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How do I do this without my cat having a nervous breakdown??

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Just found out that we are moving from Southern CA to Southern WI, & I need to know if there's anything we can do to keep from completely stressing out our cat.

We are driving, so she'll have to be in her carrier on the whole ride. We're going to let her come in the motels on the way.

We aren't sure about her bathroom situation though..should we put something in her carrier with her?

Then, when we get back to WI, we're going to be living with family, & they have 2 cats & 2 dogs. Roxy came from a home where the only cat beat her up, & the dogs tormented her. Any suggestions as to how we can keep her from completely stressed out? Or is there really nothing that can be done?

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
I have moved with cats many times. I have found that the best way to do it is to seclude them in an empty room the morning of the move with everything they will need. They will eat and use the litter box then. I have not personally used it, but Bach's Rescue remedy comes highly recommended. Put the cat in the carrier last thing. They will probably howl and cry for awhile, then they settle down and do what cats do, sleep. Music helps, too. Before you let your cat out for the night in a hotel, make sure you will not have to open the door again until you leave with him in the carrier. Crawling around with a flashlight until 4 a.m. looking for a terrified cat is no fun. Get your dinner, drinks, snacks, luggage, and anything else you will need. Those are things that have worked for me, I hope they help you. Best of luck on your big move. I will be making one as well this Spring.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I will try that.

Good luck to you on your future move as well!
post #4 of 16
If you can afford it, invest in a dog cage. You can set that up in the motel room and place the kitty's bedding, litter box, water, and food in there. Throw a sheet or blanket over the top and sides. Put the kitty inside and close the door. The space is much larger than the crate, but dark enough for the kitty to feel safe. If you can wing the space in the car (like if you're travelling in a van/SUV), you could even set it up in the back for the kitty on the long drive.
post #5 of 16
When you are in with the relatives before you are in your own space, would it be possible to designate a place just for your cat, where the other animals can't go?

Also, you might want to talk to your vet about a tranquilizer. Some people don't like the idea, but others swear by it. It is something you and your vet will have to discuss for yourselves.
post #6 of 16
I second the tranquillizer option, if necessary. One of my cats nearly had a heart attack if she had to go to the vet in her carrier, and I finally had to medicate her beforehand.

It took a lot of stress off me, and, more importantly, off my cat. It isn't good for them to get stressed, especially over a period of time. Their immune systems are effected, and they get sick easily.

I hope everything goes smoothly for you and your furry.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
If you can afford it, invest in a dog cage. You can set that up in the motel room and place the kitty's bedding, litter box, water, and food in there. Throw a sheet or blanket over the top and sides. Put the kitty inside and close the door. The space is much larger than the crate, but dark enough for the kitty to feel safe. If you can wing the space in the car (like if you're travelling in a van/SUV), you could even set it up in the back for the kitty on the long drive.
I really wish we could. All we have for her is a small cat carrier. We will barely have room for it, let alone a dog cage. We're pretty much just taking the necessities. We only have a small pick-up truck, & are only taking what will fit in it. So we wouldn't be able to have a big cage.

When we moved here, it was a 45 minute drive. She calmed down about half way, so I'm hoping after awhile, she'll be ok.

I will try putting a blanket over her, that may help her out.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
When you are in with the relatives before you are in your own space, would it be possible to designate a place just for your cat, where the other animals can't go?

Also, you might want to talk to your vet about a tranquilizer. Some people don't like the idea, but others swear by it. It is something you and your vet will have to discuss for yourselves.
Yes, we will have our own personal room. I told my family we needed it for our cat. She'll be in the room, & the other animals will be kept out.

I was sorta thinking about the tranq, but I don't like the idea really. Plus, I don't think we could afford it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by seaturtle View Post
I second the tranquillizer option, if necessary. One of my cats nearly had a heart attack if she had to go to the vet in her carrier, and I finally had to medicate her beforehand.

It took a lot of stress off me, and, more importantly, off my cat. It isn't good for them to get stressed, especially over a period of time. Their immune systems are effected, and they get sick easily.

I hope everything goes smoothly for you and your furry.
I really do hope she's ok. She's very skittish already, & freaks out over nothing. As I said above, I just hope she's ok with it after a bit.

Thanks all for your help, very much appreciated.

If I could just have your opinions on one more thing...I was thinking about buying some of the "potty training pads" they have for animals, & sticking them in her carrier, since we won't be able to make her go on command when we stop. This sounds like a good idea, right?
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was also thinking about getting her a harness & leash for when we make stops. Opinions?
post #9 of 16
We moved across the country with two cats. It didn't go perfectly, but they are both got through the situation! We got something for the more skittish cat from the vet (I don't recall now what it was) but it knocked her out so badly that I will never do that again. We stayed in a motel one night, and the skittish cat did far too good a job of hiding in the mattress. We got her out, but she wasn't happy.

So, tips: have a small litter box for the car, but don't assume that your cat will use it. Since you'll be stopping in motels, she'll probably only use it then. Leave plenty of time to extricate your cat from the motel when you are ready to leave.

My cats are not harness trained. I, too, bought harnesses & leashes, but since the cats aren't comfortable with them, I didn't use them. For cats that are harness trained, I suspect it's a great idea, but we just kept the cats in carriers during all of the driving and whenever a door was open.

As long as the training pads are a comfortable surface that your cat likes to lie on, it sounds like a fine idea. Do bring changes of bedding for the carrier and something to put any soiled pad or newspaper or towel in, of course.

Most carriers are fairly dark already; make sure there is plenty of air flow if you try to use a blanket to make the carrier more of a safe place.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice Enuja! I've decided I'm certainly not going to use any sort of sedative. I don't want to take the chances. Roxy doesn't even like a collar on, so I doubt she'd put up with the harness either. I won't do that, as it will probably just scare her more. :-/ I'll bring plenty of things to line her carrier with, I wouldn't even think of letting her sit in her own defecation. We'll keep her in the carrier, except for the hotels...I'll just keep my fingers crossed that she won't fight too much to go back into it.

I guess I'll just hope she's ok. I think she may be ok for the ride, but she'll have a lot to get used to, after that whole ordeal, then meeting new pets. I'll keep her away from them as long as possible.

Fingers & paws crossed!
post #11 of 16
We travel to shows and I moved from Maryland to Minnesota. Do NOT tranqualze your cat - they usually have bad reactions to the meds. I would not put a litter pan in the carrier; will only make a mess. Here's some tips:

1. Bring litter pan, dish for food and water and when you stop for meals, then let the cat out to stretch and eat or use the pan.

2. Cover the carrier with a towel; some cats don't like to see a lot of movement and will go to sleep after awhile.

3. Put on soft music while traveling.

4. Bring a few extra towels, plastic bag, paper towels and have them handy in case she messes in the carrier (we learned that with Charlie!)


How long will it be till you have your own place? While with relatives, then keep your cat separated from the others.
post #12 of 16
I have used disposable litterboxes on long drives with Mary. That way I can get rid of it after a day. I scooped the solids and then used it all day and then dumped it at night.
post #13 of 16
And I think a huge thing for pets is your attitude. If you are happy, they will be happy. They pick up on our vibes so easily.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi again everyone, thought I'd bump this thread instead of starting a new one.

We're currently trying to get Roxy used to a harness. She didn't do too bad today, just crouched around a lot & hated me for about the first 20 minutes. She seemed ok after wards, just still crouching.

Anyway, I wanted to get some opinions, on our long trip, would it be better (when we make stops) to let Roxy out, to hope she may potty when we take her out of her carrier, or to just expect she's going to go in there? Not take her out much, except to stretch? Maybe a combo of both??

post #15 of 16
Spray feliway on her items, starting now. Leave crate open for her to explore in the days before. Put soft bedding in there she is used to with her smells/your smells. You need to make room for her to have a big enough space, like a dog carrier so she can use the bathroom and move around a bit. This is critical for long car rides, unless you want to be cleaning her and cleaning her whole cage and bedding all the time during your road trip which will make kitty unhappy too. Cats are clean animals, mine did use her litterbox several times during our move. In the enclosed dog crate, plastic, you would put bedding on one side, then make a small divider out of cardboard and place a small box with a plastic baggie or two in a cardboard box for a make shift litter box. Then you can put trays of water and food on the door that is wire, putting only very small amounts in case kitty is hungry or thirsty. All of this should help. I would not let a skittish cat outside on a harness or not, kitty might get really scared and even more stressed. Good luck on your move! I moved with 6 animals to another state before, room was tight but everyone did great. We let the cat out in the hotel room with the other animals while we were in the room. But never in the car or roadside.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice. I'll look into the feliway spray. I do have her carrier out, hoping she'll become interested in it. I hate to say it, but she's going to have to deal with the small carrier. We just don't have room for anything bigger. I wish we did, but we just have a small truck. :-/ It's either that, or leave her, & I'm not doing that.

So, I guess she'll be staying in it during the driving, won't let her out anywhere, except when we get to the motels.

I'll certainly make sure she has food & water.

Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
Spray feliway on her items, starting now. Leave crate open for her to explore in the days before. Put soft bedding in there she is used to with her smells/your smells. You need to make room for her to have a big enough space, like a dog carrier so she can use the bathroom and move around a bit. This is critical for long car rides, unless you want to be cleaning her and cleaning her whole cage and bedding all the time during your road trip which will make kitty unhappy too. Cats are clean animals, mine did use her litterbox several times during our move. In the enclosed dog crate, plastic, you would put bedding on one side, then make a small divider out of cardboard and place a small box with a plastic baggie or two in a cardboard box for a make shift litter box. Then you can put trays of water and food on the door that is wire, putting only very small amounts in case kitty is hungry or thirsty. All of this should help. I would not let a skittish cat outside on a harness or not, kitty might get really scared and even more stressed. Good luck on your move! I moved with 6 animals to another state before, room was tight but everyone did great. We let the cat out in the hotel room with the other animals while we were in the room. But never in the car or roadside.
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