How to Car Train Your Cat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Teaching a cat to chill in a car is totally doable, and all you need is some patience, sticking to it, and a lot of good vibes. It might take a while for your cat to dig the car vibe and think of it as no biggie, but with the right moves, you’ve got this. This piece will break down the ABCs of getting your kitty cool with car rides and making sure they’re having a blast.

The first thing you wanna do when teaching your cat about car rides is getting the car vibe just right. Cats have this super sharp hearing and noises like honks or the engine going vroom might freak them out. Making sure you’re not drowning them in those sounds is key to them trusting you and the ride. Oh, and if other pets or peeps have been in the car, you might wanna get rid of their smell before you let your furball in.

Pimp Your Ride


By setting up the ride just right, everyone’s gonna be feeling good. You gotta make sure there’s nothing in there that could throw your cat off or get them in trouble. This means stashing away stuff that they might knock over or play with like those dangly air fresheners, toys, or those leftover snacks from your last fast-food run.

Also, you wanna lock in those car seats with some cool straps meant for pets. These things are awesome – they keep your kitty safe, and they’re like a comfort blanket for cats who might be a little nervous. Plus, if you’ve got other pet carriers, like crates or whatever, these straps work wonders.

When you nail the whole car setup, your cat’s gonna have a super smooth ride, and you won’t be stressing about safety. With just a bit of prep, like getting rid of distractions and locking in those car seats with the right gear, you’re all set to hit the road with your feline buddy.

Getting Your Cat in the Groove

Introducing your furball to your ride is kinda a big deal, so you wanna think it through. Before you let your cat near the car, maybe show them some car stuff like blankets and toys. It’s all about making them feel at home. Tossing them some treats and giving them some love inside the car can make a huge difference.

When you’re letting your cat check out the car for the first time, keep it chill. Let them hang out in there with some of their favorite toys and maybe some treats. And if you can, try those sprays that give off good vibes for cats – they’re kinda magic for calming them down.

Once your cat’s feeling the car and not freaking out, you can start going on little drives. Keep it slow, steady, and soon enough, you and your kitty will be road-tripping like pros.

Baby Steps

Taking things slow and adding more time in the car bit by bit will help your kitty get the hang of it. Giving them treats or telling them they’re the best cat ever after rides can really help. You can also try some chill moves like giving them a cozy spot in the car, playing some mellow tunes, or talking to them in your calm voice.

Before you go on a big drive, start with tiny trips around the hood and build up from there. Quick breaks on long trips are awesome for your cat to chill and for you to see how they’re doing.

And hey, always think ahead. There might be stuff on the way that could spook your cat, like loud noises or other animals. Being prepared means you and your cat will have a blast. Just remember – patience, sticking to it, and loads of love will make sure your cat’s good to go for any car adventure.

Make Car Rides a Good Time for Your Fur Baby


Using some cool tricks like treats and chill-out tunes can make car rides super fun for both you and your cat. Think of it like this: when your cat does something awesome, you give them a treat or some love, and when they act up, you just let it slide. Getting your cat used to car noises and movements slowly helps them chill out and not be scared.

So, when you’re just starting out with car trips, keep ’em short and sweet. Maybe drive to the park or give them their fave treat after. Basically, you want your cat to think “car rides = fun times!” Also, some cats totally vibe with calming sprays like Feliway. And hey, a calming playlist might make your cat feel like they’re in a spa!

If you keep at it, your cat will soon be like, “Car rides? Heck yeah!” And trust me, it’s a win-win for everyone!

Safety First, Always!

Before you and Mr. Whiskers hit the road, make sure you’ve got the safety stuff sorted. Think travel crates, seat belt harnesses, and keeping the car not too hot or cold. Get your cat used to these things before the big trip to make it all smooth sailing.

Travel Crate is the Way to Go

Using a travel crate is like giving your cat their own little room in the car. It’s their safe space where they won’t freak out from all the moving and new things. Plus, it’s a lifesaver cause you know they won’t dash out or get into any mischief. Pop in their fave blanket, toy, or some snacks to make it super cozy. Just make sure they have enough room to stretch but still feel snug. Taking the time to introduce the crate slowly will make your cat think it’s the coolest thing ever.

Harness Up!


A seat belt harness is like a seat belt for us. Before you buckle them up, let your cat get used to it at home. Maybe even bribe them with some treats! Check that it fits just right, not too tight or too loose. And yeah, get one made just for cats, cause car seat belts? Way too big. The harness should be adjustable too, so you can get it fitting purr-fectly.

Keep it Comfy and Cozy

You know when it’s too hot or too cold, and you can’t relax? Cats feel the same way. Aim for a cool 65-80°F, depending on your cat’s fluffiness. A comfy temp will make your cat feel like they’re lounging at home. Keep some toys or treats handy to keep them busy, and don’t forget the water!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my kitty’s up for some car rides?

Thinking about taking your cat on a car ride? First, you gotta make sure they’re ready for it. One way to do this is by giving them treats or a little “good job!” when they act cool around the car — that’s called positive reinforcement. Another trick? Put stuff they love, like catnip, their fave blanket, or toys in the car. It helps them chill out. But hey, remember to take it slow. Start with tiny trips and then go for longer ones, giving them treats along the way.

What signs show my kitty’s stressed or freaked out?


Taking a cat for a car ride? It’s not always a walk in the park. You gotta look out for signs they’re not feeling it. Things like hiding, walking back and forth a lot, shaking, heavy breathing, their eyes going wide, or making noise can all mean they’re stressed. Oh, and playing some calm tunes or white noise can help them relax in the car. Always check on them during the ride and make sure they’re okay before you keep going.

How should I give my cat some props for behaving in the car?

Wanna reward your kitty for being good in the car? Give them some treats or tell them they did a good job. Doing this right after they’ve been good will make them realize, “Hey, if I’m chill in the car, I get treats!”

How do I keep my kitty relaxed during longer car trips?


For longer trips, getting your cat used to the car bit by bit works wonders. Start by just turning on the car and chilling, then go for short drives. Put things they like, such as their bed or toys, in the car. That way, it feels more like home and they’re less stressed. But hey, be patient. It might take a while for your cat to really get into the groove of car rides.

What if my kitty freaks out during car rides?

If your cat’s not a fan of the car, take baby steps. Start with super short trips to help them get used to it. Bringing along their beloved blanket or toy might help too.


Getting a cat used to car rides might feel like a big deal, but with some patience and sticking to it, you can pull it off. You just need to set up the car so it’s cozy for them, introduce them to it bit by bit, and make it a good time. And always, always keep safety in mind so both of you get where you’re going without a hitch. With time and practice, you can take your kitty on adventures and they’ll feel just as comfy as they do at home.


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