In 2004, my wife and I moved from Washington to Arizona. Although the 1,500-mile drive looked to be uneventful, one catch was that we were taking our domestic longhaired cat, My Lenaptalf, along for the ride. Now that the experience is behind us, I’m able to offer these three tips to making your cat move a success.
Sedate – We mentioned our moving plans to a vet, and he recommended sedatives for the cat. Though she wasn’t too keen on taking the pills, I highly recommend them. With just one small pill a day, our cat was able to quietly sleep on the floor of the back seat in the car for the entire day.
Be Steady – Provide a consistent environment for the cat each day and night. We made a small, dark, cave-like environment for the cat in the back seat that seemed to help reduce her normal fear of the car and reduce the sense of being in motion. When we stopped in motels, we gave her the same food and a small litter box with the same litter she was used to.
Speak Softly – Especially at the beginning and end of the day’s car ride, speak softly to the cat and reassure her with your voice that everything is okay. Don’t make sudden movements or startle her. Allow her to explore a new motel room for a few minutes before doing anything else. Bring a familiar blanket that smells like home for her to sleep on.
I’m sure there are other success stories out there as well, so take the tips to heart that apply to your cat and your move, and good luck!