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Moving Your Cats

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Sabre

Protective Free- Spirit
 
 
Purred: Wed Apr 15, '09 6:57am PST 
Hello All and Good Day.
I have noticed a trend that when people are moving, they tend to give up their cats because its too difficult to move them. I have moved my two cats from distances of an 20minute drive all the way to a two day drive. I want to offer some advice to anyone who may be moving short or long distances. If you are moving a short distance it is fairly straight forward, put the cat in a carrier and off you go. Make sure the carrier is big enough for the cat to stand up and turn comfortably. DO NOT put your cat in a harness and leash when moving. Too many times i have seen people searching frantically for their cat because they accidentally dropped the leash, it came untied or the cat wiggled their way out. They safest and most comfortable route is a carrier. If you do not have one, can't afford to buy one or do not want to buy one, see if a friend has one. Or you can always go to a vet clinic or shelter and ask to borrow one of theirs. You may need to put a small deposit down but it is usually returned.
When i moved with a cat from thunder bay to Winnipeg (8 hour drive), we noticed the cat gets car sick. If your going on a long drive and you have a cat that gets car sick, take some extra, old, blankets or towels, put one in the bottom of the carrier. Do not feed the night before but feel free to give water. If you stop anywhere, DO NOT take the cat out!!! The cat will be more comfortable in its carrier than in a strange area. Many people suggest for a move lasting more than 3 hours you purchase a kennel that is large enough to hold a litter box and some food and water. This is all well and dandy but i would forgo the food and water. Feeding will only encourage an upset stomach. Go to the pet store, buy a large (rabbit sized) water bottle and fill it with water. It will take your cat all of 10minutes to figure out how to use it, and this way there is no big mess if you go over a bump. If you know your cat will not get car sick then the litter box is also a good idea. Put a litter box in the set up carrier a week before the move. This way your cat(s) will be used to it. If you do have a cat that gets sick, don't use a litter box. They are not going to use it when they are throwing up. I know it may sound cruel, but the cat is going to puke, poo and pee all in one corner, so it will be alot nicer to leave a litter box out and allow more room to rest.
If you are moving a very long distance and need to stop over night somewhere, feel free to feed and water the cats when they are safely behind a locked hotel room, the motor home has stopped moving and the door is shut, whatever. My boyfriend and I moved from Winnipeg to North Bay (2 day drive) with two cats, one of whom gets car sick. Same rules apply to a 1 day drive. Keep the cat in a carrier , DO NOT take out during trip. When we stopped at the end of the first day of our 2 day move, we got the carriers into the hotel room, shut and locked the door, then took the cats out, feed them and cleaned up whatever mess there was.
It is not difficult at all to move cats any amount of distance. Your cat will appreciate a boring and stressful ride much more than suddenly being shoved into a new home, or into a shelter cage with tons of other cats around. If you really do cherish you cat(s), take them with you.
If you need any more advice, want to add some of your own or just have any comments feel free to write.
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Tully

The Tullster
 
 
Purred: Wed Apr 15, '09 7:56pm PST 
Hi Sabre! We couldn't agree with you more...you have posted some great tips here. It really isn't that hard to move us kitties, and we'd MUCH rather be with our humans in a temporarily unfamiliar environment than in a shelter where we may not get adopted frown Our Mom is taking us on occasional short car trips in our carrier so we don't FREAK out if we have to go somewhere. Our humans might be buying an RV soon and they have every intention of taking us on the road with them - we think your suggestions are excellent!!! cheer
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Bonnie

Bonnie the- Beautiful &- Bonnie Lass
 
 
Purred: Thu Apr 16, '09 1:20am PST 
Oh you may learn to LOVE to travel in your RV when you get one smile

We have a 5th wheel, so dad drives the noisy truck pulling it, and Meow Mom drives SIX of us in her SUV with a guard gate behind the front seats - the whole back end is just for US cheer

Last year there were only 4 of us but we went on a 5 day trip from Arizona to northern Ohio. Meow mom and dad take us traveling with them for 8 months every year, so we have our routines down pat!

Food is picked up by midnight before travel day and to our suprise, the same "hotel" is there every night waiting for us to go into hehehehe

We only get good wet food during travel (after we stop for the night), because it has a higher water content, and -- excuse me for typing this -- but picking up pukey chunks Meow Mom says is nastier then wiping up wet food slime laugh out loud and the extra water content ensures we don't get too dehydrated during traveling. We also have alot of little towels to change out in case someone does get sick - But by using the steps for us very well traveled kitties, we rarely hurl anymore applause

1 of us sometimes will get a little "salt" looking white on the nose - this means either we need more water or keep the vehicle cooler so we don't overheat -- sunshades are good for keeping that hot sun off our carriers!

We go into what Meow Mom calls "Zombie" mode after the 1st hour of our long trips and have a kitty box for emergencies in the back of her SUV. After we get into sleepy mode, Meow Mom opens the doors to our carriers, but we are still shut behind the guard gate and use our carriers to nap in. It is like we have one BIG "crate" to be able to stretch out and snore away the miles if we want to leave our carriers and sleep on the temperpetic pad they bought to add softness to the back end -- YES we are spoiled traveling cats!

OHH for RV person - Meow Mom said to tell you (or anyone doing kitty traveling) - We like it better if we leave home the first day around noon, thank you very much smile

Since this seems to be our "natural" sleepy time at home, it's easier to get us into our carriers (now SIX), and she uses bungie cords to hold our carriers down to the bottom of the back end of the SUV (there are notches she uses in our TrailBlazer's back end).

Tips from the Cat Traveling Gang...

Bonnie
Olive
Dora
Kay Cee
Lucky Streak
Sandy Baby
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Sabre

Protective Free- Spirit
 
 
Purred: Thu Apr 16, '09 10:34am PST 
Thanks for your input guys!!!
I too like to only feed wet food when traveling. I like how it has added water so they don't get dehydrated but i also like the travel convenience. I buy the wet food in either pouches or small cans that way I don't have a bag or tub of cat food that could get spilled somewhere!!!
When we went on our 2 day move we stopped at a hotel for the night. We were a little nervous about the cats because we didn't want them to make a mess of the hotel but there is a easy solution for that as well. Our younger cat likes to sleep in the bathroom so we locked him in the bathroom for the night and he was fine. Our older cat we took out of the carrier before bed and while we were getting ready the next morning. He slept in his carrier beside our bed.
A good idea is to phone in advance different hotels or such in the area you want to stop in. See if they allow cats, or other pets. Explain to them the situation and offer to add an extra $50 or so onto your bill. They may request that you keep the cats locked up when you leave the room and may even stipulate that if it gets to loud you will be kicked out. We were lucky when we moved. We were second from the end of the building. The couple beside us a a large dog in their room and didn't mind us having a couple of cats at all.
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Tully

The Tullster
 
 
Purred: Thu Apr 16, '09 7:07pm PST 
Do you guys find many hotels that are pet friendly to cats? Mom and Dad are wondering how much of a problem it will be to find hotels that allow cats. Also, how are the RV parks about allowing cats to stay on their premises? Some don't allow dogs, does this generally apply to cats, too?
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Boris

I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
 
 
Purred: Fri Apr 17, '09 4:17pm PST 
There's an entire cottage industry of websites dedicated to helping people find pet friendly hotels. Mom usually ends up using petswelcome.com herself. Usually the deposit will be $10-25 extra for a pet, depending on management of the hotel.

Bear in mind that some hotels only allow one pet per room though, so doing your research by looking at your options and then calling the numbers of the hotel once you decide to book is essential. Furthermore, like Sable said above thread, most hotels insist that pets (both doggies and cats) have to be enclosed in a carrier or crate if left unattended in the room. I think it's both to prevent damage (as if) as to prevent liability that the hotel might owe its workers if they were to be attacked by a four legged guest.

We've been on several daylong and multiday car trips, and we do a lot of what Sable described in the original post, aside for us being in carriers during the drive. We feel a lot safer sleeping one the floor under the car's folded down backseat than in a carrier placed on top of a chair. I take the best naps on vacations like that. Mom and dad just don't open the backseat doors for any reason, though, so if crating your pets is not doable for anyone reading, you want to make sure you get out of the car from the front, quickly and/or as little as possible (mom says she's learned her upper limit on holding her human litterbox duties are about 7-8 hours).
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Sabre

Protective Free- Spirit
 
 
Purred: Sat Apr 18, '09 10:12am PST 
Most RV parks are ok with cats, so long as the cat either stay in the RV or on a tie out. As for hotels, i would phone in advance. If there is a humane society or shelter in the area you could call them and see if they know of any.
It sounds horrible but when we stayed at our hotel over night on our move, we didn't tell the manager the we were having furry friends in there with us. I would not recommend doing that. It is alot better to be honest. Most managers are alright with it if it is one night and you are honest up front. If you don't tell them and they find out, you run the risk or a extra fee or even being kicked out.
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Boris

I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
 
 
Purred: Sat Apr 18, '09 4:19pm PST 
Also, if you can fly your pet, that will be less stressful, but you want to obtain a health certificate to go with the pet, both because the airline will require one to fly your cat, and because moving to a new state also requires one.
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Boris

Brr!
 
 
Purred: Fri Apr 24, '09 11:14pm PST 
This is very helpful thank you so much! My meowmy is thinking about moving us soon and I am very nervous. I am curious about moving over seas though. Should my mommy just bring me as a carry-on in the cabin with her and a litterbox in the carrier? It will be a long flight and mommy really doesn't know what to do.
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Tully

The Tullster
 
 
Purred: Sat Apr 25, '09 11:56am PST 
Hi Boris,
That's a good question you raise about flying overseas. Our Mom is a worrier and she would be a basket case worrying about us in the cargo storage area, so she'd opt to bring us on board as carry-ons if she had to fly with us. Daddy would take one kitty and Mom would take the other. I have read some posts from people who have flown with their kitties in the cargo storage, and they said it wasn't that bad. I would call the airline you think you'd be flying with and ask them specifics about transporting cats. Some of Mama's friends who have moved to California from other states with their cats and traveled by car or airplane recommend medication from the vet to keep them as calm and stress-free as possible. Good Luck! wave
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