Sorry it's been many days since I posted. I didn't mean to get back to you so late. I've been sick for three days now. Recovering now.
I am assuming that Thacker and Monty know each other already.
Okay, firstly sedation. I'm not a fan of it but I do realise that some owners see this as a necessity. But do use your instincts. Only you know your cat's personality and what it can cope with best. Let your vet guide you with the decision, do not let the vet make the decision for you.
I know that you said Monty is laid back in temperament but does this also include being transported around?
If not, I would definitely recommend driving him and Thacker in your car for short rides and gradually increasing them. After each trip reward them with a treat.
If either cat stresses out simply by being in the car before it starts, let them explore the inside of your car under your supervision. Do make sure you have seat covers of some kind especially if you love the upholstery. Expect some scratching to take place. Sit in the driver's seat and talk calmly. The best place to do this exercise is in a fully enclosed garage so the heat doesn't build up as fast in the car. However if you are unable to do this, keep the sessions short and end it before it becomes unbearable as you cannot have the windows down all the way. End each session with a reward.
During this time you can try to teach your cats where they can and cannot go in the car if they locate themselves in a location that can impair your driving.
Once your cats have familiarised themselves with the car, let them explore the car, this time with the engine idling. Do this in the driveway please!
This will allow your cats to get use to the vibration and noise of the car engine. End each session with a reward.
Then, after this it's time to drive. Start with short trips and increase the length of them. This way your cat becomes used to the motion of the car. It's a strange sensation for them so be patient. Though some cats are fine and get the hang of it in no time at all.
During the trip have plenty of water, food, treats and toys available. And perhaps even provide a surface for them to scratch on. A small rug will suffice. Give food if your cat doesn't get motion sickness, otherwise have water on hand. Don't drive for more than 7 hours without letting your cat go to the toilet so to speak. Medical problems can develop. Do make sure that your cat doesn't have an escape route when they do relieve themselves.
Despite having said that, I am a firm believer of having your cats in a carrier cage when travelling. This prevents road accidents and escape when the car door opens.
Provide your cats with bedding to keep them warm. The cargo area can drop to low temperatures while in the air. Provide them with plenty of water before the trip and a small amount of water before the trip.
Have a clear identification label on the cage. However, leave enough room for other travel labels to be placed on the cage such as consignment note, live cargo stickers etc. These are just as important as your identification. And make sure that you have signed everything including the declaration that your cat is not a dangerous good or something that could turn the plane into a weapon of mass destruction.
And remember, delays do happen! And when they do, try your best not to panic. The welfare of your pet will be looked after.
If your cat is on medication, it may be best to use a specialised pet transportation company to move your cat if you feel that you cannot drive your cat yourself.
When I moved my cat Russell, it involved car and road all in the same day. It was meant to be a 6 hour drive then a break of one hour and then a two hour flight. The flight was delayed for three hours and they were close to boarding Russell for the night. The two hour flight took two and a half hours due to weather conditions. The whole trip took about 14 hours by the time we got home.
And right about then I discovered TCS because I noticed Russell was straining to pee. I learnt from reading many other articles and from this site that it was a sign of UTI. A few other problems arose from an ungrateful housemate and that led me to signing up as a member. After a rush visit to the vet and a course of antibiotics, Russell was back to his normal self.