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Moving house with cats, need advice.
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May 29, 2019 19:36:56   #
I will obviously talk with our vet but in the mean time, has anyone moved and distance with their cats?
We should be moving soon and the car journey without rest stops will be eleven hours or so, but I will need to stop at least twice. Is there anything that will help the cats on this journey, I don't know what to do about it.
May 29, 2019 19:51:49   #
Augustgran (a regular here)
SongbirdRichards wrote:
I will obviously talk with our vet but in the mean time, has anyone moved and distance with their cats?
We should be moving soon and the car journey without rest stops will be eleven hours or so, but I will need to stop at least twice. Is there anything that will help the cats on this journey, I don't know what to do about it.

I gave my cat benadryl for our long move.I gave it to him about 3 hours before we left.
Check online you can get the amount according to your kitties weights.
They may drool considerably at first, but then settle in to snooze for a while.
Don't feed them too much while on the trip .
Maybe get a couple of those hamster/guinea pig water bottles to attach to the carrier.
A couple days or even a week before put the carriers out with a towel in it and maybe a treat or a toy.
So it is not unfamiliar for them.
May 29, 2019 19:52:13   #
Your vet may be able to give you something to calm their nerves. Be sure to ask when you should administer it. We moved 1200 miles with our cat and evidently didn't give him the pill early enough. He didn't calm down until we arrived at our new home. LOL
May 29, 2019 19:53:29   #
Candycounter1 (a regular here)
Do not take them out of boxes unless you are in a home, and a closed off room...

So if a cat is out, it does not escape the journey, is there Family or friend home along the way so you could stop there?

I do not envy your journey with screaming, crying meowing on the car ride...meow meow meow meow!!☹️

Good Luck!
May 29, 2019 19:56:14   #
I drove with one cat to Florida (1,500 miles) and for fun I should share the long story I wrote about the journey some day. I was attending a wedding and could not leave a sick cat at home. I put him in the back of the car in a large dog crate with a cat carrier inside as well as food, water and litter. I secured the carrier door open and the carrier to the side of the cage. I topped the carrier with a soft blanket as a perch and covered the top of the cage with a sheet to protect from sun. Then, we took off.
I had a blast and enjoyed the trip more with him as company. We took the Cape May County Ferry and he adored it. My reading was interrupted by his joy at seagulls wheeling above the ship and people passing. At rest stops, I spent a few moments with him. Lots of people stopped to enjoy him even though his fur was scraggly from disease and he loved that too. I always have played music for my cats when out and I took along a copy of favored tunes. I stopped at Best Western for two nights on the way. They were great, so I was sure not to leave any mess at all. The cat adored the motel. He spent most of the evening on his hind legs peering out a window watching the comings and goings. I spread a towel for him so sleep on and he did. He loved everything about Florida, although I had to watch out for lizards. In short, his wonder at everything about the trip increased my enjoyment and he was fine. He adapted to all households, although he had to be caged in one. The only problem I had was I had trouble worrying about him for those moments when I was not in a motel room. I was afraid a maid would open the door and let him out. You won't have that problem. So, my advice, make the drive as comfortable as possible for the cats, every time you stop, spend a few moments with them safely, talk to them as you drive and relax. Good luck.
May 29, 2019 19:56:35   #
I flew from East coast to West coast with my cat on the plane. The vet gave her a pill a few hours before our flight and she did pretty good she was a little restless at times and we had some delays but all in all she did well but was happy when we got where we were going and could drink and use her litter box. My daughter drove from CA to Alaska with a cat and she just set up a litter box on the floor in the back and said it worked well for hers.
May 29, 2019 20:04:14   #
Do not open the container until you get to where you are going and can put the cats in a secure room.

We moved cats 100 miles. When we got to where we were going, one of them climbed up into the fireplace chimney if you can believe that one! So a small room, closed. Keep them in the house for 6 weeks so they adjust to their new home. If you let them out before that, they will try to go home to your old home.

Might want to get them chipped before you go. My friend was en route from NY to Georgia, the cat got out and lost in Virginia. Months later she got a phone call that someone in Virginia found the cat. Luckily it was chipped and she was able to go and retrieve the cat.

Good luck.
May 29, 2019 20:39:39   #
Drove from Boston area to Chicago with two cats (about 1000 miles/1500 km) -- took two days with one overnight stop. Vet prescribed tranquilizers for one and strong catnip pillows for both, and the meds helped a lot. Think ahead of some songs that will blend well with plaintive meowing that you can sing; it calms the nerves of everyone in the car and our cats meowed a lot less once they figured out that would stop us from singing. Not all cats have such refined musical taste, though.

Assume that the moment the carrier door is opened, your cat might shoot out like a bat out of hell with all claws out and then hide in the least accessible place it can find -- like, under the engine if you open the carrier while in the car. Plan ahead to thwart this, even though it might not happen (ours didn't do it but even usually placid kitties can go crazy). Gas station bathrooms are a possibility but plug any hole larger than a quarter first (really. they magically shrink themselves!) assume cat will be able to cling to the bare ceiling, so you might have to pull it down. Bring litter + pan and give them opportunity to use them if possible (pack separately, put a minimum of litter in pan, put all used litter in bag and discard). Even so, put many layers of towels at bottom of carrier and remove the wettest ones at each break (bring a "stinky bag" to put those in or use old towels and discard them). Goal is to have any wetness sink to a lower layer so kitty isn't laying directly on it; my companion put disposable diapers under several layers of a silk shawl, which resulted in random bleaching of the shawl but otherwise worked well. If your cats are young, they might be able to "hold it" for 12 hours; even with breaks, prepare a litter box in the new home first then let the cat out where the box is clearly visible for immediate use. Prepare comfy hidey hole nearby, with food and water in it, and let them come out to explore when they're ready. The cat has to stay in the carrier a few more minutes but it's worth it! Whatever bedding you use in the carrier, let the cat explore it and get used to it for as many days in advance as possible so it will be familiar.

But the most important advice I can give -- I did it, my companion didn't -- is before you move. Starting on the first day you start to pack, make a point of giving your cat extra and unworried attention. I also carried mine in to where I was packing and showed it to her (so she knew I wasn't making sneaky plans) and made happy noises, and let her explore what I had done. And then repacked what she had undone, with only mild tut-tuts and a Big Happy Hug once it was back in place. As the old home got more disassembled, I gave more affection and extra treats so she would know that whatever change was about to happen, I wanted her with me at the end. Mine was a lot calmer before, during, and after the trip, and the catnip pillow was relaxing but not necessary. The other cat was drugged and frazzled for days before and after the trip, mine was out and exploring after a few hours and "helped" me unpack.

Hope your move goes well!
May 29, 2019 20:40:14   #
Yeah, good luck with that , we moved our cats cross country, not too bad, then moved again 40 miles , Oldest cat turned into a demon during the 40 mile trip, never heard such sounds in my life. never again ......
May 29, 2019 20:41:16   #
Willie's Mom
I traveled, for 23 years, with two cats and a dog! The trip was 400 miles one way each summer. Your vet can give you a pill, very reasonably priced, to help relax your kitties.
Please check with your vet before giving your pets anything. It will depend on their weight and health.
Please make certain they are crated also. Very dangerous to travel with kitties lose in the car. I never took my babies out of the crate/car until I reached my destination.
I’m sure you know this but just a friendly reminder.
Praying you all have a safe and wonderful trip.
May 29, 2019 20:43:58   #
targa416 (a regular here)
Large dog crate. Food, water and litter box inside. Don’t open the crate until inside your new residence. Cats can scoot out more quickly than anyone can imagine.
May 29, 2019 20:48:34   #
I have moved across country and back with anywhere from one to 5 cats. Most of my cats would stop meowing after an hour then every time you stop and start again there can be some meowing involved. Most cats will not eat or drink while on the road. I always fed them in the morning and took a container of water just in case. A litter box on the floor in the back helps as some cats will go during the day. I put them all in carriers while driving then at rest area or while stopped for lunch can let them out to roam the car. Or you can do 1 or 2 at a time putting them in the litter box. I make them wear a harness so they are easy to grab and do not leave car doors open when they are out of carrier. If they don’t use the box during the day they will beeline for it as soon as they are in a motel room or new house. New house lock them in a room for a few days then when all the moving commotion has died down and you can keep them from escaping let them out to roam their new digs. I have never had a cat not do well and I have moved over 15 different cats in my 49 years of marriage. Most moves were long distance moves. Good luck.
May 29, 2019 20:48:37   #
books (a regular here)
My SIL consulted with her vet and he prescribed a pill to knock her kitties out for the 5 hour car trip when they moved out of state. It took the cats about a day or so to recover from the effects, but it saved them the stress of a long car ride.
May 29, 2019 20:54:51   #
Willie's Mom
Love this idea, dog crate if room allows it. My cats always got through the drug affects before nightfall. I also listened to books while traveling. Voices talking seemed to make the trip easier for them, rather than music.
May 29, 2019 20:55:24   #
Nanamel14 (a regular here)
Can you try your cat on a harness before traveling, if you can get her used to it before it will be handy....then whenever you stop you can safely get her out to stretch her legs etc without the fear of her running away.
My cats took awhile to get used to a harness, the older girl was not happy at first, but she now enjoys going outside for a safe walk with cats don't go outside, they have a cat run which is attached to my house via a bridge from a window, the have grass some bark chip some pavers and a small area of dirt to dig in...lots of scratch posts and boxes to hide inside....the birds like to tease them as they know they are safe, my girls like the games they play

Hope you have a safe trip and it's wonderful you are starting to prepare
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