Searching for the best way to move cats across the country in a car?
Honestly, it’s never going to be easy unless you’re prepared. Shoving your little fur bar into the truck of a car isn’t exactly humane is it? Especially, if you plan on driving long and trying distances.
Your high-spirited feline may make your commute a lot more stressful than it has to be, and naturally, you’ll probably despise yourself for letting them have it.
For this reason, ASPCA recommends that you recreate your cat’s home routine in the car, which includes all of their bathroom breaks, playtimes and God forbid, their favorite diet schedules.
How to Recreate Your Cat’s Home Routine in a Car
Cats and their home routines are inseparable. Without these schedules, cats have trouble keeping up with their environment. For this reason, among the biggest threats for them during your commute is, obviously, a change in schedule.
Since these changes are inevitable for both cats and their hoomans, you can rest assured that both of you may become anxious. For instance, cats might react to a huge pile of cardboard boxes just as you would when random law enforcement individuals inspect your home (or vice versa).
So the real question here is: “How can you recreate your cat’s home schedule?”
- Try to maintain a similar schedule of playtime with cats no matter how difficult it may seem. (Cat happy = commute difficult; cat difficult = commute impossible)
- Feed your cat relatively along the same timeline as you would at home. Try imagining the stress your body would go through once your breakfast and dinner schedules are reversed.
- Give them the same amount of attention as you did before the difficult move or else they’ll become hostile as well.
Bonus: Alternatively, you can try to streamline your commute/move by hiring services that don’t divert your attention away from your beloved feline.
The Car Routine for Your Cat
Try to Keep Them Stress-Free and Calm
The best way to move cats across the country in a car is, perhaps also, the most difficult. If you’ve ever seen a feline go berserk, you probably know what we’re talking about. In either case, here’s what you need to do to help them all throughout the commute:
Talk To Them
No, they can’t understand exactly what you’re saying, but they sure do understand gestures and emotions. Try your best to let them know that you’ll be right there with them during all of the upcoming changes. If you get through, you’re about to experience feline-intelligence at its best.
Did you know that your cat can sense whether you’re stressed or worried? During your commute, if your beloved feline manages to perceive your rage or any change in behavior, they will react accordingly. For this reason, you should try your best to maintain composure and sooner or later you’ll see how these sensitive pets will mirror your attitude.
Keep Them Away From Strangers
If you’ve outsourced the responsibility to pack your bags and to get rid of junk, make sure that your cat is kept in a room far away from all of these strangers. In doing so, they wouldn’t be too anxious about a change (i.e. your long drive).
Schedule a Vet Appointment Before the Trip
Driving across the country with your feline is a good idea only if they are 100% healthy and ready for the commute. For this reason, you need to update your vacation to-do list with a new task: ‘schedule an appointment with a vet’ (check).
The basic purpose of taking your feline to a vet before a long drive is to:
Update your record of their medical condition
For example, an immunization passport. Having up-to-date records will primarily speed up the process of registering felines with a veterinarian upon arriving at your destination.
Discuss Safe Cat Sedation
Perhaps keep this plan aside as a contingency because sometimes cats are just too frightened and nervous to calm down with traditional methods. For example, anti-anxiety medicine may, perhaps, save both of you from a mental meltdown.
Bonus: Book a Complete Medical Check-Up
If possible, a holistic check-up will make sure that your feline is officially ready for the commute and will not puss-out after a few miles.
Let Them Board Last
Ideally, if your cat is used to smaller drives in town, then you should appreciate your chances of making it through without so much as a whisper. Also, it really helps if your feline is comfortable in your car. If this is the case, we’d advise against renting/leasing a new car for the trip.
Our Final Thoughts
Again, we’re back to the best way to move cats across the country in a car. Preparation is key and your long-awaited travel buddy will remain happy so long as you think ahead of time. The following are a few examples of what we mean by preparation:
- Arrange car trips in a manner that your cat boards the vehicle last.
- Pack a bag with all of their essentials,including cat toys, their favorite blankets, food and even a water supply suitable for the journey.
- Here’s the real kicker: you shouldn’t let your cat roam around freely in your car because you can never be too sure how they will react later. Make sure they are secured by a feline seat belt and their carrier is locked safely.
- Plan your route in a way that you have all pet-friendly hotels and motels figured out. This is so because you shouldn’t leave your precious furball in a car without proper supervision.
If preparation is key, your bond with the cat is the nut wrench that frees them from anxiety and depression in long car commutes.
Give and you shall receive.