How to Survive A Long Trip With Dogs and Cats
I took a new job in May and had to relocate. We had relocated 18 months ago with our two dachshunds. This time however, we acquired two cats.
Those of you with cats understand that traveling with cats presents several additional problems. When we relocated to Colorado Springs we were able to fly the dogs with us. It only cost $ 70 each and we took them on the plane with us. Thus reducing our stress levels significantly.
With four animals however the flight option was not available. Even if we could afford it you can only bring on one pet per person. There were only three of us so we could not take them all. Paying someone to take them to Slidell proved to be very costly. So our only alternative was to drive them there. Luckily we have a Ford Freestyle that has a lot of room. The company paid for my travel and hotel stay so that helped.
But how do you travel with two cats and two dogs? Researching on line I discovered that one of the essential items that you need to do is prepare the cats and dogs to be comfortable in the car. The dogs were no problem. My wife had been taking our daughter to school and picking her up and bringing the dogs with her. They were used to not jumping all over the car and us.
The cats were another story. They did not travel well. So we started taking them on short trips to try and get them used to the ride. That did not go well and they were really terrified. The other problem with the cats was that they were used to a litter box. The dogs could have bought outside to do their business when we did. The cats could not. The cats did not like to travel.
If we had started preparing them earlier we might have been able to acclimate them to traveling in the car. Every time we would bring them out our female would just meow constantly. After talking to several people, researching online and our vet we decided to give the cats a mild sedative. It was safe and since we were driving 12 to 14 hour days it kept the meowing to only the first and last hour of the day.
When we stopped at our hotel, we used Hampton Inns, they welcome pets with no extra charges and treated us well, the cats were wake and alert. We fed them and had a portable disposable litter box. The cats also need to be put in an portable carrier. Do not attempt to take a cat in a car loose. Cats instinctively go for a place to hide. The best place for them to hide is under your feet while you are driving. That will cause an accident. One of our cats got loose one time while we were stopped and went right for the floor boards.
How to travel: Acclimate them to the drive, Provide a mild sedative if needed, keep cats in a carrier, find a pet friendly hotel, have a lot of patience. Good Luck!
Source by Charles Coniglio