(Closed) Has anyone moved with a cat?

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 17
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

We have travelled with our cats many times when moving. It depends on the personality of your cat really. We have flown with one and driven with both, used sedatives and not.

One of our cats loves riding in cars as long as he can curl up on the back seat. If he is in a carrier he howls bloody murder. I know you’re not supposed to let them roam free, but he was content to just sit and look out the window or curl up and sleep. We travelled with him on a 1.5 hour plane ride once (in a soft shelled carrier under the seat in front of us) and he was alright. He howled a little, but then stopped. He panted a little at the start when he was nervous but calmed down.

Our other cat does not like the car, but he is so quiet and submissive he won’t howl or meow. He will pant in his carrier the whole way. We sedate him for his own benefit and put him in his carrier facing us so he can see us. We drove with him for about 12 hours one time and he was fine. Now and then I would take him out of his crate and let him cuddle in my lap (hubby was driving obviously haha). That seemed to really help reassure him for a bit.

I would definitely call your vet and ask for their recommendation. In any situation our cats are always perfectly fine once we arrive. They’re very resilient little things!

Post # 18
3415 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Lodge

About 2 months ago we moved across town.  Obviously not the same as moving across country, but our poor cats didn’t know what the think.  They meowed the whole time and I felt so bad for them.

When we got to our new house they ran and hid under my daughters dresser.  Our male cat Tucker looked so sad.  I was heartbroken for him.  Sookie our female cat was just cautious.  By that night they were comfortable enough to explore upstairs and even slept on the floor with us.  It was a good week until they started to think of the new house as their own.  Now its almost like nothing has changed, they are back to their old selves.

It will be stressful for them at first, just give them space and try to introduce some of their familiar things to them.  Don’t force them to be out and about in the house, let them come out on their own when they find their “safe spot” and hide.  Don’t be surprised if you get the cold treatment for a while either.

Post # 19
402 posts
Helper bee

We’ve moved our cats twice. They are pretty old (17 now, 15 at the first move). The first time, they were moved to us from my in-laws’ house. My SIL drove them 6+ hours to us. Their vet gave them cat valium which seemed to help. They were still loud during the drive but not too bad. They were both anxious and confused when they arrived at our place (it was a small apartment) so we set out several litter boxes and some water and dry food and they settled down after less than 2 days. We just kept an eye on them as they explored their new surroundings. If you can, I suggest doing a check of the new place before you bring the cat in to make sure there isn’t anything that could get him in trouble (such as a hole in the wall that he could crawl into, a poisonous substance that he might ingest, etc). Chances are, you have nothing to worry about, but that might give you peace of mind.

The second move was from our very small apartment to a much larger house. We waited until we got the large furniture in before bringing the cats, so that the front door wouldn’t be open and tempt them to escape (they’re indoor only). When we did bring them to the house, we kept them in the basement for the first week. They had food, beds, and a litter box down there, and it was cool and much quieter than the rest of the house. It gave us a chance to “move in” the upstairs area, and when we were done with the bulk of it, we opened the basement door so the cats could explore their new home. 

I guess the key is just being able to keep an eye on the cat for the first few days. A young cat will typically adapt quickly. If my two old girls could do it, I’m sure your cat can! Good luck!

Post # 20
3195 posts
Sugar bee

Yes, we moved our cat from Texas to Germany. He wasn’t a fan, but we prepped well for the trip. First, I would advise keeping your cat carrier out at all times. Do you have a dog? If not, just put it down in a place that your cat frequents and put tasty treats in there for your cat to find. This will make him want to check it out more, and if you put some old shirt or something in it, he might even choose to nap in there and get really comfortable with it. 

When you are moving, except for sedating him, he’s going to cry and fight the carrier for a while. We chose not to sedate our cat, and he cried and cried and clawed the carrier for about two hours (the flight from Texas to the east coast). Once he tired himself out, he just kind of went in to a stupor. He was fine for the rest of the trip except for getting antsy on takeoff/landing. 

I would prepare your cat for the move by getting him comfortable to his surroundings. Carrier train your cat just like you would crate train your puppy. Close the door for a second when he goes in to get the treat, then let him right out. Do gradually longer stays in the carrier. Pick up the carrier or take him for a car ride (very short) once he’s gotten used to the previous step. It will all make it easier.

Post # 21
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Sorry i didnt actually read the rest of the post but you can get a seditive from your vet for travel. I worked in a clinic where families would do it before flights or long car rides.

My one cat is happier in the car if he doesnt have to be in the carrier. He is really good about staying in the back seat for the most part and travels happily there. i always have a littler box for him on the ground back there. I had a cat that would poop with in 5 mins of departure every single trip… such a pain lol. Another i had was so terified he would cry and cry until you opened the carrier door and then once you opened it he was fine to stay in there the entire trip.


Post # 22
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013


I have a friend who made the move from Northern MO to STL with a cat…not quite as long a drive, but they just put her in a carrier. From what I hear, she didn’t care for the car too much.  So when they got to their house, they set the cage in a backroom, opened the carrier and left her a couple treats…let her come out when she was ready lol.

Cats are so funny. 🙂

Post # 23
2115 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I guess it depends on the cat. we traveled by air and i guess its hard to see how the cat does but he was fine. The first trip my mom drugged him which i thought was terrible cuz she didnt go to the vet to get something….I thought it was gunna die he looked so jacked up. but the third time. (poor cat) we took him from Wisconsin to seattle. in a tracker. tiny one filled. i was 16 at the time but he did fine. one time we tried to let him out but guess where he went. under the pedels. so dont do that. lol. maybe a leash in the car once you feel bad for keeping it in there so long.

Post # 24
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@StL.Ashley:  I’ve flown with my cat before, and it’s not hard at all.  You just get a soft-sided carrier that meets the specifications for the flight, pay the extra money, and bring the cat to the airport.  The only hard part is that when you go through the security checkpoint, you have to take the cat out of the carrier and carry him/her through the thing with you.  I don’t know what they do for the ones where they do the “x-ray” (that’s not what it really is I think but you know what I mean).  My cat is a great traveler, though.  

If you drive, there are plenty of hotels that allow animals.  Just bring a cat box and some food.  It’ll be fine!

Post # 25
3051 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

View original reply
@Duncan:  HA! Nice. Always an option.

Post # 26
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

When we moved with our cat she screamed the whole way, but wasn’t getting panicy and making herself sick. It was a 2 hour drive so we just put up with it.

I have some friends that recently moved 9 hours with their two cats and they had to sedate the poor guys. In the past their ctas have screamed, panted, and gotten sick from the stress of disliking the car. I think their vet gave them a kitty version/dose of Zanex? The boys were a bit loopy afterwards but they got over it.

Post # 27
2375 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Go to the vet and get some sedatives.  Acepromazine is a popular one.  He’ll be a bit woozy, but it’ll be a better experience for everyone. 

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