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Taking my cat home with me for the holidays...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I don't really want someone else taking care of my cat over the two-week period that I'll be returning home for the holidays, so I guess I'll be crating my cat from Columbus, OH to the Washington DC area, which is roughly 400 miles and a 6 to 8 hour drive, depending on traffic, the weather, and how often we stop.

Obviously I don't want her crawling in my lap when I'm going 70mph or so, so she'll be in a cat box, but what do I do about bathroom breaks? I'll have a friend riding back with me to calm her down, but what do I do once I get to my house? She's easy to keep track of in a studio apartment, but I don't want to keep her locked up in my bedroom all day for fear of her getting into something, peeing somewhere she ought not to, or getting into a fight with our elderly dog.
post #2 of 5
Charlie goes to shows with a 4-6 hr driving time. We make sure we have plenty of paper towels, plastic bag and a few extra towels for the carrier (just in case).

Keep the cat in the carrier when driving. When you stop for eating (1/2 hr break), then let the cat out of the carrier, roll down the windows a little (no more then an inch), park in shade, and put out the litter pan. She may or may not use it. I don't let them out for quick potty breaks.

Feed before you leave but carry extra water from home or bottled water and her food (plus whatever else you plan on bringing).

For her safety its better to put her in a bedroom with food/water/litter pan for a few days. Then allow her supervised exploring. I'd keep her locked up in the room at night. You'll have to judge her reactions to things as to how best to handle the exploring.
post #3 of 5
Oliver was confined to my room for quite awhile when we first moved from my studio apartment in college to my parents' house after graduation... his litter, food and water are all in my room... my family also has a 13 year old black lab and she's always chased cats so we weren't sure... I would bring Oliver downstairs to roam while Cuddles (the dog) was outside playing... gradually (this took a long time, so it probably wouldn't get to this point during just 2 weeks) the dog and cat have gotten used to each other and Oliver has free roam of the house at all times except when I'm sleeping, then he's shut in my room with me... he and the dog are by no means best friends, but they tolerate each other... it'd be best to keep your cat confined to one room anyway when moving to a new place - too much freedom can be overwhelming and your kitty would probably just find some place to hide for quite awhile... she'd be more comfortable just having one room to get used to and you could bring her out to the other parts of the house for snuggles and playtime when she can be supervised
post #4 of 5
I too am taking my cat to my mom's for a 2-3 week period over the holidays. My mom has an 8-year-old shih-tzu so I have to figure out how to handle this also.

My drive is a 4.5-5 hour drive. I would get a carrier for your cat because (1) it will make it feel safer and (2) she won't freak out and try to roam all over the car, posing a hazard to safe driving. The carrier I have is soft and looks sort of like a well-ventilated duffle bag. I bought it at petsmart for not too much $$$. (It's also the carrier I took her home from the shelter in and the carrier I take her to the vet in). I don't know if it will help but I have some of that pheremone-spray that is supposed to help calm cats down. The cat will be fine without a bathroom break and I don't want to take her outside of the car because it will be very cold. I just have to time it so it fits in with her normal feeding schedule (and when she uses the litter box, she's pretty predictable about the timing on that too). I'll bring treats for her in the car.

My mom's house is large and I know she is going to want the litter box to go in the laundry room but I am going to keep my cat confined to the guest bedroom, just like I would if I was bringing a new cat home. I am going to put her food/water, toys, and litter box in the room and make sure it's quiet and I'll keep the door shut so she won't have to interact with the dog. The car trip and a new environment will be so stressful on her, I want to do as much as I can to reduce that.
post #5 of 5
For long drives I keep a litter box in the crate, I make sure the crate is really big (a hard sided plastic dog carrier with vent holes) so there is room for everything and she can be comfortable, and make a small litter box one side just in case she has to go.
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