Thursday, May 7, 2009

What is the best way to travel with a cat? on the road, food, etc?

I traveled with my cat in a car from Ohio to FL. The vet gave me a sedative for her. I will never sedate her again. She looked so miserable. The best thing is to put them in a carrier somewhere stable in the car, so they don't get bumped around. Don't put them in direct sunlight. Offer food %26 water, but don't be suprised if they won't eat in the car. My cat didn't eat, drink, or use the bathroom while in the car. She would do everything in the hotel at night or once we got To Florida. I took her out of the carrier %26 held her %26 petted her periodically too. It can be hard for them since they don't go on car rides much.
the best way would be to get a cat carrier then but a container that straps to the bars so it can eat along the way also have a lead for it so it can come out of the car and go to the toilet make sure you have a good lead you don't want your cat getting away. good luck
I moved from Florida to Wisconsin with 2 cats. Each had their own carrier, and each had a half a children's Benadryl tablet in the morning (vet's advice). They were fairly calm most of the time. I stopped for a break from driving every 4 hours or so and when I went to use a restroom or get some food, I let them out of the carriers, but not the car. This gave them time to stretch. There was a litter plan on the floor in front of the back seat, and they got fresh food and water. I had a friend with me and whenever one of us would open the door, we'd just be sure the cats weren't ready to run.
I researched pet friendly hotels along the way. (The cats thought it was a hoot - they could sit in a window and see everybody walk by and talk to them). The trip took us two days and we all did just fine.
OKAY--Now, you did not say how far you are planning to travel or if you'll be stopping along the way (as in, long distance--requires an overnight stay in a motel, etc.). I'll take a guess that this is going to be a long distance travel. So, your best bet is to put your car in a cat carrier, and if available, place the carrier on the seat (passenger seat) right next to you. By being right beside you, this makes your cat feel much calmer--especially if he/she is not used to traveling in the car. Depending on what type of vehicle you have, it will be safer for kitty if you have a way to run the lap seat belt thru some part of the holes in the carrier. As far as food and water---forget it--a cat will NOT eat, drink or go to the bathroom while "on the move"--I know, I've done this many times.
Now, in the event that your cat IS used to riding in the car with you, you can do what I did with only ONE of the many cats I've had. He liked riding in the car, and all I had to do was put him in a pillow case (this is strictly for safety-sake in the event that your cat gets out of the car--he/she will automatically try to find it's way back home). The pillow case allows freedom of movement, and the cat is able to breathe well. All it does is simply "blindfold" him/her so kitty cannot see where they are going, so even if your cat does get out of the car, the most likely move it will make is to right under the car.
If you are going to have to spend a night or two at a motel, take your cats own water and food (dry only) dishes and a DISPOSABLE litter box. Do NOT be alarmed if your cat does NOT eat one bite or use the litter box---most will NOT in a strange place--mine never did. And, do NOT put a water dish in a cat carrier with kitty while you're on the move in your vehicle. Your cat is NOT going to drink, and the dish is just going to spill over getting the carrier and kitty all wet. Also---if you feel the need to let your cat out of the carrier in an attempt to go to the bathroom---make sure you have a VERY GOOD HARNESS---NOT a leash on your kitty. ALL cats can get out of a leash unless the thing is literally strangling them, and we don't want that. If this is a fairly small cat, a ferret harness works very well.
I hope this has been of some help to you and given you a couple of options, and the knowledge of what to expect---the fact that your cat is not going to eat, drink or go "potty" while you are traveling--not even in a motel room---mine never did.
Have a nice trip, and yes, it's fine to take your kitty, but do try to have kitty in the passenger seat next to you--this is calming to them, and the cat will more than likely just lie down and go to sleep. . . . after initially expressing it's dis-pleasure of being in the cat carrier. Bon Voyage!

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