General chatter - Moving - help me out!

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03-26-2012, 04:36 PM
I have a decision to make, and I'd like thoughts and reasons for this because I'm having trouble with the pros and cons list. And you all strike me as a smart and reasonable bunch!

I am moving to Texas at the end of July (joy) and I'm coming up against a snag in the planning because I can't decide which driving plan is best.

Some info:

- We are moving from Columbia, SC to College Station, TX
-The move is to a furnished condo, we only have to take clothes, kitchen stuff, etc that won't be provided
- I am moving with two cats, one of whom is very high strung
- I am a bit phobic about driving
- The drive is about 1100 miles - 18 hours approx

That being said, I have two possibilities for the drive there:

3 days, 2 stops over night, approx 6 hours driving - stops would be Montgomery, AL and outside of Baton Rouge, LA.

2 days, 1 stop over night, approx 9 hours driving - stop would be in Mobile, AL.

Vote your opinion, list pros and cons, ask questions, or pick the 3rd choice and present your case for a different method altogether that I haven't thought of yet.

I would appreciate your feed back, particularly if you have experience moving long distances with cats!

03-26-2012, 04:44 PM
2 days

Fewer nights in hotels - cheaper
Get there sooner, less stress on your cat

Get a great book on CD and the time will fly by.

03-26-2012, 05:02 PM
i would plan for 2 days but budget for that extra stop overnight in case you hit a snag. I also advise talking to your vet, i know my moms was able to prescribe her two cats tranqs when she moved cross country and that saved her AND the cats a lot of stress vs the time she moved them without the tranqs.... I agree with the previous poster, a good book on cd maybe some upbeat playlists on your ipod to sing alonng with and the trip will go faster then you think

03-26-2012, 06:06 PM
Hmm, I personally would do it in two days, but not equally divided. I'd do a marathon on the 1st day when I'm not as tired of driving, and make the second day shorter. Maybe 12 and 6? Or 11 and 7?

03-26-2012, 09:43 PM
Two don't like pets, you will have to pay extra for them. I have traveled with cats twice. Once from NOLA to Metro Atlanta Ga (one long day) and once from Philly to Atlanta (two days). My cat would not have handled the third day in the crate. The first time I did tranqs and the dang thing "ran out" about 2 hours from destination.....and the cat and kid cried the whole time. The second time I did not use them. I didn't want my cat drugged for two days. She settled down about 15 minutes into the drive and was fine. My biggest suggestion is to start NOW getting them leash trained (if not already). When you take a gas/potty break, you can then let them out to stretch their own legs. They will be skittish with the car noises but I know it made the difference for my cat. Also, the grocery stores sell disposable litter boxes (litter is in it and it is small)....I highly suggest one for your overnight. What ever discision you make.....just remember....if you feel all cramped in the will kitty. Good Luck!

03-26-2012, 11:42 PM
I agree with shooting for 2 days/1 night, and try to make the first day longer. You'll want to check out pet policies at hotels before you go, too.

Start taking the kitties on car trips that are NOT to the vet now - you may have enough time to make the car less of a scary place before the move.

Definitely ask the vet about sedatives, and try them out before the trip, in case one of your kitties is the oddball that gets hyper on sedatives.

Put one of your dirty tshirts (or hubby's, if they like him more) :p in the cat carrier on the trip, so your scent is near.

03-27-2012, 12:23 AM
thank you all for your feed back!

we will probably be trying to acclimate the cats to the carrier a little more in the following months (maybe 30-60 minute drives)... but the idea of putting a leash on them makes me laugh. they won't even wear collars. they figured out how to snap the break away collars open and take them off. before they figured it out they were spazzing out trying to get them off, so i doubt a leash will go over well at all. though it would be comical to watch. they currently run and hide when i bring out their collars and try to put them on.

as far as pills go: my cats won't take them. the last time i tried to give them pills i ended up with so many cuts on my arms i'm surprised i don't have scars. they bit and scratched and were decidedly not calm, so i doubt any kind of tranquilizer would work. the one time i managed to get the pill into one of the cats' throat... she promptly turned around and gagged until she threw up.

all of the hotels i've mapped out for our trip are pet-friendly hotels, i think they may charge a small fee for the extra cleaning, but that's expected. but i did make sure to only include hotels that allow pets.

03-27-2012, 12:49 AM
I would say take the longer drive. I say that based on knowing that my cat would flip out if she was in a car that long in one day, let alone two. After a few hours, she's done and just cries and cries. Also if you're not big on extended car rides, it breaks it apart. You won't be as worn out and stiff from being in a car either.

03-27-2012, 09:06 AM
My wife and I have made that distance many times when we had our 2nd home in Washington. Right at 1,150 miles.

We always head out early, about 3:30am to get through L.A. traffic then we are home free. We both share the driving with me doing the first and last parts.

I make it a MUST point to stop about every 100 miles for safety reasons. Even if it's just to get out of the car for 5 minutes to stretch. It really doesn't add that much to the trip.

We always take out the biggest part of the trip in the first day, getting from southern California into mid-Oregon the first day. Then up early and into our destination before noon the next.

1,100 miles is very doable (weather permitting) in 2 solid days w/o pushing it.

And I agree with tranquilizers for the cats, we do it for one of our dogs and it helps a lot.

Good luck, have fun, but most of all BE SAFE!!

03-27-2012, 09:25 AM
When I need to give my cat a tablet I first bribe her with some cat milk (get them when they're sleepy) then we wrap her in a towel so no clawing or anything. Put the tablet in her throat she swallows and then some more cat milk. Might stop them trying to gag it up afterwards :)

03-27-2012, 10:53 AM
When I drove across the country the first time I had two cats. I'm sure I was JUST as stressed as they were. I had to give them to my grandmother which she still has them because when I moved back home my mother's cat is a mean little witch. It took me about 5 days to drive 3500km with them. So go with what you feel, if you have the money to take three days do, or just do it in two, to get there faster and get it over with.

03-27-2012, 10:55 AM
I'd also say two nights. We did a similar drive from Colorado to Maryland and took 3 nights but there were no pets involved.

03-28-2012, 11:35 PM
Two days is probably better although I only know from regular 9 hour trips between Memphis and SC. My friend did Greenville to Houston with her cat and went straight through. She said that she should have stopped at the 2/3 point so she was more rested for when she arrived and so that the cat wasn't so disgruntled upon arrival. It's gonna be hot so consider your driving hours and avoiding rush hour in the major cities you will go through.

03-29-2012, 12:05 AM
yeah we'll probably be leaving on a saturday or sunday to avoid most 'rush hour' type traffic... definitely don't want to hit atlanta during rush hour *shudder*

03-29-2012, 09:57 AM
When we travel with our dogs, we stop at a nearby Red Roof Inn and Motel 6 and pick-up a directory for each just before the trip (since we know we will need a pet friendly place and they are pretty much nation-wide). We get a good night's sleep and wake up when we wake up (no alarm), shower, eat breakfast, etc. We don't rush, but we don't laze about either. Then we leave. We drive until we feel we are ready to stop for the day. If we have been more stressed in the days leading up to the trip, we tend to have a shorter first day. Anyway... when we feel we are about ready to stop for the day, we pull out the directories and a map and find the next hotel location on our path, call them and reserve a room, and arrive soon after. Get a good night's sleep and start again the next day. Whether you get there in 2 or 3 days, you will more than likely get there without feeling like you have been through the ringer, because you have not stressed yourself out with having to reach a driving goal each day. In all our years of traveling together (appx 20), we have only had one night of one trip where we had to drive an extra hour longer than we had wanted to, because there weren't any rooms, so the risk of that has been very small, and in that case, we grabbed dinner, spent a couple of hours at the park with the dogs, and continued on down the road feeling much better for the break.

Because your cats are not experienced travelers, and because they will not keep a collar on, I would definitely have them micro-chipped before you go. If, heaven forbid, something happens, you stand a much greater chance of being reunited if they have been chipped.

Also, consider picking up some Rescue Remedy (it's good for humans and animals). I do a lot of rescue dog transports, and we recommend putting that in their water before, during, and for about a day after the transport just to help with the stress levels. It can be found at most health food stores and Whole Food Markets.

Good Luck!

03-29-2012, 12:27 PM
they have been microchipped, so we have that in our favor. their previous owner had it done (we adopted them at a little over 2 years old) and we have the info for it along with their medical history all neatly organized in a folder we can just pick up and carry.

i had not heard of 'rescue remedy' i will have to check into that. thanks. :)

03-29-2012, 01:53 PM
When I was at the vet recently. he had me take off my dogs leash and he gave me one to put on him, the vet says they can't get out of it. It was easy to put on, he didn't even know I was doing it and my dog dosen't want any kind of handling around his neck. I noticed all patients wer being put into the vet's leash. Granted I was on the dog side of the vet's office but I would ask your vet if they have something similar for cats. When I have to give my dog a pill I slip it into a frankfurter, he doesn't even know it is there and scarfs it right down as that is a rare treat. What food does your cat just love? What special treat ? See if you can hide a trank into something the cats love. My son drove a cat and dog from San Francisco Bay area to San Diego, they both had tranks before the left and slept all the way.