How to Travel With Newborn Kittens

how to travel with newborn kittens

Congratulations, you are happily owned by some newborn kittens!

Cats are very popular in the pet world. For instance, about 25.4 per cent of households in the U.S own at least a cat. The statistics show how popular cats are to humans.

You are super lucky and we know how kittens can be cute and beautiful, but we must know a lot about them if we intend to raise them properly.

We have two ways in these situations, when talking about raising kittens – we can just leave it to their mothers, or we help them.

We can look into some quality backpacks, litter boxes, trees for them and so on, but what should we do when we have to travel with them far away from home?

Traveling with newborn kittens can be very stressful and even dangerous, but there are some tips that will, hopefully, help you with that.

The most common problems when traveling with newborn kittens

To pick up where we left off in our introduction, it would be great to know that our kittens aren’t used to traveling.

It is simple, they don’t know how to resist and stay calm in the vehicle. They don’t realize that they are in a closed space and that they should be there for hours and hours.

There are many cats and kittens too who have a problem with claustrophobia and lack of room.

Honestly, we usually can’t afford more space for them than our backseat offers. They aren’t the biggest fan of closed spaces and that can cause many issues. For example, they can easily become upset and stressed.

Even worse, sometimes those issues are supported by nervous moves, that weird crying, vomiting, and many other stomach problems. And that can be really unpleasant while you are on the road.

Refusing to eat and drink

One of the most common issues regarding traveling with kittens is their refusal to eat and drink water.

And this one issue can cause the biggest possible trauma. Lack of food or water for kittens on the wheels can damage their sensitive bodies forever.

Besides, we must be very careful when feeding them. If they take too much mother’s milk, it can be tricky.

A full stomach of milk can cause some unwanted effects like vomiting or lack of sleep. And both things can be very dangerous for their little bodies and organisms.

Restless kittens

Kittens are usually upset because it is their first time in the vehicle.

Do you remember how difficult your first time was at some completely new place?

Young parents will know what we are talking about when they realize how stressful it was to put their baby in the car seat for children. It is the same thing with the kittens. They are separated from their mom and they are afraid of the new surroundings.

They don’t know what the engine sound is or why is everything unstable around them. So, we need to have a lot of patience for them and their needs. It would be completely normal if they forget that your car isn’t their bathroom.

Okay, it might be stinky and could smell pretty bad, but you can fight the smells easily. And we’ll help you with that a bit later in this guide.

Make sure your kittens are comfortable

The first thing we should take care of is comfort.

No one likes to spend their travel moments in bad surroundings or in some kind of uncomfortable seat.

So, try to purchase a decent thing where your kittens can take their place.

If you intend to travel with your kittens by car, there are a lot of nice and comfortable carriers or bags made for your youngest cats. Don’t hesitate to buy these items, because they can bring you a lot of peace during the travel.

When you are searching for the most comfortable tool that helps your kittens feel better, rest assured they need a lot of space for playing games, turning around, sleeping, climbing, and many other meow activities.

Actually, you can’t be 100 percent sure your kittens will feel comfortable in any object made for kitten traveling. But you should try with some best-reviewed items.

Don’t sedate kittens with strong medicaments

Your kittens don’t need to be sedated for their first big ride by some dangerous and strong medicaments. Especially if you don’t have permission from the vet.

If you think that is good enough to sedate them with some herbs or thanks to any other natural way, then you can try it if the kittens are three months and older.

But, it is not the advice we want to give to you.

Take them on a bike ride first

The solution is in the preparation, again.

Many cat owners used to ride their kittens on the bicycle or some other slower vehicle than a car is.

That is a good way to prepare them for longer distances, but we think that you need to introduce them to the inside of your car.

Put them inside for a few minutes and check what their favorite spot in your car is. When you figured it out, then you have a perfect spot for their carrier or bag!

Of course, it would always be great to put some accessories they are fond of, and the best ones are usually toys, blankets, or some nice treats if they are old enough to eat anything else that is not their mother’s milk.

Kittens’ age

Real cat owner knows that the kittens aren’t the same at two weeks and at two months of their life.

It is simple, these two periods are far from identical because of the difference in food intake, shape, needs, and many other very important factors.

For example, our kittens with just two weeks behind them wouldn’t eat anything else except milk, they are smaller and they are asleep for hours.

So, we have to pay much more attention to them, than to the older ones.

No matter how old your kittens are, when driving with them, you must invest yourself in driving more carefully and in having enough time for taking care of them.

What does that mean?

You can’t just give them water in some dish and sit in the driver’s seat.

That water will be all over your car in just 15 seconds or a few minutes later.

So, it would be great to make a stop after 45 minutes of driving to give them water or some type of food.

Traveling with kittens without their mother

To summarize, the best possible way to travel with kittens is the one where their mother is included. But even then, you can be in the middle of a big problem.

Older cats are usually more nervous and uncomfortable while you are on the road with them. But, it is normal that your kittens will be great with their mom.

The worst thing you can do is to separate kittens and their mom just before the trip. That can cause all of those bad things which can make your trip impossible to finish!

If you just need to separate them, do that thing several times before your journey starts.

Repeat this action every day.

The first time you separate them, try to leave kittens without their mother for a minute or two.

Second time for a few minutes more. Every next time this process needs to be longer. After a few weeks, your kittens will be ready to travel without their mom.

Lack of kittens’ favorite accessories

Please, don’t even think to leave your kittens without their favorite toys.

That can make them really nervous and ready for fighting, screaming, crying, and everything else you honestly don’t want to have in your car…

If your kittens have their favorite blanket or some other interesting tool, then you need to carry that thing wherever you intend to travel with your kittens. They are really attached to these things and they just can’t live without them.

Of course, you can’t bring your curtain or bed to them while you are on the road, but something smaller and an easy-to-carry thing you certainly can.

Kittens are usually keen on scratching and you almost definitely have something they can occupy in their carriers or bags.

6 Ways to Prepare Your Kittens for Travel

Stay assured your kittens aren’t someone who hates to travel, they just aren’t used to it.

The first journey is always the biggest experience for them and you need to set all important things well if you want to have calm kittens on the road.

The biggest truth somebody can tell you about traveling with kittens is that you as the cat owner are responsible for their comfort and their desire to travel. They themselves will never get used to it just because they are cats.

We are those who manage many of their needs, and it depends a lot on how we set things up.

Here are a few ways on how to prepare yourself and your kittens so you don’t find yourself in a difficult situation.

1. Make sure you packed everything

Before anything else, you should be well prepared with toiletries that the kitty might need for cleaning.

Wet naps, paper towels, diapers etc. These things are extremely important if your trip isn’t short. These will come in handy much sooner and much more often than you expect. It is kitten traveling 101!

If you are traveling with kittens by plane, you’ll need a lot of these things. Your carrier is your kittens’ only place where they can be placed, so you need to purchase everything your kittens need.

It is completely normal if your kitten needs to pee or that another doing to do while you are on your flight. But it would be slightly inappropriate if your carrier smells bed. That can cause a lot of problems for you and other passengers.

So, stay assured you always have a lot of toiletries and paper towels near your bag or carrier. Another great solution is an older blanket you can put under the kittens. That can be really helpful and easy to change.

If you are traveling by car, then the process is almost the same, but you can keep your kittens carrier even cleaner.

2. Plan out the trip beforehand

When to make pit stops, which we recommend you make often for the kittens sake. They will need them so they don’t get nervous in the car.

Try not to make pit stops where it is noisy so they don’t get frightened, like beside the highway where large trucks are passing by frequently. A short detour might improve your trip a lot.

Have this in mind, your kittens aren’t strong enough to overcome the long journeys easily. Prepare enough food and fresh water on each pit stop. Even though they don’t look like they can drink a lot of water, they actually can do it!

These pit stops are usually also a great way to ensure some fresh air.

So, try to take a break whenever it is possible and your kittens will appreciate that.

3. Get a good carrier

You do not have a comfortable carrier for your kittens? Get one and more than half of the work is done.

If you manage to get your kitty acquainted with the carrier before the trip that will help you immeasurably.

If you have some time before the trip, you can make use of it and walk around with your kitty inside the carrier so your kitten can get a good sense of it. Place a toy or something else that your kitty might enjoy during the trip.

It is easy to make a good decision about a good kitten carrier. Just take a look at some of the best reviewed items on the web and you’ll see that there are many of really durable and well-designed carriers your kittens and you will adore.

There are many facts you should take care of, but the most important are: durability, shape, design, and functionality. Purchase those carriers which are breathable and big enough for your group of kittens.

4. Do not overfeed them

Your kitten is still just that, a kitten.

So you must be aware of how much is too much food.

Trust us, the last thing you want is your kitty emptying its stomach inside your car, when it is such an easy thing to avoid, simply do not overfeed your kitten.

We know, we know… they have the perfect meow to extort food from you, but stay strong it is for their own good!

Of course, you shouldn’t make them too hungry, but they can survive a day without too much food in their tiny bodies.

On the other way, you’ll always have a full litter box, and that is not something you want to have while you are on the wheels.

If you are searching right now for the perfect balance of food intake while you are traveling with kittens, you won’t find something like that.

It is simple, don’t feed your kittens for a few hours before you start your journey!

5. Wear them out

When do you sleep best?

That’s right when you are so tired that the only thing you manage is to throw yourself on the bed, or in other words when you wear yourself out.

Well, we do not want that same level of being tired for the kittens of course, but it would be a good idea for you to dedicate an hour or at least 30 minutes before the trip to playing with the kitten.

They are still cats, only smaller so they will want to sleep a lot, you can help them a bit with that by making them run around chasing something! We all know how much they love to chase stuff.

This simple activity will make them tired and ready to sleep even if you put on some noisy punk gig!

Don’t be lazy, make them happy and play with them their favorite games.

Use toys they like and leave them the freedom to choose the best possible spot in your house or garden for playing these games.

6. Use natural sedatives only

Do you think you can just sedate your kitten and be done with it for the trip? Not exactly.

Numerous studies have shown that natural herb sedatives have a lesser impact on kittens younger than three months.

First that comes to everyone’s minds is catnip of course, but that for example has been proven not to have any effect on kittens.

They could walk all over it without blinking and not see any difference while older cats, however, would feel it. You could try placing dry chamomile leaves close to your kitten and see if it does anything.

So, don’t rush to give your kittens some natural sedatives.

They are not just useful, they can harm some parts of the kittens’ bodies. Many herbs are good for them, but you must count in all of the unwanted effects.

For example, too much natural sedatives can cause dangerous liver issues or, even worse, some herbs can be dangerous for their overall body development. And that’s the last thing we want to happen to our little cats.

7. Make sure that they have enough light

Although the position of kittens’ carrier in your car isn’t always the most important thing, it is great when you put the carrier somewhere near you or somewhere you can reach it with your hands.

Actually, what is even more important is that your kittens have enough light in their carriers. Even if you think the darker surrounding will make them ready to sleep, the daily light is always welcomed and important for your kittens’ mood.

Without light, they can easily become nervous. It is easy to explain – they don’t know if it’s day or night. And that is something that is not good for their overall health.


One of the most important things to keep in mind when traveling with kittens is definitely comfort.

You will hear no complaints from your kitten if it is well fed, comfortable, able to nap in peace, can see you at all times and has its favorite toy.

There are a few things to take care of before you start your trip with your kitten, but the reward is simple and it is valuable, you will have your kitten by your side when facing the open road.

If you are stubborn like your kitten, and you won’t start your road trip without it, then just follow our advice before getting on the road and you should be fine.

In no time your cat will be used to traveling and all of these steps you take will come naturally to you and your, soon to be an adult, cat.

Do you have any experience in traveling with kittens? Have you already done some of the things we wrote about?

If yes, what are your experiences and how did you handle your first trip with a kitten? Like always we welcome your comments and suggestions and hope to hear from you with your stories!

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