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Long car journey with cat

(11 Posts)
putthecatout Tue 09-Aug-16 18:47:26

We are moving house and this will mean taking the cat on a long car journey (over 10 hours). Any suggestions to preserve the sanity of all concerned (very small cramped car) and especially the toilet issue? Also of course cat will be arriving in an unfamiliar place, with removal men, etc.

owl89 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:53:23

Moving with my cats was a horrible experience as they were so unsettled once we got to the new place. I bought one of those Feliway plug in sprays and that seemed to calm them down at the new house. They also do Feliway collars you could put on your cat for the journey. Apparently it keeps them calm. I haven't tried the collars but I know the plug in spray is good.

putthecatout Wed 10-Aug-16 13:24:38

Thanks for this. Has anyone had to deal with a cat on a v long car journey - did you take it outside the car on a lead or something to encourage toileting?

cozietoesie Wed 10-Aug-16 13:29:04

10 hours is pretty punishing. I've often take cats on 8 hour journeys but that's about the limit to which I'd push them (And I would never allow them to be 'loose' in the car or take them outside the car to toilet. They've always crossed their legs - as far as peeing is concerned, anyway.) is there no way you can shorten the journey?

Botanicbaby Wed 10-Aug-16 17:35:01

The Cats protection charity have developed some guides there is one for moving house. Will try to find link to it for you.

Will the removals actually be still going on the same day you travel? I'd travel the day after if possible. Or I wonder if you can set aside a corner of a closed room as soon as you arrive specially for your cat with their bed, blanket, toys, litter, food & water so they can acclimatise whilst all the upheaval is going on. Keep the cats things separate and take them with you in the car rather than risk not being able to find them quickly.
Plugging feliway diffuser in room that you have assigned to the cat is a good idea, the sooner you can do this the better. I didn't know they did collars but sounds like it might be worth a try if your cat is ok with collars?
I'd speak to the vet prior to your journey I think they may offer a mild sedative? Or offer better advice for travelling long distances with animals.
Moving is always stressful but some cats adapt better than others. I hope it goes okay. Please travel with kitty in a travel carrier. Good luck.

putthecatout Thu 11-Aug-16 12:06:02

Thanks.
Luckily, she is a v easy cat. We sometimes take her away on holiday with us, and she copes well. I can put her in a little room with closed door when we get there. I'm more worried about the very long journey. We don't have much flexibility on when to travel / breaking the drive, as have to meet the removal men the other end. Will need to travel overnight I think, or if the roads are bad it could take well over 10 hours.

Puffinity Wed 17-Aug-16 16:23:30

If it's any consolation, my friend drove her cats through several countries and the trip included a ferry journey. I think they built a contraption that was a cage with a litter tray attached to it, but the cats were too stressed to use it. As far as I know they were both fine and actually happier in their new house (they are quite nervous). Good luck!

sugarplumfairy28 Wed 17-Aug-16 20:25:19

2 years ago we emigrated from Essex to Germany with 9 cats (and 2 children). It took a grand total of 12 hours in the car, drove through 3 countries and a ferry trip. We chose to drive through the night, the darkness and clearer roads made things easier. The darkness made the cats calmer, although we did basically have a choir for the first hour.

We spoke to our vet before travelling and was told it would be OK to starve them like you would before they have an op or something. We left at 6pm and arrived at 7am the next morning. We fed the cats quite early day of, and then made sure they didn't have access to any food for the rest of the day.

For the actual journey each had their own box, and I lined each one with a puppy training pad, just in case, and took spares. I also took a spare cat box (most of them can be taken apart for easier storage) in case one had had an accident, we could quickly swap them over and then clean the messy one. I dd have a travel water bottle just in case, and I put a sheet over the boxes facing out of the boot window. We stopped every 2 - 3 hours or so just to open the boot and check on everyone.

All arrived safely, didn't have any accidents at all, although we did have a crowd taking photos on the ferry when we opened the boot to check on everyone. Good luck x

Theorchard Wed 17-Aug-16 20:39:34

We did 12 hours in the car with our cat. We got a large fully enclosed dog cage which fitted in the boot. In there we put a litter tray, water and a blanket, with a puppy liner underneath. We took a spare blanket in case of accidents. We did not feed our cat or let him out after 6pm the night before, just gave him water. We put the cage in the house for a week before, left open so he could get used to it. Then we popped him in the cage on the day of travel, put the whole lot in the car, just adding water to the water bowl using a bottle through the bars once the cage was in the boot. Not too full! We left early in the morning to miss as much traffic as possible and had 'his' room ready at the other end. We did take sachets of food in the car in case of bad traffic etc, but did not need them. He miowed every 30 seconds for the entire journey, only stopping if someone talked to him and petted him through the bars, so we took it in turns to do that. At the other end we took the whole cage out, shut him in his room, opened the cage and let him quietly settle in. The reality was much better than I thought it was going to be, it was absolutely fine, he was just hungry and a bit tired, but we were too!
Epic post, sorry! Good luck!

Theorchard Wed 17-Aug-16 20:41:39

Our cat also crossed his legs, but having the litter tray made me feel better!

Theorchard Wed 17-Aug-16 21:09:25

Also there was no cover on the boot, so plenty of air could circulate

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