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Yet ANOTHER moving inquiry (cross-country)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
it would appear moving season (or PCS season for military types ) is upon us. I, too, have some particular questions on my upcoming move. Some things that haven't been addressed in any posts I can find:

1) does anyone have experience moving their furballs cross-country in the cab of a moving van???? I'll be driving a U-haul (towing my car), with another driver, two felines, a guinea pig and possibly a fish. Am I insane? YES. Anyone got any suggestions to keep us all from going nuts?

I already have my feliway spray on order, as Bella is a nervous nelly in the car to the vet's. I've already mapped out my overnight stops and will be attempting to locate some stops enroute to allow the furkids some time outs.

2) I'm moving in with my mom, who already has 4 felines and a loveable canine. I don't know that 8-yr-old Bella has ever encountered a D-O-G before so I will be taking it VERY slow with that introduction. Cinnamon is a huge ham, a little on the wild side but very trainable - not accustomed to a leash, however (mom has a LARGE fenced yard and a doggie door, so he comes and goes as he pleases) He is very protective of one of the kitties, though, so I know HE's ok with them

3) I'm reading all the advice on acclimating to a new house - one room at a time. My biggest concern is the doggie door - all but one of Mom's cats use it as well, and I'm not sure what Bella's reaction will be. She's been a strictly indoors kitty since I got her, but she shows great curiosity for the out-of-doors when I come and go. I will be keeping her collar on and my eyes on her, but. . .

Thanks for listening, and any advice would be appreciated.
post #2 of 4
Rica Lynn,

I relocated with 6 cats from Ontario Canada to Georgia and we looked into the plausability of transporting them using a rental van. The cab is very small and it is going to be crowded. Figure out some way to secure the carriers down using the seat belts and perhaps extra strapping. Remember that you may also need to be able to remove them in a hurry, so not complicated knots. (We ended up letting the movers take the van and we rented a passenger van for the cats and other fragile belongings). Make sure you get one with air conditioning because you won't be able to open the windows - the breeze and noise level is very stressful on the cats. Plan on stopping and resting the cats at least every 2 hours. Have something to cover the carriers - ours panicked whenever we went under a bridge or a big transport roared past as the shadows played over their carriers. When you check in at the hotels along the way ask for a room as far from the bar as they can give you or the noise levels can be very disturbing for the cats. Disposable litter pans already 'prefilled' are very useful, although they are a bit shallow so carry a bigger pan that you can put the temporary one in. Bring a small hand held vacuum with you and keep it accessible. The hotels will charge a deposit for the pet and once they check the rooms you can get the deposit back if there is no damage - the vacuum gets kitty litter:-). Prepare for the cats to try and hide under beds at the hotels. If you have to leave the hotel room for anything, put the do not disturb sign out. Carry treats close at hand to help the cats when they are stressing - you can toss a few in their carriers. Carry several 'changes' for the bottom of the carriers - and have lots of paper towel available as well. I had bath mats that seemed to work well. Mark your new address on the outside of the cat carriers as well as making sure you have identification on the cats themselves. I also used packing tape to secure the two halves of the carriers together to prevent them accidentally coming apart (not that they were prone to, but just as a precaution). Anyway, hope this helps.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

YES that helps tremendously!!! I knew there was a(nother) reason I asked for a DustBuster for xmas! (never would have thought of that on my own!) And yeah, the disposable litterboxes will be invaluable in this context - I only have covered and top-entry boxes - not very practical for an already cramped truck cab.
I had already figured on stacking the two cat carriers on top of each other (or maybe getting a larger one for both furballs?) in the center of the seat. And thank you too for mentioning the overpasses and bridges - hadn't thought about that either; don't run into any of those in our cross-town jaunts to the vet.

This is why I LOVE you guys!!! The collective experience and brainpower is absolutely priceless. Keep the brainstorms coming. . .

post #4 of 4
I recently moved from Upstate NY to Chicago with our kitty Oliver in tow--we took two cars, my car and a u-haul van, so we kept Oliver in the backseat of my car in a large hard-sided carrier (like you'd get for a small-med size dog).
We put a little blanket in there so he could be comfy, and he did remarkably well. We would stop at rest stops prob. every 3 hours and would let him out of the carrier (with all the car doors shut) so he could stretch his legs and use his litter box, we we had put in the back of the car as well (I was driving a SUV at the time, so there was lots of room). We stayed in a hotel overnight, and even though he was freaked out for the first hour or so, eventually he slept on our bed like he did at home.
When we arrived in Chicago, we took him up into the apartment first and tucked him away in the guest bathroom with a litter box and food and water so he could have somewhere to relax while we hauled all the boxes up. We kept him in the guest bathroom for several hours while we moved everything in and unpacked a lot of stuff so he wouldn't freak out. That night and the next few nights afterwards we kept his box and food and water in our room at night, and kept him in there with the door shut for the first few days, then gradually let him explore the house.

The only other tip I can think of that seemed to help us was listening to a book on tape--it kept us busy and the calm sounds of someone talking put him at ease--he slept for most of the ride and never howled once--although he's always been good in cars. Before we left NY we made sure to get a copy of all our vet records to bring with us, as well as a small jar of meds just in case he got worked up--but we never had to use them. We also had the vet give him a check up and update his flea meds and shots before we left--that way it was one less thing we had to worry about when we got there, and we knew he was in great health upon leaving.

Don't be upset if the kitties don't want to eat/use the box during the drive--Oliver wouldn't use his box til we got to the hotel and didn't eat until a day after we arrived in Chicago--which meant he didn't eat for 3 days--so boy was he hungry once he realized all was well!
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