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Thread: Traveling with pets

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Traveling with pets

    So I'm looking for advice on taking the cats on about 700 mile trip... I've mostly traveled with dogs so I don't know if they shouldbbe uncrated or crated. And how big of a crate do they need to be comfortable for that long... I'm sort of assuming what they go to the vet and isn't gonna work for 10 Hour drive. how often do we need to make sure that they can use the litter box and have food should? Check should we even feed them or not feed them? is it worth going to the vet and giving them medicine? if that's the case, what do they usually give them for medication?
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    Re: Traveling with pets

    There are many options which you should talk to your vet about as far as medicine from sedatives to calming chews like Composure chews.

    Crate large enough for a litter box and water. If they get car sick ask your vet about Cerenia tablets for vomiting/ car sickness.

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    Re: Traveling with pets

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    So I'm looking for advice on taking the cats on about 700 mile trip... I've mostly traveled with dogs so I don't know if they shouldbbe uncrated or crated. And how big of a crate do they need to be comfortable for that long... I'm sort of assuming what they go to the vet and isn't gonna work for 10 Hour drive. how often do we need to make sure that they can use the litter box and have food should? Check should we even feed them or not feed them? is it worth going to the vet and giving them medicine? if that's the case, what do they usually give them for medication?
    Most vets will use a sedative called 'acepromazine' for cats and car travel... BUT there are side effects. It drops blood pressure and temperature regulation, plus there is some evidence to suggest that they are actually still aware of what's going on, they just can't do anything about it, which can be very stressful if you have them in the back with the kids.

    Cerenia is an antiemetic which can be used as a travel sickness drug. For a ten hour trip, it's definitely worth it if they get car sick. It is mildly sedative at high doses (just like human travel sickness meds can be mildly sedative), but that's not really enough to be truly useful and we mostly just use it for travel sickness.

    I would also use Feliway spray or similar, as an anti-stress agent. Plus if this is for you moving house then it will be really helpful in the first few weeks in the new house. Normally I'd recommend a Feliway diffuser for a new house, but if you can be bothered spraying around the room daily then one bottle of spray will last you the car trip AND a week or two in the new house.

    Personally, I would do a few trial trips first, of varying lengths, to check a) how stressed they get; b) how long it takes them to settle down and curl up (if they ever do) and c) do they get car sick. If they only stress for half an hour or so, then I would go for Feliway spray all through the car and cages, and let them travel conscious. If they are still highly stressed after half an hour and Feliway doesn't make an obvious difference then talk to a good vet about the possibility of sedatives (which is not ideal, but is commonly done). If they're car sick then talk to a vet about using Cerenia, though you can't use it AND a sedative together (it's fine with Feliway though).

    Cage size... your normal travel cages will be fine in a pinch. If you can get one big enough to add a litter tray then that's better. They don't really need room to move around and MOST cats feel safer and more secure in a smallish crate that is covered over rather than a large open area. I'm ALWAYS an advocate of restraint in the car, so I wouldn't have them loose even if they're happy loose (what if you get in an accident?) They probably wont eat anyway (out of stress), it's perfectly fine for them not to eat for 10 hours, and honestly you'll have less chance of car sickness if they don't eat. They will need access to water, though. For cats it's better to use the water tubs that attach to the door of the travel cages and just leave some water in there, because the chances of them drinking while you stop to offer them water are fairly slim. Having said that, if they're healthy otherwise and have been drinking normally or had a wet food meal before you go, they wont die if they don't drink for ten hours and it's temperature controlled in the car. Just don't leave them in the car unattended while you all get out to eat... you don't want them sitting in a cage in a non-temp controlled car for any length of time! (Exactly the same as not leaving kids or dogs unattended in a parked car). You can try making sure they have toys and things, but they may or may not get any benefit from them. A blanket that is full of happy sleepy cat smells is good, plus some Feliway sprayed on for good measure (make sure you spray 10 minutes before you want to use it though, not right before you put them in the cage).

    Good luck!

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    Re: Traveling with pets

    If you're planning to stay anywhere, please call the hotel first to make sure they allow pets. A lot of them don't.
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    Re: Traveling with pets

    Oh good grief, I do admire your courage! I can't take mine further than the local vet, barely a mile a way, and even then they play up something shocking!
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    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

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    Re: Traveling with pets

    Crate them, definitely. Having them loose in the car can be very dangerous for both of you. Best of luck traveling with your fuzzy eared friends!
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    Re: Traveling with pets

    Also maybe if you can do a preliminary pretend trip. Just to get them used to the idea and not have it be their first time out.
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    Re: Traveling with pets

    So when the hell is Gleb going to find his way onto this thread? I honestly thought he'd be here ages ago.
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    Re: Traveling with pets

    What you don't want to do, if your cats are not trained for it, is let them loose in the car. I tried to take mine on a road trip once (a 1800km roadtrip) without being in his crate. He peed EVERYWHERE. On the carpeted floor, on the seat, on ME, etc. It was a disaster.

    The one time I've flown him, I took him to the vet and acquired a sedative, which lasted long enough for my 1.5 hour flight, but he came to during landing, and pooed himself in fear and then ran around the crate like that. It was a disaster.

    The other roadtrip we've been on was 2500km when I moved up here, and I crated him, put him in the front seat, snuck him into the hotel every night with a kitty litter box and let him run around as he pleased, and then during the day, would take him out and let him walk around parks and stuff we stopped at. It wasn't great...but he didn't do too badly.

    And I dunno about cats, but for my dogs anxiety during travel, I give him rescue remedy for pets (the glycerin NOT alcohol version) ...and it keeps him nice and calm.
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Traveling with pets

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Also maybe if you can do a preliminary pretend trip. Just to get them used to the idea and not have it be their first time out.
    They have/do travel...we take them (on their leashes) to the park and even to the beach. Its just that it is a long drive...I think maybe they need a slightly bigger crate than they have to go to the vet, etc.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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