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  #1  
Old May 6th, 2014, 09:39 PM
Fredster Fredster is offline
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Travelling with cats

Hi,

I'm planning a roadtrip with my 6 month old kitten next month. I'm a bit worried though : is this a good idea / is there anything I should be concerned about? Are there techniques to keep him calm while travelling (this would be his first long trip)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old May 7th, 2014, 08:51 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Hey Fredster!

A couple of questions - how long is the roadtrip? Does the cat have any traveling experience on shorter trips? If so was the reaction good?
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  #3  
Old May 9th, 2014, 11:59 AM
Fredster Fredster is offline
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Hey Marko,

The roadtrip is about 2 hours each way. The only car trips so far have been when I picked him up and the few trips we've made to the vet. He didn't seem completely freaked out, but there was quite a bit of sad sounding meowing :-(
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Old May 9th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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marko marko is offline
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Hi Fredster!

I'd be curious what others think but I have a suggestion - just do more 'practise' trips that are a bit longer and give delicious treats at the end.
Just might work
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  #5  
Old May 9th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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Reg Reg is offline
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Hi Fredster:

I have done a lot of traveling with cats over the years. There are a few things you should take into consideration. When you take a cat in the car it's going to cause a stress situation so the best thing to do is try to minimize it before you go on your trip. The first thing to do is get him used to the car as much as possible before going anywhere. What I have done in the past is put the cat into a carrying cage, and take them out to the car. Don't start the car just sit in the car with him, and open the cage and let him explore the car and get used to the smell of it. Do this a couple times about 10 minutes each time pay attention to his reactions. If he seems to be taking it in stride then start the car and let it idle in the driveway for a few minutes watching the reactions. This might have to be done a couple of times but when you feel he is somewhat at ease, and is coping with it take him for a short drive around the block. Always keep in mind his stress level when you are doing this. The next day when you take him out and everything was all right the last time then extend the length of the trip. In the matter of a week or so he should be becoming a little more at ease in the vehicle you will have to watch and play it by ear as you go.

Something you might want to have on hand is Rescue Remedy to apply to the cat to help relieve stress. I find it best if it is applied behind the ears or between the toes due to the fact that it has alcohol in it and it's not tolerated very well when applied orally to the cat. I haven't tried any the pheromone treatments for stress but it is worthwhile looking into.

One major no-no is do not open the car door or window if the cat is not secured in its carrier because if he gets out the chances of recovering him are very slim to nill, and another problem friends of mine have had is if the cat has a harness on, the harness has got tangled up under the front seat, and almost suffocated before they had a chance to get the car off the road.

My cats were so accustomed to traveling that they were allowed to run loose in the vehicle, and when the vehicle stopped and the ignition was turned off the cats would all go in their cages and wait for them to be closed and locked before we opened the car door. Today having them run loose in the vehicle is a good recipe for a ticket for being distracted.

Something I've found also is that if the vehicle is only used for taking the cat or dog to the vet and back the cat or dog relates the vehicle to the unpleasant treatment at the vet's office, and really doesn't want to have anything to do with the vehicle. That's why it's so important to get animals back in the car as soon after as possible to help break the fear of going to the vet's office or elsewhere.

Just take your time and work with him and watch for stress.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 08:24 PM
Fredster Fredster is offline
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Thank you so very much Reg! This is great advice and thanks so much for taking the time for all of the different tips. I've got over a month until the trip, so I'm going to take your advice and start slowly right away.

Thanks again! I really appreciate it!
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  #7  
Old May 16th, 2014, 07:44 PM
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Glad that I could help Fredster. After doing the last post I remembered a few things that might also assist you when traveling with Freddy.

When traveling with the wee guy be prepared for accidents and get them cleaned up as soon as possible especially a bowel movement in a cage. This can have a tendency to turn some cats off of traveling altogether. Throw ups are not much better so I have fresh bedding for the cage just in case.

This time of year is construction time on the highway. This means heavy equipment operating, and creating a lot of noise which will severely freak out some cats. So if you are transporting him loose in the vehicle secure him in a cage before going into a construction zone for the safety of everyone in the vehicle and Freddy as well. I know one of our animals for the first couple times in a construction zone went completely haywire, and ran as fast as he could all over the vehicle. (Talk about a distracted driver. It was some tense for a few minutes, one of ours got under the brake pedal ) LOL now.

Something else worth considering is if he gets sick in the car you should check his ears to see if there's some kind of an infection. An infection in the ear will throw off his equilibrium when mobile in a vehicle, and this will cause him stomach upset. This isn't the cause all the time but it is one that is most often overlooked. It took me 6 years before I found out about it. Hopefully you're not plagued with this problem.

Keep us informed on how things are going with your wee gem Freddy in his travel episodes.
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  #8  
Old May 17th, 2014, 10:25 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Great advice Reg - thx for helping out
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  #9  
Old May 25th, 2014, 01:09 PM
Fredster Fredster is offline
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Thanks again Reg! You've offered more advice than I could have imagined!
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