Travelling with kittens (couple of hours, by road) - help me!(13 Posts)
I'm going to collect two kittens next Monday, having never had a cat or kitten before, and therefore never having driven even five minutes up the road with a cat in a carrier. These little chaps are between 1.5 and 2 hours away, so I could do with some advice on how to make the experience as pleasant as possible - for me as well as them!
I was planning on getting a big carrier so that when they're fully grown they can travel together when necessary, and making it comfy with a couple of blankets.
What else do I need to do, or can I do? Can they 'hold on' for that length of time (they're only eight weeks old), or can they have a mini litter tray in the carrier? Or do I just resign myself to chucking the blankets in the wash as soon as we get home? Should they have a little food or water in there?
I'm mostly just hoping they'll do what any self-respecting human baby would do, and sleep all the way!
Cosy old blankets/old towels in a carrier sound nice for them. Food and water would be good, especially if it's hot but a mini litter tray wouldn't be practical really. I'm not sure it would be easy to purchase one either or if kittens would like being in such close proximity to their toilet area. You'd probably be better taking your chances with them needing to go- you might want to take some baby wipes for instant clean ups though as cat poo and wee can both really stink! You could line the box with towels old enough to throw straight in the bin, in fact... You might be lucky though- I took a kitten on a 3 hour train ride recently and it didn't seem unduly distressed or make any mess at all.
Enjoy your kittens. They are lovely things.
I wouldn't be that worried about food and water as it will probably tend to move about as you drive and you don't want it spilling everywhere. A compromise might be to stop half-way and offer them a bit of food and water if you're worried about them but they can probably go that long without.
Don't think a mini litter tray would work - I would line the basket with plastic bags (in case they pee, you don't want it going over your car seats!), then newspaper. That way if they do make a mess on the way back you can just slide out the newspaper and chuck it away. An old towel is a nice thought but potentially more messy and not really necessary - my cats are quite happy snoozing on concrete, wood floors etc so a newspaper-lined carrier is perfectly acceptable in terms of comfort!
Have lots of fun with your kittens, and enjoy the last of your unspoilt curtains and pot plants
Ha, I only have two potplants, both a bit worse for wear as I'm rather neglectful ... DD has made it to age 5 though so I can be trusted with kittens! Thanks!
Our cat was actually a better car traveller when he was a kitten than he is now.
Agree that lining the box with towels is probably the best way forward. Have some spares, also, and a plastic bag - so if one throws up you can do a swap (just keep the car doors closed to prevent escape if you have to do so!)
Expect a lot of pitiful mewing in the first 10 minutes, but once they realise it won't get them anywhere they'll probably settle down to sleep.
Small kittens should fit in a standard cat box together fine for a journey like that. I would advised against getting a huge box for the pair of them to go together when they get older though - it can get very heavy carrying both cats in one box at that stage, and though they may very well get on now it does not necessarily follow that they will be like that in the future and should that situation occur then they will not like being shut in together. Some cats will be fine with it of course but you can not be certain about this.
I've ended up with a fairly standard size box - the bigger ones were MUCH more expensive, and I realised if they didn't fit in as adults, or wouldn't travel together, I'd have an expensive white elephant one my hands. I'll just get a second one as they grow.
I'm now glad DD won't be coming with me, otherwise any pitiful mewing would be punctuated by 'mummy, the kittens are crying', which wouldn't make things any easier.
they are likely to cry, but never ever open the carrier in the car! A friend of mine did this with a kitten and it went nuts and they had to stop and get it out from under the driver's seat where it had wedged itself, luck didnt have an accident!
Cover the carrier with a blanket to keep it dark and calm - when get home best to put them in a 'safe' room over night - with food/water/litter tray etc and just open the carrier and leave them to come out when they are ready, ideally at least a couple of hours - let them get used to their room first and then you/children just go in and sit and read a book etc and let them come to you. At 8 weeks will find it hard being away from mum and easily scared - def best to let them come to you, I have found that they become more friendly with you quicker if you leave it all down to them - sitting there with fresh chicken helps too
ohh yeh and dont put food/water in and ideally see if they can not feed them in the 3/4 hours before you collect them, have had kittens being sick in the car if recently fed, never good!
They're going to have to go in the dining room at first - we have the living room (too busy, plus carpeted), kitchen (too busy, too small), and conservatory (too hot, too full of potentially hazardous things), so it's the best option. Unfortunately it can't be closed off from the kitchen - they ARE separate rooms, but no actual door - so I might put the big cloth over the table, and let them hang out under there (and have our dinner on our laps, yay, big treat!)
The advantage of it being just me in the car with them is that if the carrier is opened for any reason we will be stationary!
I only have DD, she is 5 and usually fairly chilled, so that should be easier on them, plus they're used to children with the current owner's two boys. At least I will, for once, have a valid reason to request that DD stop shrieking, other than 'mummy's nerves'.
I've travelled with 16 week old kittens - just me in the car on a 3.5 hour journey and they were absolutely fine I was prepared for messes, so had a spare blanket / wipes / newspaper as other posters have suggested, but didn't need any of it. They just cuddled up together and went to sleep. I stopped at a couple of service stations to check they were OK - it was surprisingly easy I think travelling with two together is better - they kept each other company
One stayed at my mum's and I drove home with the other the next day - she screamed the car down and almost did herself an injury trying to escape the carrier without her chilled brother to calm her down !!
DON'T OPEN THE CARRIER!!! I once spent two hours parked on the side of the road trying to get a cat out from the drivers seat after darling step son opened the door 'cause it was crying'. Two should be much happier together anyway than if you are taking one as they'll comfort each other. I would just use a towel which can go straight in the washing basket when you get home, but I would also put in a piece of bedding off 'mommy cat's' bed as the familiar scent will soothe them. Good luck!
An update if anyone happens to check back via 'threads I'm on' ... the kittens are now here. One in particular cried quite a bit on the way home, and had a very good try at escaping out of the front of the carrier, but they did also snooze a bit.
They came almost straight out of their carrier, had a bit of a mooch around. One has had some food, and both have had a little drink. Both have been shown the litter tray but haven't used it yet! Despite all the crying on the way down they've decided that the carrier is okay after all ... to sleep in. They have been snoozing in there, in a variety of adorable positions, for nearly two hours.
They should be on my profile - the one who's awake looks a bit wonky cos he is literally just about to fall asleep, bless him.
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