Moving Cross Country with Cats? You’ll Want These 10 Tips
Are you moving across the nation with your cats? It’s not nearly as difficult as it appears. Listed below are some suggestions for preparing for a relocation and keeping them calm while on the road. Cats, like the majority of pets, despise being moved. It’s the commotion and chaos, the extra vet appointments, and the somewhat concerned expression on your face 24/7 during the weeks leading up to the relocation. They are well aware that whatever is going on is not going to be beneficial to them.
While your new house may have some cat-friendly features, such as greater space to explore, transporting your cat there will be a stressful experience for him, especially if you’re driving across the nation.
Are you ready to find out what they are?
How to Prepare Your Cat for the Move
You should prepare your cat ahead of time in order to make the transition simpler. It will be easier on them if you can get them (at least partly) acclimated to the trappings of the relocation before you go for your trip.
1. Get That Vet Visit Out of the Way
It’s no secret that cats despise going to the veterinarian. Adding a bunch of probing and prodding to the stress of packing is simply harsh, so if at all possible, take your cat to the vet many months before your move to avoid any unpleasant surprises. In certain circumstances, it may not even make a difference, but if you’re traveling to a state with different vaccine regulations, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. When it comes to rabies, for example, immunization is required by the federal government, although the frequency requirements differ from state to state.
2. Get Your Carriers Months Ahead of Time
Moving cross-country with cats necessitates the use of a carrier, which is understandable given the circumstances. Transferring dogs into a hotel room or AirBnB, as well as traveling across the nation, demands confinement. If you decide to go with the latter option, make sure to research airline restrictions first. Also keep in mind that many airlines have modified their policies and now only allow a specific number of in-cabin dogs, so make sure to plan them on your journey well in advance. ) (If they’re heading below the surface, it’s a different situation, but plan ahead of time.) Even if you’re only driving, it’s a good idea to check on your carrier to make sure it’s still in good condition.
3. Make a Cozy Environment
Cats, like people, are concerned about their own comfort.
When a cat is going through a difficult time, the correct surroundings may make all the difference, not to mention the frequently stressful experience of traveling by car and staying in new hotels. The following elements will be present in a cat’s ideal environment:
- They require a carrier that is large enough to accommodate them. On the bottom, place a blanket to keep them warm and snug, as well as to capture any urine or excrement that may be produced as a normal response to fright. If you have a favorite toy, please include it. Food and water containers (though you will likely want to remove them while traveling to minimize spillage)
- A place to store your belongings.
If you have a particularly laid-back cat, you might want to think about getting him a harness. Purchase a seatbelt attachment that will attach to your cat’s collar and clip into the car’s seatbelt. This will prevent your cat from wandering around the car or being thrown in a collision.
4. Introduce Pets to Their Travel Environment
It is important not to wait until the last minute to expose your cats to their new travel surroundings while going across nation with them. No matter how comfortable you make them feel, they will still feel scared if they are forced to confront that unfamiliar area immediately before the stress of travel begins. In lieu of this, place carriers in the living room with blankets inside many months before the event. Considering that cats prefer the darkness of enclosed environments, they will frequently choose to enter carriers of their own own – provided that they do not already link those carriers with the veterinarian.
5. Give Plenty of Love
Avoid introducing your cats to their new travel surroundings until the last minute if you’re going cross-country with them. No matter how pleasant you make it for them, they will still feel scared if they have to confront that unfamiliar surroundings immediately before the stress of travel begins to mount. Instead, put the carriers out many months in advance and keep them in the living room with blankets stuffed inside them. Considering that cats prefer the darkness of enclosed areas, they will frequently choose to enter carriers on their own own – provided that they have not already associated those carriers with the veterinarian.
Moving Cross Country with Cats Safely and Comfortably
If you have a cat, the most important things to watch out for on moving day are that it doesn’t escape and throw off the schedule of the move, that the movers can do their work without being interrupted, and that your animal is as stress-free as possible.
6. ID Your Animal Properly
Obtain an updated tag that includes your current phone number as well as your new address if you will be at your new location within a few days of the relocation. A temporary tag with the address of a trusted family member should do if you are going to be on the road for an extended period of time (hello, scenic route!). Change the tag out on the day of the move after the van has been packed so that if your pet escapes the house while the movers are there, you will still have the right neighborhood information in place in case they return.
7. Warn Movers That You Have an Animal
Most responsible movers will inquire as to whether or not there are any pets on the property who require their attention, but others will not. Make sure to bring everyone together at the beginning of the transfer and inform them of your pets’ whereabouts as well as the regulations for keeping them from escaping.
If at all possible, just confine your animal(s) to a secure area until the transfer of your belongings to the truck or automobile is completed. Even better, you may drop them off at a friend’s or family member’s place until you’re ready to leave on your journey.
8. Use Calming Sprays
Regardless of how hard you work, relocating cross-country with cats will be unpleasant for everyone involved, including the cats. Calming sprays might assist you in alleviating some of your stress symptoms. The pheromones that suggest relaxation are quite effective in calming cats, and because they are widely available, there is no reason not to pick up a bottle in the months leading up to the relocation. As one of the most trusted brands when it comes to calming sprays, Feliway has created this convenient travel spray that allows you to sprinkle your pet’s bedding and travel surroundings for immediate relaxing benefits.
Simply place a few drops in your cat’s water dish or in his or her mouth.
9. Pack Food, Water, Comfort Items and Litter Within Easy Reach
It’s finally time to get back on the road again! Before you go for your parking break, double-check everything. Do you have any of the following:
- Food dish and pet food
- A can opener (if you prepare wet food)
- And a tablecloth. A water dish and a gallon of water are required. Things that make you feel at ease, such as a blanket and toys
- Litter and a litter box are provided.
Pack these products safely and conveniently in a convenient location. A good option is to pack everything in a transparent tub and stack it on top of your other positions, securing it with a seatbelt or squeezed between the seats. You’ll be able to just get it when you go to the hotel this way.
10. Get Storage Out of the Way Ahead of Time
When it comes to moving day, cats are especially sensitive in the final few weeks before the move. You pack up, removing all of their favorite hiding places, and you’re always on the go, and they want for the peace of regular life. You may make things easier on them by completing major activities ahead of time, which will allow you to spend more time with them in the weeks leading up to the relocation. For example, it’s a good idea to plan out storage space well in advance of the event. If you’re planning to leave your belongings behind when you relocate across the nation, start looking into your choices and finding the suitable units many months before you want to depart.
This will result in a lot more zen-like packing environment, which you and your cat will love just as much as they do!
However, with these helpful hints at your disposal, you’ll have an easier time than ever relocating with your four-legged companions.
Shipping Cats Across Country: How to Transport a Cat With Care
In order to successfully relocate across the nation with your cat, you must first investigate the many alternatives accessible to you and then make the best decision for your four-legged companion. This can be a stressful affair, especially if you are unfamiliar with the concept of transporting cats over state lines or across nation lines.
If you learn more about pet-friendly airlines as well as pet-travel best practices, you may discover that air travel is the most convenient and streamlined alternative. Listed below is all you need to know about transporting a cat across country:
- A pet-friendly airline, which means a carrier with established pet regulations and an excellent safety record, should be considered. Consult your veterinarian about any concerns you may have
- They may recommend that you assist your cat in losing a pound or two before traveling, for example. It is not necessary to sedate your cat before traveling. At higher altitudes, the consequences of sedation are uncertain and sometimes deadly, and most airlines would not even take a cat that has been drugged. Prepare your cat for the journey by allowing him or her to become accustomed to the travel crate ahead of time. Those that are comfortable here will be more relaxed and tranquil during the journey. Here are a few crate training techniques for cats to get you started:
When these precautions are followed, air travel for cats is a safe alternative, and it is the method of choice for many pet travelers, like PetRelocation, who prefer it. Read on to learn more about cat air travel and why it’s a viable option for transporting cats over state lines.
Tips for Moving a Cat Long Distance
Nick Coston, D.V.M., of Cornerstone Veterinary Clinic in Greenwood, Arkansas, provided his expert opinion on this subject.
Moving across the country with cats?
When it comes to cat owners, U-Pack® has earned a reputation as a wonderful option for long-distance transfers with their feline companions. Because of the celebrity cats Cole and Marmalade, who have relocated withU-Packtwice, cat lovers all across the country discovered that when they move with us, we take care of their home belongings, allowing them to concentrate on traveling with their pets instead. As part of our effort to make your long-distance journey as stress-free as possible for both you and your feline companions, we spoke with a veterinarian and collected the best suggestions for traveling and relocating with cats.
How to move with a cat
If you’re here, we know it’s because you want to provide your cat with the extra attention and care that it deserves. Learn about the following topics by consulting this guide:
- Planning for each individual cat
- Selecting a constraint
- Introducing new equipment Carrying out simulated vehicle journeys
- Packing the car
- Preparing for the drive Maintaining Kitty’s safety and comfort
- The importance of finding pet-friendly housing
- Keeping your cat contained
- Bringing a litter box on the road
- Creating a safe environment
- Adhering to a schedule
- Keeping an eye out for problems
- Getting acquainted with a new veterinarian
If you’re traveling with other pets, be sure to read our guide to relocating with pets for information on dogs, fish, and other animals.
Traveling long distances with cats in the car
Are you unable to travel by car? Many of these suggestions will also be useful when traveling with your pet on a plane or exporting your pet. For the majority of cat owners, the only time their feline companion is in a vehicle is when they take their cat to the veterinarian, which might cause your automobile to become something they fear. When planning a long-distance trip, you’ll want to start by getting them comfortable to the car and then tailoring your itinerary to accommodate your cat’s needs.
Make a plan for each cat
Individual requirements for each cat should be taken into consideration while arranging your relocation. If you’ve noticed any of your dogs exhibiting signs of stress or motion sickness in the past, speak with your veterinarian since they may be able to prescribe medicine to alleviate the symptoms. Keeping numerous cats separated in different carriers throughout the journey, along with creating particular arrangements for each animal, is an excellent way to lessen stress and prevent them from fighting.
Choose a restraint or carrier
While driving, it is important to keep your pet contained, and because most cats are not fond of leashes, a carrier or box may be the most appropriate option. They are available in a variety of sizes and designs, allowing you to select the one that is most appropriate for your pet and your vehicle. If you’re traveling by plane, though, make sure to check with your airline and follow their recommendations for the best experience. We recommend getting a crate with a large entrance so that it is easy to get them in.
Finally, if your pet is prone to vehicle sickness, choose a carrier that is simple to clean and has a solid tray on the bottom that can be easily removed and wiped off. Whatever type of box you pick, make sure your cat has enough room to sit, stand, and turn around comfortably.
Introduce the carrier and a leash
Begin by arranging the carrier in a location where your cat enjoys hanging out several weeks before the big transfer. Keep the door open and a few snacks inside for your guests. Once he is comfortable entering the house for treats, begin placing the dish at the door entry and pushing it closer into the house with each feeding session. The aim is to persuade him to go all the way in on his own own. A leash would also be beneficial so that you may stroll them around the area when the bus stops.
Practice going on car rides
Once your cat has been accustomed to the crate, you may place him inside and take short trips in the crate or carrier. Begin by walking around the block for a few minutes at a time, gradually increasing the duration of your walk. You may also practice walking them at different stops to help them get more comfortable getting into and out of the box in different areas as they become older.
Pack the car with the essentials
Bowls, food, the leash, pet waste bags, treats, and a portable litter box should all be packed (with zip-top bags of litter and a scoop). Assemble everything in close proximity to your cat, and don’t bury the necessities behind a mountain of other items.
Plan the details of your drive
Because of their nocturnal nature, most cats are more relaxed during the day, so plan to drive during this time when they are most likely to be resting or sleeping. Make a plan for where you will stop (as a suggestion, pet stores make excellent restroom stops because you can bring your cat in with you).
Keep your kitty safe and comfortable during the trip
The box should be placed flat and with plenty of ventilation, either at the front or rear of the house. Make sure you have easy access to the carrier’s entrance in case you need to take your cat out at a stop. We also recommend that you position the carrier such that they can see you as you emerge through an opening. If the car is completely stuffed, be certain that nothing is within easy reach. When it comes to safety, plants and chemicals can be hazardous, while cables and threads can represent a risk of strangling, and little things can be potentially fatal.
If they appear to be really worried, consider covering the cage with a towel or blanket, since darkness may be calming for some creatures when they are stressed.
Feed a light breakfast and save the second feeding for when you reach at your destination for the night to reduce the likelihood of motion sickness.
Staying at a hotel with a cat
The importance of resting and relaxing at overnight stays cannot be overstated for both you and your cat.
Find cat-friendly places to stay
Pet-friendly hotels in every city you’re going through may be found by searching online.
However, for many hotels, “pet-friendly” really refers to “dog-friendly,” so be careful to contact ahead to ensure that cats are permitted. (Please keep in mind that assistance animals are not considered pets, thus they are always allowed in hotels.)
Keep your cat safe in and out of the room
Being in a new environment might cause your cat to get worried, and an anxious cat can be very unpredictable. As a result, we recommend that you open the crate after connecting your pet’s leash (reach through the grates or open the door just enough to clip the leash around their collar) to ensure that they do not escape. If you do not intend to use a leash, you should bring your cat inside while it is still in the carrier. Once you’ve entered the room, look around for potential hiding places.
Every time you enter or exit a room, place your cat back in its cage to keep them from escaping.
Set up a travel litter box
When you arrive at the hotel, dump a zip-top bag of litter into the portable litter box and set it in a quiet location. You should keep the litter box in the bathroom with them if you are concerned about your cat escaping or hiding under furniture.
Moving cats to a new home
When you get there, follow these guidelines to keep your cat safe during unloading and after the transfer is complete.
Make a safe space for your cat while you unload and unpack
Look for any exits or hiding places and block those areas while you’re unloading the moving equipment and unpacking the boxes. You are the one who knows your pet the best, so if you believe that all of the action will make them uneasy, keep them in the carrier during this period. As soon as everything has been unpacked and the house has been secured, take him outside to investigate his new surroundings. Many stresses, such as crinkling packing paper and closing cupboards, might occur during the unpacking process, so you may want to keep them inside the carrier to provide them with a secure haven throughout the chaos.
Stick to a routine as close as possible
Keep your food and resting patterns as consistent as possible, even if things are hectic during the relocation.
Keep an eye out for any concerns
Maintain a close eye out for any unusual changes in behavior, such as changes in sleep habits or grooming, or an increase in vocalization. If it persists for more than a few days, you shouldn’t be too concerned; in that case, you should plan an appointment with your veterinarian.
Establish care with a new veterinarian
Once you’ve settled in, make an appointment with a new veterinarian for your initial visit and have your old care provider’s data transferred to your new veterinarian.
Have any other questions about traveling or moving long-distance with a cat?
If there’s anything else we can do to assist you and your cat with your transfer, please let us know in the comments section. If you have any questions about moving with U-Pack, please contact us at 844-362-5303 or 844-494-3077, or visit our website to learn more about our moving service.
Dear Beast Mode: I’m Moving Cross-Country With My Cat. Should We Fly or Drive?
Slate provided the photo illustration. Photos courtesy of rep0rter/iStock/Getty Images Plus and artisteer/iStock/Getty Images Plus, respectively. Beast Modeis Slate’s pet advice column is called “Beast Modeis.” Do you have a question? Send your submission to [email protected] Beast Mode, I’d want to express my heartfelt gratitude for everything you’ve done for me. Several months ago, I announced that I would be relocating from the East Coast to the West Coast. I have a 6-year-old tabby cat that has only ever ventured beyond the boundaries of my two-bedroom condo for a few vet appointments.
- Alternatively, should I take him across the nation in my car, where I would have greater control over the situation.
- I adore him and don’t want to put him through any more hardship than is absolutely necessary!
- Greetings, Young Tab, and welcome to the West.
- They’re self-assured, intelligent, and fiercely loyal to their native region.
- This parallel may not be of use to you in preparing for your next relocation, but I hope that it has at the very least evoked in you the fleeting vision of your tabby dressed in a toga.
- Even the most experienced human travelers find it tough to relocate across nation, so I understand your apprehension about subjecting your ordinarily hermitic cat to the same ordeal.
- There will be more noise and more terror, but it will be over much faster.
- Bringing your cat into and out of different situations on a daily basis is necessary to accomplish this.
“I’m definitely a little more careful than the average person, but when you’re staying somewhere overnight, consider restricting your cat’s space to only the toilet.” A anxious cat will seek refuge in the most difficult-to-reach area, and you don’t want to have to spend hours every morning trying to get your cat back into his carrier, which will add time to your travel.
- “The only time it becomes difficult is when you have to take your cat out of the carrier,” she explains.
- Plane flights may not be pleasant, but at least they are relatively short.
- Depending on where you’re going, he may also require immunizations, so make sure you tell your veterinarian.
- It’s possible that the flight itself is the least stressful portion of your trip, despite all of the pressure fluctuations and loud roaring engines.
- Although this picture ranks right up there with the worst of Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych panels in terms of chaos and terror, there is a way out of it.
- Make a phone call to the airport a few weeks before your flight to ensure that this option is accessible.
- This is done in order to re-acclimate him to the area, as he is likely to link it with trips to the veterinarian.
- The most important thing to remember is that the leash should not be left attached inside the box, since wearing one in an enclosed place might be dangerous for the cat.
- Even though this appears to be a lot of work, relocating is stressful, and any procedures that bring peace of mind are beneficial.
Consider your alternatives and make the best preparation you can. It may not be simple, but at the very least you will be aware of what is about to happen. And, if things become too tense, take a few deep breaths and imagine your cat dressed in a toga to calm yourself down.
Moving With Cats Cross Country: Tips and Advice
Oh, the sheer delight of transporting pets across the nation.. Our feline companions are territorial creatures, and the most of them are not interested in moving from one bed to another, let alone across the entire continent of the United States of America. However, if you’re planning a cross-country relocation, your four-legged companions will be joining you, and the more you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible, the better. First and foremost, allow me to provide a small dose of certainty.
After traveling with your cat in the past, you’ve undoubtedly recognized that the toughest part of the experience was dealing with your own tension before leaving on your trip.
While it may be frightening to think about in the weeks and months before the move, you and your cat will be fine after it is through.
Prep For Peace of Mind
- Oh, the sheer delight of transporting animals across the nation! They are territorial creatures, and the majority of them are not interested in moving even from one bed to another, let alone across the entire continental United States. However, if you’re planning a cross-country relocation, your four-legged companions will be joining you, and the more you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible, the better off everyone will be. Firstly, let me to reassure you that everything is well. Although cats can be obstinate and set in their ways, they are also remarkably robust and adaptable creatures. In the past, if you’ve traveled with your cat, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that the most stressful thing about it was your own anxiety building up to the big day! You and your cat will make it through your long-distance move just well. While it may be frightening to think about in the days leading up to it, you and your cat will make it through just fine. Taking deep breaths, let us proceed to the recommendations.
To Fly or Drive, That Is the Question
- When it comes to traveling with cats across nation, one of the most often asked questions is whether flying or driving is the better option. That depends on your cat and your tastes, and you’ll have to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to establish which option is the most financially advantageous for you. The advantage of flying cross-country rather than driving is that it is completed more quickly. If your cat is going to be afraid no matter what, it may be preferable to have the whole thing done and over with in a couple of hours rather of spending a full day (or many days) in the car. As a result of these stressors, flying can be particularly stressful, particularly when dealing with loud noises, a large number of people, and the fact that you’ll have to remove your cat from his or her carrier at security and re-insert him or her again while also dealing with the aforementioned noises and people. Driving, on the other hand, allows for a more peaceful and less hectic atmosphere to be experienced. The process is more time-consuming, but there aren’t likely to be as many anxiety-inducing triggers along the way. Consider your options carefully, and whatever you decide, allow your cat plenty of time to become used to their travel carrier. If their carrier serves as a safe haven for them, you’ve already gotten a leg up on the competition.
Talk To Your Vet, And Find a New One
- Make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your future relocation. In order to guarantee that your cat is healthy enough to travel, you should get them inspected. You should also consider the best practices for your preferred way of cross-country travel. In addition, your veterinarian may be able to give your cat medicine that may alleviate any nervousness it may be experiencing while traveling. Keep in mind that most veterinarians advise against sedation for air travel since it might interfere with the animal’s capacity to breathe while on board the aircraft. Furthermore, you have no way of knowing how your cat will respond to the drug, and you certainly don’t want to find out when you’re 35,000 feet above the ground. Because it will only be for a brief amount of time, it is best to avoid sedation and instead rely on alternative techniques of anxiety reduction, such as Thundershirts and nutritional supplements. It’s also critical that you have a veterinarian in mind for your new home city. Tips on how to do so may be found here, including information on how to transfer your cat’s medical data.
Make the Carrier a Happy Place
- Arrange for a consultation with your veterinarian to discuss your future relocation. Your cat should be evaluated to confirm that they are healthy enough to travel, and you can also discuss some best practice suggestions regarding your chosen manner of cross-country travel with the veterinarian. Aside from that, your veterinarian may be able to give your cat medicine that may alleviate any nervousness it may be experiencing throughout the trip. Keep in mind that most veterinarians advise against sedation for air travel since it might interfere with the animal’s capacity to breathe while on board the plane.. Aside from that, you have no idea how your cat will respond to the drug, and you certainly don’t want to find out when you’re 35,000 feet above the ground. In light of the fact that it will only be for a brief length of time, it is recommended that you avoid sedation and instead use alternative means of anxiety reduction, such as Thundershirts or supplements. Having a veterinarian set up in your new city is also very crucial. Tips on how to do so may be found here, including information on how to transmit your cat’s medical information.
Go For Some Test Drives
- Although you are not required to do a round-trip flight as a practice run, both flying and driving will need you to spend some time in the car, so taking a few of practice drives won’t harm. Carry your cat in a carrier and drive them around the neighborhood numerous times before moving day, increasing the length of time between each trip. Even if you’re just going around in circles, this will provide your cat with an excellent opportunity to become used to the rhythm of the road. Put on some peaceful classical music to help you relax even more while you’re out on these test drives (you can find pre-built playlists on Spotify specifically designed for calming cats). If you play the same music again on moving day, either on the drive to the airport or for at least the first part of your road journey, it should help to put your cat in a better frame of mind.
Pack a Kitty Essentials Bag
- It’s crucial to have an essentials bag packed for yourself, but when relocating with cats (whether cross-country or locally), they should have their own bag of must-haves as well. If you’re moving with cats, make sure they have their own bag of must-haves as well. This pack should contain all of the goods that you know you’ll need quick access to throughout your trip, such as treats, food, fresh water, bowls, and some soothing items such as a favorite toy and blanket, as well as a bottle of pheromone spray if applicable. If you’re flying instead of driving, your necessities pack will look a little different because you’ll likely only be allowed to bring a small carry-on with you. To avoid having to wait for items that have already been mailed or otherwise moved, make sure to include necessities in your checked luggage before you leave the house. And don’t forget that if you’re traveling, you’ll need to pack a portable litter box (an aluminum roasting pan works well) as well as some litter.
- Soon, the actual journey will be completed, and you and your family will be safely settled into your new home. In addition, even though the most difficult portion of traveling with cats across nation is now over, you’ll likely find that your cat is still suffering from the ordeal. The most important thing you can do to assist your cat in acclimatizing is to provide plenty of time, affection, and patience. Allow them to spend the first week in your new home hiding under the bed if that is what they choose to do. Cats are quite skilled at self-soothing, but it can—and almost certainly will—take some time, so make sure they have plenty of room and a consistent schedule, and the rest should fall into place.
Additionally, extra advice for making your cat feel at ease in their new home are available as a step-by-step guide to assisting with the transfer. To summarize, you and your cat will make it through this together! Recognize their patience by leaving lots of empty boxes for them to play in, and then pat yourself on the back because you’ve earned it. With over five years of experience writing about relocation, Laura Mueller is a professional writer who specializes in the subject. She is particularly interested in themes relating to organizing, home design, and real estate, and she surely has a few tricks up her sleeve after having moved eight times in eight years throughout her twenties.
Laura believes that moving should be as stress-free an experience as possible, and she is always developing new moving ideas and shortcuts that she can share with readers on Moving.com’s blog, Moving Tips.
Cross Country Moving with Cats- The Adventuring Millennial
I’m not going to lie: my cat was not the first thing that sprang to mind as I started planning for my relocation. Don’t get me wrong: I adore my cat, Ollie, and would do anything for him. A few weeks after we were married, my husband and I decided to adopt her. I consider her to be a vital member of our small family. But she’s getting close to becoming self-sufficient (I swear, if she ever figures out how to open the Fancy Feast cans alone, she won’t need us any longer). The moment I began to consider my moving options, it became clear that I needed to prepare Ollie for the upcoming relocation.
- I had to figure out how I was going to transport her, take her to the vet, acquire her prescriptions, and start leash training her all before the weekend was up.
- Have I mentioned that relocating across nation is a time-consuming and complicated process?
- Even though my experiences are unique and I am not a veterinarian, I would want to offer my advice regarding traveling across country with cats with anyone who is considering doing so.
- For today’s Moving Mondays article, I’m going to dig right into the process and share with you all of the tips and techniques I’ve picked up along the way from my previous two moves.
Continue reading to see how I prepped my cat for the transfer and how she handled the transition. Spoiler alert: she handled the situation admirably!
Okay, so the most difficult aspect of relocating with my cat was all of the preparation work that had to be completed. To be honest, the actual moving procedure was a piece of cake in comparison to this. Furthermore, none of the preparation work was very onerous. There were a slew of decisions that I had to make all at once. The method by which you will move your cat is perhaps the most significant decision you will make. Are you driving or taking a flight? If you’re travelling, would you be carrying your cat with you as a carry-on or will she be transported as cargo?
- You will want to discuss the moving procedure with a skilled expert before getting started (I know I did).
- The veterinarian should provide you with a signed document stating that your pet is safe to travel with (you will especially need this if you are flying).
- Ollie’s veterinarian provided a medicine that lowered anxiety while also causing sleepiness, which allowed her to remain quiet for the most of the transfer.
- I understand that it appears to be absurd.
- You and your cat are going to be in the car or on a plane together.
- When walking them, it’s a good idea to keep them on a leash in case they become frightened and run away.
- Aside from that, I took Ollie on brief walks around my neighborhood in the weeks before we relocated.
- And yeah, I did receive some funny stares while filming.
- In order for us to begin the actual road trip, I needed her to feel comfortable in the car before we left.
- Make a decision on how you will transfer your cat. Take your cat to the vet for an examination. Prepare your cat to walk on a leash
- If you’re going to be driving, take your cat along for some practice.
Driving with a Cat
I’ll be honest with you: I was a little concerned about travelling 2,500 miles with my cat. After all, we had gone on a few practice drives. A brief neighborhood trip, on the other hand, is vastly different from a 9-hour driving day. I had no clue how she was going to deal with it in the end. Was she going to meow the entire time? Was she going to become car sick? Was she really planning to use the litter box in her vehicle? This will not be the case for everyone, once again. However, in my own personal experience, driving with my cat was not an issue.
- As a result, the veterinarian recommended some anti-anxiety medicine, which I administered to Ollie each morning of the journey.
- The veterinarian suggested that we feed her approximately an hour before we set out on our journey.
- During the journey, we didn’t feed Ollie, but we did provide her with access to food each night after we got at our hotel.
- It is important that you remember to provide space for this while loading your automobile.
- As an added bonus, I created a vehicle litter box that fits perfectly under the back seat.
- Her new box was filled with the same litter she had been using in her previous box.
- You don’t want the contents of your bag to scatter all over the road while you drive.
I did, however, arrange breaks every couple hours.
We normally took our rests at a gas station or a rest area to recharge our batteries.
She strolled about and (on occasion) went to the litter box to relieve herself.
She slept for the most of the trip and did not become ill.
She would start meowing and attempting to get out of her container as soon as she was placed there.
As a result, by the time the effect started to wear off, we were generally near to our stopping place. My basic recommendations for driving with a cat are as follows:
- Consult your veterinarian regarding medicine for your cat. During the trip, keep your cat in a box with a secure latch. Create a litter box for your automobile (with a lid)
- Consider taking regular pauses to give your cat a chance to get out of the crate and use the litter box.
Pet Friendly Hotels
Finding accommodations proved to be a simple problem. I mean, I’d never taken Ollie to a hotel until we moved into our new home. Nobody could predict how she would cope with having to sleep in a different spot every night for five nights in a row. I was well aware that I would need to book accommodations in advance. As a result, I planned our road trip and began looking for accommodations. Finding reasonably priced motels that were also pet-friendly proved to be the most challenging challenge.
- However, after some research, preparation, and phone calls, I was able to get reservations in a pet-friendly hotel for each night.
- She would require some time to sniff the place and become used to her new surroundings.
- I even arranged some of her favorite toys about the room for her enjoyment.
- Despite the fact that she would never admit it, she is a little clinging.
- Her preferred location is usually in the same room with me, just near enough for comfort while remaining far enough away from my possible pets.
- Even though I knew it was overdone, the last thing I wanted after a long day of road driving was for her to be traumatized.
- Here are some pointers:
- Please make certain that you reserve a pet-friendly accommodation (confirm with the staff before making your reservation). Allow your cat some time to become used to the new environment. Don’t forget to set up their litter box as well as their food and drink dishes as soon as you get at your destination.
Flying with a Cat
As a result, we chose to fly for our relocation from Seattle to New York City. My husband and I examined the advantages and disadvantages of our options and determined that this was the best choice for us. Due to the fact that we would not be transporting our automobile to New York, it made the most sense for us to sell it in Seattle and travel to New York. The thought of flying with Ollie, on the other hand, made me a bit uneasy. I mean, she did a very good job of handling the cross-country drive.
- The thought of her dealing with the altitude shift, let alone the process of getting through security and remaining in the carry-on under the plane seat, terrified me.
- My fears were soothed by the veterinarian, who guided me through the procedure.
- When she finished evaluating Ollie, she issued us with a health certificate, which we had to provide at the airport.
- You should consult with your aircraft carrier to ensure that you are aware of all of the costs and limitations that apply.
- Ollie traveled in the cabin with us since I couldn’t bear the thought of abandoning her to travel in cargo.
- The majority of airlines only allow dogs weighing up to 20 pounds to travel in the cabin with them.
- Pets must be restrained in a carrier that can be stowed under the passenger seat in front of you.
Please ensure that you are aware of any airline limitations prior to flying with your cat. The following are the prerequisites for JetBlue (which may be comparable across airlines, but you should check with your individual airline for clarification):
- Pet vaccination and paperwork requirements for each destination on your vacation Is only necessary for international travel (including Puerto Rico)
- Identification tags and a veterinarian’s certificate are only necessary for overseas travel (including travel to Puerto Rico), not for domestic travel. A carrier that does not exceed the following dimensions: 17′′L (43.18 cm) x 12.5′′W (31.75 cm) x 8.5′′H (21.59 cm). Your pet must be able to stand up and move freely in the carrier
- Otherwise, it will be uncomfortable. There is a limit of 20 pounds for the combined weight of your pet and carrier. It is necessary for carriers to have a leak-proof bottom and to be sufficiently ventilated
- It is permitted to use both soft- and hard-sided carriers. It will not be approved for shipment any containers that are in such a physical state that an animal may possibly escape. It is only permitted to transport one pet per carriage.
So, even though we were travelling domestically, I made certain I had all of Ollie’s pertinent information on hand. However, I didn’t want to encounter any difficulties during the process. Also, keep in mind that you will be have to remove your cat from their carrier in order to pass through security. They will take you to the side of the road and ask you to hold your cat in your hands. The carrier will be placed on the belt after passing through the scanner. At this stage, I would recommend that you keep your cat on a leash (especially if they are prone to jumping or running).
Security was a breeze, and she appeared to be in good spirits during the journey.
In no time at all, your cat will be a seasoned international traveler!
- Check that you’re using the right carrier (check the requirements provided by your airline)
- Keep in mind that you’ll be required to remove your cat from the carrier while passing through security. For cats who are fast runners or jumpers, you may wish to keep them on a leash or in a harness throughout the security screening. You will be required to place your cat in a carrier under the seat in front of you throughout the trip if you want to keep them in the cabin. If you choose to keep them in the cabin, they will count as your carry-on and will be counted as your carry-on.
Adjusting to a New Place
Make certain that you are tolerant with your cat. You may expect your cat to be stressed out whether you choose to fly or drive them, regardless of whatever option you choose. I’m confident that you will do all in your power to prepare, but they will require some time to acclimate once they arrive at your new home. Allow them to sniff and investigate when you first arrive. Prepare their litter box, food and water bowls, and some familiar toys for them. Remember that moving your cat is a stressful event for them as much as you, so keep this in mind as you’re packing.
And believe me when I say that I’ve relocated twice with my cat.
Getting Accustomed to a New Environment:
- Allow your cat some time to become used to a new environment. As soon as you arrive, set up your cat’s familiar items (litter box, food/water bowl, toys, etc.).
Moving with a cat might be a difficult task, but with the proper planning, it can be a straightforward one. My cat has traveled with me on two cross-country moves, and she has had a positive experience on both occasions. Take care to take your cat to the veterinarian before you relocate so you can obtain some particular instructions on how to care for your feline companion. Have you considered relocating across nation with your cats, or have you already done so with your pet? Please share your thoughts on the experience in the comments section below!
More moving-related posts can be found in my Moving Mondays series, which includes: What it’s like to make two cross-country moves in the span of a single year Everything You Need to Know Before Moving to New York CityEverything You Need to Know Before Moving to New York City
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After three cross-country migrations in four years, it is safe to claim that we have mastered the art of moving with cats. Whether you’re relocating from Las Vegas to Dallas, or from Dallas to Washington D.C. and back to Dallas, we’ve compiled a list of all the advice and crucial information you’ll need while travelling cross-country with cats. It’s sufficient to state that we’ve also experienced what it’s like to travel with cats in a car. As a result of driving large distances with a cat in a truck as well as a tiny car, we have PERFECTED the art of traveling with a cat in a vehicle.
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- We would want to express our gratitude to everyone who has followed and supported us on all of Our Sweet Adventures.
- TIRA (Tira for short) is a gorgeous medium-haired calico cat with a great face and personality.
- We have used her meowing and purring to guide us through the last three moves, allowing us to figure out the best course of action for moving cats across the nation.
- With that being stated, I believe she is ready for us to stop travelling and make a permanent residence in Dallas.
- Despite popular belief, cats are far more intelligent than they are given credit for.
Mostly because she believes it is time for her yearly trip to the veterinarian. In that case, here are some pointers we’ve learned through the years that have proven useful while traveling with a cat in a car:
The Human Touch
Using human contact to calm your feline companion while traveling in a car is the most effective technique to make them feel safe. After we have placed Tira in her cat carrier, we immediately stroll about the room, chatting and patting her as we do so. Once she has calmed down, we will carefully lead her to the car and continue to comfort her with our voices and touches until she is completely at ease. As we previously stated, it takes very little time. As a result, we strongly advocate relaxing your cat with human contact when traveling by automobile, especially over long distances.
An automobile cat carrier is the most critical tool you’ll need while traveling with a cat in the car! It is always necessary, especially if you are going to the veterinarian. A cat carrier can take several forms, ranging from the traditional plastic kennel to a soft-sided bag or a fashionable capsule backpack for cats. We are attempting to assist Tira in distinguishing between when she is traveling great distances by automobile and when she is seeing the veterinarian. We do this by placing her in the traditional kennel for visits to the veterinarian and the capsule backpack for travel.
Kibbles and Snacks
When traveling by automobile, it is usually a good idea to bring along some food and treats for your cat to keep him entertained. Based on the nature of your connection with your cat, you may choose to provide them with food in order to keep them calm and encourage positive behavior. Furthermore, if you are traveling with cats in a car for an extended period of time, you will want to make sure you have adequate food for them. As a result, Tira is accustomed to feeling out of place and consuming just a little amount of food.
When going cross-country with cats, it is important to follow the same precautions as previously suggested.
Cat-Proof Your Seats
Cats are extremely inquisitive creatures. Tira, on the other hand, is perhaps much more interested than George! As a result, we only let Tira out after we have reached the open road, which is essential for her protection. Cats (particularly Tira) must become adapted to their new surroundings before embarking on long-distance relocations. In order to allow cats to roam freely around the automobile, it must first be cat-proofed. Anyone who has a cat will tell you that no matter how large or fluffy your cat is, they will always find a way to get into even the smallest of spaces.
Bath towels or blankets can be placed beneath the driver’s and passenger’s seats to help keep cats out of your vehicle. In this way, you may prevent your cat from creeping beneath the driver’s seat and getting into a potentially life-threatening position.
Leave Room For Comfort
Tira like to sleep in the dark or on velvety, dark-colored blankets, which she finds quite comforting. As a result, we make sure to spare two parking spaces for her. One on the floor behind a seat so she gets some shade, and another in the back seat with a blanket fluffed up for warmth. Depending on what your cat enjoys, make sure to offer them with as much comfort as you possibly can under the current conditions.
Hotel Accommodations for Moving Cross Country with Cats
When planning your itinerary for travelling across the nation with your cat, make sure to locate and reserve your hotel accommodations well in advance of your departure date. There is nothing worse than driving for ten hours and then trying to find a cat-friendly lodging establishment. Believe me when I say that finding a great cat-friendly hotel, especially at the last minute, is not an easy process. First and foremost, I emphasize cat-friendly because some hotels may advertise themselves as pet-friendly while only allowing dogs.
We’ve seen pet costs as high as $150 for cats, which is just absurd to say the least!
If you are unable to locate a pet charge on the internet, simply contact the hotel.
Pet-Friendly Pit Stops
Pit stops are required on any long-distance car travel. Whether it’s for a brief rest, to replenish gas, or to have lunch, there’s always a reason to stop. You’ll need to find pet-friendly rest sites if you’re travelling across the nation with cats, so keep that in mind. We would go to a place like Firehouse Subs if we were looking for something acceptable. If we want to bring Tira into the restaurant with her cat carrier, we usually contact ahead to inquire. The majority of the time, it is not an issue for the establishments.
This is not the best solution, but when traveling with cats in a car, you have to make the best adaptations you can to make the trip work.
Then we’d take it in turns to pay her a five-minute visit every five minutes.
We discovered that these products are the most effective for Tira when we take her on long-distance car journeys after a lot of experimentation.
Travel Litter Box
Pit stops are essential on any long-distance car trip. For a brief rest, to fill up on gas, or just to get a bite of lunch on the go, we’ve got you covered. You’ll need to find pet-friendly rest areas if you’re travelling across the nation with cats, which is not always easy. We would go to a place like Firehouse Subs if we were looking for something appropriate. In order to bring Tira into the restaurant with her cat carrier, we usually phone ahead of time to inquire. It is not an issue for most restaurants, in most cases.
If you are traveling with cats in a car, this is not the finest solution, but sometimes you have to make the best changes.
Every five minutes, we’d take it in turns to pay her a visit.
Packing everything you will need for a successful journey with cats in a car across long distances is critical when traveling with cats. We discovered that these products are the most effective for Tira when we take her on long-distance car journeys after much trial and error.
As a result, cleaning up after a cat who uses a mobile litter box is necessary. My best advise is to prepare some Ziploc bags and pick up your cat’s stool in the same manner as you would a dog’s stool. Speaking of dogs, you may also purchase and use standard dog poop bags to assist in cleaning your cat’s portable litter box while on the road.
After you’ve finished cleaning your cat’s travel litter box, put some excellent air freshener in it since there’s nothing worse than smelling your cat’s beautiful piece of work while driving in a small, enclosed vehicle. Not even sliding down the windows will help if your cat is doing work similar to Tira’s. As a result, we make sure to bring along some air fresheners. Whether it’s a vehicle air freshener spray or a basic car air freshener, you should always have one on hand while traveling with cats in a car for an extended period of time.
Comfortable Blankets or Cat Bed
As previously said, we prefer to create Tira a lovely, comfy bed with some of her favorite blankets to keep her warm and cozy. As a result, we usually make sure to carry at least two blankets for her. If your feline companion likes a little cat bed, you may include one in your luggage.
Cat Car Hammock
On a long-distance road journey, this is one of the most interesting things you can bring along for your feline companion. Unfortunately, we do not have wide enough windows in our Honda Civic to purchase this for Tira, but we hope you will be able to do so instead.. Thiscat vehicle hammockis ideal for cats who enjoy the sun and lazing – which is to say, pretty much every cat. Just make sure you take the correct measurements for your car window. A minimum of a 30′′ × 14′′ window is required for the hammock.
When traveling with cats in a car for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to take both paper and bath towels. The same way that kids may create a mess, cats can make a mess as well. As a result, it is necessary to be prepared for any incidents that may occur on the road at all times. We prefer to place a bath towel around the portable litter box and on the adjacent seat to prevent any filth from getting on our fabric seats.
Cat Calming Spray
Regardless of how many times we take Tira with us on our cross-country moves, she is always apprehensive when we first arrive. Some cats, such as my sisters, are much worse than others. They are unable to relax as a result of the tension. When traveling cross-country with cats, it is usually a good idea to bring along some cat soothing spray. The relaxing spray is effective in reducing their stress levels and has no adverse effects on other animals, children, or materials. It is also a non-sedating composition that has the potential to persist for several hours.
A cat backpack is a must-have for cats who enjoy traveling and seeing the sights of the globe. This backpack will be ideal if you intend on doing some traveling to National Parks or other interesting sites while you are moving across the country with your feline companion. Even folks who go camping with their pets have used this exact backpack, according to our observations. The capsulecat backpack provides lots of space for cats to be comfortable while also giving enough of ventilation and an astronaut dome to allow them to observe the world from a different perspective.
Before embarking on a long road trip, you should absolutely introduce your cat to the backpack in little doses over a period of time.
Moving across the nation is difficult enough on its own, but when you have to do it with a cat, it can be even more difficult and stressful. Just be aware of your cat’s requirements and prepare in accordance with them.