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Old 03-20-2009, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Riverside
1,241 posts, read 1,718,809 times
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Since I traveled with dogs...thats what I know...any cats I had never traveled well... even to the vet...but as far as getting the room ready for them before they enter is great advice and the harness/leash is a great idea too....
we would walk the dogs before they went into the room then they would eat...lay around for a while then we would take them out again...they didn't have the familiarity of a/their litterbox....
Your trip will be fine We never called ahead for the motels....theres usually more than 1 pet friendly place around... go to petfriendly.com and see what they have. Interstate motels/hotels are usually cool. Besides, you have 1 cat..we had 4 dogs
Have a good lock for the back of your truck...
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
10,234 posts, read 7,792,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap0110 View Post
Nightbird - thank you thank you THANK YOU for that note. That was perfect. I'm printing this out and taking it with me. Seriously.

Yeah, there's the urge to rush through it. "If I can drive 12 hours a day, then I can make it in 3 days. What about 14 hours a day? What if I only stop for restroom breaks?" But that's good advice - slow and easy. You're right, this is a life-changing moment. It's easy to get caught up in the details and forget that. Thank you so much for the reminder!

Justin
I'm glad I could help. I was pretty sure my dog would be fine, she loves car rides, but the cat is terrified of strangers and strange animals and new places so that was my worry.

Only thing I will add is when you get to your destination, pick a room nobody will be opening the door, put litter box, cat stuff (toys and all their stuff you brought water and food, the crate and open it. Let the cat sniff it out and see that their things are there. Moving in day is hectic and busy and its easy for the cat to slip out. My cat somehow got out of her crate and hid under the porch. Harness and leash came through beautifully! So make it a rule that nobody goes in. Let them approach the rest of the house when its quiet and they can prowl. Make sure they can get into their "safe" room if they need to. I don't know if your cat is strictly indoor, or both or outdoor but take care introducing them too. Take a walk down the street for perenial dogs running loose too. (good to know with dogs too, why we don't walk down one street.

Oh, forgot. Make sure you have plenty of batteries for your camera
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:18 AM
 
261 posts, read 508,516 times
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My partner and I have driven from CA to TX 3 times already in the last 5 years. The easiest route is Interstate 10, borring, but easy and quick. With your cat I HIGHLY recommend a cat carrier, make sure it is a size the cat can turn around comfortably in. Do NOT let your cat out of the carrier until you have reached your hotel room and unloaded your nights stay of luggage. Once in the room we found the easiest travel potty for our cats was to put a small amount of litter in the tub, close the tub drain and the cat will do the rest. When cleaning it up, a few paper towels, the hotel/motel trash can and a quick rinse with the shower will do the trick. We also would not feed our cats in the morning, we woud feed them at night only. The cat you take may be upset for the few days of driving, but as long as you do everything to keep the cat safe while traveling, your cat will quickly forgive you once your move is finished.

Also, we found Flagstaff was a good stop with fair options for food or other supplies. Amarillo on the other hand was very lacking in options for food or for hotel/motels.

We have also found that the La Quinta chain of hotels has fair rates, allows pets for no additional charge, free breakfast with a good assortment, clean rooms, good locations, and a rewards program.

I also think that once you get started driving you will find it much easier than you anticipate. I suggest you take a few circles around your neighborhood before your full trip. Watch your turns when you have a trailer, you have to make wider turns and go slow. Especially go slow, do not let other drivers intimidate you into making risky or quick moves. Safety is better than pleasing a road raged stranger. Make sure your car is properly hooked to the trailer, do not run chains or ropes through the tire wells of your wheels. If someone can ensure your car is hooked up properly you will be good. Make sure before leaving and at each stop that the tire pressure on your trailer and truck is correct, this does not mean you have to use a tire gauge, but at least watch that you get no surprises while traveling. Make sure to fill up your truck on gas at the next opportunity after reaching a quarter tank, do not run your truck cross country to almost empty, there are spots where services are a long way apart.

Wear comfortable clothes.

Take extra water for you and your cat if a worst case scenario happens and you have to wait for help on the roadside.

Check the rental trucks service history before taking possesion of it. Make sure it is up to date on oil and other elements. Windshield wiper fluid, radiator, check the heat and air conditioning.

We also always travel with an emergency bag, first aid supplies, road flares or florecent triangles, blanket, flashlights, batteries, and a walkie talkie.

Last but not least, enjoy yourself, stay aware, and try something new wherever you go.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, IN
914 posts, read 2,428,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by featherz View Post
We stopped each night in a hotel and put the litterbox in the hotel. The cats would NOT eat OR pee in the car, but would in a hotel. I did have food and water in the carrier but they never touched it until in the hotel. The litterbox was on the floor in the back seat area. I would not leave a cat in a towed car (too hot!) nor would I strap my cat to the roof.
That was my experience as well. We moved from Oregon to Vermont last summer with our cat. The very first time I moved her more than a few hours, from Oregon to Montana, I put my cat in a larger carrier, and put a small litter box in it. She wouldn't use it. I also tried putting the litter box in my lap when I stopped for gas, and putting her in it. That didn't work either. When we drove across the country, she stayed in her crate in the back seat (on top of boxes, so she could see, but wedged in there, so she didn't slide around). I traveled with a bag of food, her mini-litter box, and a bag of litter easily accessible, and set everything up in the hotel when we first got there. Then I threw out the used litter when we left.

Before we left, we got a mild sedative from our vet. It made her sleepy but didn't put her out. I actually stopped using it halfway through the trip, though, because it freaked me out when she was too quiet, and she was getting used to the drive anyway. Also, higher altitudes don't always mix well with sedatives, so I didn't want to drug her when we went through the Rockies.

We never left her in the car alone. It helped that there were two of us. We would take turns going to the bathroom and getting food (to eat in the car) when we stopped. Actually, it saved us time because we never stopped anywhere for very long.

I would also agree with the advise about taking it slow. With both a cat and driving the truck, you really don't want to rush yourself, or tire yourself out. Yes, it takes longer, and costs money, but moving like this was stressful, and I was glad to have a few hours to veg before going to sleep every night.

The pet friendly chains we stayed in: Best Western, La Quinta, and Red Roof Inn, although be sure to check if individual hotels are pet friendly, sometimes they certain locations aren't. We kept a list of all the pet friendly hotels long our route, in case we were held up and could not get to our reservation every night. Luckily, we had no problems, partially because we slip the trip into so many days that a delay of a few hours didn't really matter.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
10,234 posts, read 7,792,629 times
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It occured to me I haven't seen any mention of this in this thread and it really is important. You know those nice mesh carriers with the zippers that aren't bulky to store? That aren't heavy or cumbersome? They may look like a simple way to carry the cat.

Beware. Cat claws can destroy a screen or drapes in minutes and that little bit of mesh will be NO problem. Somewhere in a thread here or in Pets there are a few stories about panicky cats ripping the sides out of them. If your taking kitty to the vet, maybe they are fine. If kitty is spending the day in the car you want something kitty will be staying in.

And check the latches on carriers. The ones that are plasic can be pushed at enough they bend (trust me, fortunately we has a second with metal grid). Make sure it closes and can be shoved at and not opened. Its easy to test this. Put kitty in the carrier and sit it where they can get bored and want out. Watch and see. Inspect after they get out. If you can the chainlink dog cages will definately provide security for you and a good view for the cat.

Enjoy the trip and may you and kitty be very happy at the end.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:18 PM
 
167 posts, read 285,375 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap0110 View Post
I'm planning an interstate move - California to Texas - and am contemplating the cheapest option, which would be renting a 14 foot truck and towing my car. I also have a cat who, I guess, would be my passenger.

I'll be honest. The whole prospect TERRIFIES me. I don't drive trucks, much less vans, much less moving vans towing cars. I've also never driven 3-4 days with my cat.

Have any of you done this? What was your experience? What should I watch out for? Any advice for first-timers?

Thanks!
Moved to El Paso from TN with five cats in carriers in back of the SUV. Moved back from El Paso to TN with six cats in back of SUV. Also should mention the two kids aged 10 and 5. What happy memories. 1500 miles took three days and two nights at hotel.

I would never, nor recommend strapping cat in carrier to outside of car. Just bad judgement and an accident waiting to happen.

Good points about litter boxes in hotels, get the disposable ones with litter already in them, that way you can just put in trash and use fresh ones the next time. Also good points about hidden spaces, one cat went behind back of bed and had to be coaxed out.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:59 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 9,652,202 times
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One of my cats decided to hide INSIDE the box spring of the *king size* bed. I had to, literally, take the bed apart, stand the box spring on its side and SHAKE her out of it.

Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh .....
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:36 AM
 
261 posts, read 508,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeezeboxgal View Post
One of my cats decided to hide INSIDE the box spring of the *king size* bed. I had to, literally, take the bed apart, stand the box spring on its side and SHAKE her out of it.

Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh .....
I have had many an opportunity to crawl under, inside, on top of, and through things to retrieve a cat over the years. I must admit it is a very frustrating and then most relieving experience, all that adrenalin over "where's the cat" and then the comfort of finding it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, IN
914 posts, read 2,428,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeezeboxgal View Post
One of my cats decided to hide INSIDE the box spring of the *king size* bed. I had to, literally, take the bed apart, stand the box spring on its side and SHAKE her out of it.

Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh .....
LOL! How horrifying! Yes, the is one of the more aggravating aspects of traveling with a cat. You are ready to get out on the road . . . but where did the cat go?!?

I was thinking . . . I wanted to ask the author if they considered using a U-Pack, We Haul type service like Pods? My reason is that we may have to move to Indiana in June, and originally we were planning on my boyfriend Driving the U-Haul that is also towing his car, and me following in my car with the cat. However, we happened to price using ABF's equivalent to Pods (I think they may be new? It isn't where you rent space in their truck, they actually drop of you own Pod equivalent contained that you fill.) and we actually found it was ever cost essentially the same (it was slightly cheaper to go ABF location to ABF location, slightly more expensive to go door to door). When I found out we could aviod having to drive the U-Haul (especially also towing the car) I was thrilled. This was NOT something I was looking forward to, and getting rid of the truck, we don't have to slow way down because we are a truck towing something, which means we won't have to tack an extra day on our trip. I was suprised at how economical it was. Just thought I would put that out there.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:49 AM
 
27 posts, read 156,168 times
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We moved from Seattle to Atlanta a few years ago. B/f got the stuff we didn't pack in the back of his truck - I got the cat. I put the backseats down in my SUV and then draped a hammock across the back of the frontseats and tied the edges down with bungie cords. The back of my rig was then her own little world. We had food & water, an enclosed litter box, and just a box, in general, with a blanket draped over it, for her to hide in. I did put a harness on her and had a leash, just to be safe. She spent most of her time with her chin resting on the turned down seats, meowing at me, but I had my audiobooks turned up real loud and the windows down, so I really didn't know unless I looked at her and saw her mouth opening and closing. Thankfully she didn't realize until the middle of the 4th day (out of a 6 day trip) that she could reach thru the weave of the hammock and tag my arm. Otherwise she might still be somewhere in Montanta.. lol.

I concur with Jillaceae about ABF. We had a wonderful experience with them, and I've read very good things about them in posts here as well. It would definitely be worth at least looking into. Best of luck to you in your travels, no matter how you wind up getting from Point A to Point B..
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