Tips for Bringing a Cat Litter Box on a Road Trip

2023-01-13 02:01:30 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

The litter box situation is an important consideration if you're taking your cat on a car trip.  

It's a good idea to keep a litter box in your vehicle so your cat can use it whenever necessary. The convenience of the litter box in the car has a direct impact on how often they use it.  

The frequency with which your cat needs to use the litter box while traveling, as well as other helpful hints, are discussed in this article.  

Here Are Some Suggestions for Bringing a Cat Litter Box on a Trip

Putting together a litter box for your cat in the car for a trip can begin right away. Your cat will appreciate the early preparation of his or her travel litter box. Check out our recommended portable litter boxes for your next trip.

Here are six suggestions for taking a litter box for your cat on the road:

As soon as possible, go out and buy (or make) a portable litter box.

Do whatever you need to do as soon as possible to get your cat a portable litter box or litter tray, whether that's something you'll buy or something you'll make.  

Get your cat used to using the litter box as soon as possible by putting it in a permanent location in your home after you've purchased or made one. They will feel more at ease using it as it is the same litter box they have at home.

Second, keep using the same litter brand your cat is accustomed to.

Be sure to use the same litter in your cat's portable litter box that you do at home. They'll know they're supposed to go there because of the bathroom's signature smell, and they won't mind going as much if they've used it before.  

If your cat already uses a portable litter box at home, you can simply empty it before leaving and re-use the same litter. In all likelihood, that's the proper destination for your feline friend.

Three, don't feed your cat four hours before you leave.

Remove your cat's food and water four hours prior to loading them into the car on the day of your trip. The likelihood of them getting sick and having to use the restroom quickly will go down as a result of this.  

Always have your cat checked out by your regular vet before taking it on a trip. If they say your cat is fine to travel, make sure they agree that you should withhold its food. Your cat may need to eat or drink before the trip if they are on medication.

Fourth, make sure the litter box is in a safe area of the car.

Before you bring your cat outside on the day of your trip, make sure the litter box is set up in the car. Place it in a stable location that won't move or tip over during the trip if it doesn't have a cover.

Keep the litter box in the back seat, preferably on the floorboard. Place it wherever is most convenient for you, whether that's the back seat, the front passenger's spot, or the trunk.  

If your portable litter box doesn't have a lid or cover, or if you only plan to use it at rest stops, you may want to bring a heavy-duty plastic bag to cover it and keep the litter contained during the journey.

Five, spritz the car with Feliway.

Use a calming aid like Feliway if your cat is particularly anxious or experiencing car sickness for the first time. Feliway spray is available for purchase on Amazon.

"Feliway is great; I'd use it to disinfect my car." Natasha Diehl, DVM suggests that because it can help reduce their stress levels. The use of Feliway can aid in retraining cats that have been having accidents outside of the litter box to use it again. ”

As a result, Feliway might be an option to consider spraying in your portable litter box.  

You should pack extra bags and a travel scoop.

If you're going to be doing any sort of traveling, don't forget to bring along some extra bags and a travel scoop. As you will be traveling with the litter box, it is recommended that you do so frequently.

Check out my comprehensive guide for more information on transporting your cat by car.

When Transported, Do Cats Use a Litter Box?

Even if you take great care to ensure your cat is comfortable using the travel litter box you purchase or make (by positioning it in the car, spraying it with Feliway, using the familiar litter, the whole nine yards), your cat may still refuse to use it.  

"That's definitely going to be cat-to-cat dependent depending on how well they handle the stress," says Natasha Diehl, DVM. "That's definitely going to be cat-to-cat dependent whether you're staying in a temporary hotel or actually getting to your location." ”

If you're taking a long trip, say, 12 hours in the car, you'll need to stop frequently to either clean out the litter box or let the cat use it. How long, though, can cats go without a place to eliminate waste?

A litter box should be available to a cat at least once every two to four hours. In order to relieve themselves more frequently, cats with urinary problems, kidney disease, or who are taking medication that increases urine output will need to stop more often.  

Even a healthy cat would feel very uneasy going 12 hours without using the litter box. Make sure your cat has access to the litter box every 2 to 4 hours, preferably in a quiet, private area.

Choosing the Finest Scoopable Cat Litter Boxes on the Go

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the options for cat owners in search of a portable litter box.

Here are three of the most highly recommended lightweight litter boxes for cats, based on user reviews, security features, and overall quality:

Collapsible, lightweight, and portable, the Pet Fit for Life Cat Litter Box is ideal for cats on the go.

  • 16″ x 12″ x 5″
  • Very simple to assemble, fold, and store
  • Lined with a poly-plastic that keeps water out and makes the nylon fabric durable and simple to clean.
  • Supports up to 5 lbs. of trash
  • A foldable bowl for food and water is also included.
  • Because there is no roof over head, things could get messy very fast.
  • Some buyers argue that they could have easily produced an equivalent product on their own.

Cat litter box that folds up and is easily transportable by Petleader

  • 17.7″ x 11″ x 11″
  • Construction with a top entrance and a front exit
  • The litter tray pulls out for convenient cleaning.
  • Leaks and odors can be avoided thanks to the secure zippers.
  • Takes up to 30 pounds of trash
  • Completely watertight with a PVC lining to prevent seepage
  • It's not a cat carrier, and it's not designed to be one.

Traveling Cat Box, Petisfam, for Scoop-Free Littering

  • 19.7″ x 15 8″ x 5 1″ 
  • Completely watertight construction
  • Leaks and odors can be contained with the aid of the cover and zipper.
  • Portable and lightweight with built-in carry straps.
  • Simple to put away and clean
  • Customers still advise adding a liner for added security and convenience in cleaning.

If you haven't already, look into the top litter box-equipped cat carriers if you plan on buying one soon.

A Travel Litter Box and Five Other Options

There are a few do-it-yourself alternatives to purchasing a portable litter box designed for travel.  

Some common household items can be repurposed into a portable litter box, including the following:

  1. Assembled from plastic, a storage bin Litter can be placed directly in it, or a strong trash bag can be used as a liner to keep any spills at bay. All you have to do is find a size that fits in your car.  
  2. Box made of cardboard You can also use a sturdy garbage bag to turn a box from a recent shipment or purchase into a mobile litter box. Make sure it's roomy enough for your feline friend. Keep it clean, because prolonged contact with urine can weaken the cardboard.  
  3. A drawer You can use plastic to line an empty drawer or crate made of wood or plastic.
  4. Cookie sheets and baking utensils You may not want to use them in the kitchen again after your trip, but an oven sheet or baking dish can be repurposed into a litter box for your cat. Just double check that it is roomy enough for your cat and that it is well-lined. Truthfully, a kitten is the best candidate for this.  
  5. A sturdy trash bag While this may not be the most exciting option, you can keep your cat from entering the bag by filling a sturdy trash can with litter and opening it up from the side. When you get to your destination, simply tie off the bag and toss the trash inside.

Tips for Getting Your Cat Ready for a Trip

You should begin preparing your cat for the trip well before it's time to get in the car. The less anxious your cat is about the trip, the more prep work you should do at home before leaving.  

The first step is to make an appointment with your vet. A vet checkup and up-to-date flea and tick prevention are necessary for any cat's safety, no matter how robust it appears to be. Check to see if the microchip information for your cat is current.

Talking to your vet is essential if your cat is elderly, takes medication, or suffers from a chronic condition. It's possible that their health prevents them from taking a car trip, or that they'll require special assistance, such as more frequent stops or a sedative to keep them calm.  

Second, get the cat carrier and litter box for travel right away. I know I already said this, but bear with me. Your cat will be less stressed by the many transitions if you introduce them to their new safe spaces in the car as soon as possible.

If your cat has never been in a car before, you should get them used to the experience well in advance of any extended trip. Get their bearings with a few laps around the block, and reassure them that everything is fine by feeding them occasional treats. They will be more likely to behave themselves in the car if you gradually increase the length of your trips.

If you want to keep your cat calm and comfortable in the car, you should stop feeding it four hours before leaving on the day of the trip. This will lessen the chances that they'll get sick or have an urgent bathroom need.  

Check out our what to do on moving day and what I wish I'd known before moving across the country with my cats guides if you're planning a move.

Suggestions for Car Riding with a Cat

There are a few things you can do on the day of your trip to ensure that your cat has a pleasant time riding in the car.  

  • Feliway spray for the automobile As a pheromone-based product, Feliway aids in calming stressed-out felines. You can spray it on a blanket or toy that your cat will keep with them on the trip, as well as in the car, the carrier, and the litter box. It comes with the stamp of approval from the vets and can be purchased from Amazon.
  • Depending on your needs, take a break every two to four hours. Every 2–4 hours, and possibly more often for senior or ill cats, a healthy cat should use the litter box. If you're going to be on the road for more than four hours, you can line your cat's carrier with pee pads but they'll still need to get some exercise and use the bathroom.  
  • Maintain regular checkups on your cat. A break is in order if your cat is showing signs of stress, such as meowing, panting excessively, or throwing up. Simply stop the vehicle, remove the pet from its carrier, and let it relax in a stationary location for a while. As an alternative, if your cat is sleeping or otherwise unperturbed during your scheduled break, you might be able to keep going for a little while longer.

Visit our guide on how long you can drive with a cat before it needs a break for more information on how to travel with a cat in the car and when you should stop.

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