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What is the least traumatic option?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am visiting my parents over thanksgiving and that entails a 4.5 hour drive. I don't know anyone who will be here over the holiday that can stop by and feed her / change her litter, and I'm uncomfortable with having a pet-sitter that I don't know come by into my apartment.

This leaves me with 2 options:
(1) board my kitty at the place where I adopted her from. It's a nice boarding facility and I have already made a reservation for her there. It's only $11/day but would be from Wednesday to Sunday (so, $55 total).
(2) drive over with her and take her with me. I am staying at my mom's who has a shih-tzu (but I could keep my cat confined to the guest bedroom so she wouldn't have to deal with the dog).

What do you think?
post #2 of 12
I think it depends on the cat. Some cats are really attached to their person, some cats get really stressed out by car rides, some cats get really stressed out around dogs..... Carmel I'd haul along with me. She pretty much orients herself based on me. I've taken her with to wander around empty apartments while painting them and I moved her to a new house with no issue and she gets along fine with dogs. She'd be nervous and yowl a little but she'd survive it alright. Greta would have a complete heart attack. Probably hyperventilate in the car and then hide under the bed the whole time refusing to even come out for food or the litterbox. She also completely freaks out over dogs even when they aren't anywhere near her. She'd be better off in a quiet boarding facility with only other cats in a small confined area where she could just hide near her food and litterbox until I got back.
post #3 of 12
Yeah it would depend on the personality of the cat. With my two - Ling would be happier at home or boarded as she's not big into changing houses. Charlie would go anywhere you went and fit right in
post #4 of 12
Has she ever been on a long drive? I would be reluctant to bring a kitty on a long drive to stay in a strange place for several days if they didn't have some experience with driving around. Willow absolutely hated being in the car, even though I had taken her home with me several times while I was in college. She would meow for the entire drive, which was 1.5 hours each way. If your kitty isn't used to the car, I would suggest boarding her.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade View Post
Has she ever been on a long drive? I would be reluctant to bring a kitty on a long drive to stay in a strange place for several days if they didn't have some experience with driving around. Willow absolutely hated being in the car, even though I had taken her home with me several times while I was in college. She would meow for the entire drive, which was 1.5 hours each way. If your kitty isn't used to the car, I would suggest boarding her.
When I took her to the vet a few weeks ago, I didn't go home straight away because I wanted her to drive with me. She was in her carrier and didn't seem to mind at all.

I am definitely bringing her with me when I visit my family over Christmas because I don't want to board her for as long as I'll be gone. Thanksgiving I'm just undecided about.

Thanks for everyone's input so far!
post #6 of 12
If you're planning on bringing her next time, then it may not be a bad idea to use this trip a trial run.
post #7 of 12
I took Zoey with us this summer. It was a very long 3 hour drive.
mew. mew. mew. mew, mew. mew. MEOW. mew. mew. MEOW, MEOW.

I happened to call my daughter during the drive up there and she couldn't believe how loud Zoey was. I ended up turning up the radio/music and that helped.

She did fine. No issues with eating, litterbox or behavior. Take a couple of your blankets with you and lay them around the room so it is full of your smell.

Good luck.
post #8 of 12
My feeling is that cats are made comfortable by two things: their familiar environment, and their familiar owner. This is why boarding the cat is the worst option: the cat will have neither.

If you leave the cat at home but with a sitter, the cat will be relaxed and content, in its home. It might be bored, or it might just take the opportunity to nap more. If you take it with you, the trip and change of environment may be traumatic, but at least it will have you as a familiar presence.

Putting the cat in a cage in a strange place (no matter how chichi it seems to humans) is going to be awful from the cat's point of view. For a cat, being boarded is no different from having to stay at the vet or a shelter.
post #9 of 12
Our cat does very well in the car as long as the carrier is made to resemble a box, so we drape a jacket or blanket over it so he can only see out of the front. He likes that. What he does NOT like is the smell of exhaust, so we make sure to leave the air intake on "Circulate" and not "Outside Air." Luckily, we don't like the smell of exhaust either so we agree on the air.

Our cat also prefers NPR to music.
post #10 of 12
I think my cat and I would both go crazy if she was in the car with me for 4.5 hours, but as others have said, it depends on the cat.
post #11 of 12
If your cat dislikes the car and is vocal about it, you could ask the vet for a tranquilizer. That's what my father did when he moved Zane halfway across the country.
post #12 of 12
I would almost take her with me. Bording places are always really loud and scarey. I know our cats would NOT be ok with being locked in a cage. Leya would probably have a nervous break down, we can't even put her in a carrier without her puking and pooing. You probably would know best so just follow what your instincts say.
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