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kitten in the car...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
One more question from me and I promise I'm done for the night! This week I'll be taking my new kitten with me to my parent's. The car ride is only about 2 hours but I was wondering if everybody always keeps their cats in their carriers when they drive or if they ever just let them loose in the car?
post #2 of 24
the longest i've had my cats in the car is 30 minutes. i definitely keep them in their carriers. They don't like the car, yowl, claw at their carriers. If i let them run free, I can just picture them freaking out and attaching themselves to my face while i'm trying to drive.
post #3 of 24
Definitely travel with her in her carrier. Worst case scenario: Kitten freaks out and wants to hide. She chooses underneath the brake pedal...well, you can see where that could be very bad. Or she goes underneath the seat and no matter what you can't get her out. I've heard of that happening...and having to have the seat taken out of the car by a mechanic to get the kitten out.
post #4 of 24
My Callie's travelled numerous times and she's a champ! We put a towel over most of her cage, but allow enough exposure for air circulation and for her to see out the end and some on the sides. She'll start wailing at some point during the trip, but we open the door to the carrier for her and she's content! (Silly kitty!) We have food, water, and litterbox available for her use and we stop at least once during the trip for her to eat and such if she needs it. (It's usually a 6 hour trip.)

Also, you may want to ask your vet for something to calm her tummy if you think she'll get motion sickness.

post #5 of 24
When our cat was really young, we took a few 5hr trips (we started her at 8wks). At that time, she was pretty content in the carrier even though she cried for the most part.

Unfortunately, at some point in her life she started not liking car rides. She would even poop in her carrier and it would only be about 30min into the ride! So we started keeping the litter box in the backseat and letting her have full range of the car. She would cry and whine for at least 2hrs and sometimes the entire trip but she would sit on our laps, look out the window and sometimes just curl up against the back windshield.

We only let her have full range of the car if my husband and I are together since one of us can monitor her or else it would definitely be too dangerous! But it is a lot of fun. We've had kids and people in other cars smile and admire our cat. I've even gotten a truck driver to honk for the kitty! =]
post #6 of 24
Originally Posted by kayte04
One more question from me and I promise I'm done for the night!
Hey ask as many questions as you need to! Everybody here is always glad to help.
post #7 of 24
I have only one cat that travels free in the car. But she has done so since she was a kitten and she loves to go with us. Everyone else gets to travel in carriers otherwise to much can happen. Two hours is not a long time, use chucks or disposable diapers to pad the carrier and just let the cat ride inside the carrier.
post #8 of 24
Originally Posted by MeowsersMom
i definitely keep them in their carriers. They don't like the car, yowl, claw at their carriers. If i let them run free, I can just picture them freaking out and attaching themselves to my face while i'm trying to drive.
i always keep mine in their carriers, too. i took one to the vet the other day - only a 10 minute drive, but she was having diarrhea - so i lined her carrier in case she had an accident. the suggestion of disposable diapers is a good one, then any mess she makes will be easy to clean. if it's quiet & her carrier is dark, she may sleep most of the time
post #9 of 24
Carrier, definitely! A loose cat in the car is almost guaranteed to make a beeline for your ankles. Few things are scarier than trying to hit the brakes only to find a cat under the brake pedal. I speak from experience here.

But then, my cats aren't the most well-mannered babies in the world so maybe yours will not take such pleasure in giving their poor mother a stroke. But it's really better not to take a chance with such things since any problem could easily cause an accident.

The most practical thing to use to line the carriers are puppy housebreaking pads. You can get them at any pet supply store. They can be taped down with duct tape.
post #10 of 24
I let Toulouse ride free... but we've been training him to get used to the car. I let Kanoe free IF we aren't going to or coming back from the vet. Captain needs the carrier... he freaks out otherwise. I always put something with their scent in the bottom (the fleece blankets they sleep on for Captain and Kanoe) - but none of them had diarrhea problems. I also found out today that Kanoe rides better if she's listening to soothing music.
post #11 of 24
How old is she?

I started my cat traveling (up to 6rhs in the car)when she was 3 mo. and she has been fine in a carrier. I tried a harness and leash tied around the seat but she seemed more comfortable in a small carrier that I had placed a bath towel and her favorite toys in. I also keep her in the front seat so she can see me at all times and i can talk to her. Buckle in the carrier if you can.
post #12 of 24
The second time my cat rode in the car (first time was when I found her and took her home, she was so small (only a couple months) she layed in my lap) she was 2 years old and it was a 22 hour trip from New Jersey to Louisiana. Because I was moving to LA my husband and I had my stuff all over the car so her carrier was nestled in between everything in the backseat and we were able to access the front of the carrier from our seats. I covered her carrier with her blanket that she liked to sleep on to. As we were driving and getting closer we gave her the option of coming out if she wanted to. The only time she came out during the daytime was when we hit a rest stop to give her some food and water and she layed on top of her blanket under my sweater, as soon as the car started moving she ran right back in the carrier. She came out at nighttime though where she would lay on the floor of the passenger side or whoever's lap that was sitting in the passenger seat.

Now a days getting her in the carrier is a two person job and we don't allow her to get out while we drive because I fear that she will try to get underneath the car seats (which are set real low that the only way you could pry her out is by taking the seat out). I guess it depends on how your kitten adjusts to the car to determine whether you wish to let her ride carrier or carrier free. My cats not a big fan of car rides because she has to sit in her carrier and meows the entire time (just when we take her to the vet or the hour and a half drive to Texas where she stays with the in laws if we go somewheres for a period of time). I try talkin to her and putting my fingers though the front of the carrier but she doesn't want to hear it, she just wants out =o)
post #13 of 24
Please use a carrier! A few years ago there was a horrific car accident here that killed 3 teens, and 2 small children because they let a pair of kittens roam free in the car, and could not get the brake pedal down because of a kitten under it. They missed a curve and hit a huge tree, killing everyone in the car. The kittens were so injured they were put down after an agonizing hour to get to the vet.
post #14 of 24
For safety's sake, use a carrier. When used to take Kahli to PetsMart, even though she was car savvey, she was in the carrier for the ride, and then transferred to the children's part of the shopping cart to go in. But in the car, carrier always.
post #15 of 24
Never ever let a cat ride loose in a car. Always put them in a carrier for their safety and yours.

All it takes is one firghtened cat/kitten to get under the seats and interfer with the gas/brake pedels............

A friend of a friend always took her cat loose in the car. Cat sat on her lap and was good. One day they were waiting at a red light (going to the vet) and an ambulance with sirens comes across the intersection. The cat panicked at the sound - leapt forward out of the girls' arms and straight into the windshield of the car. The cat was knocked unconscience and they rushed him to the vet's. But it was too late - the cat died of brain hemmoraging from hitting the windshield.

Had the cat been in a carrier on the back seat, he might have been scared to death but he would have been alive!

How do you want to transport your cat?
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
I will continue to keep her in the carrier. She really does pretty good in it except that when I took her to the vet last week she hid under her bed inside the carrier the whole trip! I'll try the blanket over it though. The carrier I got has a little thing on the top to run a seatbelt through, so it keeps her secure.
Thanks for all the advice!
post #17 of 24
Hiya all, after reading this interesting thread i just wondered - Where have some of you been travelling to with your cats (5 hr journeys?) Do you take them on holiday or something?

Im sorry but i dont think its fair at all on an animal to be stuck in a carrier for that long ( not advising roaming the car either!) just think i would think of other options rather than taking my kitty on long journeys.

The longest ours will ever travel is 10 minutes to the vets,and he will definately be in his carrier whether he cries or not, a blanket and a toy helps a bit though

post #18 of 24
Oh forgot to add~ Good piece of advice...... Make sure the front of the carrier is not facing the car window as apparently cats will watch where they are going/coming from and travel back if they are homesick, when we got our kitten the breeders told us this so that he didnt return to his original home.
post #19 of 24
Another thing I worry about is what if the cat gets out the window or out the door? How would you ever find her again?

I took two cats to Germany and back. We were military and they were members of the family. They make airline safe carriers. When we went through New York, the taxi driver wanted to make the cats ride in the trunk, so I hired a limosine for them.
post #20 of 24
I usually take my Frankie in the the car for approx. 90 miles to my parents for holiday so she is not alone all weekend. She has done this since we got her from the human society, the vet thinks she was about 8 months old. I would not recommend a soft animal carriers though, they can figure their way out very easily, or as I found out the hard way, they get scared and thrash, which in Frankie's case resulted in a scratched eye, very serious. I think once you get her in the car you realize what is best. Try with the carrier first.
post #21 of 24
Oh I forgot, make sure the windows are locked in the back, I had a frightening experience of someone figuring out how to open the windows. This is especially true with foreign made cars b/c the window buttons "rock".
post #22 of 24
If you're traveling far, I suggest putting them in a larger carrier, with enough room for a small litterbox. Also strongly recommend putting towels or a blanket in the bottom of the carrier, as they may urinate in the cage if they are frightened, and they will be soaking wet!
post #23 of 24
I would recommend leaving her in the carrier. That way she won't distract you from your driving as you will always know where she's at.

Putting the seat belt on the carrier is a good idea. I had put Much in her carrier and thought I had the belt latched. But when I turned a corner, the poor thing went rolling in the carrier across the seat. I stopped as soon as I could and belted her in. She forgave me. I now double-check the latches.

Having your kitten in a carrier also helps if you have to brake hard. She won't become a flying object.
post #24 of 24
Originally Posted by bengalsmum
Hiya all, after reading this interesting thread i just wondered - Where have some of you been travelling to with your cats (5 hr journeys?) Do you take them on holiday or something?
I used to take three of my cats on 4 1/2hr car rides at least twice a month. They loved it. That's how far I lived from my mother at the time and I'd come home to visit her on the occasional weekend. Never a problem.

I also have to chime in here and agree with everyone that a cat should be in a carrier when travelling. Aside from the obvious dangers to both you and your cat that have been mentioned, keep in mind there are laws in a lot of areas that state if you are in an accident and there is an animal roaming free in your car (any kind.. dog, cat, rabbit... anything), the emergency teams will not help you out of your car while the animal is running loose and will wait until the animal services team shows up to restrain the animal before helping you. And I agree because it's a good idea for the rescue team's safety. They can't be much help to you if they're being attacked by your pet... and no matter how much of a sweetheart your cat/dog/etc may be, in a stressful situation like that, they could become scared or protective and attack the emergency workers. Well that, and when an emergency crew shows up on a scene they have no idea that Mr. Cuddles is just a big ball of purring lap fur

I would hate to think that any of my furkids or I would have to sit in a car waiting an hour for medical help just because the animal services team is on the other side of the county and I forgot to put my furkids in a carrier or a seatbelt (my dogs have doggie seatbelts).

Buckle up... you and your furkids... for everyone's safety.
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