PDA

View Full Version : Long Trip Car Travel with Cats


KittiKat
June 20th 06, 07:24 PM
Hi All,

I need to travel about 1300 miles (there and then back again in 2
months) with my two cats. At first I booked an airplane ticket, but was
told cats would have to go into a special pet cargo hold (I could keep
them in one crate). I booked the ticket with the expectation that I
would probably *cancel* it. Crate/air travel time for my cats would be
8 hrs in total from door to door. Problems - Both cats, indoor only,
both run when they hear a vacuum for instance and are terrified, the
noise of a plane (has to touch down in one city for a brief stop) I
think would send both of them to the moon. The little one is tiny and
she has some health concerns, and is very high strung at times. Older
one, also health concerns, one being stress, which causes her skin to
break out and extreme fur loss. So, crate confinement, car travel to
airport (35 minutes), noisey airport(have to check in one hour before
flight leaves), baggage handlers ( have to go on trolley with baggage),
etc, and plane trip (take off touch down twice, three times), I think
may do nothing but harm and stress them out to the point of no return.
To make it worse, where we are going to stay, a dog is part of this
home, something which the cats are also not used to (but will be ok as
we will be in another part of house, in basement suite).

I really really wanted to leave them at home, it was my first option,
but I am going away for the summer -two months or more, and it seemed
too long - I could not get a sitter to stay daily with them, and they
are very use to me as I am at home quite a bit with them (the little
one has special feeding concerns and needs to eat several times a day).
When I am not at home, one yallows and the other sits by the front of
the door waiting for me to come home -I figure it would be better for
them to be where I am for the summer.

For the drive, I am planning on doing about 8 hrs a day with a few
stops in between - Lots of pet friendly hotels on the way, so not
concerned about this. My car is very large so the cats will be in two
large carriers, enough for to stand up in and turn around etc, secure
on the back seat. I have a litter box on the floor in back seat as
well. Both cats are not fond of car travel, even for short distances,
but I am hoping that they will both settle down - both are use to these
crates and they sleep in them at home once in a while, (door does not
get shut though). I have AC in the car. I am going to put up two side
shades on the passenger windows to block some sun.

My friend who is self proclaimed *cat expert* and works with cats for a
living, states that she feels *flying* would be the preferable way to
go, to get it over with fast. She feels it will be more stress on them
to drive for three days....But personally I know my cats, I don't get a
good vibe about the stress of the trip via airplane. At least in the
car, I'm there close, they only noise will be the car and then traffic
noise when I stop for gas....So Any other suggestions, tips, what to
watch out for, etc., would be so helpful. I'm sort of freaking out
about how this is going to play itself out. I've bought ear plugs just
in case...

CatNipped
June 20th 06, 08:25 PM
"KittiKat" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Hi All,
>
> I need to travel about 1300 miles (there and then back again in 2
> months) with my two cats. At first I booked an airplane ticket, but was
> told cats would have to go into a special pet cargo hold (I could keep
> them in one crate). I booked the ticket with the expectation that I
> would probably *cancel* it. Crate/air travel time for my cats would be
> 8 hrs in total from door to door. Problems - Both cats, indoor only,
> both run when they hear a vacuum for instance and are terrified, the
> noise of a plane (has to touch down in one city for a brief stop) I
> think would send both of them to the moon. The little one is tiny and
> she has some health concerns, and is very high strung at times. Older
> one, also health concerns, one being stress, which causes her skin to
> break out and extreme fur loss. So, crate confinement, car travel to
> airport (35 minutes), noisey airport(have to check in one hour before
> flight leaves), baggage handlers ( have to go on trolley with baggage),
> etc, and plane trip (take off touch down twice, three times), I think
> may do nothing but harm and stress them out to the point of no return.
> To make it worse, where we are going to stay, a dog is part of this
> home, something which the cats are also not used to (but will be ok as
> we will be in another part of house, in basement suite).
>
> I really really wanted to leave them at home, it was my first option,
> but I am going away for the summer -two months or more, and it seemed
> too long - I could not get a sitter to stay daily with them, and they
> are very use to me as I am at home quite a bit with them (the little
> one has special feeding concerns and needs to eat several times a day).
> When I am not at home, one yallows and the other sits by the front of
> the door waiting for me to come home -I figure it would be better for
> them to be where I am for the summer.
>
> For the drive, I am planning on doing about 8 hrs a day with a few
> stops in between - Lots of pet friendly hotels on the way, so not
> concerned about this. My car is very large so the cats will be in two
> large carriers, enough for to stand up in and turn around etc, secure
> on the back seat. I have a litter box on the floor in back seat as
> well. Both cats are not fond of car travel, even for short distances,
> but I am hoping that they will both settle down - both are use to these
> crates and they sleep in them at home once in a while, (door does not
> get shut though). I have AC in the car. I am going to put up two side
> shades on the passenger windows to block some sun.
>
> My friend who is self proclaimed *cat expert* and works with cats for a
> living, states that she feels *flying* would be the preferable way to
> go, to get it over with fast. She feels it will be more stress on them
> to drive for three days....But personally I know my cats, I don't get a
> good vibe about the stress of the trip via airplane. At least in the
> car, I'm there close, they only noise will be the car and then traffic
> noise when I stop for gas....So Any other suggestions, tips, what to
> watch out for, etc., would be so helpful. I'm sort of freaking out
> about how this is going to play itself out. I've bought ear plugs just
> in case...

Have you thought about getting someone to stay in your home for that time?
Taking care of two cats would be an extremely cheap price to pay for free
rent for two months if you can find someone visiting your city during that
time.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

Niel Humphreys
June 20th 06, 08:50 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
> "KittiKat" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
>
> Have you thought about getting someone to stay in your home for that time?
> Taking care of two cats would be an extremely cheap price to pay for free
> rent for two months if you can find someone visiting your city during that
> time.


I agree - or find a friend who would look after them in their home for the
period of time.
--

Niel H

KittiKat
June 20th 06, 09:47 PM
Hi,

I explored this option and could not find any takers :(. Part of the
problem is that I am not too sure on when I would return home - it may
be longer than two months. Believe me it I could have done it this way
I would have, hence the reason I am fretting over having to bring them,
I realize how stressful it is to a cat to be out of it's surroundings.
My one older cat has travelled via air under my seat and adapted very
well to the trip which was about 6 hours in total, I did not hear one
peep out of her the entire trip. But that was about 4 yrs ago and she
is twice the size and unfortunately can't fit under the seat anymore
hence having to go into cargo. Anyhow it looks like they have to come
no choice, so travelling suggestions other than what I'm already
planning on doing would be greatly appreciated.





CatNipped wrote:
> "KittiKat" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I need to travel about 1300 miles (there and then back again in 2
> > months) with my two cats. At first I booked an airplane ticket, but was
> > told cats would have to go into a special pet cargo hold (I could keep
> > them in one crate). I booked the ticket with the expectation that I
> > would probably *cancel* it. Crate/air travel time for my cats would be
> > 8 hrs in total from door to door. Problems - Both cats, indoor only,
> > both run when they hear a vacuum for instance and are terrified, the
> > noise of a plane (has to touch down in one city for a brief stop) I
> > think would send both of them to the moon. The little one is tiny and
> > she has some health concerns, and is very high strung at times. Older
> > one, also health concerns, one being stress, which causes her skin to
> > break out and extreme fur loss. So, crate confinement, car travel to
> > airport (35 minutes), noisey airport(have to check in one hour before
> > flight leaves), baggage handlers ( have to go on trolley with baggage),
> > etc, and plane trip (take off touch down twice, three times), I think
> > may do nothing but harm and stress them out to the point of no return.
> > To make it worse, where we are going to stay, a dog is part of this
> > home, something which the cats are also not used to (but will be ok as
> > we will be in another part of house, in basement suite).
> >
> > I really really wanted to leave them at home, it was my first option,
> > but I am going away for the summer -two months or more, and it seemed
> > too long - I could not get a sitter to stay daily with them, and they
> > are very use to me as I am at home quite a bit with them (the little
> > one has special feeding concerns and needs to eat several times a day).
> > When I am not at home, one yallows and the other sits by the front of
> > the door waiting for me to come home -I figure it would be better for
> > them to be where I am for the summer.
> >
> > For the drive, I am planning on doing about 8 hrs a day with a few
> > stops in between - Lots of pet friendly hotels on the way, so not
> > concerned about this. My car is very large so the cats will be in two
> > large carriers, enough for to stand up in and turn around etc, secure
> > on the back seat. I have a litter box on the floor in back seat as
> > well. Both cats are not fond of car travel, even for short distances,
> > but I am hoping that they will both settle down - both are use to these
> > crates and they sleep in them at home once in a while, (door does not
> > get shut though). I have AC in the car. I am going to put up two side
> > shades on the passenger windows to block some sun.
> >
> > My friend who is self proclaimed *cat expert* and works with cats for a
> > living, states that she feels *flying* would be the preferable way to
> > go, to get it over with fast. She feels it will be more stress on them
> > to drive for three days....But personally I know my cats, I don't get a
> > good vibe about the stress of the trip via airplane. At least in the
> > car, I'm there close, they only noise will be the car and then traffic
> > noise when I stop for gas....So Any other suggestions, tips, what to
> > watch out for, etc., would be so helpful. I'm sort of freaking out
> > about how this is going to play itself out. I've bought ear plugs just
> > in case...
>
> Have you thought about getting someone to stay in your home for that time?
> Taking care of two cats would be an extremely cheap price to pay for free
> rent for two months if you can find someone visiting your city during that
> time.
>
> --
>
> Hugs,
>
> CatNipped
>
> See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

Gail Futoran
June 20th 06, 10:45 PM
"KittiKat" > wrote in message
oups.com...
[big snip]
> For the drive, I am planning on doing about 8 hrs a day with a few
> stops in between - Lots of pet friendly hotels on the way, so not
> concerned about this. My car is very large so the cats will be in two
> large carriers, enough for to stand up in and turn around etc, secure
> on the back seat. I have a litter box on the floor in back seat as
> well. Both cats are not fond of car travel, even for short distances,
> but I am hoping that they will both settle down - both are use to these
> crates and they sleep in them at home once in a while, (door does not
> get shut though). I have AC in the car. I am going to put up two side
> shades on the passenger windows to block some sun.

You could also toss lightweight towels over the
carriers to block the sun.

> My friend who is self proclaimed *cat expert* and works with cats for a
> living, states that she feels *flying* would be the preferable way to
> go, to get it over with fast. She feels it will be more stress on them
> to drive for three days....But personally I know my cats, I don't get a
> good vibe about the stress of the trip via airplane. At least in the
> car, I'm there close, they only noise will be the car and then traffic
> noise when I stop for gas....So Any other suggestions, tips, what to
> watch out for, etc., would be so helpful. I'm sort of freaking out
> about how this is going to play itself out. I've bought ear plugs just
> in case...

I've done it both ways. In the case of your
cats - both with health problems - I think I would
choose your way. I've traveled with two cats
in a large cage with the litter box inside. One
spent most of the several day trip inside the
litter box. One cried almost incessantly; the
other cried occasionally (in protest of the other
cat, I believed). Both did just fine at the other
end. Those cats, and more recent ones, were
not fond of any length of car travel.

I don't think there are any perfect choices, but
as you said you know your own cats, and
this sounds like the best choice for all.

As others have mentioned about hotel stays, if
you have to leave the cats in the hotel, shut them
inside the bathroom and leave a huge note for
cleaning staff.

Good luck!

Gail C.
Head Butler for Lao Ma, Ephiny, Minya, Melosa

Annie Wxill
June 20th 06, 11:58 PM
"KittiKat" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Hi All,
>
> I need to travel about 1300 miles (there and then back again in 2
> months) with my two cats. ......

Hi KittiKat,
Given the special needs, such as diet, of your cats, I think the car trip
will be long, but probably easier on your cats than going by air. We moved
from Washington State to Texas with three cats, and I was amazed at what
good sports they can be. They got into the rhythm of the trip and learned
the signs that we were preparing to leave each day. Moxie, who was the
youngest, would go into Josh's crate and use his litter box as we repacked
out suitcases, etc.

Now, we are living and traveling on a boat with two other cats. I was
worried how they would do, but they are doing fine. In fact, we have
noticed that they have developed a lot of self confidence because of all the
new experiences. Cinder used to disappear when anyone came to visit at our
house, but now she stays out in the middle of whatever is going on. Right
now, she is sitting at a window looking out at a couple of boys on the dock.
Rosie, a former feral, does not seek attention like Cinder does, but she no
longer hides when someone comes inside.

If you decide to travel by car, I suggest that you bring a whisk broom or
small hand-held vacuum along to sweep up tracked litter and lots of plastic
Ziploc type baggies for litter scooping. I'm sure the motel people will
appreciate it. Also, pack lots of drinks and snacks for yourself so that
you will not have to stop except for fuel and quick bathroom stops. It can
rapidly get very hot and dangerous in a car when it is closed up. If you
can get someone to travel with you, that would help.

Good luck with your trip.

Annie, crew for Cinder and Rosie

-L.
June 21st 06, 07:47 AM
KittiKat wrote:
>
> For the drive, I am planning on doing about 8 hrs a day with a few
> stops in between -

One stop every 4 hours is sufficient.

> Lots of pet friendly hotels on the way, so not
> concerned about this.

My favorite is Residence Inn. Be sure to treat your cats with
Advantage, before you leave, though, for flea protection. My Peewee
got ringworm from a hotel (you can't prevent it - if they get it, they
get it).

>My car is very large so the cats will be in two
> large carriers, enough for to stand up in and turn around etc, secure
> on the back seat. I have a litter box on the floor in back seat as
> well. Both cats are not fond of car travel, even for short distances,
> but I am hoping that they will both settle down - both are use to these
> crates and they sleep in them at home once in a while, (door does not
> get shut though). I have AC in the car. I am going to put up two side
> shades on the passenger windows to block some sun.
>
> My friend who is self proclaimed *cat expert* and works with cats for a
> living, states that she feels *flying* would be the preferable way to
> go, to get it over with fast.

Absolutley not.

> She feels it will be more stress on them
> to drive for three days....But personally I know my cats, I don't get a
> good vibe about the stress of the trip via airplane. At least in the
> car, I'm there close, they only noise will be the car and then traffic
> noise when I stop for gas....So Any other suggestions, tips, what to
> watch out for, etc., would be so helpful. I'm sort of freaking out
> about how this is going to play itself out. I've bought ear plugs just
> in case...

Talk to your vet about tranquilizers incase you need them. I moved my
cats from Indianapolis to North Carolina by car (in two days) and then
from NC to San Jose, CA in 4 days (14 hrs on the road each day). After
awhile the cats settle down and just sleep. When you stop (for us it
was a 30-45 min stop every 4 hours) offer a litter box and food and
water. I did not keep food and water down as I felt it was most likely
going to spill and was afraid if the cats ate continuously while en
route, they'd barf. As it was, they only ate in the hotels but did pee
in the boxes during stops. I put leashes on them during stops in case
they got free.

Good luck - it really is NOT a big deal.

-L.