Feel guilty for even considering moving city.

LittleK

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
9
I’ve been thinking about moving to a city about 10 hours drive away for a much better quality of life. But the guilt of knowing that my cat will have to endure the trauma of such a long road trip has made me think I shouldn’t move. I don’t want to be the cause of her suffering at all. The longest car trip she’s been on was one hour and she distress meowed the entire time.

The other concern I have is that I can’t drive and don’t know anyone else who can, so I’ve found a lady on Airtasker with lots of good reviews, who has been doing it for years. They will pick up and drop off on the same day. She has a van, but I think they take both dogs and cats (they all seem to here). Flying is not an option here. Also, she has never had any sedatives and the transport services and vet all say not to use them anyway. I can’t stop thinking what if she somehow escapes?!

I think it’s more me that needs the sedative 😂 Is she going to be ok if I choose to do this? Will she forget the ordeal quickly? Will she forgive me?
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
13,426
Purraise
16,871
Location
Nebraska, USA
Yes, she will forgive you. I stressed and stressed about moving to a different house, my cats have leukemia, and stress can lower their immune system even more and kill them. You know what happened? they stayed hidden under the bed and they were out exploring by the time evening came. They LOVE their new bigger house! I can't believe a vet told you not to calm your cat during such a long drive! Mine recommended Benadryl and it worked very well. If you get a bigger wire dog kennel that can have a small litter box and locks securely she will be fine. Even a small carrier would work for 10 hours, she will hold it. I think she will love her new home, or anywhere as long as you are there with her. Don't worry about escaping, tec. or terrible senarios. I have found in my old age, that 99% of what we worry about DOES NOT COME TRUE! I have made myself sick with worry, and none of what I feared happened.
 

ccw321

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
110
Purraise
294
Location
North Carolina
When I was growing up, we'd take the cats on family road trips all the time. Sometimes it was impromptu hurricane evacuation to go be stuck in a hotel, sometimes it was driving 6-8 hours to a family vacation. Sure, there are stories of the antics (what do you do if the cat poops/vomits/etc?) but I think my point in telling you this is that the cats all got over it. They are resilient, often for the longer car rides the meowing's going to stop, they're going to adjust somewhat, and sometimes there was a period of a cat being upset about the whole process after the move, time to adjust to new digs, but it was never something they couldn't recover from -- especially with a loving attentive caregiver present, which it sounds like you are.

I've got an ex who did a multi-day cross-country road trip with their cat - they kept it in a kennel in the car that took up 2 seats and had a litter box in it. You can get cat de-stressor products if you're nervous. (I really like the calming collars). But I really want to stress that you've got it in your power to make such a trip as comfortable (& safe) as possible for a cat and the car trips are things that can absolutely be recovered from - often in no time at all!
 

Talien

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
2,495
Purraise
4,963
Location
Michigan
It depends on the Cat. I had one that would poop and vomit every time I took her somewhere and that was an hour drive or less. One thing I found that helped was putting a blanket over the carrier to calm her down somewhat. Another option is gabapentin which you should be able to get from any vet to use as a mild sedative and reduce stress.

10 hours is way too long to be locked in a carrier though, ideally you'd want to stop every 2-3 hours and let her use a litterbox to (hopefully) avoid her messing in the carrier. That is not fun to clean up and often gets all over the Cat which means a bath will be necessary.

daftcat75 daftcat75 can give you better advice on long car trips with a Cat.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,176
Purraise
14,814
It sounds like you aren’t doing the driving. I’m not sure how much my tips would help in that case. If the service you hire has done this before, has good reviews, hasn’t lost a pet yet, I don’t think yours will be their first.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
18,339
Purraise
47,303
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
I’ve been thinking about moving to a city about 10 hours drive away for a much better quality of life. But the guilt of knowing that my cat will have to endure the trauma of such a long road trip has made me think I shouldn’t move. I don’t want to be the cause of her suffering at all. The longest car trip she’s been on was one hour and she distress meowed the entire time.

The other concern I have is that I can’t drive and don’t know anyone else who can, so I’ve found a lady on Airtasker with lots of good reviews, who has been doing it for years. They will pick up and drop off on the same day. She has a van, but I think they take both dogs and cats (they all seem to here). Flying is not an option here. Also, she has never had any sedatives and the transport services and vet all say not to use them anyway. I can’t stop thinking what if she somehow escapes?!

I think it’s more me that needs the sedative 😂 Is she going to be ok if I choose to do this? Will she forget the ordeal quickly? Will she forgive me?
Hello L LittleK and welcome you two to TCS! I have airlifted cats. We had to drive 100 miles to the airport, some of it over sand and boulders as there were no paved roads near our house. We had top-and-side-loading carriers lined with pure foam which I sprayed with Feliway pheromone spray. Not a peep out of two cars of 6 cats each, and they arrived at their destination cool, calm, and collected. Good on your vet(s) -- sedatives are NOT recommended for many reasons, do to with their health and safety. I would not feed a cat after midnight the night before the trip. And I would not agree to any transport containing dogs. It would have to be a cat-only transport. Barking and dog smell would stress cats out (as they would me!!!)
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,917
Purraise
7,215
Location
Los Angeles
I just looked up Airtasker and saw that they connect people with a variety of services....all of which is fine. The woman in question transports animals specifically or at least a lot of the time? Get all the details from her that you want and give her a list of your expectations. I take it you won't be with her as she is an animal transporter.

I agree that no dogs should be in the transport. If you do not want the kennel that you cat is in to be opened by a stranger, it will need to contain a litter box of some type. Otherwise, the much bigger issue is that you need to move to a nicer place, you will be happier and so will your cat, and I would not stress too much about the 10 hours.

A friend of mine drove from Los Angeles to Washington DC when she moved back to be with her family....and took her four cats in the car with no adverse issues.

One of my cats moved to two different houses with me and was fine both time. Most of my previous animals moved at least once. Given the circumstances of moving the first time....the movers taking things out, the fact that I had 7 cats and 5 dogs, all the animals had to stay confined for their own safety. I would estimate ,lo these many years, that the cats stayed in their carriers for at least 9 hours as we transported them in shifts. Everyone was fine.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,176
Purraise
14,814
Another thing that could help with stress, if you have an old phone, an iPod, or any kind of music player really is:
Home | Music for Cats | David Teie

It is cat researched and cat approved music with sounds that cats find appealing and relaxing like heartbeats, purring, and ticking. It's even been known to relax an anxious dog (or two) at the animal hospital my Krista and her "cat rock" (as I call it) have stayed over in. Krista loved her cat rock so much that she would spend much of the day sleeping up against the sound bar that it played on at home during the day. So when she needed to go to the vet, I would put it on her iPod and send that with her. I would joke with the animal hospitals that she was probably their only patient who came with a soundtrack. I've even used Music For Cats to calm down a stray cat I was temporarily housing. He went from singing a nonstop captivity song to quietly resting. 😻

With an old phone or iPod, you can connect it to a USB power brick so that it will have enough charge for the entire drive without fussing the driver with having to recharge it.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
18,339
Purraise
47,303
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Another thing that could help with stress, if you have an old phone, an iPod, or any kind of music player really is:
Home | Music for Cats | David Teie

It is cat researched and cat approved music with sounds that cats find appealing and relaxing like heartbeats, purring, and ticking. It's even been known to relax an anxious dog (or two) at the animal hospital my Krista and her "cat rock" (as I call it) have stayed over in. Krista loved her cat rock so much that she would spend much of the day sleeping up against the sound bar that it played on at home during the day. So when she needed to go to the vet, I would put it on her iPod and send that with her. I would joke with the animal hospitals that she was probably their only patient who came with a soundtrack. I've even used Music For Cats to calm down a stray cat I was temporarily housing. He went from singing a nonstop captivity song to quietly resting. 😻

With an old phone or iPod, you can connect it to a USB power brick so that it will have enough charge for the entire drive without fussing the driver with having to recharge it.
Such excellent suggestions!
And I really forgot to say that I've moved about 19 times in my life, most of those times with cats. No problems ever, L LittleK from the actual move. We did have 2 escapees from our cat-fenced compound; one, feral, went back to our old location after I consulted several feral experts. There were a couple of neighbors there who fed outdoor cats, and she was fixed, with baseline innoculations, so as much as we did not want to do this, we felt she would do herself in if we tried to keep her with us. The other, also fixed and innoculated, never reappeared. I placed ads in the local paper and put up lots of photo flyers. I will never get over this, but I pray he was scooped up by someone up there and given a loving forever home. He was quite a gorgeous guy.
Whatever you do, please do keep your cat indoors only, always, for her safety and health, and your peace of mind.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

LittleK

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
9
Thank you so much everyone. I’ve been going around in circles about this for months, but I think I’ve finally decided to do it. Your messages made me feel a little more confident that she’ll at least forgive me afterwards. I’ll look into all your tips, especially trying to get transport without dogs. There aren’t many options here unfortunately.
We have to take a 1 hour drive tomorrow for the third week in a row, so I’m hoping she’s getting a little more used to it 🤞
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
18,339
Purraise
47,303
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Thank you so much everyone. I’ve been going around in circles about this for months, but I think I’ve finally decided to do it. Your messages made me feel a little more confident that she’ll at least forgive me afterwards. I’ll look into all your tips, especially trying to get transport without dogs. There aren’t many options here unfortunately.
We have to take a 1 hour drive tomorrow for the third week in a row, so I’m hoping she’s getting a little more used to it 🤞
May you find a good dogless transport and hoping your girl will learn to tolerate car rides! Keep us informed, won't you?
 

Carolina SA

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
57
Purraise
4
Location
Paraguay
It sounds like you aren’t doing the driving. I’m not sure how much my tips would help in that case. If the service you hire has done this before, has good reviews, hasn’t lost a pet yet, I don’t think yours will be their first.
I'd only add a caution to sedating a pet someone else is transporting. It is stressful for many animals but they do recover especially with good, calm, after care and attention. A sedated animal cannot be observed as to be OK or in serious distress by a transporter. A complaining animal can be assessed as OK by the transporter!
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
18,339
Purraise
47,303
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
I'd only add a caution to sedating a pet someone else is transporting. It is stressful for many animals but they do recover especially with good, calm, after care and attention. A sedated animal cannot be observed as to be OK or in serious distress by a transporter. A complaining animal can be assessed as OK by the transporter!
...which is presumably why all vets recommend NOT sedating.
 

otto

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
9,836
Purraise
190
Thank you so much everyone. I’ve been going around in circles about this for months, but I think I’ve finally decided to do it. Your messages made me feel a little more confident that she’ll at least forgive me afterwards. I’ll look into all your tips, especially trying to get transport without dogs. There aren’t many options here unfortunately.
We have to take a 1 hour drive tomorrow for the third week in a row, so I’m hoping she’s getting a little more used to it 🤞
It's so easy for everyone else to say "Oh don't worry they'll be fine" isn't it? I lived in the same home for 22 years and have two cats, one elderly, one senior who also had lived in that home all their lives. Very secluded quiet lives. I bought a house and I stressed myself sick over how they would adjust to the move. For months I worried about it. Everyone told me they would be "fine" but I didn't believe a word of it.

On moving day they had to be locked in their individual carriers and kept shut in the (now empty echoing) bathroom for six hours while my friends and family helped me move. A little different than being in carriers in a car, but still...They were shut up and all they could hear was loud voices and a lot of banging and each other's howls.

finally, I put them in my car and drove to the new house (only a 15 minute drive). Again, they had to stay in the carriers, in the car, while I asked for some last minute furniture repositioning, waited for everyone to have a snack, receive my thanks and then leave. So all total they were in those carriers about 8 hours.

I took them into the house, into their safe room and opened the carriers. Mazy cat, at 17, the one I worried most about, came out of her carrier, looked around the safe room and said "hmm, looks all right" and started exploring! Poor Queen Eva was traumatized and stayed huddled into the very back of her carrier, Mazy cat kept coming over to check on her poking her head in the carrier and saying "prrt prrt!" in a reassuring way.

Queen Eva stayed in the carrier until late in the night, but did eat when I put her food int here with her. By the next day they were both clamoring to be let out of the safe room but I kept them in there two more days while I made sure there weren't any boxes that could topple on them.

Queen Eva did grieve, she always does with any change, by hiding in burrows except during meal times, for three days.

I called them impostors. So the the bottom line is, we stress ourselves sick, and they simply get on with it.

I agree with your vet. never sedate a cat for travel. Sedation is dangerous slowing heart rate and respiration rate and you don't know how the cat will react to the meds. They'll cope with out it. A little Rescue Remedy might help, but use it before hand to see how they do on it. (Mazy cat benefits from rescue remedy, Queen Eva does not). And at the end, they'll be with you, and with their stuff, and in a few days or weeks they will be settled.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
18,339
Purraise
47,303
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
It's so easy for everyone else to say "Oh don't worry they'll be fine" isn't it? I lived in the same home for 22 years and have two cats, one elderly, one senior who also had lived in that home all their lives. Very secluded quiet lives. I bought a house and I stressed myself sick over how they would adjust to the move. For months I worried about it. Everyone told me they would be "fine" but I didn't believe a word of it.

On moving day they had to be locked in their individual carriers and kept shut in the (now empty echoing) bathroom for six hours while my friends and family helped me move. A little different than being in carriers in a car, but still...They were shut up and all they could hear was loud voices and a lot of banging and each other's howls.

finally, I put them in my car and drove to the new house (only a 15 minute drive). Again, they had to stay in the carriers, in the car, while I asked for some last minute furniture repositioning, waited for everyone to have a snack, receive my thanks and then leave. So all total they were in those carriers about 8 hours.

I took them into the house, into their safe room and opened the carriers. Mazy cat, at 17, the one I worried most about, came out of her carrier, looked around the safe room and said "hmm, looks all right" and started exploring! Poor Queen Eva was traumatized and stayed huddled into the very back of her carrier, Mazy cat kept coming over to check on her poking her head in the carrier and saying "prrt prrt!" in a reassuring way.

Queen Eva stayed in the carrier until late in the night, but did eat when I put her food int here with her. By the next day they were both clamoring to be let out of the safe room but I kept them in there two more days while I made sure there weren't any boxes that could topple on them.

Queen Eva did grieve, she always does with any change, by hiding in burrows except during meal times, for three days.

I called them impostors. So the the bottom line is, we stress ourselves sick, and they simply get on with it.

I agree with your vet. never sedate a cat for travel. Sedation is dangerous slowing heart rate and respiration rate and you don't know how the cat will react to the meds. They'll cope with out it. A little Rescue Remedy might help, but use it before hand to see how they do on it. (Mazy cat benefits from rescue remedy, Queen Eva does not). And at the end, they'll be with you, and with their stuff, and in a few days or weeks they will be settled.
GREAT post, otto otto and thank you for reiterating the warning against sedation.
 
Top