Mention the word "car" to your average canine, and he may go into paroxysms of joy. Mention the word "car" to your average cat and howling and meowing may occur. Most cats don't enjoy the open road, with the wind rushing through their perfectly coiffed hair coat.
But if you're going to take Fluffy for a ride, think twice about leaving the car windows down. Unlike dogs, most cats do not enjoy sticking their head out of the window but will take any opportunity to jump out to freedom. Cats escaping from moving cars can incur serious injuries, even death.
The safest place to keep your cat during a car ride is in a carrier. By confining your cat, you eliminate the risk of his escape, and reduce his chances of injury in case of an accident or sudden stop.
A cat loose in the car is also a hazard to yourself and other drivers. He can become a dangerous distraction to you, and can even get under the brake pedal or some other dangerous place.
If you're taking him on a long trip, remember to bring water, litter and food. You should stop every so often to let him stretch his legs and to eliminate (don't forget to bring a litter box).
And never leave your cat or any animal unattended in the car, even in cool weather. The sun can turn your car into a suffocating furnace in minutes (temperatures can shoot to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in no time). You also risk theft by leaving your cat in a car.