Tips for Staying in Hotels with Cats

From what to pack to making special accommodations for anxious felines, get our top tips for staying in hotels with cats.

Fish cat lying on the bed in a hotel room

Staying in hotels with cats

When we go on a road trip with Fish and Chips, our plan is usually to camp all the time. But we almost always end up staying in hotels with our cats for at least one night so we can enjoy certain activities that aren’t cat-friendly.

Over the years we have developed a system, and now staying in hotels with our cats is a breeze. If traveling with your cat means staying in hotels, these tips should help.

LEARN MORE ⇒ 9 Pet-Friendly Hotel Chains That Welcome Cats

Fish cat lying on the bed in a hotel room

Find cat-friendly hotels

The first thing you’ll want to do is do some proper research! Not all “pet friendly” hotels welcome cats, and those that do sometimes charge high pet fees. You can find this information at GoPetFriendly or the hotel’s website. However, you should always call ahead to confirm the pet policy.

Some hotels have pet policies that do not allow you to leave your pets alone in the room, which defeats our purpose. You’ll also want to find out what additional fees the hotel charges for pets and parking, because when you add them up, it can make a big difference!

Woman sitting on a bed in a pet-friendly hotel looking at a computer with a cat in her lap

If you have multiple hotel options, we recommend choosing a motel or hostel. Being parked a few steps from your room makes it easy to transport the cats to the vehicle, as well as their equipment and your luggage.

The final step before making your reservation is to check the hotel’s online photos for anything your cat will be tempted to destroy. We try to avoid places with carpet and never stay in rooms with leather furniture. Fish and Chips would love to sink their claws there! And, just to play it safe, we bring extra blankets to throw over anything your cat might be tempted to scratch.

Packaging for your cat

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When you’re packing for a hotel stay with your feline friends, there are few things you won’t want to forget. The first is the litter box. Rather than bringing the one from home, consider a compact litter box with a sturdy carry handle to facilitate loading and unloading.

If you’re not sure if your cat will use a new litter box in a new environment, Dr. Elsey’s is a great choice. cat lures litter it worked well for us.

Fish and Chips cats standing by their litter box in a hotel bathroom

We also bring a litter scoop and trash bags. (Consider buying the thick and scented bags. I promise you’ll thank me later!) We keep these two things together in a large ziplock bag to help contain the smell.

You will also want to pack pet wipes to clean your cat’s paws after a day of exploration, and for any other small mess.

Finally, don’t forget their usual food and some foldable dishes!

Fish cat drinking from collapsible bowl in hotel room

Special preparations for anxious cats in hotels

We’ve been traveling with Fish and Chips for years so it doesn’t take long for them to feel comfortable in an unfamiliar place. However, not all cats settle in so quickly!

If you think your cat might be nervous in a hotel, you’ll want to be prepared before you go. Bring soothing treats, favorite toys and a cat calming defuser.

You might also consider a Kitty Thunder T-Shirtthat swaddles your cat to help them feel less anxious.

If you’re worried about your cat “marking territory”, it may also be helpful to bring a few stain and odor repellent specific to cats.

Fish sleeping cat on comfortable pet bed

Leave your cat in the hotel room

Once you’ve checked in to the hotel and settled in, you might want to head out to enjoy some activities that don’t allow cats. The first time we left Fish and Chips alone we were a little apprehensive. Turns out they were so tired from our daytime adventures that they spent the whole time dozing!

It’s always a good idea to make sure your cat gets plenty of exercise before you leave him alone. If you are unable to tuck him in before arriving at the hotel, bring toys to occupy him. And don’t forget to open the blinds or curtains. Our cats are entertained for hours if they have birds to chirp.

Finally, be sure to leave the “do not disturb” sign on the door so hotel staff won’t open your room door. And leave your mobile number at the reception… just in case.

LEARN MORE ⇒ 11 ways to tire your pet out in a small space

Chips the cat sitting on the windowsill in a hotel room

Provide a comfortable place to snuggle up

If your cat isn’t used to being on a leash, you’ll want to bring along a carrier to transport her safely to and from your car and bedroom. We often use our backpack holders, depending on the distance to be traveled to the part. This leaves our hands free to carry more and make fewer trips.

If you have a transport cage in which your cat feels comfortable, it can serve as a safe and familiar place for him to sleep. Otherwise, bring his bed or his favorite blanket to bring a little touch of home.

Fishing cat with its head sticking out of a backpack

Staying in a hotel with cats doesn’t have to be stressful if you prepare ahead of time and have the right equipment. Do you have any other tips for staying in hotels with cats? Please share them in the comments below!

Visit our Amazon store to learn more about the products we rely on to make traveling with pets easier, safer and more fun!

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