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Weekend Cats

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone-

I stumbled upon this forum and needed some advice regarding our two beloved tabbies.

We recently purchased a weekend house away from the city which we commute to almost every weekend. Each friday our cats become nervous wrecks knowing that they have an hour and a half ride to the country. We have tried all different types of ways to calm the cats down in order to prepare them for the ride, but inevitably, one of them throws up, pees, or soils their crate.

at first we had the two of them ride in a big plastic crate together. they began hissing and fighting with each other, so we purchased two soft crates instead to separate them. so now, instead of hissing and fighting, the two of them meow non stop for almost two hours!

we've asked our vet for advice and she gave us a prescription for xanax to use on the cats--which we were skeptical to use. anyway, it didnt work. the cats still meow and soil the crates. the smell is completely unbearable and often we need to pull aside on the road to clean the crate and to clean the cat off as well.

a friend suggested that we place a litterbox in the backseat, which we did, but the cats still pooped in their crates regardless. we feel like we can't win!

once we're up at the house, everything is lovely. but the commute is both taxing on me, my partner, and our two feline pals! we don't want to traumatize our cats anymore, but also we don't want to leave them unattended in the city.

any tips would be greatly appreciated!

thanks so much.
post #2 of 8
post #3 of 8
That's a little strange. You would think that if its on a regular basis, after a few trips things would be ok. But I did have a cornish rex (show cat) that would get upset on EVERY trip and wind up throwing up. She was fine at the show, fine in the ring, fine in the hotel - but just not in the car.

Maybe you could back up and take them for shorter rides - like around a block or two; stop for awhile, then go again.

Not sure what to really suggest - I do not recommend drugging the cats for traveling. Wonder if you could give some of the motion sickness stuff (ask the vet for the right dosage) and see if that can help.

We take extra towels, paper towels and plastic bags cause we know that Charlie will use the carrier either on the way to the show or after.
post #4 of 8
If you're only gone for the weekend.. I'm guessing you would leave late friday and come back on Sunday.. that shouldn't be too bad to leave them at home right?? If they are adults with plenty of food/water, have two litter boxes, I think u could just leave them at home... I'm sure you'd miss them, but it's better than the car ride drama!
post #5 of 8
Some people swear by Feliway spray in their carriers to calm them down. I've not tried it.

When I transport feral cats, I play classical music for them and that helps a little bit. But what helps even more is harp music. The founder of this site swore by it and once when I was transporting a feral cat for spaying, she was screaming at me, in spite of the classical music on the radio. Then they played a celtic tune with harps and she shut up cold during that song. She then started screaming again once the song was over. I keep meaning to buy a CD with harp music on it for the times I do transport my cats. It's worth a try!
post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I also use a flower essence called Emergency Essence it calms them down.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks to all of you for the great feedback!
post #8 of 8
We just took the kittens with us for the Holidays. Three and a half hours each way. We warmed some towels up in the dryer for them to lay on and cover the crates on the way out to the car. We actually left the towels over the crates and the kittens slept most of the way - no accidents either. The crate is always out and open, always used for naps.

Zoey made the same trip with us last summer - and was meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow all the way up and back. In her loud voice. On the way back, I made it into a game and taught her to say "Hello!" Either she did a great job learning to say it or I hallucinated.

I would feed them on Friday morning and pull up the food when I left for work. Some furries travel better on an empty stomach. On Sunday, pull their food about 6 hours before you leave. As soon as you arrive, feed them - preferably a favorite meal or treat. And lots of attention. Wait to unload the car. Find the music they like - mine like Motown. Have a positive attitude and expect things to go well - cats do pick up our vibes.
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