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Anyone travelled with cats?

(9 Posts)
jungletoes Wed 07-Nov-12 12:44:15

Thinking of traveling to my parent's house(for Christmas)with our cats as all catteries here are full. The thought of 5-7 hours of the little mites in their carriers, in the car, fills me with horror. BUT people do it, any tips or advice please. Thanks.

thereinmadnesslies Wed 07-Nov-12 13:00:37

Can you talk to your vet about a sedative? My friend flew her cats from the UK to the USA and gave them each a tablet that calmed them down for the duration of the journey.

greenhill Wed 07-Nov-12 13:08:22

Admittedly I've only done this for journeys of 5 hours or less, but with two different cats: but I found that as DH was driving, I'd keep the cat company on the back seat, and put the litter tray on the floor behind the driver's seat (so there was a safe flat place for them to go to the toilet on).

One cat preferred to be in the pet carrier on a jumper of mine, the other preferred to lie on the back seat or on the back shelf looking out of the window when we weren't going too fast.

I made sure there was water and snacks to hand. We also didn't stop at the services unless the cat was safely secured in the carrier!

BleepingSooty Wed 07-Nov-12 13:10:04

I'm interested in this too as we are moving house soon and will make the very long journey by car with our cat.

A friend also recommended a sedative, she said when she flew with her cat it made him all spaced out and happy.

cozietoesie Wed 07-Nov-12 13:58:28

Afraid that I'd definitely say no sedation on a long car journey. They're better just their normal selves - well ...... grumpy, but normal.

I've travelled extensively with cats - both touring and on long one-off journeys. It's not their favourite thing but they manage pretty well.

I'd recommend a good sturdy, roomy carrier with no jaggy bits (like some of those wicker boxes people use) and the floor covered with a rough folded big soft towel such as a bath towel. Best to put the box in the back/on backseat, anchored by seat belts or some secure way in case of emergency stops.

They usually don't want to drink on journeys but it's as well to have a container of water and a plastic bowl or two in case you want to try them with some at rest stops. (They almost certainly won't eat so I wouldn't bother with food.)

Also take a spare towel, some kitchen paper towel, cleaning spray and poly bags - in case of accidents (I've only ever known one because they usually cross their legs.) Having a litter tray around is good. Even if they don't want to use it at pit stops, it's ready and waiting to be taken quickly into the destination house and put into a quiet room for them to use on arrival.

I'd recommend part covering the box with a light rug but leaving a crack so that they can see you in the car. They'll generally start with a protest then just hunker down at the back of their carrier but giving the occasional squawk so that you know they're there. Just answer them briefly, maybe a quick finger stroke through the bars if you can reach them, and then ignore them till the next squawk.

Finally, (I think), I really wouldn't recommend that, however well behaved you think they are, you let them out of their carriers at all unless the car is in a pit stop with all the doors and windows closed. A loose cat in a moving car is only fine as long as everything else is fine. If something goes wrong on the road or in the event of a small accident, they're a menace. My own boys have usually just been left in the carrier until the destination is reached - they start to feel safe there.

Sorry for the tome. It sounds worse than it really is.


jungletoes Wed 07-Nov-12 15:56:49

Thanks everyone for your tips, I called the vet and they won't give me sedation as it's risky for the cats but recommended Feliway(which I'm currently using anyway). We have let our cat out of the carrier(when nearly home from cattery) and can confirm it's not a good idea, driving with a cat on the dashboard is a little distracting. Thanks again.

BleepingSooty Thu 08-Nov-12 03:24:16

Thank you so much for that Cozietoesies. A really helpful post!

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 08-Nov-12 07:59:16

Again no sedative and those vets who have them for plane flights should be ashamed as cats have died due to being sedated for flights.
As well as Feliway it is worth using zylkene too it is a milk protein in a tablet form that had an anti anxiety effect it's worth using it for 7 days before you travel. Also getting you parents to spray Feliway round where they are going to be at the other end before they arrive.
Also remember that in a cat carrier the Feliway should be applied 15 minutes before the cat gets in.

sashh Thu 08-Nov-12 08:04:47

I would say felliway and blankets / towels they are used to. They should fall asleep.

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