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Moving With Kitties

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  • Moving With Kitties

    Back in the day when I was young I used to move with my kitty and had no problems. I put him in his crate, I put his crate in the car, and we traveled. Once I even stopped to walk him on his leash--and the kids in the family that stopped at the same place could NOT figure out what kind of dog he was!

    Now I am older and ready to move again, this time with 2 kitties. Based on the experience of our last (short) move, The Old Man will talk all the way. Are we THERE yet? ARE we there yet? Are we there YET? Are WE there yet? TortiKitti will lie still and quiet and endure with fortitude.

    So no worries, right? I have nothing to dread. I know what to do for them when we arrive at our new home--put their litter box and bowls in the bathroom and shut them in safely.

    So why am I chewing my mental fingernails?
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

  • #2
    Is he healthy enough to sedate for the trip? That would drive me batty.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      I sedated my nonstop talking 1/2 Siamese for a cross country trip. Didn't help. She still yowled the whole way but was VERY groggy. Three days of torture. For both of us.

      How long is your trip? IME (have traveled with numerous cats through the years) some will yell, some won't. Oliver tries to claw his way out of the carrier even for a short trip.

      How about earplugs?
      What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


      • #4
        We sedated our kitty for a 5 day long trip across the country in a U haul. It was not a very fun trip, but our lovely little kitty slept the whole time. We only needed half the recommended dose in the morning, and she was out for the whole day.


        • #5
          How long is the trip?
          As long as each cat has a crate you s/b fine.
          If your drive will be over 4h, I'd stop at that point and offer water. And if you can manage a litterbox break inside your vehicle (disposable litterbox that you can then toss) offer that - one cat at a time - as well.

          Last time I moved - ~1h drive to new house - I had large cat in a carrier set on the floor in front, small cat in a wicker basket balanced on the passenger seat.
          Had to brake once, harder than I wanted to, and wicker basket bounced off the seat onto the carrier. Upside down.
          Fortunately the clasp held and it was a tight fit. I righted it and we drove on.
          Aside from one surprised-sounding MEOW! from inside the basket, we all arrived in one piece.
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


          • Original Poster

            Don't know whether to risk the effects of a sedative, or the effects of the stress on T.O.M. I think he may be too old to sedate. Sedatives did not work for the Kitty of My Youth the one time I tried them; he just rode cross-eyed and wide awake with his third lid showing the whole way. I never doped him again and he did fine.
            It will be about a 2 1/2 hour drive, with 2 stops en route, not long ones.
            Back in the day, my boyfriend drove 5-hour-plus trips with Kitty of My Youth, standing on BF's lap, with front feet on the windowsill! No way would I have ever done that. But it was usually summertime, and my car had no AC.
            Hmm ... maybe I should offer my earmuffs to my friend who will be driving us ...
            Not sure he is a cat man.
            Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
            People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
            "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


            • #7
              Your two kitties will be fine. And you've got the drill for getting them used to the new place down pat as well. Yes, they'll talk/yowl for awhile - but most cats are smart enough to realize it's not getting them anywhere & stop. Those who don't will be forced to stop when they start getting hoarse.

              Consider yourself lucky. When we moved from NY to VA, we moved with five indoor-only housecats. Think of listening to 5 unhappy kitties in 5 carriers during an 8-hour drive. What fun!!


              • #8
                Consider yourself lucky if all your cat does is talk in the car. Mine gets motion sickness and pants, drools, pukes, and poops in just the 15 minute trip to the vet's office. The farthest we've ever been was 30 minutes and it was a vile nightmare!

                I've tried sedation but it didn't work. Usually I resort to driving like a 90 year old going 20 miles UNDER the speed limit to minimize the motion. I feel SO bad for poor kitty and avoid taking her anywhere as much as possible.

                Best of luck!!


                • #9
                  A guy I work with moved from GA to RI with his two cats. One of the cats howled for the entire 24 hours. I would probably have become violent one hour in...
                  I'm moving cats next week and there will be drugs!
                  Y'all ain't right!


                  • #10
                    When my mom moved back in the 1970s from Georgia to Missouri, she took along 17 cats (included her full contingent of wayside waifs; she always was a magnet for all the downtrodden street strays in any address all her life). She drove a U-Haul and towed her VW Bug behind it. The VW was the designated cat-mobile and contained no other cargo, just litterboxes in the floor boards, vehicle chock full o' cats. They weren't happy but arrived safe and sound. She said that she had lots of traffic pausing alongside en route, though, as people tried to count.

                    For all of my shorter moves, I just used a carrier. Singing helps calm the cats sometimes, assuming you can sing. Emily Dickinson, head barn cat, did get her name for cursing at me nonstop and without repeating herself for the full 45-minute drive out to the farm after I trapped her in the city. No matter what your literary opinion of Emily D's poetry, it is indisputable that she always had something else to say.


                    • #11
                      I've moved a couple of times with my kitties. My boy does best sedated or he will yowl and get himself upset enough to be sick. I've found both of mine do better if I turn on the radio and don't talk (singing is usually okay). The instant I picked up a phone or started a conversation with the driving partner, mine would wake up and get upset again (sedatives help here). On our 14 hour drive, I kept a litter box on the floor boards and let him out to go to the bathroom and get water whenever I stopped to get gas.

                      Mine also do best without being able to see much. I leave enough open to get airflow but made sure they couldn't see too much. I faced my carriers toward each other so they could see each other but that's about it. If I had to do a long one again and I had a car/SUV with enough space, I might be tempted to try out putting them in a large crate together (mine are best friends) with a small litter box and water. I'd probably do a dry run first though = )


                      • #12
                        Through trial and error I have found my siamese cross (ubber talkative) cats do best in a large dog vari-kennel together. They don't particularly like each other, but they are much better in the car together than in separate kennels--no idea why. They also do better if I put a sheet over it so they can't see out. I think the darkness is calming.

                        It also muffles the noise.
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                        • #13
                          Just did a trip from VT to MT with two cats (who hate each other and one who talks talks talks-and poops- most of the time!)books on tape is also very calming for them!!

                          For me, I have two crates that are large enough for them to have a kitty box IN the crate (which they use, don't always hit it but they try). I do NOT sedate-it can, IME, make them more disoriented and uncomfortable, at least for driving. I open a cat of wet food, pour a bit of water on the top, and offer it to them in their crate. They drink off the water and eat the wet food(a little anyway). I do that every 4-5 hours if I can. I use those little litter pans in the hotel at night. Of course, at the hotel, there might be about 15 minute of significant cleaning, at least the first night, as one of the kitties will likely be wearing $hit all over his leg, etc (he gets better with time and the cleaning is no big deal). they have a "kitty bag" like a baby bag-with baggies of dry food, a little whisk broom set for sweeping up kitty litter, PAPER TOWELS, bowls for water and food, small box scooper, wet food and so on. Makes it very efficient. I don't let mine ride out of the crate (occasionally if my husband is driving, a quick look out the window but thats it) as I have had to brake quickly and I am not interested in them becoming missiles!! But lots of people have different views on that.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
                            For all of my shorter moves, I just used a carrier. Singing helps calm the cats sometimes, assuming you can sing. Emily Dickinson, head barn cat, did get her name for cursing at me nonstop and without repeating herself for the full 45-minute drive out to the farm after I trapped her in the city. No matter what your literary opinion of Emily D's poetry, it is indisputable that she always had something else to say.

                            haha! I have an Ella Fitzgerald, because she's always a vocalist, and she's BigBlackMamma, too. lol

                            2.5 hours is not that long, I'd just let them howl it out. I have 3 cats that have been on long trips (5+ hours). The nervous nellie type gray Oriental rides up front right beside me, because he needs to be reassured a lot. If anyone howls in the vehicle, it'll be him. The other two ride in carriers either crammed in the the truck cab or in the back seat, if we're using the car.

                            I cut up a foam camping pad and put a piece in each carrier for cushioning. with a pillowcase around it. Then I bought a Quiet Time fleece pet bed for each, like these http://www.midwestpetproducts.com/fi...00s_fleece.jpg. The two back-seat cats, Ella Fitzgerald and Indiana Jonesy, flip those pet beds up over themselves and ride covered up the whole way.

                            I put those folding foil windshield sun shades over the cat carriers so that they don't get hot from sun. Keep the temperature cool. Radio volume low. Windows up. Blower on low speed. The Gray Oriental lets me know if any noise levels exceed the Cat Comfort Threshold, lol.


                            • #15
                              Ear buds and podcasts/books on tape an option?
                              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                              • #16
                                I drive from Louisiana to Maryland and back several times a year with my kitties.

                                Both travel in an extra-large wire mesh dog kennel with a big soft blanket in it, and a small litter box just in case someone needs to potty (although one kitty likes to travel IN the box for some reason).

                                Both get sedated with ace pills - big kitty gets 0.5 mg and little kitty gets 0.25mg. I have also given them subQ injections with my horse ace (same dose), but I prefer the oral pills.

                                I offer water whenever I stop for gas (usually every 3-4 hours), and I leave a little gerbil water bottle thing up (which they think is the best thing since lunch meat).


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks, dressagetraks, I needed that!

                                  Didn't you post awhile back in another thread about Emily Dickinson preferring warm mouse to dry barn cat food?

                                  May I please text/e-mail your U-Haul story to my cousin who drove my kittehs and me? I think he would enjoy it as much as I have. I will make it completely anonymous as far as you and your mom, of course.

                                  I am proud to say both my kittehs were perfect passengers this trip. They rode side by side in their carriers on the backseat floor of the big diesel pickup, in the warm smoky fug of the cab. T.O.M. asked a couple of questions as he was loaded in; after that not a peep until at the first pit stop I turned back and spoke to them. Then he said "Are we there yet?" once, very quietly.

                                  Poor kittehs, they did not get to disembark for quite awhile as I first had to do a walk-through of the apartment with maintenance, then had to go down the street to the grocery store to stock up on kitteh and me supplies, THEN finally got back and unloaded groceries and kittehs and took the kittehs up to the apartment and shut them into the bathroom. They immediately crept out of their carriers and into each other's carriers. To this day I do not know what that was all about!

                                  TortiKitty is still a bit fretful, sometimes prowls the place calling, looking for something (our old pad?), but T.O.M. has settled in as well as he did in our then-new place, last Feb.

                                  My driving bud did not have to wear my target-practice earmuffs after all! (No, I don't shoot, I got them for fire drills at our last place.)
                                  Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
                                  People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
                                  "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


                                  • #18
                                    Yes, one recent morning, Emily left the breakfast line at the call of duty when I found a mouse and had him trapped in a trash can, and she did dispatch it for me. The other cats just looked at me like, "Why are you calling when you've already fed us and we're still eating it?"

                                    Feel free to forward. I actually got a laugh out of Mom yesterday (I visit every Sunday) by telling her that old story about hauling the cats in the VW. By the way, for completeness, the name of the VW Bug was Leonardo da Vinci. We always name our vehicles. Mom named Leonardo because he was "so versatile."