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Unread 01-06-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to make travelling less stressful?

We are due to be moving (again!) in May & obviously our cat will be coming with us. He is easily scared & terrified of strangers, so we didn't want to fly to our new home, instead we decided on driving. (Germany to England - around a 9 hour drive).

A little bit of background - Toby is 4 years old, and was treated pretty badly by former owners. He is easily scared by most things. He hates the car, the only time he doesn't cry is when he is tucked up under my hoodie on my lap.

Is there any advice you can give me on a way to make the long car trip less stressful on him and essentials we should have in the car for him?

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 01-09-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Hello My friend I see you're a bit worried about your little ones.( I don't blame you) I had the same feeling when we decided to travel a four hour trip by car with our cats. you should've seen their faces. They were so frustrated cause we had to put them in a box but, we couldn't stand their suffering so, we set them free IN THE CAR... ( it's party time ) they started nibbling in our food, jumping around the car, driving us crazy and by the time we arrived, it was time to put them back in their box ; did I mention that we had trouble looking for them. Some of,em were stuck under the seats but, the most important thing of all, is that they were fine and happy. If your cat is terrified, try to put him in your arms ( it works ) and give him things to play with. I'm sure if you give him the care he needs, he'll at least get over the suffering part .. Wish you best of luck and I hope your cat enjoys the trip..
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Unread 01-09-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice

We are going to take him on practice drives to try & get him a little bit used to the car. Think we will just bribe him with treats & cuddles the whole trip!
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Unread 01-09-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Hi.

That is a good idea to take him for practice. Be sure in the car you put his cage so he can see you or even touch you. And you have to talk to him a lot. They are afraid of the car, because they do not know it. (I do not think it is good idea to put him free in the car. He can easily cause accident if he is afraid too much.That you can do after when he fill save himself in the car. I have a cat who was sick when she was little and we took with us where ever we went. The car became her second home. She lay in my neck when we travel. But the others I keep in the cage if I have to take them.) And I think a good idea for beginning if you just put him in the car, start the engine but do not drive just let him to know what the car is. Like this you can leave him free and even put a food for him in the car what he likes to much or play with him. And after when he is not so nervous you can put him in the box and drive little.

And you can contact to a vet, they can give him medicine what help him to calm down.
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Unread 01-09-2011   #5 (permalink)
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You could try a feliway collar, thats calming. As far as traveling I do recommend a carrier because having him loose may be fun but they can cause and accident and if u actually get in one and he isnt in a carrier things could be bad. But yes keep it so he can see you or where u can put your hand on it. Little practice runs are a good idea. I really do stress keeping him in the carrier.
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Unread 01-10-2011   #6 (permalink)
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It really depends on the cat... I've only ever had the chance to drive once with two cats in my truck... They hated the carriers. So I stopped on the side of the road, and let them out of their carriers. Set the carriers in the back seat, and let them do what they wanted for about 5 minutes.. Set a blanket out to cover basically the entire front passenger area, and they both got up in my passenger seat and fell asleep for the remaining 45 minutes I drove. I know, had I left them in their carriers, I'd have not gotten a single bit of peace on the way, and probably would have been even MORE likely to wreck... lol. Sometimes, I feel, a carrier is just not the way to go. Generally, yes.. But obviously, all cases will vary.
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