View Full Version : Moving across the country with cats
June 28th 06, 04:09 PM
I need some advice here. I have 3 cats. One is 16, one is 11 and I
think the other about 9-10. I am thinking about moving from Atlanta,
to Salt Lake City. Anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to
move them? I don't want to kill the 16 year with the trip by driving
her across the country for 4 days, nor do I think I could stand all the
stress and racket they'd make. Thought about flying them, but isn't
Anyone have any brilliant ideas for me? There is NO WAY I'm leaving
them behind. :)
June 29th 06, 09:27 PM
We drove New York to Florida and back with a couple of cats years ago.
Snuck them into every restaurant in travel cases that looked like regular
bags. The first day on the road they wailed a little but they liked the
motel with a bed like at home. After that they were great in the car and
Of course I don't look busy,
I did it right the first time.
June 29th 06, 10:54 PM
> I need some advice here.
Is just my inexperienced opinion here
I think you under estimate a cats adaptability
when I think about cats living in alleys
eating nothing but rubbish, and crumbs
no place to feel safe, nowhere to call home
nobody to love
I can't help but feel your cats will be more than fine
I think they produce what we expect of them, like children, like a
they feed from our strength, or determination
if they see you on a mission to move, then they too are on a mission,
they will come up with whatever they need
they can deal with whatever they got to deal with because they are cats
that's what they do
that's why there are sooo many of them
they are not fragile by nature, they are hearty beefy, they make really
my cats cook every night, i just give'em the kitchen. Tonight! they are
fixing daddy, pan seared mahi with a lite wine butter garlic cream
sauce and capers! I can't wait, it smells divine!
> Google the topic in this newsgroup. Many people, including myself,
> have moved long distances by car with their cats. It's the safest way
> to do it.
We did it by car twice. Washington to Iowa, and back again 4 years
later. With dogs and cats. We set up a large dog kennel in the back of
the van for the cats. We put a kitter litter in there with food and
water. The water was mostly ice, so as it melted, they had water,
without it sloshing around.
I'm sure they didn't enjoy the trip, but they settled down, and they
had each other for company and could hear and see us.
> I need some advice here. I have 3 cats. One is 16, one is 11 and I
> think the other about 9-10. I am thinking about moving from Atlanta,
> to Salt Lake City. Anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to
> move them? I don't want to kill the 16 year with the trip by driving
> her across the country for 4 days, nor do I think I could stand all the
> stress and racket they'd make. Thought about flying them, but isn't
> that costly?
> Anyone have any brilliant ideas for me? There is NO WAY I'm leaving
> them behind. :)
I have never tried a lengthy move with my cats but a good friend did a
couple of years ago and it went very smoothly.
She was moving at least 2000 miles and went by car. She got her adult
daughter to go with her as relief driver. She absolutely dreaded the
trip because she expected Mario, her Maine coon, to be an absolute
terror along the way.
They made the trip in three or four days and things went much more
smoothly than she expected. They were travelling in early spring and
there was a stretch of a few hours the first day where they were
travelling through a rain storm and the big trucks were splashing up
lots of water on the car. Mario did NOT enjoy that and made them quite
uneasy. But he calmed down after the rain stopped and was apparently
very easy to get along with for the rest of the trip.
Of course accomodations are an issue when you have to stop every night
but she didn't have much trouble with that. I'm not sure how she
smuggled Mario in or if the motels were okay with pets under the
circumstances. At about that time, I found out that there are various
motels that actually advertise that they will accept travellers with
pets. I found a website listing them. There weren't a lot of places
that advertised taking pets but there were some in almost any place you
can imagine. I don't recall the URL offhand but you might find it via
One other thing. I would _strongly_ encourage you to make sure the cats
are enclosed in some kind of carrier, or behind a "fence" of some kind,
while travelling. I have twice been in cars where the cat got loose,
once when my father was driving and once when I was driving. The cats
in question immediately made a dash for the driver's pedals (gas,
brake, clutch) and tried to hide behind them. Perhaps they were the
darkest place in the car and seemed safer somehow. Anyway, you do NOT
want a loose cat behind your pedals when you are driving, you really
don't! This is very distracting to the driver - and probably
frightening for the cat as well - and could easily cause a serious
accident. Either put the cats in a carrier (or one carrier each if they
don't get along) or fence them off somehow. For instance, I sometimes
see people with station wagons or SUVs put some kind of floor to
ceiling mesh between the front of the vehicle and the back. The cats
then go behind the mesh and can't get into your pedals.
I don't know much about sending cats by air, except for one small
experience. I was flying home from somewhere and was standing in line
for the ticket counter when I heard a meow. I realized that another guy
in the line had a cat carrier with a cat in it. The poor cat didn't
seem awfully happy to be in the airport but who can blame him! I expect
that air travel would be pretty stressful for the cat, perhaps more so
than car travel. Then again, a few hours of greater stress for the cat
versus days of stress for you as you drive could balance out....
One other thing. One of my two cats has a queasy tummy. In fact, he
gets car sick fairly regularly. Our trips our pretty short - one hour -
but Bebop will get queasy enough to barf on maybe a third of the trips.
It can be pretty unpleasant for him; he occasionally yowls almost
non-stop. But other times, he gets by pretty well and doesn't yowl or
barf. I have yet to find a solid pattern. I try to make the trips when
his stomach is empty and that seems to be better than travelling
shortly after he's eaten. But he has barfed on a nearly empty stomach
in some cases and also been just fine when travelling just after a meal
in some cases so there's no guarantee that we will ever complete a
given trip without barfing. If any of your cats have similar
queasiness, you may want to think twice about a long car trip. Then
again, he can only barf once (I think!) per driving session and he
seems a lot happier after he's barfed so maybe the barfing isn't such a
big problem. (Bebop always barfs within the carrier and only once got
any on the other cat and never on himself so cleanup isn't that
difficult in his case.)
By the way, I've spoken to the vet about this and he said I could give
the cat something to settle his stomach before leaving, such as a
quarter Gravol tablet, but he says its entirely possible that the cat
will throw it up! It's not guaranteed to work.
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