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Driving Cross Country



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 5th 05, 01:32 PM
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Default Driving Cross Country

I will be moving to Oregon next week from Iowa, and I'm bringing my 2
cats with me. I am planning to drive as much as I can before stopping
for the night (12-14 hours). I'm worried about how the cats will fare
for such a long trip. One of my cats hates the car, and I do have a
sedative from the vet, but I'd like to avoid using it if possible. I'm
mostly concerned about how the cats will eat, drink, and use the litter
box. I will be driving alone so I must keep them confined to a carrier
(large enough for both cats), and they won't have access to a litter
box. I will stop every few hours and let them use one if they are
willing - is this reasonable?. Has anyone had experience driving
long-distance with cats? Any tips?

Thanks!
Liz

  #2  
Old January 5th 05, 02:44 PM
Gail Futoran
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wrote in message
oups.com...
I will be moving to Oregon next week from Iowa, and I'm bringing my 2
cats with me. I am planning to drive as much as I can before stopping
for the night (12-14 hours). I'm worried about how the cats will fare
for such a long trip. [snip]


I've taken cats on long drives (moving) and had no problems
other than they tend to cry a lot. Mine would eat a little but
not as much as usual and hence didn't need the litter as
often. I'm not sure stopping frequently is the best idea
since it might tend to suggest to them that you've arrived
at your destination.

Maybe take some extra towels along in the car and if
either cat has an accident in their carrier, you can replace
the towel with a clean one. When you stop (for food &
restroom), should be sufficient to let them have access
to the litter box, as well as some food & water.

Good luck!

Gail


  #3  
Old January 5th 05, 03:28 PM
Charlotte Dunne
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Hi, I just moved from New Hampshire to Iowa (1200 miles) with my 2 cats,
and I must say it went REALLY smoothly! Prior to that I had one cat
that rode well in the car, and another that howled and got himself
worked up to the point of vomiting (great, huh?).

Prior to the trip I took them on a few short drives, 15 minutes or so
and then home. Beck still got himself all worked up so I just gave up
on that idea. Packing was the hardest, they were trying to help with
every box, and I really had to watch them with the door being open so
much going in and out. Cats were packed last, their cat carriers
stacked on front seat along with cooler and such. I got a cheap
rubbermaid storage container with a lid and used that as a temporary
litter box, food, water, and bowls were in a bag next to them on the
seat. Every 2-3 hours I pulled over, offered them a tablespoon of dry
food then water, then litterbox. Except for one howling session going
through PA, they just rode along fine. By the end of the trip Id let
them out and they clambered over the luggage and went to sleep (Both
cats are on the large side and were pretty cramped in their cages and
previously always rode loose to the vets and such).

The worst part of teh whole trip was at the motel. I brought everything
I needed in, locked door, checked room from top to bottom, let cats out.
5 minutes later Bobby had found a crack in the bed frame and was stuck
under a king size bed. I never knew I had the strength to lift a
kingsize bed up with one hand while fending off the other cat and
dragging him out. After that, they spent the night locked in the
bathroom with a blanket in the bathtub as their bed.

Otherwise they handled it great, I had to stay at a friends for a week
while I worked out new place, and cats seemed happy and carefree at all
times. They stayed at 4 places in a week and a half and never really
seemed stressed except for that one spot in pennsylvania where they both
howled nonstop for a half hour.

There was a $10 pet deposit at the hotel, but I asked the clerk if they
had any offers going, and ended up getting a $10 discount, so it all
evened out.

Good luck with your move! With the current ice & snow, moving out of
Iowa sounds grand ;-)
Char

wrote:
I will be moving to Oregon next week from Iowa, and I'm bringing my 2
cats with me. I am planning to drive as much as I can before stopping
for the night (12-14 hours). I'm worried about how the cats will fare
for such a long trip. One of my cats hates the car, and I do have a
sedative from the vet, but I'd like to avoid using it if possible. I'm
mostly concerned about how the cats will eat, drink, and use the litter
box. I will be driving alone so I must keep them confined to a carrier
(large enough for both cats), and they won't have access to a litter
box. I will stop every few hours and let them use one if they are
willing - is this reasonable?. Has anyone had experience driving
long-distance with cats? Any tips?

Thanks!
Liz

  #4  
Old January 5th 05, 05:41 PM
[email protected]
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Default

Thanks for the responses. It's reassuring to know other people have
done this before without serious trouble! I'll bring along some extra
towels and hope for the best.

And, yes, I'm very glad to be leaving Iowa. I only hope I can dig out
of the snow in time to move!

Liz

  #6  
Old January 5th 05, 05:59 PM
Mary
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wrote in message
ups.com...
Thanks for the responses. It's reassuring to know other people have
done this before without serious trouble! I'll bring along some extra
towels and hope for the best.

And, yes, I'm very glad to be leaving Iowa. I only hope I can dig out
of the snow in time to move!

Liz


Liz: I did it too. My 2-year-old cat was very unhappy and yelled the whole
way--
(Dallas, Texas to Richmond, VA) but was absolutely fine just as soon
as she got out of the truck. I split the 20+ hours into two and stayed at
a hotel. I had not thought ahead and found a pet-friendly hotel but I
just snuck her in. She did not eat or eliminate the entire way, but was
just fine when we got to VA. She did drink a bit. Best of luck. (I had her
in a hard-sided carrier, and I had a cat box full and ready in the back
of the truck in case she needed it, and I had a harness on her, too.)


  #7  
Old January 5th 05, 06:14 PM
MaryL
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wrote in message
oups.com...
I will be moving to Oregon next week from Iowa, and I'm bringing my 2
cats with me. I am planning to drive as much as I can before stopping
for the night (12-14 hours). I'm worried about how the cats will fare
for such a long trip. One of my cats hates the car, and I do have a
sedative from the vet, but I'd like to avoid using it if possible. I'm
mostly concerned about how the cats will eat, drink, and use the litter
box. I will be driving alone so I must keep them confined to a carrier
(large enough for both cats), and they won't have access to a litter
box. I will stop every few hours and let them use one if they are
willing - is this reasonable?. Has anyone had experience driving
long-distance with cats? Any tips?

Thanks!
Liz


I have made numerous long trips with cats, and I have not had any problems.
None of my cats even wanted to eat or drink or use the litter box while we
were in the car, but they headed directly for food or the litter box as soon
as we settled in for the night. I would suggest -- both for your sake and
the cats' -- that you reduce the length of time you plan to spend on the
road each day. A 12-14 hour day is much too long; it would be preferable to
add an additional day of traveling, even though that means one more night in
a motel (and shifting everything from car to motel and back again). Do be
sure to *check in advance* for motels where you can take your cats inside;
offer to pay a security deposit, if necessary. I always kept a small litter
box behind the driver's seat for "emergencies," but it was never used. In
your case, I suggest that you simply keep the carrier closed at all times
when the cats are in the car. There are now some disposable litter boxes
available (complete with a small supply of litter). That could probably be
placed into the carrier once or twice during the day if you are concerned,
but you will probably find that it will not be used.

You already know that one cat hates the car. Therefore, I suggest that you
get a spray can of Feliway and spray some in the carrier about 30 minutes
before you place the cats in it in the morning. (Do *not* spray it while
the cats are actually in the carrier!) A sedative really should not be
necessary, and I would avoid it if at all possible. Your cats may cry for
30-45 minutes, but then will probably be quiet for most of the day. Be
*extremely* careful when opening the door in a motel room. Cats can become
frightened in unfamiliar surroundsing, and one could panic and run out an
open door faster than I can describe it.

Good luck with your move. I actually enjoyed traveling with my cats -- the
companionship was really pleasant.

MaryL


  #8  
Old January 5th 05, 06:37 PM
Charlotte Dunne
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I forgot to say, I also had harnesses on the cats at all times, and when
I stopped for snacks/litterbox, I attached a lead to each of them incase
they tried to take off. They never did, but I figured a loose cat with
lead and harnes would attract more attention than a loose, possible
stray. Harnesses and leads were in dayglo colors for easy visibility.

Of course they both had tags on with my cell number and my sisters home
number just in case.

Also I found driving with the car a little chilly encouraged them to
curl up and go to sleep, even moderate heat got the fat cat panting and
then he'd work himself up from there.

Powers on and off here, I wouldn't even step outside if I didn't have
horses/sheep/goat to feed. I've got drifts thigh high and a sheet of
ice under it, good luck getting out!

Charlotte

wrote:
Thanks for the responses. It's reassuring to know other people have
done this before without serious trouble! I'll bring along some extra
towels and hope for the best.

And, yes, I'm very glad to be leaving Iowa. I only hope I can dig out
of the snow in time to move!

Liz

  #9  
Old January 5th 05, 06:40 PM
Charlotte Dunne
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Default

I second the feliway, forgot that I doused carriers, blankets, and front
seat they were on both mornings before leaving. I dont know if it
helped, but it was the only car trip where fat cat relaxed and slept
without his normal howling.

Charlotte

MaryL wrote:


You already know that one cat hates the car. Therefore, I suggest that you
get a spray can of Feliway and spray some in the carrier about 30 minutes
before you place the cats in it in the morning. (Do *not* spray it while
the cats are actually in the carrier!)

 




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