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Moving with three cats

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  • Moving with three cats

    In a couple of weeks my family will be moving from Florida to Colorado. Our three kitties will be accompanying us.

    Last time we moved it involved shorter days in the car, overnights with family, and one less cat. This time around we're making 3 ten hour drives and staying in hotels.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can make them as comfortable as possible and keep stress to a minimum? Ideally I'd love to be able to give them each a big carrier and litter box, but space in my van is going to be extremely limited due to kids and other cargo. The cats will likely have to share a medium sized carrier and a small litter pan. At night in the hotels we will keep them confined to the bathroom.

    Traveling with dogs is so much easier. I don't think my kitties would take kindly to being "walked" at rest stops.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    Don't be surprised if some or all of the cats refuse to eat and/or refuse to eliminate the entire trip. It's entirely possible. They'll be all right once they settle in to their new place.

    The only caveat which I know is preaching to the choir, is security and safety: Don't open the crate doors to give water or food until you're in your hotel room with doors and windows locked and door on the chain. Even in your new place security is paramount until they realize this is now home and not just another overnight stay.

    Accidents of someone unexpectedly opening a car or motel door when the crate is unlatched cause a lot of missing kitties. You think they're never going to peep out of that crate until they're gone like a shot.

    Happy travels!


    • #3
      I'd agree that security is paramount. This can really not be over-emphasized. Sadly, so many cats get lost during moves. Most of these losses are preventable.

      I see you're planning on putting three cats in a crate together. Hopefully the cats in question get along well and are comfortable being together in close quarters? Because if not, that sounds like a situation that might induce one or more of the cats to act aggressively and/or get bullied. Even cats who happily share a house together may not necessarily be comfortable being confined together in a small space in such close proximity.


      • Original Poster

        Security is absolutely my first concern. The crate is one with cheapo clips holding it together, so we added our own nuts and bolts so we can be sure it won't break open at any time. I also bungee the door. I'm a little paranoid about my kitties getting loose in an uncontrolled environment because I know I would very likely never see them again.

        All three get along very well and usually sleep together. I often find them all wadded up on my bed on colder days. The older two have traveled together before.

        It's good to know that if they don't eat or poo for a couple days that they will be okay. I worry about my girls.
        "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett


        • #5
          I moved with three cats from TX to CA. Everyone survived!

          i did not worry about litter boxes in the car. Our longest road day was 13 hours I think, and they did just fine. They were in carrying crates, but big ones, big enough they could sit up straight if they wanted. Mostly they would just sleep.

          In the hotel room, I let them have free rein in the room. That did mean having to dig someone out from between the bed and the wall once or twice, but they would have been miserable in the bathroom.

          Make sure they are chipped, never let them out of the crate in the car, don't even open the crate door until you are in the hotel room with the door shut.

          I also had a Feliway plug-in that I'd plug in at each hotel stop. I don't know if it helps, but I figured it couldn't hurt and it might help. I also used the Feliway spray in their crates a few days before we left.


          • #6
            I also doubt that they'll use a litter box (or eat) in the car (and maybe not even in the hotel). When I brought my Louie kitty home from Georgia (seven hour drive), he was not interested in food or litter, and it took him a good two days to start eating and using the restroom once he moved in. He was a little constipated when he did start going, so you might make sure you push fluids and wet food. Good luck!
            *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*