Tips for Staying in Hotels with Cats

Get our best advice for staying in hotels with cats, from what to pack to special accommodations for anxious cats.

Fish the cat lying on the bed in a hotel room

Staying in hotels with cats

Generally, when we go on a fish and chip road trip, our plan is to camp the entire time. But we almost always stay in hotels with our cats for at least one night so we can enjoy some 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.

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

Fish the cat lying on the bed in a hotel room

Look for cat-friendly hotels

The first thing you want to do is do proper research! Not all “pet-friendly” hotels welcome cats, and those that do sometimes charge hefty pet fees. You can find this information at GoPetFriendly or on 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 animals alone in the room, which defeats our purpose. You should also inquire about any additional fees the hotel charges for pets and parking because when you add them up it can make a world of difference!

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

If you have multiple hotel options, we recommend choosing a motel or motor inn. Being parked a few steps from your room makes it easier to get the cats back and forth to the vehicle along with their gear and luggage.

The last step before making your reservation is to check the hotel’s online photos for anything that might destroy your cat. We try to avoid carpeted places and never stay in rooms with leather furniture. Fish and chips would love to dig their claws in there! And just to be on the safe side, 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 a few things you don’t want to forget. First is the litter box. Instead of bringing the one from home, you should consider a compact litter box with a sturdy carrying handle for easy loading and unloading.

If you are unsure whether your cat will use a new litter box in a new environment, Dr. Elsey’s a good choice cat attracts litter that worked well for us.

Fish and chips the cats standing next to their litter box in a hotel bathroom

We also bring a throwing shovel and waste bags. (Consider buying the thick, fragrant pouches. I promise you’ll thank me later!) We keep these two things together in a large ziplock bag to contain the smell.

You will also want to pack wet wipes for pets to clean your cat’s paws after a day of exploring and other small messes.

Finally, don’t forget about their regular food and something practical collapsible dishes!

Fish the cat drinking from a collapsible bowl in a 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 to get comfortable in an unfamiliar place. However, not every cat gets used to it so quickly!

If you think your kitty might be nervous at a hotel, be prepared before you go. Bring some soothing treats, his favorite toy, and a cat calming defuser.

You might also consider one Kitten thunder shirtdiaper changing your cat to make her feel less anxious.

If you’re worried about your cat “marking his territory,” it may also be worth bringing something with you cat-specific stain and odor remover.

Fish cat sleeping on comfortable pet bed

Leave your cat in the hotel room

Once you’ve checked into the hotel and settled in, you might want to leave to enjoy some cat-free activities. When we left Fish and Chips for the first time we were a little apprehensive. Turns out they were so tired from our adventures during the day that they snoozed all the time!

It’s always a good idea to make sure your cat gets plenty of exercise before leaving them alone. If you can’t cover him up before arriving at the hotel, bring some toys to keep him occupied. And don’t forget to open the blinds or curtains. Our cats will be entertained for hours when they have birds to chirp on.

Don’t forget to leave the “do not disturb” sign on the door so that the hotel staff does not open the door to your room for you. And leave your mobile number at the reception… just in case.

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

Chips the cat sitting on the windowsill in a hotel room

Provide a cozy place to curl up

If your cat isn’t used to walking on a leash, consider bringing a carrier that will carry her safely to and from your car and room. We often use ours backpack carrier, depending on how far the way to the room is. This leaves our hands free to carry more and ride fewer.

If you have a transport box in which your cat feels comfortable, this can serve as a safe, familiar place for him to sleep. If not, bring his favorite bed or blanket to give him a little home.

Fish the cat with its head sticking out of a backpack

Staying at a hotel with cats doesn’t have to be stressful if you prepare ahead of time and have the right gear. 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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