Moving with old cat

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.


Purred: Sun Mar 30, '08 7:37pm PST 
My cat lives with my parents in the country. They are now moving, and she can't come live with me because I live in town, and she doesn't get along with my 4 dogs (she fights with them, and chases them). So, they are taking her with them when they move.

She is 14 years old, and she will be going on a 14 hour road trip. She is not fond of the car, and they are leaving next week. They have bought her a crate, a leash and a harness. She will have a litter box.

Does anyone have any tips, other than getting her used to the harness and crate, on how to keep her calm, get her in and out of the crate, with out having to use oven mitts? How often should you offer her use of the litter box? How often should you offer food and water, if at all? Where do you offer her the use of the litter box? Do you just put her on the leash, and put the litter box in front of her, or let her loose in the vehicle with the litter box?

Also, when they get to the new place, how should they go about getting her used to the new place?. This is especially important since they are in the process of building the house, and the cat would be staying in the cabin, with my dad, until the house is built.Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.

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

pooky - loveable- teddybear
Purred: Sun Mar 30, '08 9:13pm PST 
As for the car ride. if she has anything she sleeps on or with often, put that in the crate to get her used to it, leave it out in the open, and the door open so she can get in and out of it at will. hopefully she will be more calm about it by next week.

Also you might try feliway, i hear it can relieve kitty stresses and calm them. might be worth a shot.

I drove from Alaska to texas with two kitties in a big cage in the car with me, an 11 day trip. We drove all day then at night we stayed in hotels.

I always had water in the cage no matter what, and a teeny bit of food. everytime i stopped to use the toilet, i offered them the chance to do so as well, even if i just stopped to gas up or get a drink i offered them a chance at the litter box.

they fared decently. but boy were they glad to be out of that cage in the car..haha

If ya have any questions, please feel free to ask, i'll answer as best as I can smile

LuLu - Now an angel

Prettiest eyes- on Catster
Purred: Sun Mar 30, '08 10:00pm PST 
I have moved coast to coast twice by car. It was about a 5 day drive with mom, me and Furie. Like Angellus, we were in a giant crate during the day and free to roam hotel rooms at night.

We had food and water available but didn't want either. Same with the litter box. We waiting until we were out in the hotel room to take care of all that. If you are staying in a hotel at all, before you are let out of the crate, check for any small hidey spots. Mom learned that the first night when I found a way behind the bed and would not come out. After that she blocked those places off.

My sister Furie was always BAD in the car and would cry like crazy. The first day she cried for a couple of hours and then calmed down. After that, she was fine each day in the car. No complaints.

Good luck.


Purred: Mon Mar 31, '08 9:36pm PST 
I am very sad to sat that Belle is a very cranky, not very nice cat. She is not pleasant to be around, and mom is quite worried about taking her. She does not want to have to let her out of the crate if she doesn't have to, as she is scared she will not get her back in it. It is about a 12 hour drive, with the ferries and everything. She is also worried that if she leaves her in the vehicle for a while (like when they are on the ferry) and then comes back, that she will escape. With the roads the way they are here in BC, I don't think she will have water in the crate with her the whole time, just at stops, cause it will just spill all over the place. Oh, and the pillow she likes to sleep on does not fit in the crate. There is very limited room as my mom is driving the single cab truck, and my dad is driving the uhaul with the dog in the front with him!

My parents are also worried that because my mom won't be around where they are moving (she is coming back to live with me for a bit) that the cat will disapear, or get eaten by something larger, furrier, and crankier than her. This is one big worry for my mom.

Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
Purred: Tue Apr 1, '08 9:59am PST 
This is Delyte. If you have a professional level crate and have it closed properly, I am not sure how the kitty would escape. It sounds like it is just not going to be a good trip for the kitty but there isn't any other way. Talk to your vet about tranquilizers and maybe get some spray Feliway for the carrier. If it is a 12-hour trip she can sleep most of the way and not be any worse for wear when she gets there. My person has found that even the most hysterical kitties calm down after they drive for a while at highway speeds with no slowing down or stops--or maybe she just is lucky. But it sounds like your trip will be stop and go with ferries and everything. Good luck to you and we're purring for you! Hope there is a nice new home on the end of the trip!


Purred: Wed Apr 2, '08 8:50pm PST 
Oh, mom is not worried about the cat escaping from the crate, but if she were to let her loose in the car, to use the litter box.

They are driving a pickup and a u-haul down, so there will be lots of stops for gas, stop to wait for the ferry, 2 hours on the ferry, some driving, and then another ferry.

And then, once they get there, the fear that the instant they let her loose, POOF!, she is gone!

Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
Purred: Thu Apr 3, '08 10:41am PST 
This is Delyte. Does the cat wear a collar? If so, have someone connect a thin but strong leash to the collar every time you want to let the cat use the pan. Someone hold on to the leash. Realistically, for a 12-hour trip, if you do not feed her right before the trip and give her just a little water until she arrives, she may not need to use the pan at all. Cats can hold it when they are scared. Or they have the opposite problem, letting it all go, in which case it will be in the carrier anyway, so you will have to have clean newspaper or towels or something for the bottom of the carrier anyway. Someone suggested those newspaper litters for this kind of situation? Cats don't like to lay in their own mess, so unless the cat is scared and voids everything all over, it will probably hold it until it is let out and can use its own pan in the new house.

I would say concentrate on getting cat in the carrier and getting there--it's not such a long trip. Now if you had to drive several days, that would be a problem. Think about using a leash or harness if the cat will accept it when not in the carrier.

Good luck and hope you enjoy your new home!


I'm a DIABETIC- momma's boy
Purred: Tue Apr 8, '08 4:00pm PST 
I have done this twice before....with 4 cats....coast to coast move....Ugh...never again...anyway...

Let the kitty out of the crate for litter box use AFTER you fill up the car. If she needs to use the box she will use it soon after you let her out....or she may cry if she needs to use it. That will cut down on escape worries. Just make sure she is back in her crate when she is done with "her business" and BEFORE you leave the car again. This is what I did with all four cats. Every couple hours, they would be allowed out to roam the van for about 15 minutes (all 4 of them), then it was back in the carriers.

The cats didn't like the trip, but it had to be done. And we all survived...but we all agree...we would prefer no more long car rides with the cats.