Adventure Cat Travel Guide: Everything You Need!

Traveling with the KCC Adventure Team is one of my absolute favorite things. Our vacations are always more fun when they are with us. I will admit though that traveling with cats can be pretty involved. If you’re going to be going out-of-town with your cats, even for an over-night stay, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve planned for everything and that you’ve packed all of their essentials. Last month we shared a list of must-have gear for day-trip adventures with your cat, and this month we’ve put together this handy Adventure Cat Travel Guide for road-tripping or vacationing with your cat!

This post is sponsored by KCC Adventure Team Sponsors: Sleepypod, Red Roof Inn, and Wellness*Disclaimer: This post also contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links in this post, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps to cover the cost of keeping my site up and running!

>> Click here to download the printable Adventure Cat Travel Guide Checklist <<

Transportation

1. Carrier

One of the most important things you will need when traveling with your cats is a safe and reliable carrier. Tragedy can strike in a split second, and you want to make sure that your cats are safe when riding in the car. Our #1 choice for pet carriers is the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed! Sleepypods double as both a cat bed and a carrier, allowing your cat to travel safely in the comfort of its own bed. This greatly helps to reduce any travel-related stress for your cat. Sleepypods have also been crash-tested, so you can rest-assured that your cat will be protected and safe.

Adventure Cat Travel Guide: Everything You Need! - Sleepypod
Sophie hanging out in her Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed

If you’ll be flying, Sleepypod also makes the Sleepypod Air Carrier. Sleepypod Air’s unique design allows it to contract in size to fit in the space below most airline seats during the restricted times of takeoff and landing. Once the plane is in the air, the Sleepypod Air can be expanded to to give your pet more space below the airline seat.

2. Harness + Leash

A high quality and secure harness and leash are an absolute MUST when traveling with your cats! We recommend the vest-type harnesses over any other kind. They are the most secure, and your cat is less likely to be able to slip out of these. Trust me, I know from personal experience! Kylo Ren has slipped out of a step-in harness more than once. I now have vest-type harnesses for the entire KCC Adventure Team. As for leashes, really any kind will do. I just recommend that they not be too long or retractable.

Sustenance

1. Cat Food

Obviously your cat is going to need to eat. The KCC Adventure Team’s top choice for meal time is Wellness cat food. My gang has been eating Wellness for over five years because I can always count on Wellness to deliver on quality and nutrition. Their food is chock full of simple, pure, and authentic ingredients. Their recipes are also grain free and carrageenan free! Traveling adventure cats need a food that will give them all of the nutrition and energy they need, and Wellness does just that.

Adventure Cat Travel Guide: Everything You Need! - Wellness Cat Food

Be sure that you pack enough food to last your entire trip, plus some extra. You want to be prepared for the unexpected!

2. Water

Not only is proper nutrition important for your kitty – so is hydration! Make sure you pack plenty of water!

3. Travel Bowls

Don’t forget to pack travel bowls for all that food and water your bringing! Your cat will need something to eat and drink from! In my opinion, the Sleepypod Yummy Travel Bowl is the best for the job. These travel bowls are a 3-in-1 prepack system, which includes a spill resistant water bowl that serves as the base; a food bowl slips that into the water bowl, making the water bowl leak-free; and a lid that doubles as an extra dish, sealing the Yummy Travel Bowl and making it totally spill-proof.

Get the Gear! 10 Must Have Accessories for Your Adventure Cat - Sleepypod Yummy Travel Bowls

4. Can Cover + Can Opener

If your cat eats canned food, she may or may not go through a whole can of food at one meal. To keep the food fresh for later, be sure to bring along a reusable can cover to keep the can covered in the fridge. A can opener is also a must-have item if your cat’s canned food doesn’t have pop tops. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten a can-opener when traveling with the KCC Adventure Team. it is a small but vital accessory!

5.  Utensils

You’ve got to have a way to get the food from the can into the food bowl!

6. Cat Treats

You can’t go anywhere with your adventure cat without some treats. That would be grounds for mutiny! Thankfully, Wellness makes some of my gang’s absolute favorite grain free cat treats – the Wellness Kittles! They come in a small bag, so they are easy to pack, and they also come in several delicious flavors. We never go on a trip without them!

Beauty Supplies

Like I said before, you want to be prepared for everything when traveling with your cats – including situations that might require you to bathe your cat. After having to stop at a gas station mid road trip to give Sophie a bath on more than one occasion, I’ve learned my lesson and will ALWAYS travel with the following “beauty supplies.”

1. Cat Shampoo
2. Towels
3. Brushes

Traveling with a Cat - Beauty Supplies

Toiletries

1. Disposable Litter Box

Your kitty is going to need to “use the facilities” at some point during your trip, so don’t forget to pack at least one disposable or portable litter box. I always pack two, just in case.

2. Litter + Scoop

Unfortunately, most types of litter are usually pretty heavy. Thankfully though, there are several lightweight versions available on the market. You’ll also need a scoop to clean the box.

4. Plastic Grocery Bags

We usually use a litter genie to dispose of scooped kitty waste, but those aren’t very travel friendly. Instead, plastic grocery bags make great poopy bags while on the go. Plus, they are free!

5. Big Trash Bags

I bring along 2-3. You need something to put the disposable litter box in when you’re done with it!

6. Hand Broom + Dust Pan 

Tracking litter out of the litter box is inevitable. You’ll need a hand broom and dust pan to clean up those litter messes. Don’t leave that mess behind for the housekeeping crew!

Traveling with a Cat - Toiletries

Hotel Reservations

While not an item to pack, hotel reservations at a pet-friendly hotel are still a must-have when road-tripping with your cat. Though finding a pet-friendly hotel can be difficult, we are excited to say that you can always count on Red Roof Inn for all of your pet-travel needs! Red Roof Inns are always pet-friendly, plus pets stay free of charge! No hidden charges, no cleaning fees! Sounds too good to be true, right? It gets even better… Red Roof even offers their guests traveling with pets 10% off their stay! *Cue the singing angels

Make sure you make your reservations ahead of time so that you don’t get caught by surprise if the hotel is already booked. You also want to let the hotel know you will have your cat with you. While their general rule is that they only allow one pet, the last one we stayed at allowed us to bring Kylo Ren, Sophie, and Lucy. Just be sure you ask before bringing multiple pets, as not all of them may allow it.

The KCC Adventure Team at Red Roof Inn
The KCC Adventure Team checking out their room at Red Roof Inn

Safety

1. Identification + Records

Don’t forget to pack your cat’s identification tags, an updated health certificate, and a photo of your cat. Though I certainly don’t wish a tragedy on you, you want to be prepared just in case. Having ID tags on your cat’s collar is important in case your cat gets outside, and having updated health and vet records are a must in case your cat needs to see a vet while on your trip.

2. Pet First Aid Kit

Having a travel-size pet first aid kit is a MUST! Once again, you want to be prepared for anything. Having the things you need to treat your cat as best as you can until you can get her to a vet is super important. Items you’ll want to include in your first aid kit are:

  • a pair of latex gloves
  • medical tape
  • gauze pads
  • antiseptic wipes
  • self-adhesive bandages
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • styptic pencil
  • q-tips

You can put together a kit yourself, or find one online. (Though many of the pre-packaged kits are lacking some essential items and will need to be modified.)

Miscellaneous Items

1. Pet Waste Bags

If you’re going to be adventuring with your cat outdoors while on your trip, you will definitely need some disposable (and preferably biodegradable) pet waste bags. Picking up the poop is not just a requirement for dogs!

2. Toys

Need I say more? Seriously, you can’t travel with your cats without their favorite toys. Not only do toys make your cat feel more at ease if they get nervous, they are also a great source of entertainment. The KCC Adventure Team’s personal favorites are always wand toys.

Adventure Cat Travel Guide: Everything You Need! - Cat Toy

3. Camera

No vacation is complete without a camera to document all of the fun! Whether it’s your phone camera, a point and shoot, or a DSLR, you’ll definitely want photos to commemorate the day with your adventure cat. A video camera is also a plus. Our personal favorite is the GoPro! Great photos and video all in one, plus it’s durable and water proof! 🙂


I hope this comprehensive travel guide will help to ease some of your planning stress when traveling with your cat(s)! Though it may seem overwhelming at first, I promise it gets easier once you and your cat fall into a travel routine.

>> Click here to download the printable Adventure Cat Travel Guide Checklist <<

Adventure Cat Travel Guide: Everything You Need!

Have you ever traveled with your cats? What is on your Adventure Cat Travel Guide Checklist?

By Emily

33 Comments

  1. Reply

    Summer

    OMC, you are SO awesome – I think you just about covered it all and then some! My human says that traveling with me makes everything more complicated… but the fun, and having a travel buddy is totally worth every last bit of it!

  2. Reply

    Random Felines

    that is a GREAT checklist (we did wonder if a can opener would make it on there – MOL)

  3. Reply

    Johnny

    Great checklist. Very extensive. Loving it! Hopefully soon we’ll be able to do a mini travel!

  4. Reply

    Eastside Cats

    Lovely! I wouldn’t have thought of a few of these items, so thank you!

  5. Reply

    The Island Cats

    Wow, you need a whole suitcase or backpack just for all the Adventure Cat gear.

  6. Reply

    mommakatandherbearcat

    This is such an incredible post! Thank you for putting it together. If I ever get my paws on a SleepyPod, I’d be ecstatic Now that we have Ellie, and with the conference being a four hour drive from here, I might actually take her next year. She and Kylo Ren would make the most attractive couple 🙂

  7. Reply

    Shelby @ For The Love of Paws

    You are ALWAYS so prepared!! Love the model too. 😉
    Great tips on things to bring that might go under the radar. People would be surprised at the fact that many people forget to bring enough food as well.

  8. Reply

    Kristen @ My 3 Little Kittens

    Okay, Sophie just melted my heart with every single adorable photo she was in. How do you get anything accomplished with THAT adorable face looking at you ALL day long!!!! Great post and these are must-read travel tips for anyone traveling with their fur baby!!!

  9. Reply

    Ellen Pilch

    Great travel guide. I don’t think I would go anywhere overnight, but Phoebe is loving be an adventure cat with her harness and leash.

  10. Reply

    Tenacious Little Terrier

    Very comprehensive list! When we travel for more than a day, Mr. N usually gets his own bag. It overflows!

  11. Reply

    MrJackFreckles/Pipo/Angel-Minko/

    That is even more things than our furbears watched the peeps pack up when they traveled with their then two toddlers! MOL!
    Maybe a tag-along trailer is a necessity?? Hmmm…at least another humongous suitcase to carry all of those things:)

  12. Reply

    sandy

    Thanks! We don’t plan to travel with Connor, but this is a good list for supplies to take if there’s a disaster (although we need to think about which supplies are required versus optional given space limitations).

  13. Reply

    Alix Mitchell

    This is such a great, thorough travel checklist! It is such an important thing to always make sure to bring a first aid kit, and that’s something that so many people forget. That Sleepypod travel bowl also looks awesome! I love how it’s a 3-in-1 and a space saver!

  14. Reply

    Hindy Pearson

    Great post and a must for anyone travelling with pets. These animals need their own suitcase I think. I go out for a day and I feel like I end up bringing half the things on your list!!

  15. Reply

    The Swiss Cats

    Very informative ! That’s a pawsome post, and a great list ! It looks like you have thought of everything ! Purrs

  16. Reply

    Paroma Chakravarty

    Traveling with our fur babies makes our travels even more fun! Loved reading this post on cats since I am a dog mom and funnily enough, saw many similarities!

  17. Reply

    Stephanie Seger

    I had NO idea traveling with a cat could be so involved, but I can see how all of the items you recommend would really be necessary. Much of this is also applicable for dogs too. I appreciate the information and the tip on the Red Roof Inn. I always struggle with finding hotels for my big dogs, so this is helpful to know.

  18. Reply

    Denise

    What a terrific list, all but the toiletries apply to traveling with Dogs as well. Having said that, I’m not sure if it is more inconvenient to have to get up and go outside in the middle of the night or have a cat/dog who is able to use a litter box and need to carry the stuff with you. MOL and BOL

  19. Reply

    Raven

    Wow, that’s an extensive list. Your Mom is well prepared for your travels.

  20. Reply

    Heather Wallace

    A very thorough travel guide! I love the look of those Sleepypod travel bowls.

  21. Reply

    Maggietkat

    Excellent review! Make sure to add that a generous tip for the hotel maid is appreciated.

  22. Reply

    Sweet Purrfections

    Wow! I’m not sure I could travel with the girls. This is a very thorough list with lots of information. We do agree that a Sleepypod is the best way to travel and we love Wellness canned cat food.,

  23. Reply

    Cascadian Nomads Bethany

    Great guide! Thanks for remembering the dust pan & broom- the one and only downside to adventure cat travel is the litter everywhere! I always bring a small battery vacuum and also a couple of throw rugs to help keep the litter spread minimum. I also bring something secure besides the small, safe travel carrier for my adventure cat to hang out in, usually the stroller. Also maybe the front pack, back pack, mesh tunnel, or “pup” tent. My adventure cat also appreciates her cave bed and a couple of blankets from home when we are camping or at a hotel! Bells in the collar and leash of an adventure cat, along with ID tags, are also a highly recommended safety measure. Happy adventuring!

  24. Reply

    The Dash Kitten Crew

    I LOVE the Beauty Supplies!! Of course Sophie needs her essentials for ANY trip!!!

    We need to get a Sleepypod when we visit the USA!

  25. Reply

    Irene McHugh

    Such a comprehensive post! So much here applies to dogs as well. I truly appreciate how you balance having fun on your adventure with being prepared and putting safety first.

  26. Reply

    Rebecca Sanchez

    This is such an awesome and thorough list – we really have to print this out and give to every kitty pet parent we know! We particularly love that travel water bowl – we need to get one and will get one the next time we visit our neighborhood pet equipment store!

  27. Reply

    Cathy Armato

    Great job on this adventure cat travel guide – you are definitely a master at kitty adventures! I love that you call some of the items “Beauty Supplies”, I got such a chuckle from that! Adventure on, kitties!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  28. Reply

    Debbie

    This is a great guide for adventure-loving cats and their people. I really want to get one of those sleepy pods for Jasmine. Those bowls look awesome too.

  29. Reply

    Jana Rade

    It sounds kind of weird to consider a harness and leash when traveling with a cat and not a dog. Yet, it does make sense, doesn’t it?

  30. Reply

    Talent Hounds

    I love the Sleepy Pods- I wish Kilo fit- he is just a tiny bit big. Great comprehensive travel list for cats (and dogs). None of my cats really liked travelling so I enjoy seeing your adventures.

  31. Reply

    Jessica Shipman | Beagles & Bargains

    What a great guide! I don’t currently have a cat, but I love the idea of having an adventure cat one day! We LOVE Sleepypod, so I definitely recommend those products for dogs and cats. Yummy Bowls are our favorite!

  32. Reply

    Karen

    Great travel guide! I’ve been seeing the Yummy Bowls mentioned a lot lately, must be a sign I need to invest in some! A big 10-4 for can openers, even if the food you have is pop top, I’ve had more than one tab break off and needed to use an opener to get the can open. This post rocks!

  33. Reply

    Bryn Nowell

    So much to remember but all of the items you listed are super important! I also bring a list of emergency vets in the areas where we’ll be visiting just in case.

    We love the Sleepy Pods and it’s so assuring to know that they’re crash tested. So many carriers are not and that scares me when we travel. Thanks for such a thorough and thoughtful post.

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