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  1. Default Travelling 9 days with Cat

    Hi- I was not sure which forum to post this in, but I would love ANY insights on traveling with a cat. I am wondering particularly about the litter box- does one recommend having it out in the car? I have a crate but I do not think it would be very comfy for my cat to have the litter box in there with him without buying a huge crate. Again any info is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default probably won't be needed

    I've only made a couple trips with the cats, but from what I've found, they generally won't use the litter box until they are in a more comfortable setting - like your hotel room at the end of the night.

    Of course, for this reason, you'll probably want to limit the number of hours you spend on the road when traveling with your cats. A full 8 hour day is ok, but I wouldn't push on much beyond that.

  3. #3


    It sounds a ridiculous question to ask, as I'm sure you wouldn't be considering this trip if you hadn't, but have you transported your cat in your car previously? I have only taken mine in the car once, and only for about 100 miles, but she went absolutely insane. And I mean insane! :(

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Cats in the Car

    I've only ever taken mine to the vet. They are not happy campers.

    I would think that it would make them more comfortable to have the litter box in the crate with the cat and then drape something over the whole crate. But - definitely leave the cat in the crate for the trip. Let's just say dumping a cat in the car like you would a dog did not go over so well for me. I was just going a block, but wow. I swear at one point she was clinging upside down to the roof of my car. Not good.


  5. Default Depends upon the cat...

    I've done a couple of multi-day trips with a cat.

    And it really does depend upon the cat, and how they like being in a car. Some cats are really mellow, and just like being with their "people", and others just freak out being something that vibrates and moves.

    The longest trip I did -- 4 driving days there, 2 driving days back -- the cat was a good traveler. We'd let him out of his house when the car was on the road, and he'd wander around the car a bit, and then find a spot in the back to settle in and nap out. Spent probably 80% of the trip sleeping in the foot well behind the driver's seat. Then when the car would stop, we'd put him back in his house before we'd open the car doors. (That took some doing -- not to catch the cat, but to get from the front seat to the back without opening the doors....)

    The only problem was that after sleeping all day, he wanted to walk around the hotel room and PARTY! with the people. So he'd walk back and forth across folks in bed at night, and meow until someone petted him etc. After 2 nights, we ended up putting him back in the car each night at about 9 pm. We did try to just keep him awake by petting him and moving him around during the day, so he'd sleep through the night -- but that was a lot of work for the driver & navigator in the car.

    For travelling he had a kitty box -- his "house" which he was comfortable with. We'd put his favorite sleeping towel in it, and he had been sleeping in it for a couple of weeks before setting out. There was a litter box open to him in the car, and we used a disposable kitty litter box in the bathroom of each hotel. We made sure he had water to drink all the time (a small bowl of water in a plastic container in the footwells of the back of the car) and nibbles.

    It helped having 2 people handle the cat on the trip -- mostly in making sure someone had a good grip on him while the other got the kitty box ready. And it was very useful to just take the cat in the car for some longish (more than an hour long) drives, jsut to get him used to the car. But it was like taking a child on a trip I'd guess -- making sure they were taken care of, making sure they had food and water, paying attention to them, being careful about opening and closing doors & windows, etc...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Tips from Victor the Road Cat

    Hi there,

    I've been travelling with my cat for a couple of years. He's a seasonned road tripper and is used to ride in the car.

    Here are a few tips to help your cat get into it. First, if your cat is usually freaking out in the car, make a habit of taking it at least 2-3 a week for a short drive. The second week, make the trip a little longer and so on. If it really can't stand it, you get can tranquillizers at the vet.

    Make sure you stop frequently, that it has fresh air all the time, that it doesn't get dehydrated. If it is car sick, feed him lightly during the day and serve it a full size meal only when you stop for the night. Give it treats on a regular basis so it won't think you are punishing it, plus, it usually helps it forget that it is stuck in a car (wink:-) for a few minutes. If you see it licking its nose over and over, it probably means it's going to be sick real soon so try to park asap. Be sure you have a lot of old sheets and towels to prevent messes and to protect your car seats from staining or getting full of cat's hair.

    If you have to leave it in the car unattended, crack the window opened a few inches and if you are going to areas where the temperature gets really hot, I suggest you buy a camping fan that works with D batteries to prevent heat strokes.

    Bring its favorite basket, bed, toys or whatever familiar items you think might help it feel better and comfortable. Personally, I am not a fan of cages, I always let my cat free in the car. Otherwise, it seems like it feels trapped and it starts to panick. When Victor is panicking, I put classical music and he calms down in the following minutes.

    If you drive in downtown areas with your windows opened, watch out at intersections because the cat might want to slip out. It happened to me in Tucson once and trust me, you don't want to have to leave your car at a busy intersection and run after your cat:o)lol.

    My basic equipment for a long roadtrip with Victor : a Sherpa pet carrier which resembles a huge handbag but can transform into a backpack (more or less 75$ at any pet store), a collar with I.D. medal, a harness and a leash, cat treats, foldable feeders, handi-drink water bottles, dry food in a solid plastic recipient, old sheets and towel, waterproof sheets (as the ones we use for babie's beds) to put under the litter box, a litter box shovel in 2 ziploc bags, plastic bags, a couple of pet hair travel rollers, a small tent and some toys and finally the Omega self cleaning litter box (more or less 28$). A genius invented that litter pan that has a roof, is odourless and that can be cleaned in 2 seconds. You just need to roll it over and all the smelly stuff is in the little drawer, simply amazing! The only bad thing about it is that it doesn't have any handle to carry it. I used a drill to pierce two small holes on the rooftop and I attached a small lenght of rope to the holes to make a handle and it works just perfect.

    Finally, if you plan on staying at hotels, B&B's and motels, you will need a directory of pet friendly accomodations. Some chains (ex. : Motel 6 ) accept well behaved pets for free but in some places you won't find any chains so it is better to be well informed about other options.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Good Luck!


  7. #7

    Default I've learnt something today...

    I'm really impressed! I've learnt some really handy tips for next time I have to load poor little Molly into the car and take her on a journey!

    One thing I will reinforce is the 'travel on an empty stomach' thing. I once helped a friend move house and his dad fed his two kitties that afternoon. One of them managed to freak out in the back of the car on the way to the new house and both threw up and pooped everywhere :o I don't know who I felt worse for - Millie for getting herself in such a state, Simon for having to clear up his car, or Simon's dad when Simon caught up with him!!!

  8. Default Thank you!

    Thanks to everyone for giving me info... this is all really helpful.
    Has anyone tried the all natural tranquilizer "happy traveler" product?

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