Although I've hinted at it.
In December, these North Carolina kittehs will transfer their residency to the great state of Florida. Tallahassee, to be precise. It's from whence I came, and to whence I will be returning. And if I have to go, so do they.
What I'm dreading is a 9 hour car ride with two nervous, unhappy felines. I put off my return to December because it will be much cooler. I plan to rent a medium size SUV so I can give them as much room as possible in the back, with some kind of confinement area. Two dog crates or a playpen maybe, with some space for a litterbox. Feliway applications. I've been reading about desensitizing car rides; I have my doubts but I have to try.
Someone else will be driving, so I can sit with them most of the way and talk to them. And if absolutely neccessary, I will have sedation pills. Last resort. I really don't want to go there; I'm hoping they will settle into that infamous cat-coma while we are on the move. I wish with all my heart I didn't have to do this to them, but sometimes we all have to endure. I'm not enthusiastic about long car rides myself.
There is a lot of experience out in the Cat Blogosphere, so I'm hoping for some solid advice. These are my babies. How can I help make this easier for them?
Oh...a move! How brave! I have friends who moved their five (count 'em, FIVE!) cats from Michigan to Florida; over 24 hours drive. They had sedatives, litter boxes, harnesses and leashes, etc...but pretty much the cats just slept and stayed quiet! Hoping you have the same results, and I'm sure it will be fine. Relax, grasshopper!ReplyDelete
I've made several long distance moves (RI to NM, NM to NC, NC to RI, RI to NM) with one cat or a pair of cats, all of them involving overnight stays somewhere (which is torture, but at least hotels are more pet-friendly these days). My experience is that two cats travel better than just one, and the carphobia crying stops within an hour or so. I never did the pre-trip car ride thing.ReplyDelete
I have a pretty big (dog-size) carrier* that I've used to contain both. I found that they were more calm-able too if they could hide under a towel or blanket inside the carrier. None of my cats used a litter box while on the actual road, nor would they eat or drink, although both were available. I really think yours will be OK--and it's especially good you can get there in a day.
*If you decide to do that, you could probably find a used one for not a million dollars at Goodwill or some place like that, or especially at an Animal Humane resale store if there's one near you.
~The Kids' mom.
I have never had to move with cats so I have no advice- sorry. I will pray that all goes well though. It sounds like you have a good plan with their needs in mind.ReplyDelete
Ohhhhh you are moving to the Sunshine state....I know you will love it. Tallahassee I love that name...and I hear it is a purrty city.ReplyDelete
I have never traveled that far but I will tell you one thing my human sis and BIL do. They take Mia and Frisco for car rides at least once or twice a month. It is in case they ever have to evacuate Morehead City due to a hurricane. Sis wants to be sure the kitties are accustomed to the car. Maybe once the temps cool off here you can start taking Toby and Leia for short rides in the car. I think you are very wise to wait until December....that will make a big difference.
Hugs madi your bfff
PS the short rides will also be an indication that every car ride does not end up at the vet!!ReplyDelete
That's what I'm hoping the outcome will be! I was born and raised in Tallahassee. It really is quite pretty, lots of trees.Delete
I'm hoping to move soon but that will only be about a half hour drive away so I really feel for you. Moving is stressful enough for us, never mind our dear cats. However, there is a lot of advice available on the web so do search if you haven't already.ReplyDelete
I'm sure things will work out OK once the cats are settled. Just try to keep calm because stressy humans makes cats stress out even more.
Athena and Marie
I think they'll be fine. They may not be all that happy about the long trip, but if you don't stress out about it too much, it'll be helpful for them. So my best suggestion would be to concentrate on being calm, focused and matter-of-fact about your upcoming move. I bet you didn't think I'd have suggestions for you instead of Toby and Leia, did you? ;-)ReplyDelete
Yeah.... anxiety and I know each other well, that's true.Delete
Just wondering - are the sedatives for the kit-cats or for you? Ha roo roo roo --- just kidding.ReplyDelete
We aren't kit-cats, but I would think the de-sensitizing drives would help! It's like our mom takes us to the vets just to pick up prescriptions and stuff so we don't always associate the place with being poked and prodded. And yes, sitting with them, where you can talk to them! We'd like that, so I'll bet Toby and Leia would, too!
Sounds like you have all the right things in mind. Be careful of your containment area. Make sure no one can find a way out of the vehicle because they may try when you least expect it. If you are able to read while someone else is driving, you might want to read to them. Sometimes, a human voice can be the most calming of all.ReplyDelete
Good luck with your move. Bonnie Koenig from The Cat Post Intelligencer moved cross country last year with her three cats. She's written a book about her experience and has some information on her blog. http://www.mysiamese.com/ReplyDelete
Congrats on the upcoming move! It sounds like you're going someplace you want to be. I think with all the planning you're doing for their comfort, they will be fine. The longest trip we've taken any of ours is about 2 1/2 hours, when we had to take Sam (years ago) and Abbey (last year) to Virginia Tech vet school hospital. We used out largest carrier, and I was able to reach in the back and scratch her head and talk with her. Abbey never makes a sound traveling. She gets under whatever is in there, even a kitty bed, and doesn't make a sound. Sam cried periodically all the way up there, but was happy on the way back--I think she realized she was going home. I would definitely include the Feliway and have the wipes on hand to keep it fresh. Good luck as you plan and prepare!ReplyDelete
I was going to mention Chey too as did Sweet Purrfections. She has a series of posts on her blog with good info about long distance moves. I hope everything goes well.ReplyDelete
I just bought her ebook. Thanks.Delete
How nice you are returning to where you are from. I lived in Florida (Orlando) long time ago. I would suggest feliway but you are already planning it. Once before, we had to take Goro to a specialist, which was about one hour away. He meowed and meowed almost the whole time on the way going. (I can still hear his meowing from that car ride in my head.) But he slept most of the time on the way returning. Maybe he was too tired, or he could relax as vet visit was over. I hope your car ride will go well and hope for smooth moving!ReplyDelete
OH my dear. I will purr and mom will purray!ReplyDelete
We've never moved a long distance with our cats, but there is so much great advice above! Good luck with your move "home." Love and hugs to you all.ReplyDelete
I haven't moved cats long distance, but wanted to suggest Rescue Remedy (both for you and the cats).ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, what a long undertaking. Someone in the cat blogosphere recently wrote a book about moving with your catsReplyDelete