Why do cats hate car rides?

  • Date: June 14, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Cats are generally known to be independent, curious creatures who love to explore their environment. But when it comes to car rides, cats seem to be a different story. A lot of cats experience a great deal of stress and anxiety when it comes to car rides, and this can make it difficult for pet owners to transport their cats to veterinary appointments or other locations. So why do cats hate car rides? Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help pet owners make car rides easier and less stressful for their cats.

Understanding Your Cat’s Fear of Car Rides

If you’re a cat owner, chances are you know how much your cat hates car rides. From meowing and howling to clawing and hiding, cats rarely look forward to being in the car. But why do cats hate car rides so much? Understanding the reasons behind your cat’s fear can help you make the car ride a more pleasant experience for both of you.

The Fear of the Unknown

Most cats are creatures of habit and prefer a steady, predictable routine. Any changes to their environment, like getting in the car, can cause anxiety. Cats are naturally curious and enjoy exploring their environment, but the car is an unfamiliar and unpredictable place. The car’s motion and unfamiliar sounds can also be a source of fear for cats.

Fear of the Vet

For many cats, car rides are associated with trips to the vet. This is especially true if the cat has had a bad experience at the vet in the past. Even if your cat doesn’t have bad memories of the vet, the vet’s office is likely a strange and frightening place. The sights, smells and sounds of the vet’s office can be overwhelming for cats and can make them anxious.

Fear of Confinement

Cats are independent animals and typically don’t like being confined. This is especially true when they’re in the car, where they’re stuck in a small space with no way to escape. This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for cats. Not being able to move around can also make cats feel trapped and vulnerable.

Lack of Control

Another reason cats may dislike car rides is because they have no control over the situation. Cats are naturally curious and like to be in control of their environment, but in the car they have no control over where they go or how fast they get there. This lack of control can be a source of stress and anxiety for cats.

Motion Sickness

Cats are also prone to motion sickness, which can make car rides even more unpleasant. If your cat is prone to motion sickness, they may become sick or dizzy when the car moves. This can be a source of fear and distress for cats and can make them even more anxious about car rides.

Making Car Rides More Pleasant

If your cat hates car rides, there are a few things you can do to make them more pleasant. First, keep car rides short and avoid long trips if possible. If you do need to take a long car ride, make sure to take frequent breaks and give your cat time to rest and explore.

Second, make the car a comfortable place for your cat. Consider getting a carrier that’s spacious and lined with a soft, comfortable material. This can help make the car a more inviting place for your cat. You can also try using calming pheromones, which can help reduce your cat’s stress and make them feel more at ease.

Finally, make sure your cat has plenty of familiar items in the car. Toys, blankets, and beds can make the car a more familiar and comfortable place for your cat. Having familiar items can also help reduce your cat’s anxiety and make them more relaxed during car rides.

**Common Myths about Cats and Car Rides**

1. Cats Hate All Car Rides- While it is true that cats generally don’t enjoy being driven around, this doesn’t mean they hate all car rides. In fact, many cats have been known to enjoy going on car rides with their owners.

2. Cats Can’t Be Trained to Enjoy Car Rides- While cats may not have the same attention span as dogs do, they are still capable of learning to enjoy car rides. With patience and positive reinforcement, cats can learn to associate car rides with positive experiences.

3. Cats Shouldn’t Wear a Seatbelt- While cats may not need the same level of restraint that humans do, it is important to keep them safe in the car. For cats, a cat-specific seatbelt or carrier is recommended.

4. Loud Music Will Calm Cats Down- Loud music can actually be very stressful for cats, so it is important to avoid playing loud music in the car when your cat is present. Instead, try playing calming music or white noise to help keep them relaxed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cats hate car rides?

Answer: Cats typically dislike car rides because of their sensitive sense of balance, which is disrupted by the movement of the car. They also don’t like being confined in a small space, and may be anxious about the unfamiliarity of a car ride.

How can I make car rides more enjoyable for my cat?

Answer: You can make car rides more enjoyable for your cat by taking them on short drives around the block to get them used to the sensation. Additionally, you can try playing calming music, using a pheromone diffuser or spray, and making sure your cat has plenty of space to move around. You can also try using a pet carrier or harness to make your cat feel more secure.


Cats hate car rides because it is unfamiliar, can be associated with the vet, they are confined, lack control, and can get motion sick. To make car rides more pleasant, make sure they are short, the car has a comfortable carrier, calming pheromones, and familiar items. With these tips, the car ride can be a more enjoyable experience for both you and your cat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How long can a dog go without being washed?

Previous Post

Gordon Ramsay: The Chef Who Sleeps Just 4 Hours A Night

Next Post

How does a dog say I love you?

How does a dog say I love you?