Saturday, September 11, 2010

For Anyone Who Has Ever Traveled with a Cat

As many of you know, we're planning a move from Nevada to Kansas, a trip of about 1300 miles give or take.  Probably a three day journey.  Of course, my Quilt Inspector, Charley, will be making the move too.  I've begun looking for any tips, hints, ideas, etc., to make the trip less traumatic for Charley.  First thing on my idea list was a trip to the vet for kitty tranquilizers.  Then I asked my cousins, who are cat people for advice.  Eric sent me a link to this blog:

First I laughed.  Now, I may cry.


  1. First, something I remember from childhood - tranquilizers made my mom's cat barf - repeatedly - a really gross prospect in a closed car. But I also remember the same cat getting ridiculously drunk (or stoned) on catnip - that might be something worth trying! And I'd suggest a dry run on either method before you actually hit the road for the long journey! But a cat carrier, maybe covered with a towel so he can't see out, and a fresh catnip mouse or two might just do the trick!

  2. My sister moved 3500 kilometres with a cat and two dogs. However she was smart and did it on a plane. Twice.

    The only advice I have for you is drive fast. If you do 100 miles an hour and dont stop for toilet breaks, food or drinks you'll only have to put up with the misery for 13 hours.

    Can you send the cat ahead somehow on a plane as cargo?

    That link is gold Michelle. Good Luck and dont forget the classical music.

  3. Sounds to me that the cats didn't like classical, now may be if he had played some hip hop..........., lol.
    I have driven a 10 hour trip, at least twice with two cats in the car. They didn't have tranquilisers, and they were ok. They didn't drink or eat, not because I didn't give them anything they just didn't want to. I let them roam around in the car for awhile (after a few hours), that's was ok as there was another person in the car and they didn't climb all over the driver and we weren't packed to the roof with our belongings! Probably not the right thing to do legally but the cats liked the freedom.
    I have no idea how you would go on a 3 day trip, good luck!

  4. Well, the only time I traveled with a cat was when I was 17 and a passenger in a big old red Lincoln Continental on my way to be "the help" at a doctor's summer home. That cat MEOOOWWED!!! like it was being tortured the entire 40 miles, claws firmly embedded in the leather headrest right behind my allergic head. Nobody wore seat belts back then or believed in cat carriers either, apparently.

    I'm sorry, I know that was not helpful.

    How about you fly it to KS with your grandparents?

  5. PS - I will also ask my daughter if she or the vets at her work have any advice.

  6. Have you taken Charley on any short trips to get an idea of how he'll react? I had one cat that spent the majority of his time under the passenger seat, but a tranquilizer did help him relax a bit. Another cat made the trip from AZ to KS to AZ to IA with no real problems at all. We didn't have him in a carrier, but put a litter box on the floor of the back (just in case), and he was a wonderful traveler. Hopefully Charley will be a natural-born traveler.

  7. I don't have any good advices... I agree with Louise, if Charley has never been in a car, get him used to it before you set out for a long journey. That will make him more used to the car and perhaps the travel won't be that traumatic for him.

  8. I've had Charley in the car for the 12 mile trip to the vet's office. It was a constant meow both coming and going. Bad enough to convince me to take him in the car as seldom as possible.

    I've had calm cats before--the kind that would just curl up in the passenger floor and chill. Charley ain't one of them!

  9. Oh, dear. I'm not a cat person, nor have I made a cross-country trip with cats, so I have absolutely no advice whatsoever. I hope that the tranquilizers work better for you than they did for Eric and his cargo.

    Wishing you the best of luck!

    xo -E

  10. I don't know much about cats, but I know that when we took Jessie (my husband's cat) on short trips, we usually put her in the carrier. Hubby suggests a plane - for a quick ride - or otherwise lots of fluids in the car.
    When Charley needs to "go", and you happen to be at a place where you can pull over, use a leach, so that he doesn't run off (if that doesn't sound to inhumane to you).
    Best of luck!!!

  11. Of all the kitties that have traveled with me. Only one was calm, she would ride up in the back window of the car, calmly looking out as we drove. The other two, well, you get used to the panting and loud cries. I hate using drugs on them, it makes their eyes look funny and creeps me out.

  12. linda imagem!
    parabéns pelo blog

  13. I've travelled with cats on numerous occasions. Most of the cats we've had enjoyed riding in the car, usually on top of a pile of something so they could see out the windows and lord it over all the lowly humans as we drove by.

    We did have one cat that didn't travel well. I highly recommend a cat carrier. It will confine the cat so he can't do what our cat did, which was climb all over the dashboard, shed enough of her hair to coat the interior of the car half an inch deep, then crawl under the driver's seat and yowl for the rest of the trip. Upon our arrival at our destination, she would not come out and we strongly considered renting the Jaws of Life to get her out, but decided not to since we didn't want the car destroyed in the process.

  14. Hope your move goes well. We have traveled with cats multiple times. I have always put them in a carrier. We put blankets or something soft on the bottom of the carrier and hope for the best. The last trip, 2 were quiet and 1 cried most of the way. She finally got tired and shut up. I didn't feed or water them until we stopped at a hotel. They were fine.


Your comments brighten my day. :-)