Litter Box Options When Traveling
Traveling can be a stressful experience at the best of times. Juggling luggage, packing, transport routes, vehicle problems, and last-minute hold-ups are all hard work.
If you are taking a long journey, it is easy to become overwhelmed with everything you need to do and check, and that is without any distractions along the way. While traveling solo, or with other humans, is tricky, the whole situation is made ten times trickier if you are traveling with your cat.
Our furry friends are very much part of the family, but their more complex needs make them unusual companions. From making sure they are fed and hydrated, to keeping them calm in an unfamiliar environment, this is a feat which requires military standards of planning.
As owners, our job is to make sure our pets are relaxed and calm, and fully equipped with everything they need for a journey.
One area which can be particularly tricky is what to do with your litter box and their cat litter like Dr. Elsey's during a journey. Toileting is a key priority in a natural environment and must be a priority when transporting or traveling with your animal. Stress can exacerbate an upset stomach, and this can lead to some pretty unpleasant side effects right when you need them the least.
Thankfully, there are solutions and options at your disposal, and it's a good idea to try out different varieties before your trip to help make sure your cat is happy with your selection. Here are some of the main options to help take one headache out of having a feline travel companion!
This option is probably the easiest and simplest, particularly if you are only traveling a short distance or for a small amount of time. As the name suggests, these are single-use boxes which eliminate the need for any cleanup, meaning you don’t need to pack cleaning materials or bags. Most of the options available come in thin plastic, or a more eco-friendly biodegradable cardboard option.
Once used, it can be thrown away with no mess or fuss. These do tend to be on the smaller side, so it is a good idea to double check the dimensions before purchase, particularly if you have a very big cat. For extra peace of mind, add a thin sheet of plastic on the bottom of the box before setting off. It will help to remove the risk of any leaks from a nervous bladder, particularly in the cardboard options.
A more eco-friendly solution is a reusable, portable litter box, which can be folded up and stored until it is needed. They are designed to save you space and be transported and can be quickly set up on the go when required. They come in a range of options, such as hand or machine wash, and are ideal for short journeys.
As with a disposable box, check the dimensions first as these tend to come up relatively small. It can be a good idea to introduce this to your cat in advance of your trip where possible, as this will help make them feel more comfortable and at ease when using it on the move.
Self Cleaning Litter Box
A self-cleaning litter box is a wonderful innovation whether you are on the road or safe at home; you can check out these Omega Roll N Clean reviews to read more about a popular model, or these Littermaid reviews. They work by using a built-in scoop or rake which will take care of the waste, storing it in a separate sealed section until you have a chance to remove it. They can be slightly larger and more awkward than the more portable counterparts, but these automatic boxes are a great long-term investment. They can make traveling with your cat a far easier and more enjoyable experience and can reduce stress for all parties involved. It can also offer reassurance and comfort to your cat, as they have a familiar object in which to do their business in peace. A self-cleaning box helps to make your life easier, as you are relieved of the stress of disposing of the built-up waste every day.
Regular Litter Box
If your cat is already a fan of a regular litter box, one option is to recreate this with a new example. You can buy a brand new box which is an identical match to the one your cat already favors, and this will be easier for them to adjust to and use in comfort. This can be an ideal item to keep handy in your car, and you can store supplies and necessities inside. A new box is more hygienic, less likely to contain bacteria, and can be easily washed and reused at any point along your journey.
Ideally, you will always have something in place to help facilitate your cat's needs while traveling. In an emergency, however, it is possible to compile your own makeshift box. Anything from a cardboard container to a spare plastic box can be used, and these will serve well until you can reach your destination or find a more permanent solution.
Traveling can be a super stressful experience for your cat, and it is your job as an owner to help make this as calm and straightforward as possible. Try and make sure you keep as much as possible the same, such as using the same brand of litter as they have at home. Cats are sensitive to changes in the feel, smell, and consistency of litter, and may refuse to use the tray if any of these are unfamiliar.
It can also help to keep the tray in one place where possible to help prevent your cat from becoming confused and forgetting where to go. Upon arriving at your destination, make sure the litter box is set up as a matter of priority to give your cat a sense of comfort and familiarity and help them to get settled in more quickly. Many cats will wait until evening to use their box, so it is important to have everything in place.
Jackie Johnston is the founder of Cat Word – a community of cat enthusiasts with a mission to spread as much knowledge as they can throughout the world on every aspect of raising and nurturing cats! In her spare time, Jackie loves reading and spending time with her two sons Logan and Christopher, and of course with their furry felines Simba and Max.