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Moving with craaaazy cats

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I may be moving in the next six months or so and I have no idea how to make the transition tolerable for my guys. I know they're both going to freak out.
My biggest concerns are making sure they don't panic and get loose -- and making sure they don't rip me or anyone else to shreds from fright.

The only thing I can come up with is keep 'em on a steady dose of tranquilizers from the vets while the actual move is happening.

All ideas appreciated.
post #2 of 10
I don't know how far you are moving from your place now, but my daughter recently went through a similar situation. Fortunately for her and her kitties, her move was pretty close in location. Two of her three cats are terrified in carriers and in cars so she was really nervous. She moved as much as possible, , with leaving the cats here, and then took them and all of their belongings-bowls, toys, litterboxes, everything to her new place last. As she expected, they cried in the car but she put them in one small room for a few hours and then let them explore in the evening. After a day or two they were fine and loving their new place! As long as your cats are with you, they will be fine too.
post #3 of 10
I am moving from Dallas to LA in the next couple of weeks, and going through the same concerns... I did a lot of research, and here is what I am counting on: Feliway Spray and plug-in (for before the move, hotels, and new home), Rescue Remedy, harness, and lots of TLC during the move and once we get to the new home. I am also taking all the toys and her supplies in one box that will be readily available, so her space will be the last one to go down in the old house, and the first to go in on the new one... I hope she agrees with the arrangement!
Good Luck!
post #4 of 10
Most vets do not recommend or will not allow tranqs as your never know how your cat will react to them, esp. under stress.
post #5 of 10
I asked a question about moving months ago with Sasha because she goes crazy in carriers.
I got her a soft carrier and she was fine.
Maybe you can try that kind of carrier.
Sedatives are not good to give a cat for moving.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just don't think I'll be able to get them into their carriers without at least one of us being tranquilized.

My biggest worry is that they panic and flee. I'd have someone watching them the whole time, but that still concerns me.
post #7 of 10
I moved several states (2 full days of driving) with 2 cats back in May. Some tips:

- Each cat needs its own carrier. It doesn't have to be large enough to fit a litter box as they probably will be too freaked out to use it. There's no point in stopping to even try to see if they will use one. I recommend the Petmate Fashion Kennel carriers (or similar) with the hard sides. Try to leave in the morning right after they normally use the litter box. It's ok to feed them a little less than what you normally would. They need to stay in their carriers the whole time. I bought larger carriers than what you need for cats, mine were the size for small/medium dogs.

- When you get to the hotel at night, they are going to be freaked out. Put them in the bathroom with a litter box and water and food. They aren't going to touch the water, food, or litter box right away. They'll be too busy checking everything out. Eventually, they will go. Just keep them confined to the bathroom. (A smaller space seems mean after a car trip, but it's less overwhelming for them this way).

- I would ideally try not to spend more than 8-9 hours a day driving, but that's up to you. We went longer (12 hours and then 8 the next day).

- Make sure all are wearing collars. Make sure they are micro-chipped. Make sure all of the info is up to date.

- My vet gave me meds for them but I did research and decided it wasn't wroth the risk to use them. They both did fine in the car. One of my cats is pretty relaxed all the time anyway and she was fine. Our other one is super skittish and she was ok, so long as the windows were rolled up (the noise scared her).

- Don't leave them in the car longer than 15 minutes without you in there to regulate the temperature of the car. Even that might be too much time, depending on the weather.

- NEVER open their carriers in the car. Put them in the carrier while you are inside House A and don't take them out until you are in the hotel room or in House B. They should not be allowed to roam inside the car.

- Look into products like Rescue Remedy. They calm cats down without the risky side effects of sedatives.

- Keep them confined to one bedroom or bathroom while you are moving in to the new place.
post #8 of 10
It was over three years ago at this point, but my spouse and I drove across the country with two cats, one of whom is very skittish. I agree with almost everything Sakura said, although we did let the cats out of the carriers inside the car, because we drove straight for something like 32 hours. As long as you don't open the doors or windows when the cats are out of their carriers in your car, the cats simply can't get out.

We did end up at a hotel, and we let the cats out into the whole hotel, and it was a disaster trying to get the skittish one back into the carrier. So the advice about keeping them confined in the bathroom in the hotel is probably excellent advice.

If you can take your cats to the vet in a carrier, you can get your cats into carriers for a move.
post #9 of 10
We moved from Maryland to Florida this past July with our two cats. We bought this Petmate Portable carrier meant for a dog. I believe we either had the intermediate size or the large. We kept it open in our living room and sprayed it with the feliway spray. We had it up for a couple months before the move to get them used to it - we even put treats in it so that they would have to walk inside to eat them. We also bought disposable litters to put inside the carrier for them in case they had to go - it was a 15 hour drive with no stops except drive-thru food and bathrooms. The trip went very very well. They slept the whole entire way and cuddled up with each other - I think it helped with them getting along as they were slowly getting used to each other before the move. During the move they licked and comforted each other and slept together. We had the disposable litter in it and it was only used once by Riley half way through the trip - the rest of the time they just slept. At stops I would open it up just enough to fit my hand in to drop some food in there in case they got hungry and to pet them....never open it enough for them to come out!

Overall it was a wonderful trip and they didn't have any problems at all.

Best of luck for your move and I'm sure it will all go smoothly!
post #10 of 10
I also moved many hours to another state. I suggest you have a hard enclosed plastic kennel carrier big enough to put a make shift litterbox on one side (cut out of cardboard) so the cat at least has an option should they get stressed and need to use the bathroom. Then soft blankets on the other side that they are used to with their smell and your smell. Don't let the kitty out if you are so scared about that kitty bolting and running away. Use feliway. And get one of the food/water attachments to put on the door of the crate. No medication. Glad you are taking your kitties with you during the move
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