Cat & Car Rides

g2u3c4c5i

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Hi, I’m a little at a loss and not sure what to do.

Recently my dad bought a trailer that he likes us to go to for the weekends. I have a cat who absolutely hates car rides but obviously we can’t leave her alone at home. It’s a 2 hour drive and it's extremely stressful for her, she wails the entire time. We’ve tried to find solutions but nothing has worked. Feliway & Pet Remedy calming sprays did nothing. A calming gravy did nothing. We cover her carrier and I played cat calming music but so far nothing makes it any easier for her.

It’s very stressful for her (and me!) so I just was wondering if anyone knows what I can do next time since there’s nobody we can leave her with and he wants to go more often.

Thank you!
 

ArtNJ

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Obviously you can't leave her alone for the weekend? Why? Many cats do very well alone for the weekend.
 

fionasmom

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People do leave cats alone in a secure house for short periods of time. It does entail making sure that there will be enough food, water, and litter available for the weekend. Most cats are very attached to their home and find it unstressful to be left when necessary. Leaving the cat outside would not be a good move, even if she is an indoor/outdoor cat as there are too many variable. I take care of my best friend's cat when she and her husband travel. I do realize that you said no one could take care of your cat, but my point in bringing this up is that the cat is very unfriendly, even to me. I go to the house, put food and water, clean the box and leave. That is exactly what she wants me to do.
 
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g2u3c4c5i

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I thought you are not supposed to leave cats alone for more than 24 hours, and also I get very nervous to leave her alone overnight. I know it sounds weird but I think she gets scared when she’s alone; if we leave her at someone’s house overnight she howls at the door the whole night if I’m not there. Sometimes if I leave the basement while she is still down there, she will wail until I come back and get her. Last time her voice sounded a little hoarse when we got back so I worry about stressing her out by leaving her alone, or stressing her out with the car ride. It’s kind of a lose-lose situation.
 

fionasmom

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I do see your point. A lot of leaving cats alone in the house is personal to the cat in question. My friend's cat appears to be completely happy to have the place to herself. If there is howling and distress, leaving her is probably not the right solution. I know this is an expense and would depend on her having up to date vaccinations, but could she be boarded? When you go in the trailer, do you stay someplace like a campsite or hotel for the weekend or do you come back home the same day?
 

ArtNJ

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Basement or strange house is totally different than free range of your own house. Some cats will act like you never left and like they never noticed, just like my 16 year old son lol. Some cats may act a little skittish of you for minutes to a few hours when you get back, and some may act very eager and loving for 15 minutes or so, but for the most part a weekend is just not a big deal.

I've had cat sitters for a week several times. As mentioned above, they come in a for a few minutes, and it doesn't necessarily do the cats any good except for food/water/litter. They do well because cats have an independent streak, even the ones that do like a lot of human attention.
 
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g2u3c4c5i

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Yeah, my cat is very social and is practically always with me around the house, she does not like to be alone. She originally found us as a stray and I suspect she may have been abandoned and has now developed some possible separation anxiety. She is the type that rolls around purring and rubbing against everyone when we get home.

The trailer stays parked at an RV resort since it is too big for our car to pull, so we drive up and stay there for the night sometimes. We only stay more than one night if we can bring her, but everything we’ve tried to keep her calm in the car has not worked at all.
 

neely

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This Article about road trips with cats may have some helpful information for you if you choose not to leave your cat at home:
Traveling With Cats [Inc. 36 actionable tips] – TheCatSite Articles

Yeah, my cat is very social and is practically always with me around the house, she does not like to be alone. She originally found us as a stray and I suspect she may have been abandoned and has now developed some possible separation anxiety.
I understand your apprehension since our cat came from a bad hoarding situation and does not like to be left alone either. However, sometimes we have to make a choice so do what's best for both you and your cat especially since you mentioned your dad bought a trailer and there will be other weekends you will be going away. Best of luck, please let us know what you decide. :alright:
 

fionasmom

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There is sedation for the car ride but this might depend on how often you would need to do this and a discussion with your vet. How is the cat when you have stayed in the RV overnight?
 

Pjg8r

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I hear your concerns about leaving her home overnight but I would have concerns that the cat might get out of the trailer at a camping site.
 
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g2u3c4c5i

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Thank you for the article! For now I am just playing by ear, seeing how long we are going to stay each time and deciding accordingly.

We go in the summer months sometimes as often as every other weekend, but don’t stay for longer than 2-3 days at a time. She really hates the car but as soon as we get there she is happy as can be, like nothing happened. Exploring, good appetite and behaving normally. But the two hours there and back are pretty stressful for both of us.

I’ve thought about sedation before but the more I read about it, the more it freaks me out, haha. I feel like it would be too frequent to be sedating her but it’s not something I’ve asked the vet about.
 

danteshuman

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If you are going to take her with you, can she travel in the trailer? Can your dad park thd trailer in your driveway for a couple of weeks? Then you can take her into the trailer every day & hang out with her for an hour. (Be sure the trailer has a litter box & one of her beds in it.)

You can with hold food ( 6 hours wet 2-4 hours dry ) to help with car sickness.

The vet can prescribe a mild sedative.

All that said, why not leave her home if you can? Buy an extea litter box for every day you will be gone past 1 day. Pile up food & water & go? She probably would prefer this.
 

vince

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Years ago. my grandparents had a cat that didn't travel well and their vet prescribed something like 1/4 of a tablet of Dramamine for her. Seemed to work well, but I'd definitely ask your vet before doing that with your cat.
 
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