable if it can see you during the trip. While this isn’t possible for every method of travel, it can help to alleviate stress.
3. Provide Regular Breaks
If you are going on a long road trip, make sure you plan out rest stops beforehand. Taking lots of breaks to comfort your cat and make sure it is eating and drinking will help make the trip go more smoothly.
4. Consider Natural Remedies
There are certain natural remedies, such as CBD oil, which can help put your cat in a calm state of mind for longer trips. This is a safe and kind way to prevent your cat from becoming too stressed.
5. Use A Comfortable Carrier
Bring your cat in a carrier that is comfortable and secure. It is best to get your cat used to its carrier before going on a long trip; that way, your cat doesn’t become overwhelmed by too many new experiences.
6. Use Familiar Scents
Scent is one of the most important senses for cats. When you are going on a trip, make sure you bring a blanket, toy, or another item that has the familiar scent of home. This will help prevent your cat from getting overwhelmed by too many new smells.
7. Provide Treats
Bring plenty of treats along for long trips. If your cat can expect some rewards for good behavior, it will likely find the trip to be less stressful.
8. Use A ThunderShirt
ThunderShirts are specially designed “jackets” that can help relieve anxiety in animals. Similar to weighted blankets in humans, these jackets provide light compression that can soothe a stressed cat (source).
9. Pack All Of Your Supplies
Make sure you are well prepared for any trip. Check (and double-check) to ensure all of your cat’s food and supplies are in order before leaving!
10. Bring Favourite Toys And Blankets
Does your Maine Coon have a favorite toy or blanket? Make sure to bring it along in your cat’s carrier! This will help give your cat something familiar and grounding, and it will make the experience less turbulent.
These are my Maine Coon cats favourite cat toys in 2020.
11. Make Positive Experiences
If you only ever put your cat in the car when you are going to the vet, your cat will naturally associate car rides with discomfort. Find fun ways you can take your cat traveling with you to help it seem like a normal experience instead of a scary one.
12. Pheromone Sprays
Once again, sense of smell is a crucial part of how cats take in their environment. There are calming pheromone sprays that have been specially designed to help soothe a cat’s anxiety during travel.
We’ve always used these cat pheromone sprays from Amazon to calm our Maine coon cat. They last for ages, and work really well. Here’s a picture of the starter kit, that you will need in the beginning:
13. Give Your Cat Exercise
Before you go on your trip, it’s best to have a nice, long play session with your cat. Your Maine Coon will need a chance to stretch its limbs so that it isn’t too stiff from riding in the car for so long.
14. Don’t Let Your Cat Out Of The Carrier
You might be tempted to let your cat out of its carrier during a car trip, but this will only increase the stress for you and your cat. Your Maine Coon will try and find a stable and safe spot to hunker down, which can distract you and lead to a car accident. No matter how much your cat complains, make sure it stays in its carrier!
This is a highly controversial topic in the cat community, but sedation is something you might want to consider if you already know that your Maine Coon hates to travel. According to VCA Hospitals, you should discuss this option with your veterinarian beforehand, to see if it’s a good idea for your cat (source).
16. Book Everything In Advance
Not every hotel allows cats. To save yourself any hassle and stress, make sure you have every step of your trip planned out, to ensure your cat has a safe place to stay.
17. Let Your Cat Explore First
Cats are extremely sensitive to their environments. Before a car trip, you might want to consider letting your cat explore around your vehicle for a little while. This will get your cat acquainted with the new territory, and ultimately make the experience smoother.
18. Give Lots Of Cuddles
While taking breaks, make sure you give your cat plenty of cuddles and positive reinforcement to let it know that everything is okay.
19. Drive At A Comfortable Speed
Don’t go tearing off down the highway! If you want to keep your cat as comfortable as possible, find a steady speed, and do your best to avoid potholes and bumpy roads.
20. Be Patient!
If your cat dislikes travel, it will probably meow quite a bit! This is simply something you will have to accept while traveling. If you don’t think you have the patience to deal with an upset cat, it might be best to avoid travel altogether.
Signs Your Maine Coon Is Distressed
It might be difficult to read your cat’s body language at first. Here are some signs to look out for that indicate your cat is distressed.
Maine Coons are known for being vocal. If you notice your cat is yowling more than usual, this is a sign it is distressed.
If your cat’s mouth is open and it is visibly panting, it can be another symptom of anxiety from travel.
Your cat might vomit if it is particularly stressed. If you think your cat might be especially anxious during travel, it might be a good idea to bring the right cleaning supplies.
d) Hunched Up
When cats are stressed, they tend to sit completely still with hunched shoulders.
How To Prevent Cat Motion Sickness
Traveling in any sort of vehicle can cause your cat to develop motion sickness. According to VCA Hospitals, a cat that is feeling motion sick might pace, drool, lick its lips, or meow loudly. This is often accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, symptoms which can be difficult to deal with during travel (source).
Because motion sickness is often due in part to anxiety from travel, the best way to treat it is to reduce your cat’s stress. Pheromones, familiar scents, and a safe carrier with familiar objects can all help to reduce the chances of motion sickness.
Do Cats Need A Passport To Travel?
If you are traveling out of the country, your cat will also need a passport. While not the easiest process in the world, it is entirely possible to get a passport for your Maine Coon.
How To Get A Passport
A passport has different requirements depending on where you plan to travel. Most places, however, require proof of vaccinations and health, as well as a USDA-approved travel certificate (source).
Check out the USDA Website to research the exact requirements for your destination.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Passport?
Just like with humans, getting a passport for your cat can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, and it varies by both destination and country of residence. If you are planning a trip, you will have to make allowances for your pet’s passport.
Pet Passport Cost
The price of your pet’s passport will vary. The minimum cost is $38, while the maximum of a passport cost is $1,235 in 2020 (source). If your cat is already microchipped and up to date on all of its vaccinations, however, the cost will be significantly lower.
Best Cat Carriers For Traveling With A Maine Coon
To keep your Maine Coon as safe and comfortable as possible while traveling, you should take extra care when choosing a cat carrier.
The first thing to consider is size. As I’m sure you know, Maine Coons are large. To travel comfortably, you should get a carrier that is about 16″ x 24″ x 24″. Keep in mind, however, that these dimensions can change, since Maine Coons vary in size.
You should make sure that your carrier has a sturdy frame, preferably made out of metal. When traveling, it is usually best to get a hard carrier, to ensure your cat’s safety if there are any bumps along the way. Hard plastics with plenty of holes for airflow and breathability are the best option in this case.
Training A Maine Coon To Walk On A Leash
Maine Coon cat walking is an increasingly popular trend. While not all cats enjoy it, it can be rewarding to learn how to train a Maine Coon to walk on a leash. This is a great way to get some exercise for your cat (and for yourself). Teaching your cat to walk on a leash is especially important if you plan on traveling regularly with your cat in the future.
The first step in training your cat to walk on a leash is to introduce it to a harness. Some cats might find a harness uncomfortable at first, so you should do everything in your power to make it a positive experience. It doesn’t hurt to have a few treats on hand! (source).
Once your cat is okay wearing a harness, you should take it outside. Be sure to take it slow! You might be tempted to show your cat your whole neighborhood on day one, but this will only overwhelm your cat. Start with your backyard (if you have one) and let your cat explore to its heart’s content. Over time, you will be able to walk longer distances. If you notice your cat seems agitated or nervous, you should take it back inside right away. Don’t go too far outside your cat’s comfort zone!
Best Harness For Maine Coon Cat
If you are planning on purchasing a harness for your cat, your cat’s safety and comfort should be the most important aspects to consider.
Don’t buy a harness just because it’s cheap! If you want a quality harness that will be safe, comfortable, and durable, you should be willing to spend a decent amount of money.
Your cat’s harness should be made of quality, breathable materials. You don’t want your cat to become itchy or uncomfortable, as this will discourage your cat from enjoying walks.
Read plenty of reviews online to find a harness that your cat won’t be able to escape from, or else you risk losing your cat.
We all love our Maine Coons dearly, and it makes sense to want to explore the world with your beloved cat. Traveling with a Maine Coon can be extremely rewarding for everyone involved, so long as you take the steps to ensure your cat experiences as little stress as possible.
If you have been wondering “Do Maine Coons travel well?” then the overall answer is that yes, most Maine Coons are tolerant of travel. It can take some time to get your cat accustomed to the different methods of travel, but over time, both you and your Maine Coon can enjoy exploring the world together!