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Discussion Starter #1
....and we haven't even gotten them into the car yet! We're leaving for our big move in 3 weeks and both cats are beginning to act a little stressed out as the furniture leaves and they have less and less familiarity around them.

Atlas is only showing stress in terms of being more and more affectionate (and that could be a behavioral/maturing thing too)--he's been sleeping on me a lot and very snuggly where before he would ignore us in favor of kittenish playing.

Wicket is REALLY needy. He had a further stress in that my husband (his clear favorite human) went away for 5 days last week and both cats were alone in the house for 2 full days while I was at work. When my husband got back, Wicket started following him around like a puppy. He's stopped doing that now, but has started talking and talking and TALKING --where he used to do it just when he was hungry/around feeding time or when we came home, now he follows us both around, crying for attention.

So far both are using the litterbox without an issue, thank goodness! We just rented a brand new renovated condo in our new city and the owners were iffy about cats as there's carpet, we managed to convince them but if they misbehave once we get there it'll be a little embarassing (not to mention expensive!).

With Wicket we've just made a more conscious effort to snuggle with him a LOT and we've been letting both cats sleep with us (we usually don't as I get really itchy and itchy eyes when there's cat hair in the bed) as much as possible. I'm considering getting something like Feliway for the trip to help keep them calm, but does anyone have any other suggestions? At first we thought Wicket was just being a pest but now I'm pretty sure it's stress. I think Atlas will be fine, he tends to just sleep on me and work it out that way, but he has started giving me an awful lot of baths lately which he normally doesn't.

Help!
 

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I have moved with my cats three different times and it is a stressful time. I am sure your cats know what is going on. The best advice I can give you is to make the move a quick as possible. The day you move keep both cats in a seperate room. I think my cats have always adjusted better when they move into an already furnished place with all the things they remember.

I have tried feliway before for aggression issues but never for moving. It really depends on the kitties and can be quite expensive. I have also used No-Stress ( you can get it from Petco) which I personally have had better results.

How long are they going to be in the car for? Do they do ok in the car ususally?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lila--they both hate the car (Wicket whines incessantly and Atlas poops within the first half hour, I think a combination of nerves/motion sickness) and we're doing a five DAY drive. FIVE DAYS!

We're going to bring as much of "their" stuff as we can (trees, treats, toys, blankets etc.) but none of our furniture is making the move--it's too expensive to ship from one coast to the other, we're going with what we can fit in two vehicles and nothing else.

When we get there, the new place has a mostly finished basement that I think is going to be their new safe space for the first few days--it won't matter if they misbehave down there, no carpet or anything. I don't think they'll mark or spray (we've moved with Wicket before, shortly after he was neutered, and he didn't then) but who knows after five days in the car!

I'm taking heart from the fact that a friend of mine did a 3 day drive with her cats and her dog this summer and she said they were fine, they kept them in the hotel bathrooms overnight with familiar things and kept them kenneled in the car during the drive.

Once Atlas has his poop he's usually safe to go into the big soft carrier with Wicket, they seem to like being together, but we've never gone longer than about an hour in the car so I have NO idea how they're going to react.

I'll check out the No-Stress, I think we're going to need something.....maybe for the humans instead! :D
 

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I moved about three months ago with my Tuffy and let me tell you - the stress will only get worse - Tuffy didn't eat for almost a week after being in the new place. We moved from aquiet country setting to along main street in town and he hated it. Now - he's all settled in and loves watching the people and traffic from our windows on the third floor -but he really worried me at first. Cats hate change -- but they can do it. I hope things go smoothly for you.
 

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Thanks! I'm sure they'll end up being fine, they're awfully well adjusted otherwise, I think it's just that this is so drawn out (and to top it off, we have roofers working the past few days, so the cats were REALLY PO'd about the noise). It'll all work out. *crosses fingers* I have harnesses for them that I wanted them to wear for the trip but now I'm not sure they'll even come out of the kennel, hubby and I are driving separate cars so if they got under his feet or whatever it could be pretty dangerous. Once we get about halfway we're picking up a friend of ours who will drive with him and hopefully snuggle with the kitties, she has a bunch of her own.


I guess we'll find out where they're the most comfortable but I have two options when we're packing the car (you wouldn't believe how much of my brain this is taking up!)--

the first option is to put their crate/litter right behind the driver's seat and in front of all the things we're packing. This would mean that every time someone got in/out of the car they would have to check for loose kitties (assuming we let them out of the kennel, which I think we will, the kitten can hold his pee etc. for about?8 hours? and then he really needs to go, and we'll be driving 12 + hours a day)/worry about them getting out of the car.

the 2nd option is to put the crate/litter at the very back of my hatchback and pack everything else in front of it--the top half of the glass hatchback opens separately so we would be able to see into the space, open it carefully instead of opening the whole hatchback, and they would have a contained "safe" space. The disadvantage to that would be if they decided to try to crawl forward into the front of the car while my husband is driving/got lost amongst all our stuff, which I think we can control by packing really well and maybe putting up a piece of wire grating?

The third option, I guess, is to put the crate on the front passenger side and the litter box on the floor in front of it, and then just let them go back and forth from one to the other if they need to, but that would again require that they be free in the car with my husband driving.

Any ideas?
 

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When we moved from Calgary to Vancouver my family drove about 13 hours with our cat in the car! Don't worry too much about how they'll do during the ride, there will be some crying but they'll probably do much better than you think. I think the real problems with traveling by car with cats are safety ones, so I'll try to run through everything I learned during my trip.

I'd suggest you go with the first set up (kennel/litter box etc) behind the drivers seat and in front of your stuff. You really don't want cats possibly trying to crawl through your stuff, maybe getting stuck/knocking things over. I think it'll also calm them down to be closer to the driver - to be able to see/smell one of their people nearby. When we drove with Sassy there was a firm no cat in the front policy, exactly because having them around the pedals is dangerous. If they're free in the car try to figure out a way to block their access to the front. If the driver is the only one in the car he'll be the one they want to get to if they're frightened, and for that same reason I'd say putting them in the passenger seat is probably not the best plan (unless they stay in their kennel while the car is moving). They might not want to explore much at first, but after a couple days they're going to want to check out what they think of as their new home.

I think the harnesses are a GREAT idea if you are going to let them out of their kennel, and I'd go a step further and say you should probably clip leashes to their harnesses when they come out of the kennel. It'll be so much easier when your friend is with them - when you let them out of their kennels she can keep them from wanting to go see the driver. If it's possible I'd even suggest keeping them kenneled during the portion of the trip she's not with you. You have to give them breaks if you do that of course, but if there's only one person in the car I think it'll be safer. You don't want them jumping on the driver, getting on the dashboard and blocking his vision, or getting into things in the back and distracting him. The thing is, with out a second pair of hands NOT handling the wheel, your husband would have to pull over before he could safely do anything if they got into trouble. If you don't know how they'll act during a long car ride it might just be best to keep them kenneled until there's someone to help watch them. It's totally your call though - just know that Sassy actually preferred being in her kennel for most of the ride (we left the door open and she went in and out on her own). I think she felt safer in there with the 'ground' moving around so much.

If you do let them loose in the car for part or all of the trip, you have to be really careful about opening doors. If you're positive your harnesses are slip proof (and be REALLY positive, at a gas station halfway to your new home is not the time to find out they aren't :?) you can just get someone to hold the leashes while someone else enters/exits the car. Ideally the cats should never be left alone in the car, and I'd seriously suggest putting them back in their kennel before you even think about opening any doors. It doesn't matter how good they are about doors at home - after 8 hours in a moving box they could very easily get it into their heads that it's better to take their chances outside. Be careful of open windows for the same reason - Sassy lunged at the window when we went through the drive through towards the end of our drive, and nearly gave us all heart attacks.

Ha I'm so sorry, I'm really making this sound so much scarier than it should be. For the most part Sassy sat in her kennel, on the seat beside me, or on my lap during the ride. When the car turned or went around curves on the highway she had a hard time keeping her balance and usually wanted to go back in her kennel or come sit on my lap so she felt more secure. She cried maybe a quarter of the way, and only started trying to explore the car towards the very end. She would not use the litter box while we were moving, but we put her in it when we stopped for supper and she went a LOT. I felt bad she was holding it for so long, so make sure you offer them food and bathroom breaks while the car is stopped. Try not to be too stressed out yourselves, and you'll help them be able to relax too.

I hope this helps somewhat! Moving is stressful and moving with kitties is even more so - I wish you and your little guys luck! Just use your common sense and what you know about your cats when deciding how to proceed with them in the car, and you should all be fine.
 

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Thanks! We're actually moving from close to Halifax all the way out to Calgary so it's quite a long haul. I kind of thought we should keep them kenneled until there's an extra set of hands too, safety was exactly my worry there. I think they will be fine once Atlas gets rid of his extra poop :D If that's the case then they probably will both be kenneled on the passenger seat during the drive and facing my husband so that they can see him, they seem to be the calmest that way. We'll just have to do q6h rest/litter stops at the outside to let them out of the kennel and into the litter box and see how that goes.

How was your cat about eating on your trip? Trying to decide if I should leave dry food in the kennel vs. offering small amts of canned mixed with water (to keep them hydrated) at each stop. Not sure which is best.

Once we have my friend with us I think it'll be a lot easier. We're packing one car with the cats in mind so will most likely keep it to boxes and things that they can't wreck easily (books, things with cases/covers etc.). Gawd, this is more thought than I'm putting into moving all MY stuff! :D
 

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I think putting them on the passenger seat facing the driver is a great position. That's what I would do if I was traveling alone with my cats :)

My cat wouldn't eat a nibble the entire drive. She wouldn't take a single lick of water, and she only went to litter box after about ten hours in the car. I felt SO bad for her, but once we got there and she had a bit to settle down she was ravenous. You're going to be on the road a lot longer than us, so your cats might become confident enough to eat on the road as time goes on. Or they might just fast/sleep during the day and eat all night in the hotel room. I'd leave kibble for them in the kennel and offer them some wet when you stop (and keep treats on hand if you think it'll help get them started) - you never know what will tempt their appetite. But I'm sure they'll at least eat in the evenings if nothing else, so once you get settled where ever you're staying for the night give I'd give them wet food first (get some moisture in them right away) and leave kibble out all night. They'll probably empty their bowls while you guys sleep and keep you up all night with their crunching and munching :wink

Gawd, this is more thought than I'm putting into moving all MY stuff! :grin:
I hear you! When we moved all our essentials were stuffed in garbage bags in the trunk, while miss Sassy had two seats all to herself in the car. When she wanted out of her kennel I'd put it on my lap so she'd have more room to stretch out! The things we do for our cats...

Congratulations and good luck on your move!
 

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I can't really offer much help here. The longest move I have had to make with my kitties was just across town, and I live in a very small town. Even though it was just Rosalie and Sasha at the time, they did show some discomfort and tension about the move, especially when we started really packing stuff heavily. We snuggled them and loved on them as much as possible to reassure them, and didn't change the location of any of their belongings until the day of the move.
The suggestions that have been offered sound like they would be really good, so hopefully it will work! Best of luck!
 

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Wow, five days is a really long time. I have only ever traveled with my cats for an hour of so. My cats have always liked to sit up front with me. i face them towards me and then buckle them in. I don't know if you are opposed to it or not but have you considered medication? Five days is a really long time and it might be too much for your cats. I think medication would help with the transition.
 
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