Cats have a reputation for not traveling well or adjusting to change, but Stevie Benanty can prove those notions wrong. Stevie founded lifestyle website aconversation.com, which focuses on everything from travel, recipes, hotel recommendations and business advice to profiles of go-getters and all-around fun, smart people. But there’s more to Stevie and her lifestyle brand than just cool travel and people. Her cats are along for the ride. Stevie and her husband are world travelers, and they couldn’t imagine not traveling without their two cats, Hicks and Joralemon.
“They are our babies!” Stevie said. “My husband, Dan, and I only considered places to move that had no quarantine policy for animals because we love them so much. Hicks and Joralemon got their own passports when we moved to Europe, which I think is adorable.”
Stevie started Hicks and Joralemon traveling as kittens so they became accustomed to the concept from the beginning. “ [They] have been traveling since they were babies,” she said. “At the time, we were living in Washington DC and in New York City, so every few weeks we’d drive or fly between the two and always took them with us. They were always good with travel — they would just pass out immediately, so we were confident when we moved to Europe they do would do more than great, although I was very nervous!”
For others who may want to travel with their cats or move to another country, Stevie recommends first researching what pets need. For example, Stevie will only fly with her cats if she can carry them on the plane with her. “You need to do your research online to make sure you have the proper vet paperwork and shots and vaccines,” she said. “Luckily, we were on top of them being up to date anyway so we just made sure to go through all the paperwork with the vet in advance. Your vet is a great resource as they’ve likely dealt with animals moving abroad before.”
The cats, now about 3, have continued traveling their entire lives. They’ve been to Washington DC, New York, Germany and France. They even traveled to Portugal via Spain. The next stop is London.
“They are so happy to explore new places,” Stevie said. “We’ve been in a few homes since we’ve been bouncing around abroad or in hotels with them, and they love exploring new rooms. They are very happy.”
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Elisa Jordan is a Southern California freelance writer specializing in pets. She has a terrier, Gidget, and a cat, Izzy.