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Please help with advise to move

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone.. My wife and I just retired last Friday and moving from MA to FL on the 15th. We have two DSH Female's. One 2 and one 16. Both indoor cats. When we go to the vets, the car ride is hellish and the 16 year old foams drewls at the mouth.
My heart goes out to the two of them. I could not do anything to hurt either one. (I had to put one to sleep a couple of years back and it put me in the hospital) My doctor has given me xanax for me to take to try to deal with the stress. We have two options of taking the two girls.
A flight for the 16 year goes from Boston to Atlanta then to Melburne.
I figure that would be 6 hours of torture for her because the Dr said no meds on the plane. Or, they both can go in the car with my wife. She has an suv and she will take two days to get down there. The doctor for that gave us acepromazine .25mg for each to take two hours before we left. He asked that we test it before we go and I have. The older one it did not effect.. the younger one was stoned. Today we took the girls for a small ride around the block with no meds as a test to try to get them use to the car. The screemed for about 2 minutes.. then only once in a while. I could see both of them were breathing very fast. I kept calming them while my wife drove. It was tearing my heart out. I could see the fear.
What I fear the most is that the stress of this move will kill my oldest, or me for that matter. My doctor tried to assure me. but it was a haphazard assurance at best.
Can someone please help me try to do this right. I love my three girls, the third is my wife, but she will do fine... its the little ones I am worried about. Should I fly with one, or go for the two in a car. They will be spending one night in a hotel. My wife will be driveing down with a friend so I will be flying anyways. I feel so bad for them... Please help me... what is best.. is three better meds for them, or a better way?
post #2 of 13
I don't have a lot of experience travelling with cats, but I think that they might calm down after being in the car for a while? I think your cats will not die from the car ride. If you fly them, see if you can take them as your carry-on luggage. I think it would not be a good idea to fly them as cargo.
post #3 of 13
Welcome to TheCatSite

I have not had to move cats a long distance but it sounds like you have done everything right as far as conferring with your vet about their ability to travel.

Personally, I think getting there is only half the challenge.
Getting them settled into their new home will also be something to think about ahead of time.
There are things you can do to help them adjust to their new surroundings.
There is a lot of info in our Behavior Forum that can hope you prepare.

After you get settled in your new home, come back and visit us.
I would love to hear more about your sweeti kitties.

I hope that other members will have some helpful feedback for you about the trip.
post #4 of 13
Hi there we're so happy to get the chance to welcome you and furfamily to TCS. I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay with us - we're one great big family and you'll find loads of friends here. If I can help at all while you're finding your way around TCS just click on my username and send me a Personal Message - I'll do what I can to answer your questions

I wish I could offer some help with the issue of travelling with kitties. It sounds like you have been doing all you can to get some good advice. Some areas of the forum are frequented by membes with knowledge in that field, perhaps you could try posting your question on the care and grooming forum. Just click the underlined text and it will take you to the forum.

Good luck
post #5 of 13
Hi and welcome to TCS!

I've had some experience with long distance transport of cats - my own and foster kitties. My oldest, Katie, flew from Brussels, Belgium to NYC via cargo when I returned to the states after getting out of the Army. It was a 9-hour flight. She was tired after the flight, but came through it just fine. More recently, I've had a foster kitty fly from Cincinnati to her new home Denver via Delta Air Cargo. She got there just fine with no ill effects. Many people are wary of flying their pets cargo, but most major airlines these days are very careful with pets. Delta was wonderful. I've heard Continental is good too. If you're able to take the cats with you in cabin as carry on, even better. I've also driven 8 hours with Katie and other kitties on extended trips. While a little nervous and very vocal at first, all calmed after a time and slept most of the trip.

Hope that provides some reassurance. Bless you for being so concerned about your kitties' welfare and doing what's best for them. Good luck!
post #6 of 13
A thoughtful moderator moved your thread, with it's important questions, to this Behavior forum with the hope that more members will see it and offer their feedback.

I see that eilcon offered her take on this...
she loves her cats and would only do what is best for them.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the move.. pun on words.... I was sick to my stomach most of the day today after our test ride. Tomorrow I will give them the meds once again and try for a ride.
As far as setting up the new house... I think it will be ok.. but ya never know. I have alot of our cloths, their beds, and best of all, a screened in pool area. They loved to go out in our screened in deck , they will love looking at the huge birds in Florida... also it will be warm.. they are always cold.
Another question while I am at it.. I was told I should get them a flee treatment of some kind incase around the screened in pool a flee or two come in.. what is best... or do I really need it.. it is a concreat deck but if they get near the screen, I am afraid of flees. Don't worry... I have already got a steel screen on the bottom for alligators.
post #8 of 13
Below is a link to a recent thread in Care and Grooming about some members experiences with current flea treatments.
You might also want to start a thread of your own there.
post #9 of 13
My inlaws just moved from FL to NY with their cat, and they drove. I think she's about 7 or so. My mom-in-law said that Tinker cried for about half an hour, and then she slept most of the trip. They stopped at pet-friendly hotels every night so that they could let her out of her carrier. She's not the nicest cat, and we all thought she wouldn't travel well at all, but she made it here just fine.

My husband also drove 30 minutes out of town to get my current cat, who'd never left the house except to go to the vet, and she was just fine too.

Good luck moving with your kitties.
post #10 of 13
Personally I've heard way too many horror stories of flying with animals. So unless you can have them in the cabin with you I would not go the flying route. And even then, I'd wonder if they would be even more stressed from all the people and different sounds/feelings/smells. At least in the car they may be a bit more relaxed because the smells are more familiar (especially if you have been doing trial runs with them). Also, I know my cats love cat nip. I wonder if you rub a few of their favorite toys in catnip and stick them in their carriers if that would distract them for a bit.

Good Luck with your move. You certainly sound like you are doing the proper preparations!
post #11 of 13
My best friend recently moved about 90 minutes away with her 3 once ferals. The doctor gave her homeophathic medicine and they did fine. It was only 90 minutes, but still. They love their new home. She moved in to take care of her mother, and they now have grandma trained.
post #12 of 13
Congratulations on your retirement and welcome to the forums. You're in good company here because most people know just how you feel about this move and about the loss of your previous cat. I recently had to put a stray to sleep that we'd had for only a few months and I missed quite a bit of work. I'll probably experience just what you did when we lose one of our indoor kitty family members.

I see a few things to consider about your travel options. With regards to the plane, if your older cat experiences any distress you wouldn't be able to stop like you would in a car so I'd count that as a con. On the plus side, it would decrease her travel time significantly. Another possible con will be your own anxiety. Cats are very sensitive to how their owners feel and you might actually increase her stress. That's something to consider.

On the car side, the con is obviously the length. The pros would be the ability to pull over and find a vet if she experienced any significant distress and if your wife is more relaxed about moving the cats than you are, she'd be able to be a good source of comfort to your cat.

Most cats really do settle in once you get going so were I in your shoes I'd probably opt for the car. It may take longer but the hustle and bustle of the airport layovers and all the changing of planes would bother me personally on the cat's behalf but that's just me! I'm sure from what you've already said that you'll pick what's best for your kitties.

One other thing I'd do is get the spray version of Feliway. It's basically cat pheromones in a can and you could spray it on a towel and put in their carriers. It won't affect the drugs if you give those to them. It's totally safe and natural and will just help them to relax sort of like how we feel when we smell fresh baking cookies or bread. The cool thing about the Feliway is you can't smell it! Here's a link to what I'm talking about:

With regards to fleas, Florida does indeed have many as does my home state Georgia. I've relatives in Florida and know just the big screened in areas you're talking about. They're kitty dream mansions! The concrete won't help much as the fleas will be able to hop in. A topical flea drop like Revolution (my personal fav) will prevent the fleas but I'd give the kitties plenty of time to settle in before I treated them to that. In the meantime, have a pest control company spray your yard. That alone might prevent the fleas since you're cats will be in a contained area and won't be able to roam freely.

I hope I've been able to help ease your mind! I love Florida and know you, your wife and your kitties will too! Please check back in and let us know how the move goes. Remember, the calmer you can be the better it is for your kitties! That always gets me through!
post #13 of 13
It was probably Bach's Rescue Remedy, Wyatturps Mom. I haven't used it, but I have friends who have, on their dogs and cats, and they say it can be life-changing, if your pet is consistently anxious. It's also effective for just occasional usage. It can be added to their water or rubbed into their ear (the outside flap part, not dropped in!) There's a version for humans, too!

Looks like you can buy it online at that site, I've also seen it at Whole Foods and good health food stores.
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