Traveling with senior cats

melissa

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My husbands job is about to be split between two separate Provinces in the Maritimes of Canada. It will be 6 months in one and 6 months in another. My 3 senior cats (ages 18,16,14) have never travelled except very occasional vet trips. The drive is about 6 hours, how can I make this easiest for them? I feel 6 hours is a long time to be in a carrier so I thought about a large dog crate in my SUV with a small litter box? The cats get along fairly well but I don’t know what would happen if they were forced together on a scary car ride. Anyone have experience with this? It’s something that will have to happen twice a year every year so I have to figure it out 😕
 

pskane610

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I will share what my Sammy (15 years old) did best with...

Large dog crate with a blanket or bed on the floor, litter box, bit of kibble and water. I covered the cage with a blanket so the scenery passing by couldn't be seen. The trouble he had was with noisy dump trucks and semis. He would 'cry' for the first bit but then settle in for the trip.
You might also talk to their vet about getting calming medicine in case it's needed.
I would get all the supplies now and take them for short jaunts to see how they react. You'll know ahead of time if the need meds. May want petting/walk around breaks for that long of a trip. Sammy
Good luck!
 

She's a witch

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I don’t have senior cats but whenever I travel with my adults, I put both of them in one carrier and it’s just the best. They’re friends although not the best friends type, they don’t really sleep each other, but being contained together in a stressful situation clearly calms them down.
you could add a hammock to the large dog crate to increase sleeping area, I have something like this and it worked well: Amazon.com: Rolybag Pet cage Hammock, pet Hammock, dot pet Hammock, pet cage Hammock, Soft Plush pet Bed, Suitable for Ferret Cotton Hammock, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Gerbil, cat cage, etc. (Medium): Pet Supplies

My guys never use the litter box in the moving car but they do during breaks.
 
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melissa

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Thanks for the insight! I have a lot to plan and think about.
 
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pskane610

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I usually pulled in to a gas station or shopping center, something with a parking lot. Opened the hatch, let him stand up, stretch his legs, never let him out so he wouldn't bolt from a sudden noise or car. You could do a rest area? But most likely you'll have to get gas or go to the bathroom yourself ... just so they get the chance to stretch a little, use the litter box, and see that you're still with them.
 

BlackCatOp

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I did the large dog crate for my 3 cats during my frequent long distance moves. Two of them are better travelers as they have traveled with me since kitten hood over 1200 miles frequently. I have a litter pan set up and food. The crate was lined with “waterproof bed pads” as was the car. Don’t want urine on car interior. 🤢 I didn’t have water in the crate as it just got spilt constantly.

I was very concerned about my cats escaping during the travels so cats remained in crate the entire time and if the crate was opened the car was locked so no one could open the car doors. My one kitty does meow for several hours but once he realizes he’s not going to the vet, he quiets down. No medication was given for sedation.

For my move next year, I plan on separating my cats into crates as the last time all three were together, the youngest one was hissing and growling at the others. My cats on a normal basis get along very well so don’t know why he went crazy but I don’t want to test it again.

Also, maybe you could administer SQ fluids once you are at your destination since water intake will probably be decreased. Something to ask your vet???
 
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melissa

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I did the large dog crate for my 3 cats during my frequent long distance moves. Two of them are better travelers as they have traveled with me since kitten hood over 1200 miles frequently. I have a litter pan set up and food. The crate was lined with “waterproof bed pads” as was the car. Don’t want urine on car interior. 🤢 I didn’t have water in the crate as it just got spilt constantly.

I was very concerned about my cats escaping during the travels so cats remained in crate the entire time and if the crate was opened the car was locked so no one could open the car doors. My one kitty does meow for several hours but once he realizes he’s not going to the vet, he quiets down. No medication was given for sedation.

For my move next year, I plan on separating my cats into crates as the last time all three were together, the youngest one was hissing and growling at the others. My cats on a normal basis get along very well so don’t know why he went crazy but I don’t want to test it again.

Also, maybe you could administer SQ fluids once you are at your destination since water intake will probably be decreased. Something to ask your vet???
I thought about dividing the crate into 3 sections so they can still see each other but are physically separated. I hadn’t thought about water intake- I’ll have to research vets in the new area and talk to them about that. They usually hydrate well as long as they have a cat fountain
 
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