Moving long distance with dog and cat- any advice?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Elizabeth, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Looks as if I am finally, almost, nearly ready to make the move from my place in Florida to DH's place in MN, a distance of a mere 1800 miles :(

    We expect to leave next week in a 24' bobtail towing my '54 Chevy pickup on a trailer. Hey, the Beverly Hillbillies got nuthin' on us, lol! This is the first time I have ever had to move a FARM- vastly different from moving from suburb to suburb- boy, have I got a lot of stuff!

    But, my real concern is the animals. We will have my cat and my 80 pound Ridgeback in the cab of the truck with us, and it's not all that roomy a cab. So, if anyone has any advice to offer on how to cope with this situation we'd love to hear your ideas. So far, all I have managed to think of doing is-

    1. Take the dog's new ID tag, with our new address, and put it on the cat- she won't like this cause she does not normally wear a collar, but I am afraid that if she gets out of the truck we will lose her for good- she is not micro chipped. I am planning to put her in a cat carrier until we get on the road, then let her out and hold her on my lap for as long as I can get her to sit still. Then, when we have to get in and out of the truck we can put her back in the carrier for safekeeping. I am not worried about the dog- she has separation anxiety and sticks to me like velcro, no chance of losing her, but if the unthinkable happens she still has her old tags on. Just occurred to me, I guess I should let the vet and the county know that we are moving, just in case.

    2. We are going to build a little platform between the seat and dash to extend the seat so the dog can stretch out a little more without falling into the "pit", but this won't add much space. I have a feeling the large lap dog is going to be in my lap most of the way :no:

    3. We are planning to stop overnight at motels, so we will keep the litter box, food, water, etc handy to take in with us- but kitty will have to "hold it" all day long while we are driving.

    4. We can stop as often as we want to walk the dog, and stretch her (and our) legs, but other than that I don't kno what else we should plan on.

    Not really looking forward to this drive :waa:

    Oh, and once we get there, any suggestions on how to best help kitty adjust to a new home in a cold frozen climate in a house with DH's dog and cat already in residence?

    Thanks a bunch

    Mr and Mrs Jackpine Savage
     
  2. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Oh boy! Are your animals at all used to car travel? Cat could freak, dog could vomit, ect. Those are kind of worst case things. I haven't done alot of animal traveling. You may end up having to keep the cat in the carrier the entire way. It depends, some cats will sit in your lap and be a little scared, some cats won't be able to be still for two seconds, start panting ect. It is also quite possible for the cat to meow, like the entire way. :eek: Not trying to make things sound bad, but letting you know bad things could happen!

    I don't know how long until you are moving, but it's really a good idea to try to get the animals somewhat used to car travel. Let the cat get used to being in a carrier at least. Put him in there for a few minutes, give him a treat while he's in there, then let him out. Next time do the same, but for a longer period. Maybe 2-3 sessions like that a day. You might take the animals on short trips (even less than 5 minutes) to get them used to being in a moving car. This is all if they are not used to vehicle travel of course. Make everything as happy as possible.

    You might get a good harness for the cat so he can be let out also. I'm not sure how your cat would fare with this. One of my cats would be glad to get out of the carrier, the other would freak at the new surroundings. I think that is too long for a cat to hold it, especially being nervous. Our cat vomited and poop within 5 minutes of getting to our destination (note this was only a 1 hr. drive). :rolleyes: Right before you go, you might stick the cat in the litter box, often just being in there, smelling it ect., will make them go, so he can be empty before you leave.
    Obviously, don't feed them right before you leave, I would either not feed them at all the morning of, or feed them very little. Less vomit that way. ;)

    Someone with more traveling experience will probably have more and better advice for you.
     

  3. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Oh, once you are in the new home, keep the kitty (and maybe the dog too) in a room seperated from the other dogs. Keep the cat in there for as long as it takes for him to be used to the house and the smell of the new dog and cat, and for the new dog and cat to stop being quite so interested in the mystery critter in the other room. Then you can try just opening the door and supervising what goes on, and play it by ear.

    Good luck, hope all goes well for you! :D
     
  4. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

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    Consider putting a medium sized dog crate in the cab of the truck you are towing with litter box and food and water for the cat. She will probably yowl for the first 48 hours of the trip, and there's no need for everyone else to be miserable too. Please do NOT let her loose in the truck you are driving. Scared cats head for the floor, she can wedge herself behind the seat and bolt out when you open the door, or even worse, get under the pedals while you are driving and cause an accident. I drove from NY to AZ with two cats in a wire dog crate in the back of my (capped)pickup. They were unhappy, but safe.
     
  5. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Oh bring 409, towels, paper towels and plastic bags.
     
  6. Mrsfarmer

    Mrsfarmer New Member

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    I used to work for a vet who always recommended tranquilizing cats before long trips. I am always afraid that the medicine will be worse than not doing anything.
     
  7. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I moved my dog and cat from Denver to Washington state. You won't be able to stand the cat in the cab. My lovey friendly cat yowled like a banshee for the first few hours, I gave up and put him in the back of the truck in a dog crate - gave him more room and he calmed down, I think it's because he no longer had an audience :rolleyes: . I had given him a tranquilizer but it made no difference so I didn't do that after the first day.

    The other thing the cat will try once he is out of the box is to get under the accelerator - could be dangerous.

    I moved in summer, but what about keeping him in the cab of the towed vehicle. He could have a litter box in there and the run of the whole cab - put in a pile of blankets and he should be quite warm and cozy..

    I did the same think with my dog that you mentioned. Put blankets in front of the seat to make a platform. You will have the advantage because you can give her loving while you are moving. I was busy driving and navigating, but my dog did fine in the front seat.

    Once you are at the new place, your cat will need to be locked in for at least two weeks. If the new dog has never seen a cat it will take much longer. First put the cat in a room that is separate from the dog, like a spare bedroom where he can hide under the bed. When he starts to come out from under the bed to visit with you, then you can do the next stage. This will ental putting the cat in a big dog crate for "supervised face to face" visitations with the new dog. Do this for longer periods, but still keep them separate. After a period of time, once you determine the new dog will not tear the cat to shreds, you need to leave them together and "have it out". This is usually alot of chasing and hiding. It does decrease. My new dog never did get used to my adult cat completely, but the cat was in charge, it was the dog that walked the long way around him. That's the key, for the cat not to turn and run, but stand his ground. Now I just got a kitten and after this progression Martha and the kitten are best friends, mainly because the kitten just isn't afraid of her.

    Good luck! I worried about my babies too when I moved, but they made the trip just fine. I think your harder adjustment will be with the cat and the new dog.
     
  8. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Good, so all you really have to worry about is kitty. :)
     
  9. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    ...or vomit, poo and urinate all over it. :haha:
     
  10. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

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    We moved with two cats and a chocolate lab from OR to SE TX... 5 days on the road with three kids too!! We made the cats a box that rode in the back of the truck, held the litter box and their food.... (on different sides of course) Every day, we changed the litter and fed them... they were alittle tramautized by the trip, but it didn't hurt them at all in the long run.... They didn't have alot of room to move around, but they survived!! We never let them out during the trip... that would have been catastrophic!! Our one cat was so skittery, she would have been gone in a flash!! And the other was too friendly... he would have found himself a home in a matter of minutes!! The dog rode in the truck with DH, and did fine.... :)

    I agree with the idea of putting a crate in the truck you are towing and letting her ride there... better safe than sorry... if your cat isn't 'used' to a harness, it will create even more problems for you... unnecessary stress for you and DH.... If you feel bad about putting her in the crate, just remember, its not a permanent thing and she'll forgive you!! :)

    Good luck on whatever you decide....
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I agree with crating the cat and being done with it,I wouldnt let her out at all,we lost a cat that way.The harness doesnt work too well either,we can walk ours on one,but if she spooks they just slip right out.Crate the cat til you arrive.
    BooBoo
     
  12. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I'm with the "crate the cat" crew. If you're extending the seat to give the dog more room you'll create a space under that "deck" where you might be able to get a cat carrier. But realistically, putting the cat in a larger crate with a litter pan, water, and food, in the vehicle you're towing is really your best option. The cat will have more space, and be able to "go" when it has to.

    It basically sounds like a bladder infection waiting to happen... I lost two cats to bladder infections. Once they start the cats are prone to them forever more, and they can (witness my two cats) die of the things.
     
  13. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Definitely put the cat in a crate in the towed vehicle. I took three cats on a 21 hour trip and they WILL NOT hold their poop...nor will they calm down. When I moved from TX to MS (a seven hour trip) I got tranquilizers from my vet for the kitties (I had four in the back seat in carriers). Just make sure the kitty has water during the driving part of the trip and feed it when you stop for the night. Keep her crated at all times...even when you stop for the night. And definitely consider getting a bottle of tranquilzers from your vet. The cat is going to be traumatized.
     
  14. goldenlady

    goldenlady Well-Known Member

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    Lots of great advice already about hauling the animals to your new home. When you get there and have to introduce them to those already in residence is where it could get sticky. I don't know the age of your dog, but generally an older dog will adopt a young one. If both dogs are a couple years old, that probably will not be the case, but they can become friends fairly quickly. However, the one caution I would have is to feed them separately because the one thing even friends will fight over is food. Our dogs have been together for several years and we still feed them separately. They would not now fight over food, but one is always the more dominant and would eat both portions.

    Good luck and have fun.............
     
  15. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    when we made our move from South Florida to Missouri we had the luxury of having the back of our pick up free for our pets (with topper of course) The dog went in a crate as he was a nervous traveler and the cats had free run of the rest of the space. (we had 8 or so at the time we moved :) )
    as this is not always an option I'd agree with those who tell you to crate your cat...traveling can make them very nervous and an ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of any cure. If your cat got away from you she may be lost forever or worse . You can get tranquilizers from your vet and most crates are designed to have dishes clipped on the doors. as it's doubtful your cat is going to want to eat much during the travel times all you'd really need to do is provide water and that could even be done with a bottle like is used for rabbits or guinea pigs.

    hope your move is a safe and smooth one
     
  16. Reillybug

    Reillybug Active Member

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    Normally I just lurk, but I have to weigh in on this one. We have moved (driving) from Virginia to Alaska and from Alaska to Colorado with 4 dogs and 6 cats - crazy, I know! Last trip from Alaska to Colorado was about 3000 miles, in November, in the winter, with average temps of -40 in Canada, before windchill, in mostly white out conditions. Took us 6 days. In any case, we had the cats in a Suburban. While we had kennels for them all, they were better being out in the truck. They had water and a litter box. They had never really been in the car before except for trips to the vet, and they were AWFUL the first 24 hours! Howled the entire way, non-stop. After that they were fine - and quiet. We had several kitty "condo's" and cardboard boxes (with a "door" cut into them), and they mostly stayed out of site hidden away. Our vets advice was to not feed at least 12 hours prior to the trip, and to feed them a small amount at night in the hotels, but to give them access to water most of the time. We put everyone in kennels before opening any doors in the Suburban. Seemed to work for us. We all arrived in one piece, but we won't do that trip again unless it's in the summer in a BIG motorhome! Dogs were in the back of the covered pick-up with a bale of straw. They were fine, but hated the truck for awhile after that - I'm pretty sure they were convinced that "going bye-bye" meant another 6 days in the truck! Good luck - you'll be fine, and so will they!