Post # 1
Darling Husband and I are getting ready to move 13 hours away. We’re doing it in two days, traveling 9 hours the first day and 4 hours the next. We have his 12lb diva kitty to take with us. Any advice on traveling long distances with cats? She does fairly well on the trip to the vet (about 20 mintues away) but usually starts meowing within the last few minutes.
Post # 3
Would it be possible for you to make the drive in one day? It might be more trouble/more upsetting to have your kitty in the hotel room and in and out of the car. Darling Husband and I make the drive from Los Angeles to Seattle once a year which is 19 hours and we’ve found it’s much easier doing it all in one day. For in the car, my friend drives her kitty home with her when she visits family and she always leaves him loose. For a super long drive she puts a little litter pan down in the back seat on the floor and the kitty just sleeps the entire time in the backseat. I think she tried it the first time with him in the carrier and he cried the entire way, so everyone is much happier with him just sleeping under her chair. I don’t think she feeds him before or during the trip but he does have water.
Post # 4
Try contacting your veterinarian. They’ll usually prescribe something like Alprazolam (xanax), which works really well for cats who are traveling long distances. Good luck!
Post # 5
I would make sure to stop during the day. My cat didn’t eat, drink or go potty while in the car. She needed the little time at night to rest and get a little food. My cat howled for the first few hours of the drive. I was reaching my hand back and petting her half the time when I was driving. My vet wouldn’t give me anything for her.
Post # 6
We drove from Ohio to Arizona last year with two cats. We got a medium sized dog kennel to keep them in. They actually tolerated it really well, not much yowling at all. Like the poster above they didn’t eat, drink or go potty in the car. In the hotel room we set up the litter box and gave them water and canned food to make sure that they were staying hydrated.
Post # 7
We actually let our kitties walk around in the car when we drive for 9+ hours. I agree with whoever else mentioned that it would be best to do it in one day if possible. We get disposable litter pans so they have the litter there if they want it (usually one of them uses it at least once). Just be sure to put them back in their carriers BEFORE you open the door to the car.
Post # 8
Agree with other posters. My cat has driven from Nevada to Washington, Washington to Alaska and back, and then Washington to Oklahoma. He did best when I gave him a relaxer that I found at Petco and he only went potty and ate in the hotel room.
Post # 9
I have a 1.5 hour drive from my apartment to where Fiance is right now, and I’ve taken my cats back and forth a couple times over the last year. Once one of my cats pooped while in his kennel… it isn’t a huge kennel but it’s not that small… guess he just had to go. So I would second the PPs that say leave them loose if possible and have a small litter pan for them, just in case. Even 1.5 hours is too long for some cats, apparently 😛
Post # 10
I’ve got your back on this one. I’ve moved furbaby from Detroit –> Egypt –> DC –> Afghanistan.
1). You should plan a visit to your vet because apparently I’ve read about some type of form that is sometimes needed to transport kitteh across state lines via car. I can’t confirm this for you, but your vet should be able to easily. (The international equivalent is pretty easy – general exam then you send the form to the USDA for a stamp).
2). I don’t reccomend actually sedating your cat, but they make this calming sedative “acepromazine” that your vet can give you. Give your cat the right dose about an hour before you plan to go and they’ll stay awake and alert, but will be doped up enough to be quiet.
3) In my experience, cats WILL NOT pee in their carrier unless it is a dire emergency. (My cat has been in her carrier up to 14 hours with no accidents…) After all, they’re sitting in there. Still, I make a point to line the carrier with a puppy training pad and carrier a few extras and a plastic bag when we go on long trips. (so you could easily change it out if you needed.)
4) They also make these disposable litter boxes that are amazing. I brought a few for Afghanistan (we had a long layover in Istanbul where she got to get out of the carrier and walk around). I honestly didn’t expect much when I ordered them, but I actually HIGHLY reccomend them. Just bring a couple gallons of litter, and voila! They actually don’t leak either (I expected it to honestly) http://www.amazon.com/Friendly-Biodegradable-Travel-Litter-Pack/dp/B0047W9J68/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1338889179&sr=8-11 The thing is that they are not designed to be used for more than a day or two.
5) Choose a pet friendly place to stay.
6) Make sure to give lots of snuggles and praise so they don’t think you forgot about them.
Good luck! Let me know if you need anything else, I might be able to help.
Post # 11
Thank you so much for all of your help bees! I’m so nervous about taking our cat on the road. She’s a pretty active girl and really dislikes car rides, even the short one to the vet. We’re tried to get it set up so that we could do the whole trip in one day, but, unfortunately, we’re having to work around a lot of other people’s schedules. (DH works for a ResLife Dept. at a large University and we are required to live in an on-campus apartment.)
I would never have thought of the puppy pads. These are all great tips! I appreciated it so, so much!