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Traveling with nine cats?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

In a week or two, I'll be traveling by car, interstate with nine cats. I've decided this is the cheapest option because traveling by plane will cost $1000+.

However, I want to make this as comfortable for them as possible. I know that they're going to hate this, I know they're going to cry, and being 12 hours in a car with nine crying pussies, is going to drive my driver up the wall, not good for the cats, not good for the driver knwim?

My questions are A) What sort of cage should I consider? A flight one? a soft one? a normal carry? a pet crate? B) Would a vet be able to give me mild and safe sedatives to relax them enough that they don't get distressed? is this a responsible thing to do? do you think it's cruel? I just don't want them distressed. C) are there any other things to consider?

thanks all

post #2 of 14
When we moved to this place, there were only 4, the rest came later, but we moved here by car...but it was only a little more than an hour. I had each cat in their own "pet taxi" hard carrier, with a towel to lay on. I also have a large folding crate, so that I could stop at a rest area or park if I had to, and put them in the crate 1 or 2 at a time to chill out. I really recommend 1 to a carrier, because even if they're best buddies, if they get spooked or upset and throw down to fight, they WILL NOT stop as long as they feel trapped...and you'd have no extra carriers to separate them, so I'd go with 1 for 1 from the get go.

My move went without a hitch, but as I said, mine was much, much shorter than yours....I wish you the very best of luck
post #3 of 14
I;ve taken one on a three hour trip, round trip, weeks vacation. I was ready to throw her and the carrier right out the window. when I told the vet the valiium only worked for around 15 minutes of the ride, he laughed and said it was for me not the cat.

I am considering taking all three to the shore for a week this summer, or at least Fang, who needs two pills a day, and at 30$ aday, come to 180.00, I figure it is worth it to take him. I know he will cry nostop, because that's what he did for a 15 minute ride to the vet.

I don't think it is cruel, but be prepared to go out of your mind. The tranquilizers do not work for very long. they may be groggy, but they won't shut up. Maybe earplugs would be a good idea.

I think the previous poster had good ideas, one cat per crate. It would be good if hyou could leave right after everyone has eliminated, so you won't have that to deal with. Maybe you can take a few small litter pans, and leave on or two out of the crate inside the car so they can go.
post #4 of 14
I moved over 3,000 miles with a comparable number, boy what an experience!! I used Pet Exercise pens - the kind that are about 3 feet tall and come with shelves? We rented a van so we could set up an appropriate number of these, plus I had a "time out" single size carrier in case anyone freaked out and didn't get along with who I had with them (I had them 2 or 3 to a pen).
Mistakes...water just got spilled, food was not eaten while we were driving. No sedatives, believe it or not, all were pretty good as in quiet, though I certainly was given a piece of their minds off and on...kind of a what in the world are you doing??! Litter boxes weren't used either, until we were done driving for the day.

Hotels...I had toys packed, clean litter pan for use in the hotel room only, a toddler tent for the one whole male with us (who had his very own pen by himself in the van), food bowls, and important - water from home (I brought several gallons...this way, no loose stool issues from a change of water while on the road!) could use bottled water instead of course, though I'd use this prior to leaving to be sure they tolerated it well.

I was packed for the hotel, plus had stuff in case of emergencies on the road...a kitty emergency bag eye ointment, qtips, anti-diarhea med for pets, paper towels, plastic garbage bags, dry food, canned food, food dishes , litter etc.

Amazingly, all went well, they seemed to think each hotel stay was time for a party ...though each stay meant I had to check for holes in the wall (even in decent hotels, check that bathroom, you'd be surprised what you may find under that bathroom counter!, if the bed was set on the floor or if they could get under and up into the bed to hide etc.

It was certainly an adventure!
post #5 of 14
Make sure that they haven't eaten for 3 hours or so before you hit the road. This will save you and your driver to somevery interesting smells. This is NOT to say don't feed that when you're stopped for the night or whatever, but for a couple hours before you're off...yeah. Or maybe it's just my 2 boys that get sick.
post #6 of 14
This just sounds like a terrible trip! 9 cats yeowlling for countless hours....You will go crazy! I agree with the others, have 1 cat per carrier or big chages for 2-3 cats. I hope you aren't taking a car and rather a van, because I can't imagine the mess all those cats will be in a car. Also, there is a good chance a lot of your cats will get sick on the car ride unless they are very used to it. I would also consider not feeding them for a few hours before you leave.
post #7 of 14
My longest trip was about 16 hours with 5 dogs and 3 cats. We used a cargo van and had large dog kennels for the cats where we could put litter and food. We put 2 of the cats in 1 kennel and the third in her own. The third cat had never met the other cats and it's just the wrong place to introduce cats to each other (long story).

We made a lot of rest stops (more for the dogs) and we would give the cats water during those breaks. They would eat, drink and use the litter when the car was stopped. We'd also let them out of the kennels to stretch and climb the cat condo that we had in the van.

Don't open the door with a cat out of the carrier. If they get loose, chances are they will be so frightened that you won't see them again.

Surprisingly, ours quieted down after the first hour or so. I think it helped that we used very large kennels and they didn't feel claustrophobic in them. The actual drive time was about 14 hours with about 2 hours worth of rest stops. My DH and I switched drivers so that we didn't have to stop at hotels. If you have a van, you can always stretch out in back and catch a nap there.
post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by Autumnblueangel View Post
B) Would a vet be able to give me mild and safe sedatives to relax them enough that they don't get distressed? is this a responsible thing to do? do you think it's cruel? I just don't want them distressed. C) are there any other things to consider?

thanks all

B: Yes, Yes, No.

Go with the sedatives. 9 cats in a small space like that, it could end up being unsafe without them. hehe

We recently traveled with Poe (2 hour trip, not a big one) He doesn't like hills but as long as he could see me he was fine. We stuck him in the back seat inside his carrier and faced him forward. in between both front seats so he could see. THis actually disturbed him and I ended up having to rest my arm in front of the carrier the whole trip (not a big deal) he stayed pretty calm.

But for long trips, the sedatives are the best thing. Whenever we moved with our dog, he got a sedative and would end up sleeping the whole trip. He felt a little groggy and always looked at us like he knew we spiked his food, but he got where he needed to go without upchucking or getting sick (he had on a previous hour long trip).

If the sedatives for some people didn't last long, it's because the vet under-prescribed.

As for Poe, once we got to my wife's parents house, it was another story. He wouldn't Poo. By the third day I was getting really worried because he absolutely refused to do anything but pee in his litter box. That is until I found out my mother-in-law thought it was "cute" to watch him go... Every time she heard him in the litter box she ran into the room to watch him.... This is just one of the many reasons why I don't really like my in-laws. heh. Anyway, we got him home and he went 5 times that same day.

Oh and yes, she stopped looking when I asked her to let me know the next time she goes to the bathroom so I can come watch.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
yeah, i'm thinking we will go crazy. it's a station wagon, I think, it has a large space in the back but looks like an ordinary car, 3 sets of seats could go in there.

for interest sake btw, here's a collage of all my babies. although the kitties are now 2-3 months older.

post #10 of 14
Ok, I would use the hard sided carriers for safety if traveling that long. If you have kittens, and they are under 6 months old, you might consider putting 2-3 in a large carrier (depending on the kitten's size). If those are pictures of your crew, you have some younger ones that would be able to travel together.

The older adult ones should be kept in separate carriers.

Do NOT use seditives, even if the vet says to do it. Cats react unpredictable to seditives. Cover the carriers with a towel or light blanket to help keep them quiet. Play soft music in the car. They will probably cry for awhile but eventually go to sleep.

Good luck on your moving
post #11 of 14
Pick up some Bachs Rescue Remedy from your local healthfood store or online.

Give this to them all, 3 times a day for 3 or 4 days prior to your trip and during your trip if possible. You can also add this to their drinking water.

It's a herbal calming agent. Works pretty well if you have high strung cats that freak out about car rides.

This product is recommended by my own Vet, for reducing stress in a variety of situations.
post #12 of 14
Nial, that would be the only "seditive" to use - anything else like tranquilizers the vet might prescribe IMO would not be worth the risk for a bad reaction.
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Nial, that would be the only "seditive" to use - anything else like tranquilizers the vet might prescribe IMO would not be worth the risk for a bad reaction.
I tend to agree. The only time that I've sedated a cat during travel was with a feral cat that I flew on an airplane. We set his dose high enough that he was still groggy when I picked up his carrier on the far end of the flight. I'm not sure he would have made that flight without them.
post #14 of 14
I did two 12 hour days across Europe last summer with five cats, moving from Bosnia to France. I put them in the largest pet crates I could get that fitted in the car, and they travelled 2/3 in each crate. I think they were much happier like that than in carriers, they could sit and look around and stretch when they wanted to. Dushka, my most dominant cat, started the trip in a large hard carrier, so she wouldn't fight, but she cried for the first two hours nonstop, so I transferred her to a cage and they all seemed much happier. They wore harnesses and leads throughout the journey for safety, and like said by the PP, I never opened a crate and the car door at the same time. At the hotel, I transferred each cat to a carrier for the trip to the room and they settled easily. I stopped on the journey every two hours to water them and offer a litter pan, all done within the car. I took plenty of spare towels, plastic bags and baby wipes - you will need them! I had a Feliway spray and used it in the car if there seemed to be any aggression about to start, and it seemed to work. Good luck! Nine does seem a lot for such a journey.
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