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Traveling with a kitten

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'll be bringing my new aby kitten home the last weekend in March and it's about a four hour drive. The kitten will be a little over four months old and I'm wondering if I will need to make a potty break along the way for her. It's been a LONG time since I've had a kitten and don't recall how long they can hold it. I'm guessing she'll be fine but the last thing I want to do is stress her out by making her hold it for too long.

Also, any suggestions on what I may need to bring along for the ride? Right now I just have her carrier (fabric/mesh kind) on the list. I can bring water if I need to but would rather wait so that I don't add to her need to urinate along the way. Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 10
Because my cats freak out when they're put into a carrier, I keep a harness and leash on them so they can just lay on the seat and sleep. (Note that they are used to car rides, though, so this may not work for everyone.) Especially as kittens, they were more comfortable if they could be held and sleep on someone's lap. Will someone else be with you for the drive? I also keep a litter box on the floor in the back seat. Holding food and water is debatable. Some people say don't do it. But when they're spayed/neutered they are without food or water for 12 hours, so I think it'd be okay if you didn't bring any for the 4 hour drive. I guess there's no right or wrong, just whatever works.
post #3 of 10
We drove Charlie home (he was 4 months old). He rode in the carrier - cried a lot (of course) and when we stopped to eat, then he was allowed out to eat and drink water. He didn't want either. It was a 6 hr drive.

When we got home, he was put in the library room with food/water/litter pan. He was fine - ate a little, used the pan, etc.

I'd only allow the kitten out when you stop to eat and offer food/water. And have extra towels, paper towels, plastic bags in case the kitten messes in the carrier.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Great ideas, thanks! We are planning to eat lunch and then get the kitty so we probably won't stop on our way home, that is assuming I can "hold it" the entire time. I will take bowls for food/water in case we do though. I'm driving down there with my bf and will probably have him drive the whole way back so I can attend to the kitten. I'll also find out from the breeder how she handled the drive to Houston from her house, since she's about 5 hours from Houston herself. Thanks for the tips!
post #5 of 10
Be sure you feed the kitten what the breeder has been feeding and if you want to change it, do it gradually. Expect some loose stools with the change of water unless you get some bottled water for awhile.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Be sure you feed the kitten what the breeder has been feeding and if you want to change it, do it gradually. Expect some loose stools with the change of water unless you get some bottled water for awhile.
Yes, I've already found out that she's feeding RC Baby Cat and I am planning to buy a small bag and slowly try and switch her to Chicken Soup (kitten then later adult). I always go slow with any switch in case problems arise.

I didn't even think about the change in water but I'll buy a gallon of water to fill her bowls for the first few weeks. I've also ordered a Catit fountain (since my 10 year old is prone to UTI's so hopefully the filtered water will be better for them too. Of course it will be a while before they can share a water bowl!

I do plan to keep her in a separate room for a few days to a week or longer if needed and will take her to the vet the day after I get her for a check-up before I introduce her to my other "family". Thanks again for all of the advice!
post #7 of 10
I would keep the kitten in the carrier. Four hours isn't that long.

And here's why.

I took my cats with me up to Arkansas for a hot rod meet the summer before last. I had them in the carrier to transfer them from the hotel to the car, but let them out once we got settled in the car.

At a gas stop, I opened the door after pumping the gas, and Punkin was out of the car and off like a streak. This was an auto/truck stop, and he ran out into the back lot where there were some trucks parked. The best I could do running after him was to keep him in site. He was headed for some trees and bushes, but fortunately he stopped and climbed up on the trailer tires of a parked truck. The driver didn't see him, so he was pretty curious why I was messing around by his truck, until I pulled Punkin out.

Fortunately, he wasn't injured, but there were a dozen things that could have changed just a little bit and ended up with the permanent loss of our kitty.

And this is a cat that used to ride in the truck all the time! I have no idea what got into him.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes, I don't plan to take the kitten out of her carrier at all. I've had the experience of having my cat climb under a seat once and could not get her out for a LONG time. Also, I had what I thought was a house fire and threw my cat and dog in the car which was in my garage. After I got my dog in, I opened the driver's door and my cat had planted herself under the accelerator so I couldn't go anywhere. I'm sure I bruised her scruff pulling her so hard to get her out of there, but when you think your house is on fire I didn't have any choice. Lesson learned!
post #9 of 10
Oh that is so scary! Glad you caught your cat When we stop and let Charlie out, we distract him by throwing a toy to the back window then jump out fast When we return, one of us taps on the window and the other opens the door then gets the cat, then the other gets in the car.

We usually have a treat for Charlie (like a bite of chicken)
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
When we stop and let Charlie out, we distract him by throwing a toy to the back window then jump out fast When we return, one of us taps on the window and the other opens the door then gets the cat, then the other gets in the car.

That's what we do. Plus, if they do try to make a daring escape the leashes make it easy to grab them.
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