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I am moving out of state and taking my 2 cats, Spats who is 14 and Bella who is 1, with me. My question, however, is about Bella. I have had her since she was about 3 1/2 months old and completely feral. And although we have grown much closer in the year or so that she has been with me (I'm actually really proud of how far she's come), she is unmistakenly still a feral cat.

This being said, I am somewhat apprehensive about the upcoming car trip. My plan is to put both in individual carriers for the 2-3 days that it will take us to drive to our new location. But where I'd like to let them out in hotel rooms, my fear is that Bella will go ballistic each time she needs to be placed back in. As a kitten, she nearly cut me to ribbons when I got her to the vet for her final shots, and I had to enlist help to get her back for neutering. She now weighs about 3 times more than she did at that time.

Any suggestions? I am truly concerned as to how this will work.

A feral cat lover
 

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I want to reply but I don't have much time right now. I just wanted to let you know I'll come back and share my experience with you in a couple hours, if no one else replies.
I've moved across country with 7 cats and I've fostered and tamed plenty of ferals.
Heidi
 

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Mister was our most terrible cat about putting in a cat carrier. We got Mister out of an abandoned barn when he was a very small kitten, perhaps 6wks old, so he could not be considered 'feral' but a scruff-hold would NOT imobilize him at all. He would howl, scream, yowl, growl and had his claws going everywhere. We were also fearful of being bit. The last few times we put him in a cat carrier, we had to wrap him in a towel and drop him in, after setting the carrier on end so the door opening pointed to the sky. Once at the vet and after his exam, he was very happy to get back into the carrier to go home.

After moving across country (we took the cats loose in an RV and they hid under blankets), if he needed to go to the vet I began to bring the carrier into the house, set it on the floor and opened it up when he was near the door. His curiosity would get the better of him and I'd just quietly close the door behind him. As soon as he heard the door close, he would begin to growl softly.

At one point, he injured his eye, had to see the vet weekly for more than two months and I could not 'trick' him into entering the carrier that often so I resorted to a harness and leash, which he did fine on. Once at the vet office I would put him in their bathroom until we were called to the exam room.

You may find that her aggressive nature will be subdued in the unfamiliar hotel rooms. If not, keep a large bath towel handy and just wad her up in it to put her in the carrier. Once in there she can get herself unstuck from the towel. Do check the hotel room carefully to be sure there are no places she can get to that you cannot reach her, like furniture affixed to the floor or wall, box spring mattresses she can rip a hole in and get into the bottom area.

You could also try leaving her in a room with the carrier and feeding her in it to get her used to associating it with 'good things'.
I wish I had more to offer,
Heidi
 

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Heidi has great advice, I just want to add a little footnote: Covering a cat's eyes will help calm them. Talking very softly helps, too. Keep that in mind. :wink:
 

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You could take a dog crate with you, that way you can put her carrier, food & litter in the crate and take the door off the carrier once in the crate. This will give her more room without thr risk of injury to yourself and stress to her. That's what I would do!
 
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