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Old 03-17-2015, 03:11 PM
Status: "Stranger than Fiction" (set 17 days ago)
8,571 posts, read 10,776,860 times
Reputation: 12566


Maybe start putting the carriers around the house, w/ open doors, to acclimate kitties to what they'll be going in. And, put treats near the carriers so they associate it w/ "goodies." It might help getting them in more easily when the time comes. You might want to even drive them around, a few at a time, to "condition" them before the longer trip. It might be worth the effort.

A dog carrier might work w/ pets who like each other, the rest kitty carriers, sturdy ones as others have said. Cardboard will be torn to shreds--could be anyways, I wouldn't take a chance. And, always make sure the doors/locks are secured before taking off, just to be double sure they're secured inside. Sounds simple, but sometimes simple things are the ones that do you in!

I like the idea of cat harnesses, as someone said, something to grab onto if need be.

My cats never got sick during trips. Not sure how common it is.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:12 AM
2,382 posts, read 4,484,189 times
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Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
When you take them to the vet for chipping and so on, ask about a sedative if they react badly to cars. My cat was terrified of anything past the door, and the first two days she got a pill. The last she'd adjusted. You need not make is strong enough to make them sleep, just stay calm. But one warning... cat's hate pills. Make sure when you stop to have the carriers and that you can find them in the morning. They like to hide. We were delayed an hour while I got the pill in the cat, and then there was the day she was deep in hiding.

Get them cat harnesses. Start them getting used to them before your leaving. Attach a leash when you are traveling AND in the motel. If you can't find the cat, you can usually find the leash. They can't hurt themself with a harness. And if you need to grab them then you have something to grab.

Get a metal pet holder or two, and have a few carriers to pull them out when you stop. They also fold for easy storage. It gives them air and you just leave it in place. Put a cushion/towels at the bottom, and you might have a cover available if needed. It will save you money and give them a place to go when you move. Make sure they go into a room in a cage until your sure nobody is opening doors, so they remain safe then.

Ditto on not putting food or water while in transit. They likely won't eat or drink or need a litter box then. When you stop, set up the bathroom with litter box, food and water and bring them in and let them eat and calm down. Then put them in a carrier, and go have dinner. That way everyone gets to eat pleasantly and nobody has to be searced for.

If your traveling where its warm, make sure the ac is working. They need to remain cool. Never leave them in the truck/cat alone without climate control. Eat at drive thrus on the way. Maybe get up early and go eat a good breakfast with the critters safe in the room.

I don't know what to say about a place which accepts all of them. But you should check on that too.
Good advice all the way around. We've moved , including a move to Japan and back with our two cats. I've known three families that have lost cats during moves - and being military they just couldn't afford to hang around looking for them more than a couple hours so the cats were gone forever...

Harnesses are a great idea - a cat in panic can slip a regular collar pretty easy. We used a regular plastic cat carrier in the car and foldup metal cages in the hotel. I NEVER opened the carrier or cage without the cat having the harness/leash on.

We never left the cats loose in the room if we weren't in the room - we out them in the cage and locked the cage.

We trained our cats in advance to drink from the hamster type haning water bottles.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:47 PM
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,413 posts, read 5,109,442 times
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I would use several wire dog crates, with a couple of cats in each one. You can partially or fully cover them with sheets or towels. I used a harness on my cat for a cross country move. She wasn't wild about it but did tolerate it and with it she could get some time out on a leash.

I hope it all goes very smoothly for all of you.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:18 PM
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This may have been covered already--I didn't read the posts all that closely. I've moved long distance with 5 cats and 2 dogs. I had big plastic dog crates and paired up 4 cats that got along. The fifth one went in her own carrier. I tried not to drive more than 8 hours at a time, and stopped at motels and said I had 2 dogs and left early the next day. It worked out, but on the return trip 2 years later, one of the cats got sick from the a/c. Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:20 AM
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We moved from Colorado to Oregon with 2 Bengals last summer. We bought 2 large dog crates at Walmart and put a disposable litter box in ea. one. They slept in the litter boxes, lol. But the most important thing I want to mention is is to look for pet friendly hotels. Made a HUGE difference as we could let the cats roam the room at night and that made them better travelers. The beds are on a platform so the cats can't get up underneath. We slept well without them in the bathroom unhappy. Also, drive no more than 8 hrs. A day as that is about all they can handle. We put our carriers in the house open for weeks before we moved. They also had a favorite blanket in them and they started using them as their safe place to sleep.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:16 PM
Location: Central NY
4,603 posts, read 3,194,254 times
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A few years ago I had the miserable experience of having to move into a motel with my cat until my apartment was being made ready for us. I can say it was a decent experience. My cat loved it. When I first got her from SPCA she was not happy about getting into carrier and riding in the car. But once she found out she wasn't being "left" anywhere but coming with me both ways, she calmed down and has not given me a problem since. I am so glad to see this thread as we (she and I) are moving from central NY to Winston Salem, NC in a few short months. She has never ridden that distance before and of course there will be one night at a motel. Thank you to all who posted with their experiences. I've learned a lot today and plan to use some of your ideas.
My cat (Mimsy) gets comfort when I hold her and she sticks her face into my elbow and "hides". Guess she feels safe there.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:47 AM
Location: South Florida
1,007 posts, read 863,292 times
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I drove from NY to South Florida with two cats. I had them each in their own carrier and faced them toward the front so they could see me. I also had a portable cardboard litter box and harnesses and leashes for rest stops.

One was a Siamese and meowed LOUDLY the first few hours. When I stopped at a rest stop and took her for a little walk, it completely wore her out and she slept the rest of the day. The other cat had no interest in going for a walk, but he was being quiet.

I stayed overnight at the Red Roof Inn. Call ahead and see which ones allow cats. The cats roamed around the room, ate and used their litter box. These were indoor cats so I was a little worried about how they would handle the trip, but they did really well. As one poster said, stop for the night at a pet friendly hotel. My cats did not want to eat, drink water, or use the litter box on the road...only in the hotel room.

Good luck with your move.

ETA: I bought the harnesses and leashes a few weeks in advance so they could get used to them before the trip. I left the harnesses on when they were in the crates, so I just had to clip the leash on when we stopped.

Last edited by Fiona13; 04-15-2015 at 12:04 PM..
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:17 PM
Location: Cape Cod
647 posts, read 1,032,206 times
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We have two male (neutered) Maine coon cats who have traveled with us from MA to FL, MA to SC, and MA to NC. They are both wonderful travelers.

We put them in separate cat carriers in the back seat, facing each other secured with the seat belts.

We bring bottled water to minimize any stomach distress from drinking water they are not used to.

We only travel 400 miles per day, and always make reservations at a pet friendly hotel (the ichoice chain often allows pets - Sleep Inn, Comfort Inn, Rodeway and 3 other names).

We bring all the paraphernalia in, set everything up (water, food, litter), then let them out of the cat carriers. Another thing we've learned to do is check for any spaces between the headboard and the wall or any other space a cat could squeeze into; if we find anything, we stuff it with pillows after having a bad time trying to extricate a cat from the space.

Another thing we do now is try to book a suite. The extra room is a God send; the cats are usually pretty frisky, we're not, and it helps to give them extra room.

In the morning, we put them in the carriers ASAP because if they sense they're going in, one especially finds the worst hiding places possible.

Other than that, they are quiet and well behaved in the car, and seem to be glad they are with us instead of being left at home.

Good Luck
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:45 PM
Location: Way up high
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Do they all get along?? What about a large dog crate? I would speak to the vet about some kind of sedative if you're truly concerned.

No judging here either..I'd have 100 if I could
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:40 PM
9,663 posts, read 15,796,249 times
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Originally Posted by perigee View Post
I would not put them in cardboard carriers. Those are only made for a short journey home, not for hours and hours of travel.

My sister adopted two cats while living overseas. They made the very long journey, think well over 12 hours, just fine in a pet carrier. You want one big enough that they can turn around in, and make sure they have access to water and food. Also put a couple of blankets or towels in there, to sop up any messes, or at the very least to make it more comfortable for them.

Also have extra towels, paper towels, spray cleaner, etc

We moved 5 cats from Austin to Houston altogether about a 4-hour drive. Four did just fine, but one cat just freaked the whole way. He kept yowling, and peeing We made several pit stops to clean up his cage, good thing we had extra towels, we just threw away the soiled towels whenever we could find a dumpster. We did clean the cage inside the car, kept the doors and windows locked, to keep him from bolting!

I also don't care for the idea of cardboard carriers, not enough ventilation. I would give them water, but not food. Just feed them before the trip, not during.
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