Moving Cross Country with 2 people, 4 cats

Megan YangMegan Yang WebsterMember Posts: 7
edited 20 January, 2009 in Cats & Travel
In Jan. my boyfriend of 6yrs/my kitties\' daddy and I will be moving by rental truck from Webster (near Houston), Texas to Corvallis, Oregon. We have 5 kitties, but will likely only move with 4. Our Maine Coon is up for adoption (we have a friend she\'s going on a trial stay with soon.) We are stuggling to find a safe and comfortable way to move 4 kitties without flying them. Two of our kitties, Kitty and Cory, are great in the car and often travel in the same, medium crate. They are small and can stand and walk about easily, and being together relieves their stress. Harley and Remo are less comfortable in the car. Remo HATES the crate, and Harley has a lot of anxiety about leaving the house. We evacuated for Hurrican Ike, and she managed, but was very shaken. I\'ve been advised to just crate them in the towed car, but the thought of them being alone in the car worries me. Is there any way to make this work? Has anyone moved under similar circumstances? How can I move with my kitties safely?


  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 8 December, 2008
    You can start acclimating them to the car now with some short trips. This might help them not to find the car as stressful. Put some familiar smelling towels, small blankets, etc in their carriers with them. You could try a product like Bach's Rescue Remedy, too. I wonder if it would be possible, instead of towing the car, for either you or your kitties' daddy to drive the car with the kitties so they won't be alone? You could maybe take turns driving the car and driving the truck?
  • Sabrina SalisburySabrina Salisbury PrescottMember Posts: 197
    edited 8 December, 2008
    I may 'get' to do this soon too, but just with 2 people and 2 kitties (a lizard too, but that is the easy part). Though in our case both cats will be in our car with us as our 'stuff' is being moved seperately. I do very much agree, get your cats as used to the car now as possible to reduce stress. If any of them doesn't like the crate, start with that first. Since that's quite a trip, plan ahead if you need to stop overnight anywhere. You'll need cat-friendly places for sure!
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 10 December, 2008
    Meowma recommends an anti-anxiety pill for at least the non driving human. liky she gets when she flies for more than four hours! ;)
  • Megan YangMegan Yang WebsterMember Posts: 7
    edited 11 December, 2008
    We\'ve set up the crates in the house with some of their favorite blankies, toys, and nip to try and make the crates less scary. So far it\'s more fun to sit ON them than IN them...! Since it\'s such a long trip, we would like to tow the car and take turns driving the truck so we have fewer days on the road. :-k Does anyone know how big the cabs of moving trucks are? Could two cat crates fit with two people? :-k Would soft crates or hard be better? We were thinking about setting up a large wire crate in the truck cargo area so we could stop and let the kitties potty and eat at rest stops. We were also considering cabin camping, since it would be cheaper than a motel and most camps are pet friendly. :-k Speaking of anxiety, has anyone used tranquilizers on long trips for their kitties? My vet recommended tranqs during the hurricane, so we did that, but it was only a few hours, not a few days. I appreciate all the responses...! ^_^
  • Ellie CarterEllie Carter SeattleMember Posts: 2,252
    edited 12 December, 2008
    You can try tranquilizers.... just be warned that sometimes cats dont respond to them... You can try feliway or rescue remedy to help ease their anxiety. Rental truck cabs are not that large. I am not sure how comfortably you will be with the carriers in there, plus you would want to ensure that they are secured by something. Our carriers are always secured by a seatbelt. I agree with the other poster that it may be best to have the cats in the car and drive them that way. I for one have moved many times with mom. The longest move I made was from TX to IN. I did very well throughout the entire trip. I stayed in mom's friends car for it as there would not have been room for two carriers in the truck (my sister was moving with me). Good luck for your move! I might suggest keeping a Renuzit readly available for accidents. Also have a couple of small litterpans too.
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 14 December, 2008
    I don't know if I would recommend the cargo area of the truck, since it is not climate- or noise-controlled, so it might be even more stressful to ride there. Riding in a towed car would be preferable to that, I think. Rescue Remedy is a natural calmative, but if you want to try tranquilizers, your vet should be able to advise you on that.
  • Megan YangMegan Yang WebsterMember Posts: 7
    edited 14 December, 2008
    The cargo area would only be used at rest stops. We thought about setting up a large wire play cage so they could get out of the carry crates and run about and go potty. I think I'll try the Rescue Remedy on some short in-town drives to see if it helps the kitties. I read in another forum that the tranqs aren't recommended because the kitties come-to in a strange new place causing more anxiety. I do like the idea of a natural remedy that doesn't zonk them out. :-k For those of you that make very long trips (10+ hrs) do the kitties go potty? Kitty, Cory, and Remo evacuated during Rita and were stuck in traffic for 15 hrs. They didn't potty until we got to the hotel. :-k Is that common?
  • Debbie CormellDebbie Cormell Member Posts: 158
    edited 15 December, 2008
    Our four have just returned home from traveling. We all left in June from Tucson, AZ and did a 5 day trip to Northern Ohio. 2 months later, we were loaded up again and went to Minnesota. 2 months later we drove from Minnesota down to Texas, near Houston. Now back in Tucson at home hehehe We do this every year, and Meow-Mom bought a "dog gate" at PetCo that goes up behind the Drivers seat in the SUV. We all are safe then on our Temperpetic pad - bought & cut to fit our spot :)) and have the whole back end for our crates, water, food and potty box. We DO go potty on these long trips, but don't eat or drink much until we get to stop at night :-) Meow-Mom stops after 1/2 hour, cuz 2 of us get a bit car sick at first and she replaces some of our blankies, then we are all good and go into a semi-zombie mode hehehe We don't do any drugs, cuz her kitties before us took them and slobbered too much and were drugged acting :-( After a couple hours, the cats know this isn't a short trip to the Vet and DO settle down quickly - ear plugs if you can't stand to listen to meowing LOL but Meow-Mom found out WE like soft country western music to lull us across country. Best of luck on your long journey! Bonnie 13 years old Olive 10 Lucky Streak 5 Sandy aka Sandia 3
  • Krystal StaveKrystal Stave Member Posts: 6
    edited 10 January, 2009
    Our longest road trip was from Arkansas to California with 2 cats and a rottweiler. The cats were with me and my daughter in our stationwagon. During the trip she would take them out of their Vari-kennels occasionally and see if they needed to potty in a small litter pan. At night we would check into a pet friendly hotel, set out food, water and litter and let them loose. I'm not going to pretend they liked it cuz they certainly didn't! But it worked out fine.
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 20 January, 2009
    This is Delyte. You should be careful if you are planning to transfer a cat from a carrier to a cage, or any kind of transfer. Once when our people were travelling they met some people in a rest area whose cat had escaped from its carrier while they were stopped and they could not get it back and had to leave it there. As our person is very aware, cats can get scared easily and will run if frightened. It would be better to put the cats in carriers with a small kitty litter pan and some water, and only take them out for food and exercise if you stop at a motel or something like that, or when you arrive at your destination. Watch out for motel rooms that have places where the cat can hide under something and you can't get it out, too! What an epic trip you are planning! Cats mostly do not like car trips, with a few notable exceptions, and the quieter they are during the trip, the better it will be. Our person has seen people driving with cats laying on the dashboard or on the back when cars had that neat shelf under the back window. We have friends who travel 100 miles each way for vacations and they love it, but they had to get used to it from kittenhood. They are definitely nothing like any of the cats our person has had. ;)
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