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Moving Long Distance-How To Bring Cats

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
My boyfriend and I are planning a move from Seattle to Phoenix in a couple months, and I'm wondering the best way to transport my cats safely and effectively. We're going to be renting a big uhaul truck and I dont know if I should put them in little kennels, but then there's the problem of how often to bring them out to eat, play, and pee! I can't just let them in the front seat with us and I will not let them roam around with all the stuff in the back! I also was thinking about the pet relocation services but they are SO EXPENSIVE, like as much as it costs to move all of my stuff, and I simply can't afford it. Does anyone know of a good way to bring your cats on a big move?? Help!
post #2 of 33
Well I haven't moved across the country but I have taken my cat on a very long drive across Texas. She was in the back seat, in her crate. After about 45 minutes in the car, she got sick and threw up, and looking back now I wish I had gotten something from the vet to make her sleepy. After she threw up, I cleaned it all up and then we kept driving, and she fell asleep. That was her last long car trip! I think it also helped to cover the crate, that seemed to calm her down.

One thing I wanted to suggest about having a travel litterbox. I bought one of those rubbermaid totes with the lid, the kind that is only about 5 inches deep and will slid under the bed. I filled that with litter, and when we stopped for a break I'd place the cat in the litter, and she'd go. Then you can just put the lid back on and the litter won't stink up the car and spill everywhere.

Hope someone else can give you more info on the cross country moving. Good Luck!
post #3 of 33
If you are driving and not flying, please put the cats in the car you are driving. You don't want them among the household furniture. When you stop for breaks/lunch, then let them out of the carriers in the car (locked up) and put the litter pan out for them to use. You might also offer a LITTLE food/water when stopping to eat. Otherwise don't feed them if not stopping for more then 5/10 mins (re - your meals - feed them too).

Are you planning on overnite stays at a hotel? If so, then I'd just wait till I got to the hotel/motel and let everyone out in the room, etc.

BTW don't sedate the cats when moving.
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post

BTW don't sedate the cats when moving.
I agree ! I flew my cats, which I know is different, my vet said sedation is not needed and in some cases harmful - cats will soon settle as they go into a sort of 'shut-down' mode and will just 'ride' it out as it were
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
If you are driving and not flying, please put the cats in the car you are driving. You don't want them among the household furniture. When you stop for breaks/lunch, then let them out of the carriers in the car (locked up) and put the litter pan out for them to use. You might also offer a LITTLE food/water when stopping to eat. Otherwise don't feed them if not stopping for more then 5/10 mins (re - your meals - feed them too).

Are you planning on overnite stays at a hotel? If so, then I'd just wait till I got to the hotel/motel and let everyone out in the room, etc.

BTW don't sedate the cats when moving.
I agree with the above. We've often taken our kitties in the car. I have a dish of water out for them and a litter pan. I have the carrier door open and a comfy towel in the bottom of the carrier with a towel draped over the top for privacy and they both like to curl up in there while we are driving. We have their harnesses on as well and the leashes handy for when we stop. No windows or doors are opened until the leashes are put on the kitties.
post #6 of 33
My husband was in the military and we moved from Colorado to Georgia then a few years later from Georgia to New York. I have a 15 pounder and a 7lb. We purchased a dog crate and put both in with a regular litter box the first time and put it in the back of our suv. That was a little tight for both. On the next move, we put the 15lb cat in the dog crate with a small disposable cat box, the cardboard kind. And the smaller cat in a large cat carrier with a small litter box. They would not eat or drink while we drove so we did not put any water or food in since they would end up spilling it. They would use the litter box while driving. When we would stop, we would put some water in and they would drink a bit. My 15lb is scitso (sp?) so we could not let him out while we were travelling. We were lucky to get him back in the crate at the hotels. But we made it... Hope this helps.
post #7 of 33
It may not work for everyone, but when I take the boys home, I now harness them and then leash them to the seatbelts in the back. They have a sleeping bag thrown over the leather seats so its comfy for them (and safe for the leather too ), can move around a bit, and sit with each other. They tend to travel pretty quietly like this as well. Ideally, I'd also have their bigger cat carrier strapped in too, so that they can get it in, and also because I feel safer with them being in that in case of an accident. I do think they prefer being "free" so to speak, leashed instead of cooped up in their carriers, though they do usually fall asleep pretty quick, once the obligatory whining is done.

With this setup, a litter box can go on the floor for a longer trip, though so far I haven't needed one.
post #8 of 33
Not sure if you have made your move yet, but I thought I'd post here anyways.

I'm the owner/operator of Cheaper Moves @ www.cheapermoves.com

I can get you a better price on the UHaul truck for your move, this may offset the cost of a pet relocation service, or may just give you some extra spedning money on your trip. I can also make hotel reservations for you and find hotels along the way that allow pets.

Let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to contact me through my website's contact page or 'moving equipment' page also.

take care.
Dustin
post #9 of 33
We are planning on moving from TN to FL soon (when? as soon as we can sell the house and find dh a job! lol) and was wondering the best way to transport the cat and kitten. I have driven them around before (I was taking them to the humane society, but they were closed) and didn't have a carrier, but they just curled up on the seats and basically acted like they were sleeping! So, do we NEED to get them a carrier (it would be HUGE in our tiny van) or can they just roam? We will be carrying a cage with 2 parakeets also, so floor space will be at a premium (even with one of the captains chairs out). We figure it will be a 12 hr trip- and we will make it in one shot.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennywren93 View Post
So, do we NEED to get them a carrier (it would be HUGE in our tiny van)
YES. We've moved across country twice. Even if it's a smaller carrier from Wal-Mart, you NEED a carrier. If you get in an accident or someone accidentally opens a car/truck window--you could loose your cat! That's a scary thought for me.

I also had tags made that said "I'm Moving" with our cell numbers. The guys traveled in harnesses and leashes, inside of their carriers. They either travelled with us in the truck cab or in our car. We let them out to use the litter pan every time we stopped at a rest stop.

Something we learned along the way: line the bottom of the carrier with puppy pee pads. Last time we traveled with the cats, 2 had accidents and it was a mess to clean up. Next time we're using puppy pads.
post #11 of 33
For the cat's safety they should be confined in a carrier. Here's a true story about loose cats in the car - make up your mind if its worth allowing them to travel loose in the car:

Friend was taking her cat to the vet's office (one was driving; one holding the cat in their lap (loose).)

Sitting at a red light a fire truck comes thru the light, lights flashing/siren blaring.

The cat heard/saw this - panic set in; cat leaps from the owner's lap and right into the front windshield of the car. Hit the windshield so hard it caused brain damage. They rush into the vet's office but it was too late - nothing they could do and the cat died of head injuries.

Had the cat been in a carrier in the back seat or on the floor in the carrier none of this would have happen.

Now you decide if its worth the risk of letting them roam in the car loose.

Whenever we travel, the cats are in the carrier - crying or no crying - they stay there till we get to the destination!
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
For the cat's safety they should be confined in a carrier. Here's a true story about loose cats in the car - make up your mind if its worth allowing them to travel loose in the car:

Friend was taking her cat to the vet's office (one was driving; one holding the cat in their lap (loose).)


Had the cat been in a carrier in the back seat or on the floor in the carrier none of this would have happen.

Now you decide if its worth the risk of letting them roam in the car loose.

Whenever we travel, the cats are in the carrier - crying or no crying - they stay there till we get to the destination!
Thank you for the true story. When the kids ask me how the cats are going to come with us, I have always said "I will get them a cat carrier", because I get so angry to see dogs on peoples laps while driving (dangerous because how well could you swerve if need be?) and also get angry when I see little kids bouncing around the back seat. I have actually seen one person with a, eh, 2 yr old in her lap in the front seat (both in the passenger side AND drivers side!) and I get so mad I want to pull them over and yell at them! I have seen harnesses/leashes for you to clip your dogs to the seatbelts and don't know if there is something similar for cats? and if so, do I need to start training them to wear collars/harnesses so they won't fuss so much?

When I was a kid and we moved from IL to MI, then MI to TN we had Golden Retreivers and a car, so they always laid in the floorboards when we were riding. It wasn't a big deal. I guess I just worry about them being penned up for 12 hrs, kwim?
post #13 of 33
I moved from Houston to Virginia with my three cats and it was an ordeal, but we all made it. I did the trip in 3 days and stopped at hotels that allowed cats (found them through AAA). I had them in their carriers at first, but after I couldn't stand the meowing anymore, I opened the doors. After some initial investigating, one of them stayed under my seat and the other two stayed in their boxes with the doors closed. I had a little box on the floor behind the passenger seat although none of them used it while I was driving. Whenever I would get out of the car I'd make sure they were in their carriers with the doors closed first. It would probably be better to have them in their carriers with the doors closed but the constant meowing was driving me crazy. Fortunately, they basically didn't mind being in the carriers, they just didn't want the doors closed. Now that one of my cats is harness trained, I think I would have her harness on her and keep the other one in the carrier.
post #14 of 33
Ugh I'm kind of dreading our move. We're moving in 5 months from Connecticut to Georgia. We just have Libby, but that drive is going to be a long one. I think I might do the dog crate idea. I can clear out the back of our SUV so that we can have the dog crate there.
post #15 of 33
I hope you don't mind me doing some thread hijacking, but I'm going to be moving from Toronto the New York City in about a month, and have been wondering about this as well. We'll have a U-Haul (with a combined cab and packing area), so the cats will be in the same vehicle as us the entire time.

We've got a hard case carrier for each cat, but my concern is that this isn't enough room. The carriers are big enough for them to turn around in, but they can't stand up or even stretch out.

The drive will take 9 to 10 hours total, with stops along the way for stretching, litter use, etc.

Should we invest in a dog crate or something so that they can be together and have a little more room?
post #16 of 33
Try this link to a similar request for info back in MArch. There are other threads on t he subject too, with good tips.

(http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=120364)
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleGray View Post
Should we invest in a dog crate or something so that they can be together and have a little more room?
I wouldn't put them together. My bonded littermates had quite the fight when we moved to California, and we put them in the same carrier. We didn't do that again. But you could look at the dog crate idea for each of them. I like this type of carrier in "intermediate size" for big moves. Although I would love to get one of these, if it weren't so expensive.
post #18 of 33
When I brought mine from Bosnia I started Dushka in her own carrier as I thought she would fight with the others, but she was so miserable I moved her. And they were fine, though I chose carefully how I would divide them. The thing about a crate is it gives them room to see things and sit up, but one each takes up an awful lot of room!
post #19 of 33
hey-
So I havent gone for really long car rides with my boys, but I've had them in the car for a couple hours before.
I let one of my cats loose in the car because he stays in the back and just curls up next to my other one. My other boy stays in his carrier because he gets nervous and just howls the whole time. For a long distance move, I wouldnt feel uncomfortable letting them loose in the backseat. They have fences for dogs to keep them in the back. My dad moved 5 hours away and his cat just wandered around in the back and slept. Definitely dont give him much to eat or drink. Get a tight fitting harness to let the cat out and walk (make sure he cant back his way out of it, its very difficult to regain control of a weasel-y cat. Anti nausea meds are also available for cats that get a little woozy. Good Luck! You know your cat best.
post #20 of 33
I recently moved from Wisconsin to Boston. About 1200 miles with the cat in a carrier in the back seat. My advice get as big of a carrier as you can and must have air conditioning in summer. Lots of ventilation is a good thing. It took 4 days and 3 hotel stays. Try not to have more than 6 or 8 hrs a day on the road. It was very hard on my cat. She was so miserable and car sick the first day. By the fouth day she got into the routine and was a seasoned traveler.

She never did eat or drink much for the whole trip. that was my biggest worrie. But she survived. PHEW!!

The funny story is that at one hotel, there was a hole in the bottom of the box spring and Binks got INTO the mattress. I Had to get a knife and crawel under there and cut her out. I never expected that occurence,
post #21 of 33

We have traveled with cats a few times and stayed at motels.  Each time we traveled with them they would get under the mattress and box springs and we would have to get them out by upturning the bed.  What a nervous situation that was.  We have started putting long leashes on them and when they do get out of sight the leash is still visible and you can find them.  The first time this happened I didn't think of the long leash but on that same trip from Vegas to OK, I bought the long lease or two short ones put together.  One of the cats even tried to get into the ceiling  over the lavatory and in the bathroom.  They were the ones with just the plastic up there laying over the support beams.  So be careful of that as well as the box springs.  Good luck with traveling with cats.  We have 8 cats and are about ready to move from OK to FL.  We are looking into having them transported.  I think I get too nervous when I travel with cats.  We will be traveling two dogs, 1 in each car.

post #22 of 33

Dear Libbys Mom:

 

I know you posted this a long time ago on the cat site but I too now am Moving to GA from CT and wanted to know how your move went? Tom and I have 4 cats and 2 dogs to drive with in my car but Tom will drive the Uhaul moving truck. Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated. - Kim

post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by arolson87 View Post

My boyfriend and I are planning a move from Seattle to Phoenix in a couple months, and I'm wondering the best way to transport my cats safely and effectively. We're going to be renting a big uhaul truck and I dont know if I should put them in little kennels, but then there's the problem of how often to bring them out to eat, play, and pee! I can't just let them in the front seat with us and I will not let them roam around with all the stuff in the back! I also was thinking about the pet relocation services but they are SO EXPENSIVE, like as much as it costs to move all of my stuff, and I simply can't afford it. Does anyone know of a good way to bring your cats on a big move?? Help!

When I moved cross-country, this is how I did it. I had more room in the back than it sounds like you will, but you could consider putting up some kind of blocker (a piece of cardboard, whatever) to keep the cat out of places you don't want them to be.

 

My elder kitty had the floor in the back. On one side of the hump was a small litter box. On the other side was her food and water, which were in tubberware with a lid with a big hole cut in the top (in order to provide a lip so the water wouldn't slosh out).

 

And she could come up front to be in my lap (I was a passenger), or sit at my feet under the heater. smile.gif

 

She was easy, since she was a good traveler and was a bit older, so she wasn't all that interested in getting into trouble under the foot pedals or something. But like I said, you could consider putting up blockers to guide her into a passanger seat rather than bugging the driver, and cutting off access to getting under boxes in the back.

post #24 of 33

I have four cats to move from Calif. to Texas, I have rented a large U-haul and a car dolly, do you think I can put the four cats (in there own carriers) in the car that will be on the dolly?

post #25 of 33

To Salgal- how did your move go?  I recently did the same thing, I was forced to put the two male cats in the car on the dolly.  They were so glad to be in the car and not the truck.  It was a huge ordeal, the motel room was a nightmare.  I am going to fly them and drive with the dogs only.  They did like being in the towed car, they just went to sleep in their beds on the floor, had a litter box, etc.  I put a sunshade in the window during the day so they did not get extra heat, though it was November.  some of the days were still warm.

post #26 of 33

I may eventually attempt to move back to FL (want to, as hate new England) and I have just one cat but was considered with this. Rather not FLY him as I want him to know I'm there.  I just bought him a new carrier as one given with him when I got him he barley fits in. 

 

The one he has not it's a mesh one with zippers on front and top and he would not get out of it when I let him see/explore it when brought it home.  It has padding on the bottom and I would do blankets (depending on weather) plus the one on top.

 

Nice suggestions on the liter box ideas, I was wondering that; I will need to find someone to bring us down that way (it may be 2 years, hoping not) as I do not have car, nor could I drive myself for any length. I want minimal stops (more for him to use box, as I wouldn't feel right living him in car while in eating myself.  Most I'd have to stop for his bathroom and I think some of those rest areas can bring the cat in (if in carrier) though whomever with me can take turns watching while using facilities.

post #27 of 33

I am planning to move from Roseville, Ca to Humble, Texas in the next few months. I have a black cat who is technically an "outdoor" cat, but he sleeps on my bed every night entering through a cat door. I would love to take him as my "Best Friend" to Texas, but am concerned about how he will travel in a carrier in my car. Also, I am terrified with the thought he might run away once we arrive. Any thoughts?

post #28 of 33
I have moved several times from Florida to the tip of North Ga almost Tennessee. A good 14 hrs.

I got some sleeping meds from Vet and I tried not to give them soft food the night before..just dry..I fixed up a big box with lots of comfy blankets and alot of holes in box so she could see outside and stick her paws out if wanted...I stopped maybe 4 times and I would go to the Resting stop areas and took her into the bathroom with me and let her walk around a little..drink water and eat some dry food. I put one of those diaper sheets on the floor and she would do her dooty and I cleaned it up.

I put the box in the back seat of my car...another time I put her in back of the truck..I made sure it had A/C in the back..everytime I stopped I took her out...both times she was fine with no stress at all.

I heard a long time ago that with cats you have to keep them in the dark when moving because they will remember the way and come back home..dont know if true or not but I wasn't taking any chances.

Can you imagine your kitty calling you collect telling you she is back in Seattle? Hahaha
post #29 of 33
Oops this is old..sorry vibes.gif
post #30 of 33

I need to move from California to Texas. This will happen either May or June. I have three 2-3 years old cats. I will have a truck full of stuff plus my sedan. I was planning on renting a u-haul truck with car towing dolly on the back. Then I realize that I don't know how to bring my cats for long distance. Here are some of my ideas as they came to mind:

 

1. Keep the cats in truck's cabin area. But I am not sure if it is big enough with three cats. My daughter (17 going 18) might /or might not ride along.

2. Putting the cats in the cargo area. This is bad idea, especially in warmer weather.

3. Sell the car, buy big suv with lots of towing power, then use a u-haul trailer instead of truck. Put the cats in the suv.  However, not sure u-haurl trailer is big enough for all of my stuff.

4. Make two trips. One trip is driving with my stuff w/o cats, and other trip is flying with cats as carrry-on, but not sure I can do this with three cats (?)

 

What do you think? Any other suggestions/ideas?

 

Thanks!

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