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Old 03-17-2009, 06:02 PM
 
8 posts, read 41,025 times
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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!
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Glendale
1,243 posts, read 2,405,617 times
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I don't know where in CA you'd be driving from....or where in TX you're going to...
We left Moreno Valley, Ca at about 10am on Saturday and the 1st night stayed in Flagstaff, AZ and the 2nd night in Amarillo, TX....We drove in the winter so from dawn til dusk. Now with the time change you have more hours on the road....
Just don't drive too fast...towing you won't really be able to...
Once you're on the road you'll get a feel for how the truck/tow feels....stay in the slow lane
Make wide turns into gas stations....if you stay in a hotel park the truck where you can see it...closest to your room....
If the cat travels well...put it in it's crate and call it good...or you can let it loose in the truck and it will probably sleep....if not...get a tranq for it. Nothing worse than yowling for hours!
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:40 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
7,374 posts, read 12,906,554 times
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My step daughter and husband drove from central Missouri to eastern Pa. with a cat in a carrier. Needless to say, the cat's digestive system was working fine, bringing tears to their eyes. SIL wrapped the carrier in duct tape, he calls it 90 MPH tape, and strapped the carrier on top of the car. No more fumes, no more loud noises from the back. The cat made the trip just fine, but SIL thought he saw her kissing the ground when he let her out to take care of business!
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:21 AM
 
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I drove from CA to NY with two cats. We had two people. one to drive and one to ride herd on the cats,who were let out of carriers now and then. They did their business in the hotels (in a litterbox) and made it safely.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Sueprnova - that's almost the exact route I was planning to take! Thank you for the tips. The hotel thing was one of the questions I had. Like do I need to find a hotel/motel with special parking? Do I need to make arrangements ahead of time? (I'm a bit of a heavy pre-planner.)

Kygman - omg you taped your cat to the roof! lol!! What kind of carrier was it? I only have a soft carrier that's barely bigger than the cat.

Featherz - thanks, I was curious about the litter box situation. I was originally planning to have interstate movers carry my stuff and I would drive my car and leave the entire backseat to the cat. I would have the litterbox on one side, her food dish and water in the front. But if I'm driving a truck I don't see how to make that work. Was your carrier big enough for food and water? Did you make intermediate stops to take care of the kitties?

I guess if I'm towing my car then it's an option to leave her loose back there while I drive the truck. But that just seems mean. Has anyone done this? Any unexpected complications?

Thanks for the responses. This is extremely helpful!
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
7,374 posts, read 12,906,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap0110 View Post

Kygman - omg you taped your cat to the roof! lol!! What kind of carrier was it? I only have a soft carrier that's barely bigger than the cat.
No, it was my step daughter and her husband. They had a hard case carrier, the typed with the metal door. He put enough duct tape around the cage so the cat could get air but wouldn't have all her hair blown off sitting up there while son-in-law drove 80 MPH. Then he took rope and tied it up on the luggage rack on the car. He's Army so had strong knots!
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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I moved from Riverside to Oklahoma with an old dog and a terrified cat. The dog was fine, even enjoyed the trip but the cat didn't make a sound in her crate the first day. Then I discovered she was too scared to and gave her the trank the rest of the trip. Simple easy way to do it. They are groggy and sleep. Are not stressed. When you get to the motel do the following things before release.

One, put litter box and water in the bathroom, all ready for them for thats the first place she headed. And two, and this is important, check for crevases. behind the bed, under the dresser (pull out the drawers and leave one out so its not a hidyhole, or take it out sufficently before you leave so you know where they are) We spent over a half hour LOOKING for my cat while the drivers were chomping to leave since she had found a safe place to hide.

Do NOT let the cat out in the cab, especially alone. There is the chance of her getting loose if she panics and you open the door, or running in front of you or under your feet and distracting you. Don't put her in the car or truck back or you'll possibly end up with a dead cat. Put the carrier next to you so she can hear and see you and you can speak to her, and bring a favorite blanket and toy to keep with her. If you have room get a large carrier and when you stop and the doors are shut tight give her water. She probably won't drink but you can try.

When you stop to eat don't leave her in the truck. Get takeout or see if there is an outside area to sit. Let the cat be with you. She will be safe and not overheated and might be motivated to drink.
But don't feed until your in the motel and she can have time to get the food out of her stomach.

Also get a cat harness and leash. It doesn't give you guarenteed control but you can grab a leash easier than a cat and the harness will feel wrong so she might not try. And put an id tag on it in case she does get loose.

Make sure to go to your vet and get all shots current and have the paperwork with you at all times. And check what Texas requires as rabies. California allows two year shots. Ok only one year. Get the right shot. Cats aren't lisenced but its important to have the level of rabies protection for the area.

And don't drive too far. We stopped in Winslow AZ and mid texas. Of course we had the rest of the way to go from there but with the cat go no more than 8 hours. And if your not used to driving a van and car in tow make sure you get your rest too. Don't go to motels in town. Just slightly outside of town they are cheaper and they tend to get lots of trucks. So they are set up for them. If you can't see the truck put it in a well lit area. And take valuables with you, do NOT pack them.

Good luck and have a great time. You really can. If your taking the 40 there are some beautiful areas to drive through and allow yourself to enjoy them. Open area with nobody around is amazing to use transplants and remember to stop and take lots of pictures. (and don't drop and break your camera the day before moving and have to use your cell phone )

Its a big important time and it will be easier and simpler for you and the cat should you not make it a huge push. Smell the roses, its not something you do every day.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:26 PM
 
8 posts, read 41,025 times
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Featherz - Good point - I forgot I'm driving in from some really mild weather to a whole country of not-so-mild.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:31 PM
 
8 posts, read 41,025 times
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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
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