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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Retiring with a cat

Hello. I haven't been on here much. Our cat is "invisible!" She hides most of the time. A little background: I wasn't much of a cat person until I got "Meanie." She was born on the other side of the fence in our yard, mother was feral. There were 5 in all. Everyday I went outside and called to them, played with them and got "mama cat" to eat food in front of me. Couldn't pet her, but she would eat! Eventually all but one became very friendly and got homes. The last tortie would hiss if you even looked at her, she stayed with mama! I worked with the local humane society and agreed to help trap them and see how it goes. At the time, I had a chihuahua-poodle mix and a shi-poo. The shi-poo is the one that alerted me to the kittens with non stop barking!

Anyway, the came inside, never went out again, until, one day my "adult" son left the back door open after letting the dogs out and mama went out! That was 6 years ago! Both cats had acclamated very well to us and the dogs. Still shy and didn't come a whole lot, but was okay!

Fast forward to the present: 4 years ago I wanted another chihuahua! We got one! Meanie hides from the chihuahua. She will confront him, but she won't strike out at him, just looks at him and growls a little! I now have a 10 year old golden, 4 year old chi, and Meanie our 10 year old gorgeous, gentle cat! We plan on going away next winter for a few months. We have a very small travel trailer. I have never taken the cat anywhere but the vet. I am concerned about how to handle taking her with us next winter! I could use all kinds of help!

We thought about leash training, or a crate. Problem is, our trailer is about 19 feet long and we already have a golden retriever in it and a chi with his crate! I am worried about her escaping and about keeping her confined for too long! She is an awesome cat! I am used to horror stories about how cats scratch people and destroy things. Not this one! She even let's me trim her nails! She is awesome!

I really don't want to rehome her, but if that is best, I will. My main concern is stressing her! She is attached to me!

Suggestions please!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:32 PM
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Meanie is attached to you, so she should stay with you. I don't think you should re-home her. If your trailer has space for a large dog crate, I would make it her safe spot, it could even be stacked on top of the Golden's dog crate. Large dog crates make a good safe haven for a cat, especially if you have a shelf build in or have a hammock type of thing to get her off the bottom. There's enough room to have her food/water and litter pan. You'll also need a travel crate to take her to the vet or somewhere else (park, quiet cemetary) to give her some exercise. I would use a "kitty holster harness" (vest type) and leash. Get her accustomed to it by letting her wear the vest around for short periods. The vest type is more secure than other kinds of harnesses or collars--just make sure it's very snug! as cats can become 'Houdinis' outside and slip out of a harness or collar quicker than you can imagine and then she would be gone. It would be very difficult to catch her I'm sure since she is so timid and shy.
I think she would adapt well to a dog crate, as she would be able to see everything going on and not be pestered. You could give her the run of the trailer when you take your dogs out for exersize and 'bathroom breaks'. I'm assuming that your Golden is well behaved and doesn't chase her? If you Chi is inclined to chase the cat, she should be trained too. For some reason people with small dogs don't seem to give them obedience lessons and just let them do as they please with results that are obnoxious and annoying, and not cute. I'm not saying you've done this to your Chi, just my observation of a lot of small dogs. I wish you good luck and happy travelling.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:36 PM
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This is the type of harness I recommend:




"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 01:38 PM
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Some great advice from catloverami. Also before this big trip why not try a few smaller trips so that you can practice with the three and esp Meanie can acclimatise to the trailer. Then any issues you have time to work out so that the big trip is not stressful
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. But that's vest harness looks like something she can get out of.
The golden doesn't go in a crate and the chi, is actually well behaved. He listens when I tell him "leave it." I do not have much room in the trailer. My hope is to be able to afford to buy one slightly larger, but I have to wait and see how finances are. If I could get one that has that tiny space with bunkbed set-up, it would be perfect! I also don't plan on her being confined much at all. Contrary, the chi is crated more! He is crated at night, when left home and when traveling.

I can't get over how great this once feral cat is! I never would have imagined!

And I had thought about taking her on short car rides to begin with. I have a soft crate I use for that. Have to wait til the snow clears! At this rate, it will be here til July!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 04:33 PM
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I echo what has been said but would add that if your cat gets out, instinct will kick in. Cats are enormously home orientated and will head back to where you came from so please don't let your darling have the chance to escape.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 07:51 PM
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Another suggestion is to get a pet stroller, then you could take your dogs and cat at the same time, and could even put the Chi in the stroller if he gets tired. If you have your cat in a harness, I think it would be extremely difficult and possibly dangerous to try to walk the dogs and the cat at the same time. Most cats don't really walk with you, paritcularly a shy timid one. It's mostly the owner that has to follow the cat where it wants to go. Things could get very chaotic if a stray dog came along if you had all three on leashes.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
Another suggestion is to get a pet stroller, then you could take your dogs and cat at the same time, and could even put the Chi in the stroller if he gets tired. If you have your cat in a harness, I think it would be extremely difficult and possibly dangerous to try to walk the dogs and the cat at the same time. Most cats don't really walk with you, paritcularly a shy timid one. It's mostly the owner that has to follow the cat where it wants to go. Things could get very chaotic if a stray dog came along if you had all three on leashes.
Great idea! Of course, the chi can walk! He's younger than the cat! LOL!
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