|Purred: Sun May 23, '10 5:15pm PST |
|Our Twinkle has travelled a LOT! By car and airplane - within the country and abroad. The absolutely most important tip I can give you is to never open your car doors when you make your rest stops until the cats are secured in carriers. Even if your cats are typically well controlled, they will be in areas they are unfamiliar with and unfamiliar sounds can frighten them and cause them to dart out of the car. It would be very easy for them to get hit by another car or run far away before you can catch them. I'm military and have moved around a LOT - and of course, so have my coworkers and I've heard too many sad stories regarding pet loss and it is just better to be safe even if you never suspect your cat would run from you. Also, it is best to keep the pets in their carriers while driving for their safety - and yours. A sudden stop could be disastrous for kitty and if kitty likes to roam, can be dangerous if they get around the driver's feet.
I never withheld food and definitely wouldn't recommend withholding water, either. Moving is stressful for cats and they can quickly become dehydrated. Besides, they may be a little freaked out when they enter new surroundings and not eat for a bit, either. I'ld give them their usual meal before leaving and offer water and food enroute as well.
When we travelled via car, I took a step that most probably wouldn't do. I had a litter box with a little litter inside my car and when we stopped for gas or food, I would let my cats out of their carriers and give them a chance at the litter box. Obviously, that means somebody has to sit inside the car with the cats while they do their deed since they shouldn't roaming free while the doors are open. Once finished, I secured them back in their carriers and then opened the car doors to air it out and to scoop the litter box.
Stopping for people food and restroom stops were complicated for us because it was too hot to leave the cats in the car without a/c. We had lots of snacks to eat on the road and we went through fast food drive through windows. We took turns for restroom breaks. We had softside carriers and could have probably taken the cats inside some places with us but we never tried.
Our Twinkle doesn't like car rides or his carrier at all and we had to give him some kitty valium to keep him from howling the entire trip. Sedating a cat is never done for air travel (for anybody looking for info on air travel) because they can't regulate their body temperature. I do not think any airline will accept a sedated pet.
I can answer lots of questions about cats and air travel, too - if anybody has any questions about it. Good luck on your move!
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