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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Road trip!

I'm taking Numly on a little vacation with me to visit my parents for a week. She has a bit of separation anxiety so I prefer to being her as opposed to finding a sitter. The trip is about 3.5 hours and she's made it once before about 2 years ago. The last time we brought her liter box full of liter so she could use it in the car. This time we aren't bringing the box because it's a giant some box now and I don't have room, my mom bought the cheap cardboard ones from the grocery store for her to use while at her house. I plan on bringing her harness and leash so she can possibly go to the bathroom at a rest stop halfway through the trip, but she has never gone to the bathroom outside. Do you all think instincts should kick in and she'll be able to go outside, or will the fact that she's liter box trained make that a no go? If se doesn't go outside, is 3.5 hours too long for a cat to go without using the box?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 06:36 PM
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She won't go to the bathroom outside and I'd suggest you not remove her from the car during the trip. The more she's out of the car the more chances she'll get spooked and run off. They CAN slip out of most regular harnesses (been there lost Book once).

Most grocery stores sell johnny cats portable litter boxes. It's a plastic litter box with clay (non clumping) litter already in it. Just peel off the paper top and there's the litter. You can tuck that behind the front seat for emergencies but I'd be surprised if she used it.

If this were me I'd pack food water and snacks for myself so I don't have to stop and look for a full service gas station along the route (if you think you'll need to stop) so you don't have to get in and out... I'd provide the box but I know MowMow and Book would hold it. Neelix... he'd probably go just so he could laugh at me marinating in the odor...
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 07:00 PM
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When we travel with our cats, they don't use the litter box until we get to the motel at night...which means they go up to 9-10 hours. We do carry a small box with us, but since they also are not eating or drinking, there is no need. They eat, drink and potty at the motels

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 09:25 PM
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I agree with larsan's comment above. I've taken my two cats on multiple cross country road trips during which they're in their carriers for eight to ten hours. The first time, I provided a small litter box in their cage. Totally useless, because they never used it and it just made a mess. I don't put food in with them either, for the same reason. I would generally put in a small amount of water when I was at rest stops, without opening the carriers. I think, at least for my cats, the car ride alone is traumatizing enough, without adding in outdoor adventures at rest stops, or trying to use a litter box in a moving car.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ok guys, thanks for the tips. I'll just keep her in the carrier the whole trip. I usually have to make at least one rest stop on my way down there, I have a tiny bladder and always have to pee, but I can leave her with the car on and the doors locked.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 03:26 PM
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I used to make pretty frequent 3-3 1/2 hour trips. One time, I thought one of my girls needed to pee. I don't know what I was thinking, but I let her out of the carrier so she could use the little litterbox in the car, but this was before I left the car to go pee myself. OMG. Trying to get back in while making sure she didn't run out in panic...

Cats' bodies usually shut down when they're stressed, so they can go quite a long time, as others have said, without eating, drinking, peeing, or pooping.

I'd just say to try to make sure she doesn't eat for an hour before you leave, in case the ride upsets her tummy. Traveling with kitty vomit in the car isn't very fun.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 06:28 PM
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I actually had to drive a ways to go pick up Jasper when I was going to collect him because I had a hard time finding a Himalayan breeder in my area that I was comfortable with and that had available kittens when I was looking. The drive home was about 5 hours, and my friend and I stopped halfway to let him drink and see if he had to potty. He didn't go for the entire duration of the trip, but he did drink and eat a few kibbles. He was silent for most of the ride, but I'm pretty sure that's because he was terrified/tired looking back now. He hid under my bed for a while once we got back to my house before I got him to come out with a rope toy.

The second road trip we took is about 3 hr to my parent's house. I spent thanksgiving holiday with them, and Jasper rode in his carrier again. This time since he knew me better he had no qualms about voicing his displeasure with the situation. Letting him out to sit in my lap calmed him but I didn't want him running around the car and making a habit of that, so I kept him contained the entire trip back. He meowed sadly, then angrily, then bossily ... haha, it sounded like he was running the gamut of different emotional inflections to try and see what would provoke a response from me. He would periodically hiss and jam his face into the mesh like he was trying to force his way out I felt really bad for him, but safety comes first, and ignoring him quelled his vocalizing/agitation after a while. Giving him any sort of attention seemed to restart it, so I found it was best to just ignore him altogether and check on him out of the corner of my eye. I used Feliway but I doubt it helped much.

Anyways, the ultimate point of all my rambling is that he was so agitated by being confined to the carrier in a moving car that removing him from it to use a litter box probably wouldn't have been feasible. I don't know much (Jasper is my first cat), but with him, I make sure he has time to use the box before we set forth just so I know he'll be OK on the drive. He's very good about using the box if you set him in it and he has to go, which helps. Common sense states that you should come prepared for an accident if she has one. I'm sure other, more experienced members of the forum can help you there. Otherwise, if she's anything like Jasper, and especially if she's made the trip before, I would guess that you'd probably best off doing what MowMow suggested and stocking up on snacks/drinks so you don't have to stop on the way.

Cheers and safe travels to you and Numly! Jasper and I will be making the trek back to the parents' house for my university's winter holiday this Friday as well. Here's to hoping the kitties sleep, blissfully unaware of the scary road trip!


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 06:40 PM
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If you haven't traveled far with your kitty on long trips before. might want to take some wipes "Just in case". Jack my older kitty couldn't take a 2.5 hour trip when he was younger without ending up with liquid poo all over him by the time we go to the other end (Oh the smell!!)). Poor guy. He gets carsick we found out when moving one year. "sigh". Now he rarely has to go more then 30 minutes to the vet. so does better.

He is 19 now and in his life we have had to move him over 2 hours twice. Both times I ended up giving him a bath afterwards!

something to quiet the tummy if yours gets carsick is nice also. Just ask your Vet.

Last edited by BotanyBlack; 12-17-2014 at 06:43 PM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BotanyBlack View Post
Poor guy. He gets carsick we found out when moving one year. "sigh". Now he rarely has to go more then 30 minutes to the vet. so does better.
Poor kitty I got beyond lucky with my vet. There's a BUNCH in my school's town, and the one with the best reputation and most recommendations from kitty owners turned out to be less than a five minute drive away from my house ****, if I were having car troubles I could make the walk in under 20 minutes. It's right off the route I usually take when I go running.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Numlys vacation

So the car ride was a success! Now I have a new question for everyone. My parents house has a balcony on the second floor with kitty sized holes between the bars. It should be common sense for her not to jump through them, right?
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