Post # 1
This is my first time posting on this board. SO and I made a pact that we would move from Providence to Seattle next year for work/fun/change of scenery. My one worry is we have two cats and I am unsure if I should do a road trip moving adventure with them or if we should all fly out first class to our new home.
What do you think advanture bees? We’re in the really early stages of planning this and sending resumes but the cats and their comfort is actually my only real worry. I’ve never done a cross country trip and would appreciate some advice.
Post # 3
@MaddieM: If cost isn’t an issue and if you know they’ll be content in their crates for a long flight, flying might be the best thing! Just get it done all in one day! Even better, get pro movers and have all your stuff meet you out there!
My friends who have two cats moved from MD to WI with two cats, in a rented moving truck they drove themselves. Pro movers and flights weren’t in the budget. The cats were in their carriers while in the cab of the truck with them. The made sure the cats were familiar and comfortable with carriers for months before the move and they found that cat-calming pheromone spray was really effective for keeping them calm for the ride. The flight from the East Coast to WA is pretty long and at least with driving, you can stop every few hours and let them stretch. I know some cats are perfectly comfortable in free in the car too!
Post # 4
@MaddieM: How does your cat do currently with everyday road trips, like to the vet?
I don’t have a cat, but I’ve driven 15 hours with my dog at a time. I let her out often for a potty break and a stretch. She doesn’t seem to eat or drink or poo for the entire time. I guess her routine gets out of whack, but then she’s normal the next day.
And Kudos to you for taking your cat! I answer emails for a pet rescue and I cannot tell you how many people are like, “I’m moving in 2 days can you take my cat/dog/pig????” I’m like your kid weighs more than the dog, and you’re taking your kid right?
Post # 5
You don’t have to fly them first class. Coach is just fine. We did JetBlue from Boston to San Fran when we moved and it went seamlessly. 7 days in a car and strange hotel rooms is WAY more traumatic than 6 hours on a plane!
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I had relatives this year who moved from The Netherlands to Wisconsin. They brought their two cats with them. They actually weren’t able to all get on the same flight. The cats flew in separate a day later, not sure how they managed that but it worked out just fine. I know they flew in the cabin of the plane. It was an 8+ hour flight and there were no problems. However, I think they might have medicated the cats before take off with some sort of sedative.
Post # 7
@MaddieM: I would definitely drive! I love the adventure–just make sure you give the cats some catnip or kitty tranquilizers or whatever puts them out of it!
Post # 8
I can’t pay what they want for 1st class airfaire, let alone the extra $80 for an animal. Plus then you have to pay to ship the car. Can you tell I’m cheap?
I’d drive. 🙂
Post # 9
It really depends on your kitties’ preferences. I used to live in central PA and a friend had to suddenly move out of the country. Her parents were in Oregon and willing to take her kitty, but they couldn’t get to PA for a few months. I became the kitty’s guardian until they arrived. Her parents took the kitty and her car (which was under someone else’s care) and DROVE back to oregon from Pennsylvania. They explained that the kitty actually likes the car and they let her out of her crate. She wanders around for a bit and then curls up in a footwell. No freaking out and no sedatives, just a kitty to likes to ride in the car. It’s obviously a several day drive, and the kitty is put in her carrier to go into the hotel for the night.
If your kitty is like my other friend’s… you may want to sedate and fly.
Post # 10
I agree it depends on your cats’ temperaments. We flew our super-active and vocal Siamese in coach cabin from CT to Florida with mixed results. He had always hated his carrier, car travel, the whole thing, so we knew it would be rough. Getting him through security was interesting, he didn’t want to get out of the carrier and was gripping us with his claws for dear life. The actual flight down was fine, the vet recommended some benedryl, and it did the trick. But the way back was a mess- the flight was delayed and the benedryl wore off by boarding time, so the poor guy was flipping out, howling, and even bruised his little nose trying to get out of the carrier while in the cabin. Wish I had known about that cat-calming pheromone…
Going to Seattle also sounds like an amazing drive (we drove Florida to Alaska a few years ago and loved it)- based on all of the above, I say make a week-long adventure out of it 🙂
Post # 11
This is just my experience, but I’ve moved two kitties on several big moves, and here’s what I did!
From Florida to Ohio (19 hour drive, 2.5ish hour flight) I sedated them and flew. It sucked, but I did NOT feel comfortable having them in the car that long and taking them into a hotel room. Things that made it awful: (1) I wasn’t moved into my new apartment yet, so none of my familiar stuff was there for them to smell when we arrived and (2) sedating them really freaked them out.
From Ohio to NYC (10ish hour drive, 1.5ish hour flight) FI and I drove them. It was better in that we had already moved all of our stuff into the new apartment, so when we arrived, they adjusted pretty quickly. However, we had to leave them in a completely empty house for a few days while we moved into the new apartment, and that completely freaked them out. The drive was pretty much fine–we set up a little box in the back seat, which they used occasionally, and let them choose whether or not they wanted to be in their carriers. They stayed in their carriers most of the time.
If I were in your situation, I would probably fly without sedating them. If you can take any of your stuff to the new home first, that would likely help them adjust faster. My cats would lose their marbles in a hotel room for one night, let alone like 5, so I don’t think I would drive that far.
Also, I do think that Feliway helps!