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Travel tales

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Alright, with all the recent posts on here about how to travel with kitties, I was wanting to hear stories of everyone's travels over the holidays! Please share what worked, what didn't worked, etc!
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
I will start, we took our 2 cats each in their own carrier on our holiday trip with included 3 long drives....

Drive 1: 2.5 hours, IN to Chicago: Escher was good as usual, a little meowing for the first 20 min. then he went to sleep. Phoebe, as we predicted, was not as good, whining/yowling for the majority of the drive, she did finally fall asleep for a little while, but then I almost got side-swiped by a semi so I had to swerve and that woke her up, and scared her so much she had diarrhea in her carrier. YUCK!

While at FI's family's house, with 3 other cats, a dog, and 10 new people, our cats ran and hid in the basement, only emerging to eat, poop, and of course hiss and growl at anything and everything that moved (including eachother). But Phoebe did find her way out of the basement at night to crawl into bed with either me or FI and purr.

Drive 2: 4.5 hours, Chicago to St. Louis: Escher was good again. Phoebe continued her crying and after 2 hours, FI took her out of her carrier to hold her, which resulted in fewer, but louder cries. Plus, when she was out, Escher started to meow b/c he couldn't see her anymore. When FI tried to put her back in her carrier, she jumped and hid under the seat, we had to pull over to get her out from under the seat and back into her carrier, then they both whined for most of the drive.

In St. Louis, with no young children, but one allergic relative and two dogs that have been known to hunt and kill rabbits, birds, and squirrels, the cats were given their own room in the basement, with the dogs oblivious to their existence. They were much happier and enjoyed the quiet.

Drive 3: 5 hours, St. Louis to IN

Drive home, Escher slept the whole way. Phoebe was even louder, trying to convince FI to hold her again, but we weren't going to go through that again, so we dealt with it, until she fell asleep for about 45 minutes starting 3 hours into the trip.

What didn't work: holding Phoebe, covering the carriers with a blanket to help them sleep, putting on soothing music, being quiet. We're stumped, but it might just be that Phoebe isn't and never will be a good traveller.
post #3 of 5
I am sure your post will help others that plan on travelling with their kitties
post #4 of 5
Mocha is a pretty well travelled kitty, and though she complains once in a while I don't think she minds. For the holidays I decided to go easy on her and have her stay with my girlfriend's parents the entire time, who live fairly close (70 miles or so) to my own family. That served the purpose of a) allowing her to settle into one familiar place and take it easy rather than doing the back-and-forth thing, and b) not subjecting her to my parents psychotic spaniel beast.

The carrier is always out so she never has much warning that she's about to go for a ride. Trying to coax her in with treats or toys doesn't work...just have to pick her up and put her through the door before she has time to protest. She resisted just a little bit but it was smooth sailing as soon as the door was closed. Once in the car she just chilled out and took a nap as usual, occasionally waking up and letting out a little "Are we there yet?!?" mew.

I think she had a pretty good week, as she always behaves better there than she does at my apartment. There was plenty to do with three cat-friendly dogs and two (sometimes three) other cats to stalk. Not to mention something like 4x the space in which to roam with plenty of good hiding spots.

The trip back was just as uneventful...a litte protesting on the way into the carrier and then good behavior and not much stress until we got back. My kitty may be a little nuts but at least she travels well! I will consider myself fortunate until she changes her mind.
post #5 of 5
Well, since I was one with all the questions about traveling with kitties, I guess I should let y'all know that Snickerdoodle and I moved to D.C. with really no problems!

The journey started out with a 9 hour drive from St. Louis to Alabama. I was expecting a lot of crying because she had always hated even just a 30 minute drive to the vet. BUT I tried something new and put her carrier in the middle seat up front with me rather than in the back seat (I know, I know - the baby is supposed to stay in the back seat ). She only meowed for about the first 15 minutes and then just quieted down and enjoyed the ride.

The next part of the move was a three-hour drive from Alabama to Atlanta. This was not a good time. We left at 5:30 a.m. in the dark and pouring down rain. Snickerdoodle was not a happy camper. But once the rain cleared up and the sun came up, she calmed down. So I guess the dark plus the noisy rain frightened her. What a scaredy cat!

Then came the part I was worried about - the airplane trip to D.C. But it went as smoothly as could be! I had bought Snickerdoodle the Samsonite softside carrier. I was worried because Delta had said that the height limit under the seat was 9.5 inches and my carrier was 11 inches. But it fit just fine. She made a peep every now and then but just slept most of the time. And when we got to the D.C. airport, there wasn't anyone that checks for health certificates or anything like that, so I was glad for the advice from the forums that I really didn't need to pay for another checkup prior to flying.

When we got to the new apartment, the first thing Snickerdoodle did was find her litterbox and use it. I was amazed what a good kitty she was for holding it! She has now adjusted to the new apartment. (When we first got here, she plopped down under the bed whereas now she plops down on top of the bed). So all in all, it was a successful transfer of the kitty from St. Louis to D.C. Thanks for all the great advice everyone!
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