16 hours in car w/8 cats

This forum is dedicated to places that people and cats can enjoy together. If you want to travel, sight-see, or just go around town with your cat, then you've come to the right place! Don't forget to plan a visit to Catster's Pet-Friendly Travel Area! Book travel and support Catster.

Stevie Ray

I'm invisible!
Purred: Mon Mar 3, '08 6:37am PST 
We're moving to Florida from Northern Virginia. Mommy is trying to figure out the best way to move our 8-kitty family down there.

She's read lots of the tips here but wondered if anyone had experience with such a looooong trip that they might share they're insights?

She's even looked into chartering an airplane ($10k! yikes!). She's thinking that she'll buy crates for each one of us so there'll be room for a litter box. And then we'll have them in case we ever have to evacuate.

The current plan is 4 cats/crates per car and drive straight through. Or she might rent a van and put us all in one car.

I HATE riding in cars. Last time Mommy tried to take me to the vet I howled so much she turned around (I have her trained well). So Mommy says I'm getting drugs. We had a vet that came to the house so Mommy doesn't really know how everyone else does in the car. We're all getting vet checks before we move at the new vet in an office we have to drive to so she'll get some idea then.

We're gonna love our new house. It's got a large screened-in pool area attached to the house so we can go outside whenever we want. And there are lots of plant ledges that Mommy is goint to build stairs to so we can climb up high just like a kitty habitrail! I just wish is wasn't such a long drive!


Luna the Hunter
Purred: Tue Mar 4, '08 9:19pm PST 
Hi, this is Evinde speaking. Well, I do hope you will all have fun at your new home! Not sure if you've heard or not, but I know that some vets can give you a certain drug to sedate the kitty(s) and make them not totally knocked out, but kind of like "Yeah okay whatever" and "drunk." For the kitty carrying, I have quite a few ideas. Either get a seperate, fairly large carrier for each kitty andir litter (and food/water/whatever else) or put the kitties that like being with each other into bigger carriers, maybe even small-dog sized ones, two at a time. (Make sure they don't mind sharing food, litter, etc.) This may work for all of them, if they're all friendly enough. (If not, you can put a few in big carriers and a few in small). Make sure the kitties don't gert too cold (put some warm blankets if it is :3, and make sure they don't get too hot either if it's hot. You could give them some form of toy or other entertainment, but seeing as cats are they'll probably sleep most of the way x3. Oh, and yo might want to put an easy clean-up surface or something... I hope no kitties have nausea...Make sure you pull over once in awhile to make sure everything's okay back there, too. Best of luck, and have a safe drive!

♥ Evinde, Luna and Star


Mmmmm Money
Purred: Wed Mar 5, '08 5:40am PST 
While we have never tralleved far, our dad moved from Vancouver to Ottawa. That was a 4 plus day trip in a pick up truck their cat. I know it was only one cat but she did very well the whole way. We did give her some gravol to help but nothing else. You might want to think about something to give the cats to help them relax/sleep for the trip if possible.

LuLu - Now an angel

Prettiest eyes- on Catster
Purred: Wed Mar 5, '08 11:22am PST 
I am a well traveled kitty. I traveled from Georgia to Oregon by care. Then from Oregon to Georgia by plane. Then back to Oregon from Georgia in a car. All three times it was me and my sister Furie.

Furie was a real crier in the carrier whenever she went to the vet. As a matter of fact, when mom adopted her the put her in a cardboard carrier. She freaked out so much that she actually chewed her way out of the box.

The drive took about 4 days. After the first 1/2 hour of the 1st day, Furie stopped crying. I never cried. We both did very well with about 9 hours in the car and then an overnight at a pet friendly hotel and so on.

I think a van would be a great idea. That way all kitties are together. Are you going to do 16 hours all at once or stop along the way? You can have a litter box available but they probably won't use it. Same with food and water. Make sure if you do stop for a break, all kitties are safely contained so they don't escape. Also, depending on the time of year, make sure that they are out of the direct sun. That can heat up a car very fast.

Good luck on your journey.

Zack Beloved- Angel- (1995-2009)

True Blue to My- Girl Kiwi
Purred: Thu Mar 6, '08 8:01am PST 
I wanted to add, that the Feliway behaviour spray, misted lightly into the carriers, and the back of the van, will help to make for a calmer trip. Likewise, have some Feliway diffusers bought, and plug them in to your new house as soon as you get there.
We have never traveled away from home, but we do live in a hurricane area, so what we do is have separate small carriers for everyone, and a few larger ones for cats that do well together. We don't put food or litter in the individual carriers because our experience is that it just gets thrown everywhere, making the carriers harder to clean. What we do, is have one larger dedicated carrier or folding cage, that has both food and water and a full sized litter pan, and we rotate the cats in and out of that cage. I don't know if this would be safe traveling, though. You would want to make sure that the cat could not escape. One other tip. Be sure all your cats do have an ID tag with a cell number, or permanent contact number, just in case. Before a storm we also take current snapshots, in case something should happen, and cats got loose.
One last thing....sorry this got long. Have your current vet print out your pets health records so you can easily transfer the info to your new yet. Make yourself a copy, and store in a water tight zip bag.
Good luck, and have a safe move, and NO hurricanes!
Zack, and the Texas Wild Bunch


Safe and Happy- at home again!!!
Purred: Fri Mar 14, '08 11:38am PST 
I brought Spike from Toronto to Chicago; it was a 10 to 12 hour drive. My vet gave him some sedative witch helped a lot, it made him “drunk” and he slept most of the way. He also recommended not to feed him the night b4 because sedative might make him nocuous. They probably won’t use litter box and it’s a good idea to put them in separate kitty carriers big enough to lie down in but not to move around much because they might hurt themselves (or something like that). I would choose taking cat by car instead of the airplane. Airplanes can be scary for cats and dogs, especially when they not with you and locked in the cargo or whatever it’s called. All the scary loud noises and then you might get delayed and there is so much that can happen. Some dogs are actually escaped from they crate and get lost.
My dog was traveling with us once in the plane and her sedative wore off and it really was traumatizing for her, she developed a huge separation anxiety after this. Every animal is different and some need more than others and the only way to make sure that sedatives are working properly is to be there with them just in case it does wore off or something goes wrong you can be there to fix it or that the first thing cat/dog sees it you.
Good luck with the travel and hope your trip will be easy on you and your kitties.

Angellus- R.I.P.3APR03- -25JUL13

pooky - loveable- teddybear
Purred: Tue Mar 18, '08 5:38pm PST 
I travelled with two kitty cats, from Anchorage Alaska to texas, through canada and yukon , an 11 day drive. yep!! eleven days by car. I had a medium sized dog crate, the metal ones with the plastic tray in the bottom. I put a blanket in there, and a few small toys for the two of them. I also had a heavy ceramic water dish in there so it wouldn't tip and kept it half filled so it wouldn't spill to much in case of bumpy roads. (which there were) i brought along a plastic jug of kitty litter and those disposable litter boxes. they worked great. i would bring each kitty into the front seat put the disposable kitty box in the floor and while we got out for our rest stop, (no people in the car and door closed so that loud road noises wouldn't spook them) they did their business. dump kitty litter and back into crate. We were stopping each night at a hotel, so they had a chance to get out and stretch and stuff and eat food overnight. But only a straight through 16 hour drive. Just stop every 3-4 hours stretch a bit , water kitties, see if they want to use the litter, and keep going. they should fare just fine.

good luck!!