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Saturday, January 06, 2018

Car safety - Traveling with a human!

Dear George,
Now that the holidays’ chaos and stress is over I’d like to get your opinion on a very much overlooked topic….which is “traveling with cats”!
You see, my Mom wanted to visit relatives across the pond. She got quite excited by the idea of “us” visiting cousins in the faraway land but soon her excitement fell flat once she realized she could not take me with her in the cabin! So, she gave up on the cousins and decided to go local which meant… car! I think I did dress for the occasion (as you can see in the photo) but I wasn’t happy at all! I have to complain because I didn’t get the passenger’s seat! Nooooo! She put me in my carrier in the back seat! This wasn’t fair! 
I wanted to enjoy the view but she wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ve seen other cats traveling in the passenger’s seat and not in a carrier! So I decided to punish her and make her life miserable so I meowed all the way back home. 
She seems to be hurt by my behaviour and since I love her very much and have no intention to punish her unnecessary I’d like to get your opinion on this issue. Maybe I was too hard on her?
Maybe…..maybe ….she was right? 
George, help please!

Dear Minky,
I am sure you would have liked to be in the front seat and able to move around the car, but this is a safety issue. Humans are unreliable travelling companions and we have to be protected from their irresponsibility. They can forget that cat safety is paramount.
This is how I once wanted to travel in the car - it was a serious error on my part.
Let me tell you about Ada, a cat that was traveling unrestrained in a car. As her driver negotiated a small road, he was involved in a minor collision with another car. He forgot about Ada altogether, leaped out, and started sorting things out with the other driver.
Terrified, Ada leaped out too and took refuge in the hedge. She sat there rigid and unmoving with fear (luckily) so could be picked up by her driver. If she had fled rather than froze she might have been lost forever.
I hate saying this. Your human was right.
Your cat box was on the back seat and fastened down with a seat belt - important to stop it flying forward and hitting the driver on the head, precipitating a serious car crash.
Yours George. 
PS. Important details here for car travel, and airline travel in North America here with details of American airline policy on pets. Regulations about bringing in pets to the UK are complex and can be found here.


  1. I too hate being in my carrier in the car! And I travel with my human a lot. Once she didn't zip the carrier all the way and the next thing she knew, I was standing next to her with my front paws on the center part (where the parking brake is), looking forward and showing her just how good of a traveling companion I could be! Sadly, it made no difference - she still pulled the car to the curb and put me back in the carrier. I guess it's safer, but it's definitely not as fun.

  2. I crossed the pond on a plane (and not being in the cabin with my adopted humans)! Awful, awful experience! Better be adopted locally if possible! Don't get me wrong - I have loving humans and a lovely home but ....I will never cross the pond back!

  3. Oh-la-la George! Terrific links!
    Merci beaucoup mon ami

  4. Minky, you look absolutely amazing! I love your travel suit!


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online