A Question About Long Driving Trips...

Amber MunirAmber Munir Member Posts: 4,166
edited 4 March, 2009 in Cats & Travel
:r I apologize if this sounds like a stupid question. We are thinking of going to New York in March. We live in Kansas and always drive, so it\'s a 1,300 mile trip. We\'ve went before with our dogs, but we\'ve never taken any kitties with us. They\'ve always stayed at home and have been cat-sitted. This time, we are thinking of taking Simba with us. We usually drive about nine hours a day. We always let our dogs out for potty breaks several times during the day, but I\'m wondering...how would we deal with Simba for potty breaks? Nine hours seems like an awfully long time to hold his bladder. I don\'t know if he\'d want to go in a litter pan while travelling in a car. Again, apologies if this seems like a silly question. :))! We\'ve taken cats with us up to Kansas City before, but that\'s only a two or three hour trip. We\'ve never taken cats on any trips longer than that.


  • Sharon DaltonSharon Dalton Member Posts: 3,728
    edited 19 January, 2009
    Well, we don\'t take trips that long, but we do go with Mom when she goes to the mountains; it\'s about a 6-hour trip. We each go into separate large kennels in the cargo area. They\'re big enough for a makeshift litter box and a pad or bed to lie on. Mom checks on us about halfway through (and if she hears any \"strange\" noises coming from the back! :)) ) Mostly, we don\'t use the litterboxes, but, if the situation warrants - we do. I have to add: we all *hate* \"the trip\"! But we\'re glad when we\'re with Mom in the mountains. :)
  • Lily PlantLily Plant Member Posts: 11
    edited 23 January, 2009
    We've taken long trips like that, quite a few times. Just get a big enough kennel that you can put a bed and litter box in, and you should be fine. I don't think your cat would mind going poddy in a car.
  • Barbara HansonBarbara Hanson Member Posts: 1,232
    edited 23 January, 2009
    Miss Phoebe has been on numerous long 10 hour rides. We usually put her in the litter box before starting the trip. She\'s figured out she better use it then. She knows that the suitcases mean road trip! She can hold it for about 10 hours. Just to be on the safe side there is a kitten size litter box in the car. On the first trip we took with her...I put large garbage trash bags on the floor of the car including under the seats...plus on the car seats and then covered them with towels. I also brought more towels plus bags in case there was an accident. Miss Phoebe loves to travel. On the other hand, there is no way her younger sister Miss Daisy can hold it for 10 hours. We usually leave her with a friend. Good luck with the trip!!!
  • Alison GeargeouraAlison Geargeoura Member Posts: 157
    edited 27 January, 2009
    I am pondering a four day drive from one side of australia to the other side (east to west coasts)... So this thread is really good to read. My two have always flown before and they hate it and cling and cry so much that I always feel so horrible for them... But am not sure if I can put up with Calvin howling at me for four days (about 9-10 hours driving each day)... Thanks!
  • Barbara HansonBarbara Hanson Member Posts: 1,232
    edited 3 February, 2009
    Hi Effurryone. Last week we had to make an unexpected family excursion. Miss Daisy had to come with us on an 11 hour road trip. It was her first long ride! We put the covered litter box in the back seat of the car and placed towels around it so it would not move and put plastic garbage bags under it. Miss Daisy and Miss Phoebe both used the box when they needed it. We had always used a regular litter box in the car on previous road trips but Miss Phoebe never used it. Both kitties seem to like having the covered litter box for privacy in the car!!!
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 17 February, 2009
    We've done multi-day car trips before, about 12 hours a day or so. We do have a covered box that we use just for travel, but we introduce it to the cats a few days before we leave. Then it goes in the back of our car (we have a very spacious cargo area rather than a trunk), anchored in place by suitcases, but still with enough room for the cats to reach it. Boris, who has traveled much longer, so he does take potty breaks in it if he really needs to go when we stop for food or gas. Gracie has not had as much experience, and she will not go at all. Even when Boris never went in the box inside the car, he'd be fine holding it in. Good luck with your travel.
  • Debbie CormellDebbie Cormell Member Posts: 158
    edited 3 March, 2009
    umm a late response :-) We all travel for 8 months a year, yes call meow-mom crazy! But, a few carriers are always left "open" and out in the house, so some of us like to sleep in them for our naps... no fear of them! Then we have a "cat/dog gate" preventing us 4 from driving the car with meow-mom so we are all in the back end of the SUV... we ride about 9 hours a day across country for several days at a time, before stopping for a few months... Then we are off again. Potty box - oh yea Lucky LOVES to make a nice stinky about 1/2 hour into our first day - I think it's because Meow-mom HAS to stop and clean it hehehe But our carriers are locked down with bungie cords, then opened after we settle in... Bonnie pukes the first 1/2 hour (about the time Lucky has a nice stinky), we stop and everything is clean again and off we go! Most of us don't eat in the car, but there is dry food available, and lots of fresh water - we sometimes will drink when stopped at a rest area and the car quits moving! After we all realize it's not the quick Vet trip, we quit "talking" to meow-mom (or yelling at her), and go into "zombie" sleep mode unless one of us moves around and disturbs another! It's NOT hard to travel with your kitties, they do get used to it - really they do! and when we do stop at night, we get to Snuggle with meow-mom and dad :-) So it's all good !
  • edited 4 March, 2009
    When Tag takes a lengthy trip in the car with me, I put a covered litter box in the trunk. When he needs to go, he meows in a certain voice (different from his regular one ...more yowwwoollll to it) and I pull over, stop and fold the back seat forward, which, with my car, allows entry into the trunk. He goes in, while I use the time as an excuse to stretch and get the carbon dioxide out of my joints and my circulation up again. After he does his business, he pops back out and back in the passenger half of the car, usually my seat. I tell him to get in his seat, which he does. He has his own (doggie) car seat. :-$ :-# uh, I mean KITTY seat, from which he enjoys the view or sleeps as we go. Then I hook the lead (connected in the back of his seat) to his harness, put the back seat in place again and off we go! When I find a good rest stop without wandering dogs, I stop and take him for a spin on the leash. Tag also walks on the leash. He will only poo in his own yard or in his litter box, though, or I’d just let him take care of his business on leash.
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 4 March, 2009
    Not a stupid question, its a very good question. :D Bumpurr is a show cat, since he was 4 months old, we travel all over the east coast to shows, up to 7 hrs one way. :D I know some let their cats loose in the car when traveling, but I highly recommend, you confine him to a carrier. G forbid, you get in an accident, and he goes flying thru the windshield, or gets loose, or some one opens a door or window, and he gets loose. :D It should be a good sized carrier, one he can comfortably stand up in, turn around, and lay down stretched out. The small carriers are too confining for a long trip. Kinda like, if you had to go on a long trip, in the backseat, would you rather stretch out in a Cadillac, or squished in a little car. You should also make it comfortable for him, put in 2 clean soft towels, and some of his toys, no food/water, they only spill it. Some show people will put wee wee pads in the bottom, in case of an accident, and carry extra pads and extra towels, just in case. :D He should wear a collor or harness, with tags on him, with your contact information. Carry pictures of him and you, with you, in case you need to identify, he is your cat. You also want to have his health papers with you, shots records, and rabies certificate. Some states mandate rabies shots, New York is one of them. Make sure his shots and rabies are up to date. :D I highly recommend you do not take him out of his carrier, until you get to the hotel, you run the risk of him getting loose. Cats that are shipped, are in their carriers for days. They have newspaper or wee wee pads in the bottom of the carriers. They are not, taken out of the carriers, at all, by baggage handlers, or in the cargo hold, or if they have to stay overnight, in the airport, for this very reason. :D Make sure the hotel/motel you stay at is pet friendly. Some of the well know ones are Red Roof, Days Inn, Super 8, Motel 6, Microtell, Comfort Inn, La Quinta and some Holiday Inns. Some charge pet fees, some do not. Some pet fees are non refundable, some are refundable, upon inspection in the morning. Holiday Inn does this. If you stay at a hotel/motel, where it is refundable, upon inspection in the morning, **always, always, always**, tell them you want an inspection NOW. There is always some kind of damage already in the room, and if you don't do it now, your cat will be blamed for it in the morning, nice racket, for those that don't know. Go thru the entire room, with the person, and make them write down, any damage you already see, write it down, and get their name. Insist on an inspection, now, or tell them you will not pay the pet fee, be firm. Holiday Inn is famous for that, they hate me, I make them inspect it now. Some hotels require the cat be confined to the bathroom, but its mostly the higher end ones, so ask ahead, what the pet policy is. :D ****BEFORE**** you let your cat loose in the room, check under the bed to make sure, there is nothing under there, he can get into, the cleaning ladies do not clean under the bed, look for insect bait, rodent bait, any holes in the wall, and behind the dressers. You would be surprised, what has been found under the bed. I learned this the hard way. At one hotel, Bumpurr found a choir boy, which is a cleaning product, and he chewed it up. But, the even better part is, this particular choir boy, was not used as a cleaning product, it had other uses, which Bumpurr could of died from. The hotel had to pay his very expensive vet bill. :D Be respectfull of the room, don't ruin it for other pet people. Put the litter box in the bathroom, that way, if he spills any litter, you can sweep it up. Carry a mini broom and pan with you, as well as a scooper, and some plastic bags, like you get at the grocery store. In the morning, scoop out his cat box, put it in the plastic bag, tie it up, and put it in the trash. Don't just put the litter in the trash by itself. And don't just leave any litter he spilled on the floor. It ruins it for the rest of us. :D Carry a spare blanket with you, in case the weather is bad/cold, so you can put it around the cage, when you take him in and out. When you do have to stop, do not leave him unattended for very long, and make sure the doors are locked. :D If you do have to stop for a lenght of time, park the car, where you can see it, and keep an eye on it. :D Been doing this a long time, and this is the safest and most effecient way to travel with your cat. Have a good trip! I am in NY state, if you need anything or run into trouble. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
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