Travel Tips & Tales from TCM Readers (Pt 2)
A lot of readers were kind enough to share their stories about traveling with their cats during our recent series on Traveling with Your Cat. This week I'm sharing those stories with you.
Elaine in Las Vegas writes about their cat, Purrsie (pictured above):
We moved from NYC to Las Vegas 5 years ago. We didnt want our 18-year old calico cat to go in a plane, sot Purrsie drove cross country with us. We had her littler box set up in the back seat, and she spent most of her time in my lap (where her blanket resided).
The trip took 5 days. Purrsie would look out the window, sleep and amazingly enough she actually used her litter while the car was in motion. No accidents!
We had started taking small trips before we moved so that shed get used to the car. She wasnt thrilled early in the game, but she got used to the car and gave us no problems as we made the long trek west. We had mapped out the trip using the Triple-A Traveling with your Pet guide so our hotels were waiting for us. We drove approximately 8 hours a day making a couple of stops to rest where my husband and I took turns getting out of the car. We never left Purrsie alone.
Purrsie ate before we left the hotel and then shed have dinner as soon as we stopped. We brought along several cans of one of her favorite foods, and she was never fusyy or refused to eat. Wed bring her litter box into the hotel room each night, and she never had any problem adjusting to the new location. Again no accidents.
Weve always been amazed how smoothly Purrsie went west. For other travelers Id advise getting the cat used to the car, bringing along a favorite blanket so they can nestle in, and bringing a food you know they like so youre not running around in a strange community looking for cat food.
Purrsies not with us anymore shes been replaced by the 3some that are registered on Catster. We will always be grateful to Purrsie for her presence on our trip west. Our focus on her made the trip more pleasant and fun than it would have been by ourselves. And the fact that we drove allowed us all (Purrsie included) to see a lot of the country wed never have seen otherwise.
Purrsies headstone reads Purrsie 1986-2004 Thanks for the Ride. That says it all.
Kisu & KuJu Ku recommended a wheeled pet carrier:
Oh boysie, cool prizes! When we were 12 weeks oldwe flew from Sunny Callifornia to New Joisey via continental to meet our need mommie to bought us!
Now we travel by car to different shows around the metropolian area, mommie got us a TUTTO pet carrier - if you interested in what it is its a PET carrier on wheels
Go to Tutto.com its a luggage place and they have all cool stuff, by the way.. we need stuff to keep us busy on our road trips cause mommie gets annoyed when she hears meow meow meow for about an hour on end.. shes said.. OH my would you please shut your little kitty mouth now? How dare her! Finally we settle down and then shes happy (until the ride home and it starts all over) Meow Meow Meow.
Sarah describes the perils of traveling with a cat loose in the car:
Traveling with Pineboy & Omar
My cat Pineboy and I regularly go from Louisville to Berea, KY for weekends and vacations. At first it was because my mother lived in Berea and we wanted to spend time with Pineboy's grandma. Berea is about a hundred miles from Louisville and we make about 20 to 30 trips a year. Pineboy rides in his carrier and usually settles down for a nap. Occasionally he will let me know that I should be paying attention to him, so I give him a few scritches through the carrier door. If he is fussy, I make up songs to sing to him. Since the trip is usually less than two hours he does not need to use the litter box and eat in the car. I think he would do fine loose in the car, but I have not wanted to risk doing that when we are alone in the car.
Before Pineboy came to live with me, I had a cat named Omar. Omar did not like traveling in the car and would cry the whole way from Louisville to Berea and also on the return trip. A friend suggested that he might be happier loose in the car. On one of our return trips to Louisville, I pulled off on the shoulder and opened the carrier. We sat on the shoulder for a while to let Omar check out the car. Everything seemed to be fine until we started moving. Omar would not settle down. He jumped from the front seat to the back seat and then up on the back of my seat. Just as a semi was passing our car, he planted his front legs on my right arm and his back legs on my left arm, leaving me virtually blind as to what was happening on the road. As quickly as I could, I pulled onto the shoulder and Omar went back into the carrier. I will never let a cat loose in the car again, unless I have someone else with me.
Animal Rescue shared a funny poop-n-puke story:
Oh man do I have some cat traveling stories. Whenever I would go home for the summers or other breaks from college in Northern, WI, I would have to drive all the way to Eastern Tennessee and then on to Texas from there. Needless to say I have spent lots of time in the car with my pets, which includes cats. Probably my best (or worst, depending how you look at it) stories is when my cat Zane puked and pooped on me at the same time while I was driving. It was great
I moved to SC from East TN in 1977 with two cats, one dog, and houseplants that included a Very large Phylodendron all tucked into my 1964 Falcon Van. I had everyones favorite blanket tucked among the boxes and plants and everyone settled in. The trip was five hours long and no one complained. Everyone was peaceful because it must have felt like home!
I have a funny Cat Travel story.. I took my cat on her first plane ride last X-mas. Well I get to the Airport and go to the Screening area. Well there are no signs anywhere about how to check your cat through security so I put her on the X-Ray belt.. She goes through and they get all in a tussle saying I wasnt suppose to do that and almost tried to arrest me or something. I didnt know.. They then mentioned that you have to take the cat out of the travel bag and carry her though the metal detector.. Yeah take a cat out of a bag in a area full of people.. Well I get on my way home and that time I take her out and she actually just clung to me and didnt try to escape.. Now I know how to travel with a cat on a planelol.
My previous cat, Alley, hated to drive in the car. She mrowed the whole time in her travel cage. I found out though, that if she was out of the cage, sitting on my lap, and with her paws on the wheel, she was super calm and seemed to enjoy the trip!! Guess she just wanted to drive
A few weeks before finding EA in a Walmart parkinglot, we moved from West Texas to Georgia with two rabbits, a pair of parakeets, and a dog crammed in a mini-van. Since then we have gone on numerous visits to Ohio, a ten-hour drive from Atlanta, with EA in the backseat. Talk about hectic.
Don't forget the earplugs if you travel with Bubbles:
When we drove from Louisiana to Georgia we also had to stay in our PTUs the whole trip. Mrs. B did not mind at all and Madness only screamed for about one hour. But Bubbles basically screamed the whole way (10 hours!). But we all made it OK and in the end it all worked out.
Pumpkin Puss likes to lead the car ride singalongs:
Im also a road trip veteran - Ive driven with my pawrents from New Jersey, down to Florida, then to Texas, and back to Florida. Who knows what other state we will live next? My mom got some really useful tips from this article, and shell check into the disposable litter boxes next time.
I also usually have free range around the car, since my Mom and Dad dont put me in a PTU. I really enjoy seeing whats out there at night - its a lot less hectic and I have better vision because Im a cat. And like Libby, I also like leading car ride sing alongs, MOL.