04 June 2019

Ahoy! Travelling by Ship with Cats

Cat inside pet carrier for ship journey

Taking your cat on a cruise? What sounds crazy is actually possible. After all, commuters too sometimes have to take their cat with them on the ferry. We'll give you some tips on how to make travelling by ship as pleasant as possible both for your cat and also the fellow passengers!

Cruises with cats?

Many animal lovers take their cat with them on holiday. What many don't know is that some cruise providers give cat owners the opportunity to take their four-legged friend on board with them. Of course, it depends on the provider whether this is possible and if so, for what distance. In any case, it's necessary to give advance notice and book a pet-friendly cabin. Find out early on from the shipping company to avoid any nasty surprises!

For international cruises, cats are required to travel with a valid animal identity card. In addition, the entry requirements of the destination country have to be considered. You can find more information on this matter on the homepage of the relevant embassy. Early preparation is a bonus, because your cat will potentially need a health certificate or certain vaccinations. Please don't forget to take all documentation with you when travelling!

Cats on ferries

Regardless of whether you live on an island or the journey to your holiday destination requires a water crossing, it's sometimes necessary to take your cat with you on a ferry. Depending on the shipping company, the cat may be allowed on deck or have to stay in the car. The latter isn't ideal, especially if the cat remains unsupervised. Only consider your cat staying in the parking deck as an emergency solution. Maybe you have the chance to stay with it? In this way you can monitor whether there is any danger of heat accumulation and reassure your cat.

Taking your cat with you on deck is much more pleasant for your four-legged friend. This isn't entirely stress-free though, because strong winds often accompany unusual noises. Hence, it's best to keep your cat in a carrier. A towel protects it from possible draughts.

In order to prevent your cat from escaping, it should stay in its carrier during the journey. Depending on the length of the journey, you may wish to offer your cat a little water from time to time or reassure it. As with air travel and in public spaces, it's worth slightly opening the zip of the carry case and reaching in with your hand. Many cats are scared or stressed during the journey, so don't be surprised if yours recoils or even hisses!

Early preparation

The conditions for taking your cat differ depending on the shipping company or ferry line. Finding out information at an early stage makes you well-prepared – this doesn't just apply for travelling abroad!

In order to make the journey stress-free, you can also get your cat used to the transport case in good time. Give it the chance to associate positive experiences with the cat box: integrate it into daily play sessions, feed your cat in the case and indicate that it is a safe place for your cat to sleep. During the familiarisation phase, your cat is obviously allowed to leave the box at any time. Such preparation helps your cat to feel secure during the journey.

We wish you and your cat an enjoyable and safe journey!

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