Do Ragdoll Cats Travel Well? 7 Tips To Keep Them Comfortable

If you own a ragdoll cat, chances are you’ll need to transport them places from time to time.

It might be to the veterinarian for a health check-up, to be groomed, or even to a family member’s house to look after when you head away on holidays.

Regardless the reason, your ragdoll will need to travel at some point in their lives.

However, the question is: do ragdoll cats travel well?

Ragdoll cats do not travel well. In fact, they hate travelling. Transporting your ragdoll via car, or another vehicle, takes them out of their comfort zone and distresses them. As a result, they will likely meow loudly the entire trip and not enjoy it at all.

This has certainly been our experience every time my wife and I have needed to transport our ragdoll, Poppie, to the vet or a family member’s house when we’ve been away from home for more than a couple of days.

However, there are some things you can do to make travelling less traumatic for ragdolls and keep them comfortable throughout the journey.

In this article, I’ll explain how you can do this.

Do ragdoll cats like travelling?

No, ragdoll cats do not like travelling. Ragdolls are house cats and get very used to their home environment as they grow from kittens to adults. They don’t like being removed from their comfort zone – especially when it involves being placed in a travel cage or bag.

Ragdolls, for the most part, spend their days minding their own business – you’ll often see them perched on a bench or at the end of your bed, enjoying their independence and peace and quiet.

Travelling is a completely different environment for ragdolls – the car is loud and bumpy, and your cat will hate the motion as you make stops and turns without them being able to see what’s happening.

Not only this, but all these sensations will be heightened by the fact you’ve likely placed your ragdoll in a travel cage for the trip.

Imagine if the roles were reversed – if you were happy sleeping and all of a sudden were placed into a cage and taken on a mystery car ride, I bet you’d feel pretty scared and uncomfortable too.

However, there are some things we can do to make travelling less traumatic for your ragdoll, which I’ve expanded on below.

How to travel with a ragdoll cat

When travelling with a ragdoll cat, you need to ensure they are as comfortable as possible and are constantly reassured during the trip.

Below is a seven-step checklist you should tick off when transporting your ragdoll from one location to another.

1. Make sure you have a comfortable travel cage

A comfortable cat cage is an essential item you need when travelling with a ragdoll.

The last thing you want is your ragdoll jumping around inside your car while you’re trying to drive, so keeping them contained inside the cage is a non-negotiable.

There are so many affordable cages available online, but I would recommend one that has plenty of padding to keep your ragdoll as comfortable as possible – and also one with a carry handle for ease of transport.

2. Place a towel over your ragdoll’s travel cage

Travelling can be a sensory overload for ragdolls – the bumps and noises, coupled with the movement of the vehicle, can unsettle them.

One way to dampen their senses – which helps keep them calm – is by placing a towel over their cat cage while driving.

The darkness will block out some of the noises and light, and will help keep your ragdoll settled.

3. Keep your ragdoll company

This can be hard if you’re travelling alone, but if you’re joined by a friend or family member then they have an important role to play.

Have them sit next to the cat cage and talk to your ragdoll throughout the trip, as this can reassure them and keep them calm.

Knowing they’re not alone will be very comforting for your cat.

4. Have plenty of snacks on hand

Another way to keep your ragdoll happy when travelling is to ensure you have plenty of their favourite treats handy.

Feeding your cat snacks periodically throughout your journey will keep them occupied and take their mind off the unfamiliar environment, and movement of the car.

Obviously, you don’t want to do this while driving, so you have three options – pull over every so often and feed your ragdoll by hand; place a bowl of treats in their cage before you start the journey; or have a passenger feed them bit-by-bit along the way.

Regardless of how you choose to administer them, treats are massively important for keeping your ragdoll relaxed during a road trip.

5. Avoid bumpy roads with sharp turns

The more bumps and turns you encounter during your travels, the more your ragdoll is likely to slide around inside their cage – that’s why it’s best to avoid them where possible.

Before embarking on your trip, take some time to map out a route that will take you on the least bumps and turns to reach your destination.

If you can stick to flat, straight roads more often than not, the better – and your ragdoll will definitely thank you for it and will be much quieter and happier during the journey.

6. Avoid travelling long distances

Another thing to be mindful of when travelling with a ragdoll is to avoid lengthy trips.

Obviously, this can’t always be helped – especially if you’re dropping your cat off at a friends or family member’s.

However, if you can, for example, choose a vet or groomer close to your house, rather than a long distance away, it will reduce the distances you need to travel with your cat.

The less time your ragdoll spends in the car, the happier they will be.

7. Keep your car at a comfortable temperature

This goes without saying, but another part of keeping your ragdoll comfortable while travelling is making sure the temperature is right.

If it’s a hot day, make sure you crank the air-conditioning; if it’s cold, turn up the heat.

Your ragdoll will likely already be hot and flustered due to the stress of being in a new environment, so I would always err on the side of cooler rather than hotter.

Should you take your ragdoll cat on holidays?

It’s not recommended to take your ragdoll cat on holidays. Ragdolls don’t do well in new environments and aren’t great at travelling. While you may love having your ragdoll around, it’s better to leave them home when holidaying.

My wife and I would love to bring our ragdoll, Poppie, when we go away with us, but in reality it’s just not practical.

Not only do most hotels or AirBnbs not allow animals, you would need to take litter trays, cat food and toys as well – it’s just too much hassle.

Lastly, while ragdolls don’t mind being alone at home in a comfortable and familiar environment, they definitely don’t enjoy being placed in a completely foreign room.

So, if you’re planning a holiday, it’s best to chat with a friend or family member to see if your ragdoll can stay with them while you’re away – otherwise, a professional cattery may be your next best option.

Final message

In summary, ragdoll cats don’t travel well – however, that doesn’t mean they can’t do it.

If you need to transport your ragdoll from one place to another, it’s important to make them feel as comfortable and reassured as possible as they don’t like being taken out of their safe space.

If you follow some of the tips above, it will make travelling with your ragdoll a much more enjoyable experience – both for you and your cat.