Tips for traveling 3,000 miles with a cat?

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@iammcdibble:  My cat loved car rides but we started him out really early on and we did’t kennel him for the ride.  He had a kitty harness and a leash to keep him confined to an area of the car and prevent escape when we stopped for gas.  We also made sure his litter box was clean and accessible during the ride.  But if your cat gets too upset to even put him in the car it’s probably best to sedate him.

Post # 4
Member
641 posts
Busy bee

There is a chance she will refuse to eat, drink, or evacuate until settled into the new place. Don’t freak out if this happens, it’s nothing unusual. 

Post # 5
Member
6747 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

When I was 8 years old my parents and I moved (by car) from Buffalo, NY to San Diego, CA with 2 cats.  We drove a Ryder truck and towed the car behind with the cats in it.  My mom would put them in the cardboard carriers and about a 1/2 mile down the road the male cat would have escaped his carrier and would be perched on the front dashboard for the remainder of the ride.  This was the mid- 80’s and places were not very pet friendly then, so im pretty sure my parents smuggled the cats into the motels we stayed in.  The trip took us 5 days.  Both of the cats lived about 10 more years after that.

Post # 6
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Oh, man. The 5 mile trip to the vets used to cause my cats to act out for DAYS. They’d stop eating, they’d tear their own fur out… Awful.

I’d see how they handle the first day, and decide on a day-by-day basis if you want to sedate them or not!

Post # 7
Member
8706 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

We drove 1,200 miles in a uhaul with 2 cats. I had a pet carrier that opened at the top (Like a purse) so I unzipped it and just let them sit in the carrier but not be confined. They were mostly okay. My cat was pretty freaked out.

Post # 8
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

My cats scream bloody murder in their carriers.  They’ve been on a couple long haul car rides, but not multiple days in a row.  I tried giving them Xanax for one trip, but they were so dysphoric it made everything worse.  I tried to put their harnesses and tie their leash to the seat so they couldn’t roam the car, but they were so stoned on the meds that didn’t help either.  Putting a blanket over the carriers so it was dark did help and they would sleep for a while, but when I was in stop and go traffic that would wake them up and they would scream again.

I have gotten a larger carrier for them that they can both be in plus have a litterbox, I’m hoping they will be better in that one.  I won’t get to use it until October though.

When I only had my boy cat, I flew with him once.  He did not scream at all.  I think it was because I could pay more attention to him and pet him through the carrier.  So if you are both in the care maybe whoever isn’t driving could sit with the cats and calm them down?

No matter how upset my cats have been in the car, they were fine once they got out as if nothing ever happened.  Once we got to our destination I would show them the new litterbox spot, where their water would be, and fed them.  They were fine, some cats can take a few days to fully calm down though.

Post # 9
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@beachbride1216:  This is exactly what we did – we used a harness and leash on him instead of keeping him contained in a carrier. Our cat hates car rides and tends to cry during them, but he was a champ when we drove from CA to MA (only cried occasionally). The fact that he could see what was going on around him helped. No sedatives were needed.

Post # 10
Member
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@pixiecat:  Where did you buy this large carrier? I am very interested!

Post # 11
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@canarydiamond:  From SturdiProducts.  Here’s Sheldon testing it out when it arrived:

He slept in there all day.  I did zip up the doors for a few minutes and he didn’t even seem to notice.  We’ll see how it goes in a few months though.

 

Post # 12
Member
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@pixiecat:  Thanks for replying!! That is fabulous. We may be having our own super long drive coming up soon and this could be an option for us!

Post # 13
Member
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We did this last year (LA to Philly)!  With two cats!  

I don’t really have a lot of advice because so much depends on the cats.  One of our cats meows loud and constantly…we found that for whatever reason she would shutup if we let the OTHER cat out of his carrier.  Luckily he’s chill so would just nap and we didn’t have to worry about him darting out of the car or under seats or into the dash or anything.

It was still generally miserable to deal with two cats with that much driving and staying in hotels, etc.

Oh…all La Quinta’s accept pets for free (so do Motel 6….most hotels leave it up to the individual branch whether they take pets or not and if they do, they charge a fee for it).  That’s useful if you don’t know exactly where you’ll end up spending the night.

Also, lots of people swear by this http://www.feliway.us/. You can get it in a spray to spray in their carriers and spray around the hotel rooms to calm them.  I’m not sure if we noticed a difference or not though.

Good luck!!

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