Moving house with cats, need advice.
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I have traveled from the east coast to the west coast, across Germany, and even across several states. I have never had to give the fur babies any medication. After being upset (yowling) for the first bit, as long as they could see me and smell me, they seemed to be all right. Of course every day I had to do that all over again, but they settled down fairly quickly.
Many years ago, before we had kids, we took our cat on one day trips. We found out very quickly that she got carsick. The vet recommended Dramamine, so we gave that to her and she never got sick again. The worst problem we had was after we got home from one of our trips. We kept smelling something nasty in the car (not in the woodshed).
After about two days in the sun, the car was unbearable. I searched the car and found an open half eaten can of cat food under the front seat. Very ripe. The smell went away after a while.
Visit your local pet store and get some Feliway spray, and/or a collar for the cat. You can spray the inside of the cat's carrier, can also spray some in the car as needed. The collar will help keep the calming pheronomes around the cat's body all the time so that he/she is breathing it in. I'd keep using the collar after you get to the new house to help them adjust. Can also be bought in a 'plug in' if you need to use it in the new house to help kitties settle in.
Keep the cats in one room for a day or so as the new house will smell very different and they'll need to see you there. Then let them explore the rest of the house as by then it will start to smell familiar as it will have you and your things in it.
Don't let them out straight away. If you can buy one of those cat walking harnesses for the first few times you let them out into the garden.
all the best.
Moved with 3 Siamese (very vocal) cats from KY to MI. At a rest stop near Cincinnati, the yowling stopped. They had all developed laryngitis. The rest of the drive was quiet. In the new house, I kept them crated for a few days. Once out, one of the found a way to get into the dropped ceiling in the kitchen of the very old house.
When we moved with our two cats it was something an ordeal—and it was only four miles! The junior cat yelled non-stop from her carrier, and the eldest of the two spent the time trying to chew his way out. Fortunately we’d thought ahead and already set up our bed in the new house—when released both cats dived underneath it and didn’t reappear for a couple of days.
We have driven across country twice with our two cats. We put them in their cages on the floor of the back seat and once we started driving we opened the cages, one cat jumped out onto the back seat, laid on his back, legs up in the air and slept for almost all of the five day trip. The other cat began to howl almost immediately and after about five minutes we stopped the car and gave her a love. She was calm after that but slept in the small litter box we brought with us (be sure to bring one as well as water) the entire time. If you are traveling where it is hot, you will not be able to leave them in the car while you go inside to eat so either plan to eat fast food in the car or bring your own food. If for some reason you have to stop at a hotel, try to get a room where the beds are on a platform rather than an open frame and stuff a pillow between the nightstand and the bed as there is a small opening there that they can get through. (I had a friend that had to take the whole bed apart to get her cats out.). You can always lock them in the bathroom but they will probably howl all night. We did not use any meds for either cat. The cats will be fine.
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.
What a beautiful story! You're my kind of person. ♡
Do not open the container until you get to where y... (
Think ahead of some songs that will blend well wit... (
More excellent advice. I loved the bit about the ceiling! And my cat Footsie loves it when I sing (badly!) Your final story made me tear up. Many years ago my (now ex) husband and I moved from our first studio apartment to a larger apartment a few streets away. It only took a couple of trips because we had very little but before our final trip, our cats Billy♡ and T-Bone♡ parked themselves firmly in front of the door, as if to say, "you're not leaving without us!"
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.
A harness is a good idea. Just make sure you try it on several times before the move because they can pull you into a false sense of security... some models are less secure than others and a cat escaping her harness outdoors in a strange place would be a nightmare.
What wonderful loving people there are on KP. Hugs to everyone
Thank you for this post. We are preparing for a move with 5 beasties. As it stands now, The bonded pair will share accommodations while the other 3 will be by themselves. I have 2 hard carriers and 3 soft ones. All will have nip in them and a familiar toy. Each will be given water when we stop, but food only when we stop for the night.
after reading this thread, I will also try and find the 2 biggest carriers that my car will hold to see if I can give them more room and a litter box. Our trip will be about 3 11-hour driving days.
I moved from Maryland to Chicago, with one cat. I got her when she was a kitten, & would take her on short car rides on a regular basis. So...., as a result, she was fine, the entire 13 hour ride! No meowing at all. I would call her name to check on her periodically , she'd appear, I'd pet her, then she'd go back in the Van, & go back to sleep.
Don't know if you have time to acclimate your cat to car rides before your move, but, I've been told to hold her, & hide her face in your elbow, so that she can't see. She'll be fine. Someone also suggested putting cat in a pillowcase, for the same reason. And then in your lap.
Good luck with your move!
We've moved multiple times with our cats...Texas to NJ, NJ to OK, Ok to TX. On the longer trips (and a lot depends on how many cats you're traveling with), we put out a small cat box (which travels with a cat scoop, litter, & plastic grocery bags) and small bowl of water on the floor of the SUV or in the back of the SUV, if space permits, when we make rest stops. The cat or two are let out in the locked SUV while we "rest" at our stop. Trick is to get back into the SUV without escapees. You could also travel with a medium-small dog crate (wire kind) about the size for a Sheltie or Cocker Spaniel, and put the cat or two into that with the water and small litter box when you stop. Always lock the car so no one can get to your animals! Best wishes!!
IMPORTANT EDIT: NEVER LET CAT(S) PROWL IN YOUR VEHICLE WHILE DRIVING...MUCH SAFER TO TRAVEL WITH CATS AND DOGS RESTRAINED IN A SIZE APPROPRIATE CARRIER. BE SAFE!