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7 1/2 hour drive with a cat?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well we are going on vacation next month (THANK GOD! I need it!) and the drive is going to be about 7 1/2 hours. Ricky bobby will be tagging along. Now he is a very calm, laid back cat, I've actually never seen him stressed out except for one time when there was a tornado about 30 miles away. I guess he smelled the weather and sensed something was up. Other than that I've never seen him stressed out. So I'm really not worried about him being a bad traveler, he is in love with his carrier and thinks it's a toy/tunnel to play with. He meows for it when I put it up. I just want to take the necessary precautions to make it as safe, pleasant and comfortable for him. For a cat as laid back as him, would you recommend something like rescue remedy or feliway? I'm thinking of going with rescue remedy over feliway, just because I don't see him freaking out too much. He has taken short car rides several times and seems to love them, no protesting from him at all, he just sits in the car and enjoys the ride, looking out the window. The only thing i'm worried about is he's going to be in a strange environment for 6 days/ 5 nights. We're going to be staying at a pet friendly inn & suites. i plan on burning a few cd's with relaxing music to play while we're out on our daily activities( I've found cat specific relaxing music). I want to take his cat tree (I know I'm crazy) but DH says that's just too much! lol So I'll probably buy him some kind of scratching post/ play area. Umm, any recommendations? What have ya'll done when taking your cats on vacation?
post #2 of 10
Well, I wish you better luck than I had with Pansy. I took him last year because he was having urinary issues, and I didn't want to leave his care up to my petsitter. He was under the bed for 5 days(I went home early) and he would only come out at 3am. I had to force feed him water and food, and I was totally stressed. Now he is hi strung, but I didn't think this would happen.
He was great in the car, didn't meow at all, probably because he was so freaked out he couldn't speak. 1st and last for him.
post #3 of 10
Make sure to take some familiar things from home - a blanket, his bed... Whatever you can take... Also, I would not have housekeeping come into the room while I wasn't there... I would put a do not disturb sign every time I left the room. You can call the front desk for housekeeping at a suitable time, while in the room.
I would also bring a feliway diffuser to plug into the room -for the crate, I would use feliway spray.
Do you have a harness? It would probably be a good idea to harness train him.
Has he gone to other places with you, like Petco, Petsmart, someone's house? If so, how does he react?

Good luck on your trip!!
post #4 of 10
I'm going to have a night on the road, with my cats, while I move. I don't know how much they'll come out of the carrier, although they'll have to come out of it for at least a few minutes so I can change the towel. My plans are to bring their (small) kitty condo along and give them some of their usual canned food and the treats that they like so much, to help them know that everything's OK.

Last time I moved overnight with these two, I found Squirrel (skitty even about me) cuddled up under the blankets next to me in the morning. Don't be surprised if this happens to you, when he's not used to the place, because it seems that being near their particular human helps them feel safe.
post #5 of 10
For the next months take Ricky Bobby on more car rides to get him used to being in the car. Like caronlinalima mentioned don't have housekeeping go in while you aren't there or another solution is put him in a carrier while they clean.
post #6 of 10
All the advice is right on. If your cat is as laid back as mine, I bet he'll do fine. That said, I've already been to Canada and back..and..I wound up boarding mine after all! The reason why is that I decided it was just going to be too risky. With four dogs going, the length of the trip, the hotel stay (as opposed to RV), doors opening, having to take her to the show site each day, the heat (although it got down to 50 one night and was glorious!), it just seemed like it would be too much for my kit. I was worried about boarding too though for other reasons. HOWEVER, I brought her for a visit to a new (to me) boarding kennel. I showed them how she uses a harness and leash and had them hold her and see how friendly she is and had them agree to take her out of her cage on her harness and let her spend some time cuddling in the office. Normally I wouldn't risk that, but Gigi is truly the kind of cat you can do this with. Well, she did GREAT!! She was there for six days and I picked up a happy, clean, well fed kitty who was not the least bit affected by the experience. They raved about how sweet she is and they did indeed take her out and love on her. I was very pleased!! I continue to take her many places and let her meet lots of people as I will be showing her in HHP and she will be travelling with me in the future. So, either way, if your cat is laid back I bet with following all the suggested precautions he will be fine. The same might be said for boarding too, depending on the cat!
post #7 of 10
OK, so I'm totally neurotic about my cat, but I would NEVER leave him alone in a hotel room or any similar place away from home. When I travel, he stays home with a well-paid sitter who sleeps in my house. Cats are territorial, and I know that when I moved with my former cat, she was terrified of the new place for the first week, so I can't imagine bringing a cat into a strange environment unless absolutely necessary--and unless I were with him at all times.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
thanks for the advice everyone.

I did consider letting him stay at a kennel, but i could not do that to my baby. There's only one kennel in my small town, and i admit I really didn't look into it. i just know they wanted $175 more because he would've had to stay over a weekend. that kind of made my mind up for me.

And i have no pet sitter that i can trust. none of my family lives here, only DH's and absolutely none of them like cats. His brother and grandpa came over one day, and RB is a very friendly cat, he loves to greet company and get attention from company. BUT he senses people who are stand offish. To say the least, he was NOT happy that they were over. He ran away from them, which he never does, and for about 15 minutes after they left he kept on going to the front door and sniffing with his tail puffed up! I'm absolutely convinced it's because of their attitude towards cats. So yeah, no way i was going to trust his care to them.

So i have no choice but to take him for a little vacation. I'm sure he'll do fine. And i will be going well prepared.

thanks everyone!
post #9 of 10
We drove from southeast VA to the Jersey Shore and back with Fiona, and she did fine. She is leash & harness trained, and very calm in the car, so we didn't even bring a carrier! It really just depends on the individual cat, whether you would need something like Rescue Remedy or not. In our case, we didn't, and even being blind, she did fine spending 5 days at the beach house. We did bring many items from home with us (her dishes, litter box, scratching pad, and toys), so I'm sure that helped.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
yeah, my kitty is EXTREMELY calm in the car as well. i take a carrier just because I want him to be safe. But I do let him out for most of the time we are driving, and he just sits back and chills out. Looking out the window, purring, he amazed me the first time i took him in the car. He actually does better outside of the carrier than inside, even though at home, his carrier is a toy.
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