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Doing a longish distance house move with a cat - tips needed!

(21 Posts)
MozzarellaFitzgerald Thu 24-Dec-15 14:20:40

We are going to be moving a considerable distance away - a ferry journey of a few hours plus a drive of approx 9 hours.

How do we manage this with our cat? She isn't particularly nervy or elderly, but miaows the entire journey when we take her to the vet, which is about 15 mins away.

The plans are still in their infancy, so I don't know details, but I'm wondering whether breaking the journey at a hotel and sneaking her in would help.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 24-Dec-15 14:25:35

My main tip is put cat in a chattery the day before. Otherwise she may be scared by all the boxes/removal men and disappear on the day which won't be good if you have a ferry to catch.

I would do it all in one journey but with some Feliway.

MozzarellaFitzgerald Thu 24-Dec-15 14:29:11

Sorry to be clueless, but would you keep her in her carrier for the entire time? It seems an awfully long time to be in a really small space. I was wondering about trying to section off the boot and let her loose in that part with a litter tray and water bowl etc.

SleepIsForTheWeakAnyway Thu 24-Dec-15 14:34:34

Dbro and sil have just done a similar trip with their two cats (albeit a 9hr ferry and 4-5hrs car trip). They had a massive cage in the back seat that meant the cats could move around a bit and had space for a litter tray. They also got something from the vets to calm them. They (the cats) seemed to cope very well and seemed happy enough despite being very nervous indoor type cats.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 24-Dec-15 14:38:08

Id rather have her in a small carrier all that time than risk an escape. It's a one off, not a regular thing. Won't kill her. Cats do trans Atlantic flights which are longer in small cat boxes.

PolterGoose Thu 24-Dec-15 14:38:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 24-Dec-15 14:39:37

I actually think a cat would be better in a cat box than a bigger cage, less chance of sliding around as you go round corners.

PolterGoose Thu 24-Dec-15 14:42:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MozzarellaFitzgerald Thu 24-Dec-15 14:47:28

Thanks for the thoughts so far. I feel awful for her!

What about feeding and drinking? It strikes me that could be really difficult if we're trying to keep a carrier door closed.

Will ask vet about sedative. We've not had any success so far with getting her to swallow tablets (the cat, not the vet), but perhaps we could stop at the vet at the very start of the journey and they could give her something.

The ferry part would be the first bit, and depending on the route we choose it could be an 8 hour overnight sailing (shortening the drive to about 4 hours) or a 2.5 hour crossing with the looooong drive).

<faints at the thought of driving for 9 hours with the smell of cat poo>

MozzarellaFitzgerald Thu 24-Dec-15 14:47:56

Polter, should we try a sling? grin

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 24-Dec-15 14:50:52

Cats can go that length of time without food and even without water. I shut our cat in the wardrobe by accident once for three days and she survived...--my clothes didn't--

You could get a cat box with a clip on water bowl which is on the inside of the door and put a little bit of water in the bottom?

PolterGoose Thu 24-Dec-15 14:52:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

changingagain Thu 24-Dec-15 14:53:56

We moved house when I was a child and it involved a long drive and ferry trip. My mum went to the vet beforehand and got a travel sickness tablet for the cat. I doubt whatever it was was marketed for travel sickness but it worked. The weather was awful, ferry full of very sick people and the cat slept the whole way.

kinkytoes Thu 24-Dec-15 14:55:17

Make sure your cat has room enough to stretch out properly. Can't you take breaks every few hours to offer food? Biscuits will easier than wet food. It will need toilet breaks too or you'll have a very smelly journey. Water should be available at all times. I'm sure your vet will advise.

iloveeverykindofcat Thu 24-Dec-15 17:04:16

I suppose an option would be a reasonable sized crate where you can fit a small litter tray. Put cat in standard cat carrier inside crate. For driving sections keep cat in small carrier. But for ferry section if it's not too choppy let cat have access to crate and litter tray and maybe a little wet food. A cat should manage fine not eating and drinking for that journey.

This is what I did when we did a 5hr drive to move house with cats last August (no ferry involved). We put the carriers in a large dog crate and offered them access to the litter tray and some food and water half way. They didn't take it though, just stayed in the carriers. One took it in her stride, the other meowed a lot but was ultimately fine. We did get them some Zyklene (sp?) for a few days before and afterwards and sprayed Feliway all around the crate and their carriers.

MozzarellaFitzgerald Thu 24-Dec-15 20:08:41

Was it tricky to offer the food and tray without letting them out of the crate? Worried about trying to manage a bolting cat inside a car full of stuff!

CherryPits Thu 24-Dec-15 21:53:41

If you get a large crate for travelling you can get the water and food dishes which clamp onto the front gate of the crate.

you'll also need piddle pads for inside the crate.

i do strongly recommend you take a lot of piddle pads so that you can change them and make her life less miserable. Also if you can take a stop and get her out for a cuddle (inside the car) that might help make it less stressful.

our cat had to stay in her crate for about 8-9 hours when we moved (we flew) she was in it at the airport for 2 hours before flying and then 1 hour after arrival. She was soaked and very unhappy. She wedged herself between my ankles for about 3 nights in a row to sleep.

iloveeverykindofcat Fri 25-Dec-15 06:20:46

Not really Mozarella - we were in a van. I just crawled into the back without opening the back doors of the van.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Fri 25-Dec-15 06:29:06

Would the cat go on a harness? Usually dgirl cat hates a harness, but she prefers it to the cat box. She curls up on Dd1. You would need to ensure she was secured though. Might be an option for part of the journey.

ToastedOrFresh Fri 25-Dec-15 06:42:10

Make sure the windows are closed. Put stuff under the driver and passenger seats. Basically limit the places the cat can bolt to within the car.

That's if you need to open the carry cage for any reason en-route.

MozzarellaFitzgerald Fri 25-Dec-15 09:09:04

I did wonder about a harness, she really really hates the small cat carrier. She wears a collar, so it's not like she's never worn anything. I wouldn't risk taking her for a walk at a service station or anything, but she may be less freaked out if she's not boxed in.

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