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Old 04-09-2009, 09:43 PM
Location: Morristown, TN
1,754 posts, read 3,699,069 times
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Thanks for all the tips. Luckily, there are sites to check the ratings on horse hotels (which are really just barns that rent stables by the night) and the ones we chose are dog friendly. Luckily, neither of our dogs are barkers or howlers. ;-) I hadn't thought about portioning the food for nightly feeds for the dogs, that's an AWESOME idea. The cats will have regular access since it'll be in the crate.

Whenever we take the dogs anywhere, they wear the lead while in the truck, for their safety as well as the driver's, so we've got that covered.
One of the dogs LOVES to ride, so I don't think he'll be a problem. The other is scared of riding, but we intend to do LOTS of small around home type rides to hopefully acclimate her better. If not, we can always take the sedatives with us, just in case. Luckily both are used to pottying whilst on a lead, that could take a LONG time otherwise, lol!

As far as the cats, I just don't know. We've had the youngest for five years and the oldest three for almost ten years..... they've moved with us a few times, small in town type moves, so i'm HYPER vigilant about acclimating them slowly. They'll not be allowed outside for quite some time.

We plan on driving five hundred miles a day, giving everyone plenty of down time. I figure the kids will exercise the dogs plenty at rest stops :-)

Thanks again and anyone who hasn't posted, feel free :0)
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:38 AM
Location: Amelia View
4,210 posts, read 12,519,991 times
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I've traveled with my cats quite a few times and have never had even a close encounter with them getting out of the motel room because we never left them alone uncrated - there was always one of us in the room when they were loose.

They did just fine acclimating to a new place each night. Our cats' personalities range from "I don't give a hoot about any of this, just give me my supper" to "I think I'll just stay under this bed for the night". Honestly, long days in the car and long nights in strange motels did not turn them into neurotic basketcases.

I wouldn't under any circumstances leave them crated in the car(s) - I'd be more paranoid that someone would break into my car than I would having them with me in the room.

But I have to say wow!!! I thought I had it "bad" with a dog and three cats -- to do a trip with two dogs, six cats AND four horses takes a ton more preplanning! I'm impressed that you're so organized!
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:18 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
71 posts, read 461,618 times
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You can always try PetRelocation.com. I've never personally used them, but I've heard from others who have. What I've heard is they can be expensive, but eliminate a lot of the headaches.....
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:30 PM
Location: Greater Los Angeles area (unfortunately)
177 posts, read 654,069 times
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I'd bring the cats in the hotel with me. I know it might be a hassle putting them in and out of the crates, but they might be kind of freaked out just sitting in the car all night. At the very least, take Rottnboys' advice and bring the crates in the hotel with you. You could also let them out but confine them to the bathroom area of the hotel... maybe throw some towels on the floor that they can sleep on.

Cats are so much harder to move than dogs. I haven't moved cross-county like you're going to, but on a 9-hour drive, my cats wouldn't use the litter box, eat, or do anything but hide. We moved them by borrowing my dad's truck (it has an enclosed camper with a nice lined bed). We put the cats in there with a ton of blankets and opened the window into the truck so they could get some fresh air.

Good luck on your move!
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:09 PM
Status: "Stranger than Fiction" (set 17 days ago)
8,564 posts, read 10,774,200 times
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I travelled from Florida to Arizona with 2 rabbits, 1 dog and 3 cats. The dog was in her carrier and she got stretch breaks every 3-4 hours. We only travelled till 5 pm so they could all rest up (and us). I brought my cats in the hotel rooms in their carriers (2 in 1carrier and 1 in 1 carrier). SInce it was just overnight, there is no maid to worry about. We just got them back in after they ate and used their boxes. It depends on the temperment of the cats, I guess. Just be extra careful that the carrier latches are tight and all of that when you transfer them from the hotel/car and visa versa. I never sedated any of them--just put on relaxing music in the car and in the hotel just talked to them (about the trip--I guess they understood they had to be good because I kept saying it). Good luck to you and your pets.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:37 AM
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,475,592 times
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Originally Posted by RamblinRoseRanch View Post
At the end of May, we'll be moving four horses, two dogs and six cats cross country. We're splitting it into a three day trip to alleviate wear and stress on all involved.
Obviously the horses will be hauled in the trailer and we're booking stays for them at horse motels along the way. Both dogs are heelers (one blue, one red) and are used to being around horses. Our plan is to haul the dogs loose, one in each vehicle and bed them down in the horse trailer after we drop the trailer at the horse hotel. The cats will be riding three each to a large dog crate, complete with food, water and litter boxes. Now here's my problem.... obviously we're going to be giving sedatives to the cats/dogs, but do I leave the cats in the crates in the truck, weather permitting, or allow them out into the hotel room? There will be ample room in the crates for sleeping, etc so that's not an issue. My concern comes from the thought of trying to put six cats back in crates each morning.

They're used to sleeping in and around our beds at night, so I don't know if it'll distress them more to leave them up in the crates or to keep stuffin' them back in.


Thank you.
Please do not leave your cats in your car overnight. Many places it is illegal for one to leave an animal like that but that is because of the risks.

At the end of May summer is approaching. When you are moving with the ac on its comfortable but even at night it can heat up considerably and your cats could be endangered by the heat. And theft... leaving an animal alone in a car can lead to them being stolen. And remember on your trip NEVER to leave the cats alone in the car for more than a short while, with both heat and their distress an issue. Your at a reststop or eating and your car is getting hotter. Depending on the weather, and it can be very very unpredictable that time of year, you could be creating a deathtrap. Even at night.

Stay in motels that take pets. There are many. You can't leave your cats in a cage for three days. Bring the cages into the room and have food, water and litter box ready, then let them out. Do not feed them in the morning untl you stop for the night.

Before letting my cat out I checked for hidie holes. Dressers make a good place to hide, but you can pull out the drawers and ruin it. Bedside tables can have an open space at the back where kitty can slide in if they are small enough. Check the space behind the beds. Basically check for anything cat sized and see how to remove the cat before releasing them.

Most motels who have pets the maid knows not to open the door, but there are usually some sort of chain arraingemetn you can fasten as well. The maid at the place here we stayed while the house was being finished was afraid of dogs and when my aged beagle barked at her she was standing in the parking lot. But if you leave early in the morning you shouldn't even encounter the maid. As a precaution, if you are leaving for more than a few minutes, say for dinner, put the cats in their crate. That way you will have peace of mind and won't worry about anyone taking off out the door should it be opened.

Get up early enough to catch and stow the cats. Put them in their crate and leave them locked in while you go for breakfast, load up the car of all but cats before breakfast and retrieve cats just before you leave.

My cat discovered she could hide under the bedspread. She thought she was invisible. I let her. It was easy to find that hiding place. Second stop she did the same thing. Each cat will find a place to hide and once you discover it don't tip them off... easier that way.

Good luck on your journey and I hope you have a great time. Make it the adventure it is and enjoy the scenery and take lots of picutres. So it will be a good memory rather than one filled with worry.

Another suggestion, get cat harnesses for them. attach a lead, even in the crate. When moving them between you can catch the leash easier than the cat should there be an escape attempt. You can leave the leashes on at night too, cat hides but the leash doesn't.

Nobody has mentioned this yet but... get ALL vacinations up to date, and have the paperwork ready in the car with you. Check to see at the state your moving to how long they accept a rabies vaccination. California says 2 but Oklahoma says one. As she was past the one year mark we had to have a new vaccination. And put ID on a collar/harness on everyone with your phone number and new address.

For the cats too... get those disposable litter boxes. Us it for the night, toss it and use the next the next stop. Way simpler than having to carry litter and box and clean it out.

Last edited by nightbird47; 04-12-2009 at 09:52 AM..
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:19 PM
1 posts, read 1,560 times
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I need Help!!! I have to move from virginia to petaluma,ca i have a lab/rot and 2 cats and a hamster... i also have to move all my furniture... and tow one car.. what is the best way to move my animals... my husband will be driving and me in the front seat... Please help....
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:19 PM
82 posts, read 244,487 times
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Originally Posted by artyst View Post
thanks roaminred. i appreciate hearing people's similar experiences. our trip might be a little comical! i'll probably be driving my vw beetle with one dog in the back seat and the birds in the front. my son will take the other dog in the moving truck. should be fun

We traveled from California to Texas with our two cockatiels. We covered the cage, made sure that they didn't get too hot or cold and used the Bach's Rescue Remedy a couple of times. After a while, they actually liked the routine of getting into the car, driving and relaxing at night. We were surprised because they always put up a fuss when going to the vets.

Bird Lover
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:25 PM
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula
14,518 posts, read 15,207,386 times
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I vacation all the time with my dog. For some strange reason he seems to enjoy the scenery as much as I do. (Mostly AZ, UT and NM.) You would think he would spend the driving time sleeping but he likes to look out the windows just like me.

Here's a few things to keep in mind, and the only thing I know about is dogs:

Never leave your dog alone except for a very short period, and only then if parked in the shade, windows slightly lowered, and a dish of water handy if he gets thirsty.

Plan on stopping every couple hours and let your dog stretch his legs and do his business. If you're out of the city almost any place will do. Keep your dog on a leash so that he won't accidentally run into the traffic.

Many if not most motels take pets. Plan on paying $10-$20 per night "cleaning fee" and don't try to smuggle your pets into the room. You'll just get a big hassle if the manager sees you. I did that a few times and didn't get hassled but I worried from check-in to check-out and it wasn't worth the savings. It's okay to leave your dog in the room for maybe long enough to go out and eat dinner in a nice restaurant, but don't leave him alone any longer than that, and make sure he has water. Use the do not disturb sign.

Don't ever let your dog outdoors without using a leash! You don't want to see your pet turned into road kill.

I've always enjoyed having my dog along. Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:47 PM
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,352 posts, read 16,774,074 times
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Originally Posted by lukelly1003 View Post
I need Help!!! I have to move from virginia to petaluma,ca i have a lab/rot and 2 cats and a hamster... i also have to move all my furniture... and tow one car.. what is the best way to move my animals... my husband will be driving and me in the front seat... Please help....

how does the dog do in the car on just trips around town?? that will give you some idea of how he will do over the long haul .... or should at least.... i know another poster earlier in this thread talked about her dog becoming distressed when they traveled a given distance away from home, and though I am not discounting the experience in the least, that post is the only time i have ever heard of something like that happening. the dog should be fine in the backseat and will likely be a WAY better traveler than the cats. when i travel with my dog (a 50 lb red heeler mix), i make sure we stop about every 3 hours at the most so that she can stretch her legs and do her business, get a drink of water, etc. ..... she does not eat while we are on the road..... the longest trip she and i have ever done is about 700 miles over about 12 hours, so that is not a problem for her....... once the general excitement of "going for a ride in the car" has worn off, she generally hops in the back seat and dozes..... sometimes sits up and looks out the window like a little person..... to the delight of cars beside us..... many rest stops along the interstates have specific dog walk areas... and i have even found some truck stops do too...... at the least, there is usually a good sized grassy area or field adjacent to or parallel with most truck stops......

cats are much tougher..... if they are "close" like mine are, i would get a large-ish carrier that they can be in together.... put in a couple of old t-shirts that have your scent on them (maybe wear them to sleep in for a couple of nights before you hit the road) .... also, if there are any toys they are particularly attached to..... you may want to investigate mild tranquilizers from the vet...... i have had cats that traveled just fine in the car and i have had cats that absolutely hate it and cry the whole time they are in the car. for a long trip such as this one, you'll want to try to figure out a way to let them out of the carrier a couple of times a day to see if they need potty breaks..... this can be challenging, but where there is a will, there is a way........ you will need to offer water as well ... i would hold off feeding until you get to your stopping point in the evening.......

the hamster should be a walk in the park ..... smallish cage with whatever bedding he normally has in his regular cage.... as much food and water as he seems to be interested in.

actually... you may want to consider you and your husband each driving a car to allow more room for the fur children..... sounds like your dog is a good sized fellow and the carrier for the kitties and the hamster cage could take up quite a bit of the back seat, not leaving much room for him to stretch out and be comfortable for extended periods of time.......

best of luck to you.......
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