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  1. #1

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    Taking a cat on a car trip?

    I'm hoping someone can give me some good advice or insight. Our next Disney trip will take us away from home for two weeks. Usually, our cat...Jack....stays at the vet's kennel. We haven't minded before (he's stayed twice), because, they are very good to him. They give him a large kennel, and take him out to hold him and even let him wander around the office. The girls who work there love him to death. But, I'm concerned because this trip is for so long. I feel horrible leaving him in a cage for almost two weeks.

    So, my idea is to take him to my parents house to stay while we are gone. This wouldn't be out of our way, since we are stopping at their house and staying the night before continuing to Orlando the next day.

    The problem is...we are driving from Oklahoma City to southern Louisiana. It's a 12 hour drive.

    The vet said they could give me a tranquilizer pill that would make him sleep during the trip. But, I've never done that to an animal before.

    I guess I'm asking if anyone has any similar experiences. Also, if anyone has any tips.

    Do you think this would be okay for him?

    Thanks SO much!




  2. #2

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    my cat used to love riding in the car. He never stayed in a cage in the car, and just loved sitting on the deck behind the rear seats. However, you must be concerned if your cat gets skitish and tries to find some place to hide... like under your pedals!

    Cats usually don't like sitting in cage for extended periods.. but it's hard to gauge what your animal will do. You can always try a quick 'ride around town' and see what it will do.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy View Post
    I'm hoping someone can give me some good advice or insight. Our next Disney trip will take us away from home for two weeks. Usually, our cat...Jack....stays at the vet's kennel. We haven't minded before (he's stayed twice), because, they are very good to him. They give him a large kennel, and take him out to hold him and even let him wander around the office. The girls who work there love him to death. But, I'm concerned because this trip is for so long. I feel horrible leaving him in a cage for almost two weeks.

    So, my idea is to take him to my parents house to stay while we are gone. This wouldn't be out of our way, since we are stopping at their house and staying the night before continuing to Orlando the next day.

    The problem is...we are driving from Oklahoma City to southern Louisiana. It's a 12 hour drive.

    The vet said they could give me a tranquilizer pill that would make him sleep during the trip. But, I've never done that to an animal before.

    I guess I'm asking if anyone has any similar experiences. Also, if anyone has any tips.

    Do you think this would be okay for him?

    Thanks SO much!
    I travel with Olivia all the time. The trips are generally 5 or 6 hours with one stop. I bought her a hardcase cage that will fit a medium sized dog. I pad the bottom with a blanket so she'll stay comfortable. The inner 1/4 of the cage, I just put a sheet down - in case she wants a spot that's less warm. Make sure you carry a mini-litter pan in the car, this way...he can do his business when you stop. Food should be carried in an air tight container and water in a 16oz. glass, chew-proof bird water bottle. Keeping Jack in the carrier is the safest place for him (and make sure you teather his carrier in with the seatbelt). I was transporting Olivia a year ago - and I was rear ended by a truck...she was in her cage, but it wasn't teathered in....and she went flying! Poor thing, I'm glad she wasn't hurt. I don't think he will need the tranquilizer....he might be nervous at first, but he'll get used to it and be fine. Every 2-3 hours, pull over, and let him roam the car for 10 minutes or so. In the medium cage, he should be able to move and shift. Jack will be fine - just give him some time to adjust. Perhaps you can take him on some short car rides around town - just to give him the care feel. Good luck!
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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    that's what I'm thinking we will do. Take him on a few practice rides around town, and see what he'll do. He howls like crazy when we take him to the vet. That's the main reason I was thinking of the sedative. And thanks for the tips on litter and food, PS!

    Flynn..we had a cat like that. Nermal. He used to LOVE to ride in the car. He'd sit up on the dash, or in the back window. We used to get the weirdest looks!




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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    We got our kittens these new kinds of cat-travel-tents that they sell at Target. They look like those tents kids like to play in, only cat-sized. The kittens absolutely love 'em; they play in the tents when they're in the house, and seem to like being in the tents more than a regular hard travel case when they need to go out for whatever reason. And the tents are also easier to carry around than the hard travel cases, plus much easier to fit into the car since they don't take up as much room.

  6. #6

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    Never done it before, but I just want to remind people (not necessarily anyone on here, since I know we're all awesome ) NOT to leave pets in their cars unattended. In many states it's illegal, and it's not fair to the animal to sit in the car while it's heating up and you're in an air conditioned restaurant, etc.

    Don't leave a pet in your car when the car is off!

    Again, I know no one here would do it, but I see it too often not to say anything.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    My cats yowled the entire time when we moved. It was only a two hour drive. They were in little crates. When I took one to the vet he would just crawl under a seat and stay quiet. It should be ok.

    Just make sure they have air flow around them if in a crate. A friend of a friend moved a chinchilla in a car for 4 hours in a laundry basket, but the idiot piled other stuff around the basket and it was summer....anyway, you can guess what happened.

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Lady View Post
    We got our kittens these new kinds of cat-travel-tents that they sell at Target. They look like those tents kids like to play in, only cat-sized. The kittens absolutely love 'em; they play in the tents when they're in the house, and seem to like being in the tents more than a regular hard travel case when they need to go out for whatever reason. And the tents are also easier to carry around than the hard travel cases, plus much easier to fit into the car since they don't take up as much room.
    hmmm. Not cure if that would work with Jack. He's a bit....fat. The vet weighed him last week, and he weigh 15 1/2 lbs. I will have to check and see if they make those for animals that big.

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoflamingo View Post
    Never done it before, but I just want to remind people (not necessarily anyone on here, since I know we're all awesome ) NOT to leave pets in their cars unattended. In many states it's illegal, and it's not fair to the animal to sit in the car while it's heating up and you're in an air conditioned restaurant, etc.

    Don't leave a pet in your car when the car is off!

    Again, I know no one here would do it, but I see it too often not to say anything.
    that wouldn't be a problem since it would be me, hubby and the kiddo. We can take turns running in to the bathroom, and taking the kiddo in to eat.
    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    My cats yowled the entire time when we moved. It was only a two hour drive. They were in little crates. When I took one to the vet he would just crawl under a seat and stay quiet. It should be ok.

    Just make sure they have air flow around them if in a crate. A friend of a friend moved a chinchilla in a car for 4 hours in a laundry basket, but the idiot piled other stuff around the basket and it was summer....anyway, you can guess what happened.
    We have an SUV with a 3/4 seat. So, I was thinking of folding it down, and sitting his crate on top of it. That way, he'd be on a flat surface with access to the a/c and we'd be able to see him well.




  9. #9

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    We tranquilized our kitties when we had to move from NorCal to SoCal. It was going to be a 7+ hour drive. They did fine and they are much older than Jack. Miles was so "high" that I could open the carrier door and he would just stay in there and purr. I wouldn't do that to them often, but once in a while is okay, and it sure made the trip more calmer for them and me!


  10. #10

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoflamingo View Post
    Never done it before, but I just want to remind people (not necessarily anyone on here, since I know we're all awesome ) NOT to leave pets in their cars unattended. In many states it's illegal, and it's not fair to the animal to sit in the car while it's heating up and you're in an air conditioned restaurant, etc.

    Don't leave a pet in your car when the car is off!

    Again, I know no one here would do it, but I see it too often not to say anything.

    Sometimes you hear the same thing happening here in Phoenix, an animal or worse yet, a kid left in a car, unattended, and then dying because of the heat. And cracking a window doesn't cut it, either. Car's interior can heat up VERY RAPIDLY, even when it's not hot outside.

    From the CDC:

    <H3>Do Not Leave Children in Cars

    Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
    • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
    • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
    • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
    </H3>CDC Extreme Heat | A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety

  11. #11

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    My cats HATE riding in the car... because they know they're going to the vet. They'll yeowl and cry the whole way there and back. JT will constantly growl and hiss too.

    Back in 2001, I went back home for 10 days to visit family. JT was still a kitten, but I put him up at a cat boarding place that was highly recommended by his vet. I felt bad for leaving him (he screamed and cried when I dropped him off... probably thought I was abandoning him), but I had no one to watch him while I was gone. After a few days, I called the boarding place to see how he was doing and they said, "Well, he isn't hiding under the litterbox anymore, so that's a good sign."

    When I got back and picked him up, he looked so happy to see me, but also looked at me like, "Don't EVER do that to me again!"

    Now, if I have to go away for more than just overnight and the BF doesn't go with me, he checks on the cats to make sure they have enough food & water. I do the same for his cat when he has to go out of town for work.

  12. #12

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    aw! Poor JT!!!! I think Jack is just happy to get away from our daughter. NO getting shoved into baby strollers or carried around. We called everyday of our last visit to check on him. And it was very rare that he was in his cage. They usually had him out, wandering the office. They had such a fit over him. So, I don't mind leaving him with them...they are good people, and I know they will take care of him.

    We will probably end up leaving him at the vet's. I talked to hubby about it, and he reminded me that my parents have two cats at their house. Of course, I knew this...but, didn't think it would be much of a problem. But, Jack hasn't been around other cats since we got him a year ago. And my mother's cats are very territorial, even after living with each other for over 5 years, they still get into fights. I'd rather not expose Jack to that. So, maybe it would be better, and less stressful for him at the vet.


    Thank you everyone for your input I REALLY appreciate it.




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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy View Post
    We will probably end up leaving him at the vet's. I talked to hubby about it, and he reminded me that my parents have two cats at their house. Of course, I knew this...but, didn't think it would be much of a problem. But, Jack hasn't been around other cats since we got him a year ago. And my mother's cats are very territorial, even after living with each other for over 5 years, they still get into fights. I'd rather not expose Jack to that. So, maybe it would be better, and less stressful for him at the vet.
    This is probably a good idea. Introducing a new cat to ones that have already lived in that house and are already territorial would be a bad situation. They'd probably gang up and attack him. You have to introduce cats to each other on a gradual basis (unless they're kittens growing up together). When I brought Chandler home 2 years ago, JT had a fit. It took him several weeks before he'd be in the same room as Chandler. Lots of growling and hissing, and poor Chandler was just a tiny baby who was probably wondering what he did wrong. Luckily, I knew JT would finally tolerate him because he lived with 2 other cats when he was about a year old (my former roommate's), though even then he didn't socialize with them much because he preferred to be the ONLY cat.

  14. #14

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    Re: Taking a cat on a car trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy View Post
    that's what I'm thinking we will do. Take him on a few practice rides around town, and see what he'll do. He howls like crazy when we take him to the vet. That's the main reason I was thinking of the sedative. And thanks for the tips on litter and food, PS!

    Flynn..we had a cat like that. Nermal. He used to LOVE to ride in the car. He'd sit up on the dash, or in the back window. We used to get the weirdest looks!
    I took my cat when ever we went out for food, or just for a car ride. got her used to it and she loved the car. I take my dogs every day to work and where ever I go ( unless its a place I leave the car like the store ) no way will I ever leave my babies in a vehicle ! Start now, let her drive around with you a few places and let her get a feel of it. I hope she will do fine
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