If you're moving cross country and will be transporting your cat to your new home, you may be a bit apprehensive about how to ensure that your feline friend enjoys a comfortable and stress-free ride. Fortunately, strategies exist for successful long distance trips with cats on board. Following are eight tips sharing your car with your cat during a cross country move.
Allow Your Cat to Become Acclimated to Its Carrier
Cats thrive on familiarity when in potentially stressful situations, so allow your feline friend to get used to its carrier by placing it inside for short periods of time. Make sure the carrier is equipped with comfortable, soft padding and has ample room.
Take Your Cat for Short Trips in Your Car
Going on short car trips with your cat will help get it used to riding in a car. Because many cats feel anxiety the first time they experience car travel, keep the first few trips to under 10 or 15 minutes. After your cat gets acclimated to car rides, consider going on an overnight trip to further prepare it for the move.
Consider Leash Training Your Cat Before Your Move
Leash training can provide a way for your cat to get outdoor exercise while you're on the move. However, not every cat will enjoy being on a leash, so if yours doesn't take to it, it's better not to force the issue. A cat who doesn't want to be on a leash may squirm out of the collar or harness and run away in an unfamiliar environment.
Make Reservations at Pet Friendly Hotels in Advance
Making reservations at pet friendly hotels in advance of your trip will help prevent any unwanted snags during your journey. Although some people on long moves succumb to the temptation to leave their cats in their cars overnight, this practice should be avoided at all costs. Get a pet friendly place to stay so that your cat can enjoy time out of its carrier, eat, use its litterbox, and get petted.
Always Keep Your Cat in Its Carrier While the Vehicle Is in Motion
Even if your cat seems to take to car travel like a duck to water, never let it out of its carrier while the car is in motion. In the event that you need to brake suddenly to avoid an accident, the last thing you need is a cat flying around the car and possibly being thrown against the windshield as a result of the car coming to a sudden stop. In the event that you actually get into an accident, a panicking cat can make an already horrible situation much worse.
Use a Pet Booster Seat
You can use a pet booster seat designed to hold the carrier next to the window so your cat can enjoy the view as you are driving along. Even without the added benefit of keeping your cat from getting too bored, these booster seats provide added protection for your cat because they have an attachment that holds carriers firmly in place.
Allow Yourself an Extra Day or Two
Leave a day or so earlier than your cross country moving van so that you've got the room to dawdle a bit on the trip. You'll need to give your cat about an hour or so after its morning feeding to use the litterbox, and you'll probably also find that shorter periods of driving will be better suited to traveling with a cat on board. This will give you some breathing room so that you won't find yourself rushing to keep up with your professional movers. After all, they won't be traveling with a cat and will probably be able to make better time than you.
Have Kitty Microchipped and Checked Out By a Vet Before You Go
If your cat isn't already microchipped, make sure that's done before you take off on your trip. A good general checkup can alert you to any possible health conditions you'll need to take into account during the move.Share
8 June 2017
My husband is in the military, and our family has had to move across the country a few times throughout his career. The first time we faced a move, I was so overwhelmed that I felt like I was going to burst! We had accumulated so much "stuff" that I just didn't know what to do with it all. We ended up hiring a moving company, and we put all of the "stuff" we didn't use often in a storage unit. Once I got through the process once, our next couple of moves seemed like a breeze. I know there are other families out there facing their first moves feeling unprepared and overwhelmed, so I decided to make a blog to share moving tips and tips about using storage units wisely. I hope I can help make your move less stressful!