Moving to another state with a cat

Di Weller

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I have two options to move from one state to another: take my cats with me on the plane - one cat per person is allowed, 2. Rent an RV and travel for about 4-5 days with the cats - having litter boxes, food and stuff. My holistic vet says that the flight would be much more stressful than the trip in RV. Does anyone have experience like that? I am totally torn and confused and don't know what to do
 

GoldyCat

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What airline would you be using? How many cats do you have? When I've flown the rule has always been one pet carrier per person, but you can have 2 cats in the carrier. If your two travel well together flying could be less traumatic than several days' driving.
 

Antonio65

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I never flew with a cat, but I wouldn't take my chances.
It's not uncommon that, even if you have bought a ticket for your cat in a carrier, the captain has the last word on the matter and they can change their mind at the last minute and have the carrier sent in the storage where everything can happen.
I may sound a bit excessive, but I have read too many stories where there was no happy ending for the pet...

I'd rather drive.
The longest distance I drove with a cat in my car is 620 miles, 12 hours, with a stop every couple of hours to see if the cat needed the litter box and to give her some water.
 

klunick

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I vote for the RV. My inlaws have several cats and travel in their motorhome with the cats all the time. May take an hour or so for the cats to calm down but it seems less stressful than everything involved with flying. Plus you can get up and check on them whenever you want or even sit with them in the back to help with stress. We plan to move in a few years and will be faced with driving with two cats. I am hoping I can talk my husband into getting at least a camper van which will help immensely. His folks are willing to give us their motorhome but it's literally the size of a bus and husband doesn't want to deal with all the maintenance involved in up keep. Plus we would need to store it indoors and his four hot rods are already taking up space in his monster garage. :ohwell:
 
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Di Weller

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What airline would you be using? How many cats do you have? When I've flown the rule has always been one pet carrier per person, but you can have 2 cats in the carrier. If your two travel well together flying could be less traumatic than several days' driving.
I have three cats. Three people will be flying. I will most probably fly JetBlue. Is it your opinion or are speaking from experience?
 

Father of furbabies

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I would recommend driving over flying. It might be less stressful for the cats over all especially if they are very timid or shy around strangers. I would recommend a small RV that has a separate driver cab vs a regular van type. This would let you get in and out for stops a little bit easier.

Either way you might want to think about getting them chipped and if you can, harness/leash training them prior to the move. This would be a safety precaution of them becoming separated from you and letting them have an ID on them.
 

GoldyCat

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I have three cats. Three people will be flying. I will most probably fly JetBlue. Is it your opinion or are speaking from experience?
I have flown many times with my cats, until COVID shut down cat shows for a year and a half. Yes, there are horror stories but I have not experienced any problems myself.

Every cat is different of course, but I’ve found that most of them do pretty well flying. I have one girl who yells at me all the way to the airport in the car. She continues to complain going through the airport until we get up in the air. Then she goes to sleep for the entire flight. When I drive to shows she tends to sing to me the entire 6-8 hour drive, sometimes taking an hour or so break. She would not do well at all with a long trip in an RV.

The bottom line is, you know your own cats best. Are they ok with being confined in a carrier? Do you ever take them anywhere except the vet? How long would a flight be compared to driving?
 

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I think that most people make more of a big deal about driving than it really is.

In a former job, I used to drive up to 1,000 miles per week. Once you get used to it, driving is no big deal and I rather prefer driving to flying.

When you drive, you can stop whenever you want. If you see a sign that says, "Uncle Joe's Alligator Farm," you can stop and see it. The world's largest ball of string? A curio shop? Sure! Those kinds of tourist traps are great!
You don't have to go by somebody else's schedule. You can do things when YOU want to.

If you're hungry and want to eat, you can go find some food or, better, you can pack your favorite foods with you.
You don't have to wait for a flight attendant to wheel around a cart full of tasteless, overpriced food. Just pull over to that picnic area and enjoy an hour's rest.

If you have to use the bathroom, you don't have to wait for the "Occupied" light to go out. You don't have to sit in a cramped porta-potty on wings that has weird looking fixtures. You can pull over to the next rest stop.

Cross country driving is far more relaxing and comfortable than being stuffed inside a cramped, metal tube for six hours. You don't have to navigate through bustling airports and you don't have to deal with grouchy ticket agents.

I have driven from coast to coast across the USA. It took a little over four days but I could have done it in three if I drove straight through without stopping. (You would need a "co-pilot" so that you can drive in shifts if you want to do that.)

I have driven from the Great Lakes, south, to South Carolina in one shot. It took about half a day, driving by myself. If I had a co-pilot, I probably would have made it all the way to Florida.

The only time I would choose flying over driving is when I have to be some place by a certain time. Even then, I would consider taking a train if I could. In the place where I live, it is possible to take a train to get from Chicago to New York City or Boston in less than a day. It would, probably, take only a little bit longer than flying and a train ride is a hell of a lot more relaxing than taking a plane. You can rent a sleeper car if you want but even Coach is far more comfortable than an airliner.

You can get up and walk around whenever you want. You can go to the dining car. If you just want to chill out and read a book or take a nap, it's up to you.

As far as I am concerned, unless you have to be some place on a tight schedule, it's FAR better to drive!

If I had cats to take with me... No effin' way would I fly to any place in the "Lower 48!"
 

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I was forced to airlift cats internationally. In the cargo hold. All of them did very well, didn't make a peep on the 100-mile journey to the airport, and arrived safely. Our vet was not in favor of tranquillizing them for safety reasons; my "secret weapon" was Feliway sprayed on their foam cage linings.
We also drove a cat from L.A. Metro to SW Utah with no problem. He was in the back of our car, in a large carrier equipped with a small litterbox and snap-on food and water bowls. He was quite calm and very interested in the scenery as we drove. We also stayed in a motel that accepted cats, where he also did very well out of his carrier.
I would opt for driving, with the requirement that they NEVER be left in the vehicle without a human. I think it would be safer under today's circumstances.
 

LadyKhaos

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I'm flying my 2 cats with me to live with my boyfriend in 2 months, my parents would have a hard time taking care of them while they drive my stuff so I decided the plane. I was researching and sometimes the vet can give a very slight sedative. I also have been training them for the process with harnesses and putting them in their carriers for a bit.
 

Caspers Human

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I also took my first cat, “K.C.” on a couple of car trips and he traveled well both times.

I put him in his carrier in the back of the car. Once we got under way, I opened the carrier door. He came out to check out his surroundings then went back to his carrier, laid down and chilled. Every once in a while, he’d make rounds then go back to his hangout.

The only time there was any angst was when I pulled over for a pit stop and had to make sure that K.C. was inside his carrier with the door closed before I opened the car door to get out.

I would take my cat on a car trip again almost any time.
 
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Di Weller

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I have flown many times with my cats, until COVID shut down cat shows for a year and a half. Yes, there are horror stories but I have not experienced any problems myself.

Every cat is different of course, but I’ve found that most of them do pretty well flying. I have one girl who yells at me all the way to the airport in the car. She continues to complain going through the airport until we get up in the air. Then she goes to sleep for the entire flight. When I drive to shows she tends to sing to me the entire 6-8 hour drive, sometimes taking an hour or so break. She would not do well at all with a long trip in an RV.

The bottom line is, you know your own cats best. Are they ok with being confined in a carrier? Do you ever take them anywhere except the vet? How long would a flight be compared to driving?
If I drive - I would rent an RV that would have a separation from the area where the driver is. So that the cats would be able to be free to sit, lie down anywhere in the RV except for the driver area. It should take off some of the stress. I think. The trip will take around 5 to 6 days. The flight is around 6 hours. Plus the airport before the flight and after the flight - so it will be around at least 10 hours or longer. The cats really do not like being driven and the longest drive they ever took was about 40 minutes. Especially it is bad for my older cat who is around 14 years old. She did #2 on me a couple of times when driven to or from the vet....
 

danteshuman

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I would do the rv.... put all the cat stuff in your rv (& all your bedding, unwashed comforter & pillow case if you can.)

I would also ask for a light sedative for both cats for a week (& a copy of their vet records.) Better to have it & not need it. If you can rent the rv for 1-2 days afterwards to allow you to unpack your house in peace.

That said you can sedate your cats and have them fly with you.... though I see litter box issues on the plane.
 

Father of furbabies

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I also just realized, after seeing various news report of people being tossed off the plane for various disturbances, if your cats are complainers, you could be asked to leave the flight due to disturbing the other flyers.
 
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Di Weller

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I have flown many times with my cats, until COVID shut down cat shows for a year and a half. Yes, there are horror stories but I have not experienced any problems myself.

Every cat is different of course, but I’ve found that most of them do pretty well flying. I have one girl who yells at me all the way to the airport in the car. She continues to complain going through the airport until we get up in the air. Then she goes to sleep for the entire flight. When I drive to shows she tends to sing to me the entire 6-8 hour drive, sometimes taking an hour or so break. She would not do well at all with a long trip in an RV.

The bottom line is, you know your own cats best. Are they ok with being confined in a carrier? Do you ever take them anywhere except the vet? How long would a flight be compared to driving?
I think i replied to you but I guess it didn't post. The flight is up to 6 hours long. Plus 2 hours at the airport and waiting for the luggage at the destination airport. 10 hours easy. RV trip will take about 5 or 6 days - I have never driven an RV.
 
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Di Weller

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I would do the rv.... put all the cat stuff in your rv (& all your bedding, unwashed comforter & pillow case if you can.)

I would also ask for a light sedative for both cats for a week (& a copy of their vet records.) Better to have it & not need it. If you can rent the rv for 1-2 days afterwards to allow you to unpack your house in peace.

That said you can sedate your cats and have them fly with you.... though I see litter box issues on the plane.
One of my cats is not young anymore... I am hesitant about giving her sedation... I am torn....
 

Father of furbabies

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I think i replied to you but I guess it didn't post. The flight is up to 6 hours long. Plus 2 hours at the airport and waiting for the luggage at the destination airport. 10 hours easy. RV trip will take about 5 or 6 days - I have never driven an RV.
I would recommend looking at a class C or class B RV as they are driven like a pickup truck/van or a short bus/oversized truck. Depending on where you are at and where you are going, you could get a rental for 150 to 250 a day. I would recommend just looking at all your options. If you include another driver you could travel non-stop other than gas stops and such since you could swap out drivers.


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