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3000 miles and six cats..I need tips!!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,
well some of you are probably starting to recognize my semi frantic posts so here's another one.
Ok, six cats, one or two dogs, five days. Im really stressed about sleeping somewhere. Any ideas? No way can I get everyone into a hotel, even if I get a flea pit motel and sneak them in I dont think it will go over. I was thinking I might be able to set up a tent inside a hotel and then put the cats inside, that way they wont damage anything. Im also thinking that everyone is gonna have to be on valium. Just worried that if theyre doped up all day they wont sleep at night. Im going to try rescue remedy I think, none of them are used to riding and theyre all big so Im in the market for five carriers. Ouch. Umm, lets see. Im pretty sure Im gonna keep water and food in their cages unless I have car sick problems. I want to make sure they have plenty to drink, Im a little worried about the litter box, my cats go potty outside so Im not sure how often then need to go and how Im supposed to get them to go while Im at a truck stop. I have one largeish cage and if I can squeeze that into my suv Ill take that and rotate the cats so they have a little time in a bigger area. Ive read all the old posts I can find about traveling with pets but I six cats seems to be more than most other people have traveled with, plus a huge dog that has severe car anxiety...oy. Ok, any advice? Suggestions? Sympathy? (lol)
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh, I was also wondering how long they can be in their carriers? I know they'll be out to use the litter box but I dont think that being in the carriers for nearly five days straight is a good idea...any ideas on whats ok/healthy?
post #3 of 12
Wow! Multiple cats and a dog - I saw a thread on this site titled "Driving From L.A. To N.Y.C. With My Cat...". I believe one of the responders traveled with multiple animals and had some good ideas. I would still plan the trip out well, and contact pet friendly hotels in advance - I just can't see how your family will stay in the car for the entire trip. When we traveled, we stayed at an older Best Western with our kitten, and you should have seen all of the animals out in the parking lot the next morning! You might have to do a bit a research, but I think it will be worth it

Good luck!!!!
post #4 of 12
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
Ok, any advice? Suggestions? Sympathy? (lol)
I have never moved so far with so many cats. The most I had to do was a 20 mile move with three cats. I am going to live here forever because there's no way I am moving my crew anywhere! You definitely have my sympathy.
post #5 of 12
I have done 1200 miles with 6 cats and we did 900 miles one with 3 large dogs and 4 senior cats.

The first question is what type of vehicle are you taking. Are you driving more than one vehicle. Also do all the animals get along?

When we did the 800 mile trip we had the dogs and two of the "good cat" out of their carriers blocked off in the back of the van. None in cages with water and litter boxes available.

When I took the cats alone I had my Honda Civic. I had movers take my stuff. I put the back seats down flat then made a barrier between the back area and the front seats with garden netting and sticky sided velcro. so the cats road in the back with carriers open to get out if they wanted. They also had food and water bowl velcroed to down and a litter box.

At night I made sure to stay at Motels and not hotels so I could take the cats straight from the car into the room without anyone seeing. I usually stopped late at night and left early in the morning. I did try to stay at pet friendly motels and say I had one cat, just in case someone made lots of noise.

If you have to travel with them in carriers and your vehicle will allow it. Get a couple of large dog cages, the metal ones. Them make some shelves so you can put a litter box in it plus have "upper areas" or hammock that the cats can lay in. you could put three cats in each larger cage and keep the dog loose in the car.

As a forwarning, I had two cats that were deathly terrified of overpasses. they just would freak out going under a bridge. So have some hidey holes for them if they are just plain scared.

Once you get to the hotel put out multiple litter boxes for them right away also lots of water that you brought from home.

In my experience the first couple hours of the first day are the worst, but after that the trips were really uneventful.

Make sure no one can get under a seat and get stuck. Also EXTREME caution is needed when entering and exiting the vehicle. If they are not 100% secure from the drivers and passengers door, they someone will need to make sure they are all in cages before doors are opened.

If you have an specific question let me know and I will try to answer them.

Good luck!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys, that LA to NY post was a good one, thanks for mentioning it!

Im either taking an SUV or a camper, they get along pretty well except everyone picks on Kinky and Munchkin doesnt like to be crowded so Im thinking at least two or three of them will need their own carriers, I might give them all their own carriers, I havent decided yet. The velcro is a great idea too! I took one for a little ride a few days ago and he sure wasnt happy about it but it'll all work out! Ill post again if I have more specific questions! (and Im sure I will). Thanks again!!
post #7 of 12
when we moved we got big dog crates for the cats and put in 2 cats per.. had room for clip on dishes and sm litter box.. They were fine in there and I just walked the dog at rest stops. Just try to find some pet friendly hotels and maybe you can let the cats run around a bit at night (or the tent is a good idea if they have places to hide..)
post #8 of 12
I agree that if there is a way to have them out of their carriers so they can move around it will be tons less stressful, for them and you. With a trip that long your looking at hours of yowling and possible potty accidents if they don't have a litter box available. Also, being in a scary situation in a moving car might make them not even pick on Kinky. I have 3 cats and we travel about once a month for about a 4 hour car trip. The first time we went, it was a disaster. we bought an extra large carrier so there was enough room for a litter box and 2 cats (we only had 2 at the time). There was puking, pooping that got on each other and constant yowling for the entire ride. Not only that, but we had 2 very traumatized cats! So after dealing with that mess, we came up with what works best. Cover the backseat of my car with a blanket, put a litter pan in the floorboard behind the passenger seat, and either me or my husband sits back there with the kitties and makes sure they don't go up front and distract the driver. Usually, within minutes of taking off, one of the cats has to use the litter box, I guess from nerves. I know you have lots more cats than 3 that that's not an option, but maybe it gave you some ideas! Whatever you decide to do, I think you should do a shorter trial run before the actual moving day, just to see how it's going to go.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the ideas, I really appreciate it Since its been mentioned so much I am thinking about using a large carrier. I have one pretty giant dog crate but its so big Im not sure it will fit in the vehicle with four other crates (I could rotate kitties each day or something, its big enough for a litter box) And ideas on how to make sure they drink enough? Im a little worried about that, I want to keep water in their cages but Im guessing thats gonna be pretty messy. We'll see. I did take one for a ride, he was not happy about it but he didnt scream about it. Nermal on the other hand made a huge racket just when I closed the door to his carrier. Oh boy!
post #10 of 12
I took 5 cats across Europe last year when moving. I took them in two large cages as they hated the carriers for any length of time. They were happy being able to sit up and look around. I travelled them in harnesses and leads so I could grab them in advance of opening hte cages. I found they wouldn't lee/poop ont he move so I needed to stop every two hours and let them go in a separate box, without opening any car doors. But I put towels and plastic backed pads in the cages in case of accidents. They also dod not want to drink from the bowls in the cages so they needed drink stops as they got dehydrated and began open mouth breathing, which was scary. I did some research and found a hotel that was OK (at a small charge) to take them overnight. I used a feliway spray at regular intervals which kept them calm.

Good luck!
post #11 of 12
I moved more than 6 cats from NY state to WA state, so I can appreciate the task ahead of you

I don't think it sounds as if our way of doing this would work for you, but in case any of what we did would, here goes.

We rented a van, bought exercise pens for cats (they are about 48 inches high, come with two shelves, have a floor) and based on which cats got along well, put the kitties in groups, so many per exercise pen. I made the mistake of putting in water and food along with a litter box. The water spilled, they did not eat...they did use the box.

I had a huge bag of their dry food with me, little cans of canned cat food, garbage bags so we could take out the litter type trash from the hotel each night. Litter, several containers of water from home (no point in dealing with diarhea related to a change in water, the other option is taking bottled water with you), towels, a small carrier that rested up near our seats, as a "time out" in case anyone freaked out and needed to just be quiet by themselves.

I had their favorite toys, and for the one whole male with me, I had a toddler tent for him to stay in while in the hotel room. I of course, had my new husband with me, we were careful to only stay at hotels where we could request and get a floor level room with the door right at parking lot level.

I left each hotel room meticulously clean, kept the litter box in the bathroom, put out the toys...honestly our cats thought it was all a huge adventure. The ONLY freakout was our youngest, who would not settle down while in the van and proceeded to get water, litter all over herself and to the disdain of the oldest cats she was riding with in the pen, them. The look of disgust on their face at her antics was something else. Needless to say, I also had brought my favorite no-rinse shampoo with me (do take this!! someone *will* throw up or have a loose stool, you will need to clean them. My vet sells a pump spray shampoo that you spray on, wipe off..no need to rinse. Cleans and deoderizes).

Keep in mind I was used to packing for cat shows, so I already had a fair idea of what to take when I and a cat would be away from home for a couple of days.

I did not medicate any of them, just talked to them a lot during the trip, and thanks to a husband who loves to drive long distance, we made it to WA in 4 days as I recall (had the flu along the way and was out of it for a couple of days..poor guy).

Bottom line:
lots of paper towels, food - both dry and canned & food dishes, water from home or bottled, mini-health kit (with eye ointment, q-tips, any meds the kitties may be on), clip their claws before the trip, old cloth towels, favorite toys, garbage bags, no-rinse shampoo, litter boxes & scoop.

ps, I had carriers and would load the kitties into them, with van doors closed, then take them into the hotel room, so there was no way they could dart out an open door.
post #12 of 12
There is a website www.petfriendly.com that gives the names of places that allow pets in their rooms. I used it last year when I was travelling with my cat. If I were driving with 6 cats and I hope I never have to, I definitely would want a motel room for the night to unwind and relax. Also, my cat wouldn't eat, drink or use her litter box until we were in the motel room in the evening. I have heard that this is quite common, that most cats won't do anything while in the car. Anyway, best of luck on your trip, you're very brave.
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