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Tips for a long drive with cat?
Next weekend Fluffy and I are going to be driving from Portland, OR to
San Francisco. I'm guessing he's not going to be pleased about this as
he cries and cries every time I drive him to the vet.
I'd appreciate any tips or tricks you can share about making this as
easy as possible for both of us.
I have done this several times.
I remove the food and water access the night before the trip. If the
trip is longer than 7 - 8 hours you might want to consider stopping for
a water and food break.
In the morning before placing in the carrier, I encourage use of the
litter box. If they don't, that's fine. I just don't want them in the
carrier without having had the opportunity to use the litter box first.
The carrier used is big enough for the cat to stand up in and turn
around and if they do make a mess inside they don't have to sit in it.
I also try to make the carrier as level as possible inside the vehicle.
If you have a vehicle with enough floor space to put the carrier on this
won't be an issue; however, a carrier inside a car on the seat is not level.
Depending on the cat, you might want to try a blanket over the carrier
to block out the movement going on and encourage quiet time... but if
your cat wants to see you and is reassured by that then this won't work.
Chose a route to your destination that is the straightest smoothest road
you can find. I have found with my cat that twisty roads causes her to
be sick. Don't make any unnecessary stops. Obviously for safety reasons
you should be stopping once in a while to get out from behind the wheel
to stretch and give yourself a break.
Once we arrive, the cat is the first priority. The cat is released from
the carrier asap and are shown where the food, water and litter box is.
There was a time when I was doing a regular 8 hour trip almost every
weekend with 2 cats. One was an excellent traveller, but was disoriented
for a couple of days at the destination despite having been there
before. The other wasn't such a good traveller usually getting sick
(throwing up) along the way, but adapted like a fish to water at the
destination. It was then that I discovered my twisty route that shaved
50 miles off the trip was causing the sickness when I tried the better
but longer route one weekend.
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