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There is a lot of good information about moving with cats or traveling cross country with cats. Why someone would take their cats on an unnecessary car trip is a behavior I don’t understand, but that is an extremely large category of human behavior.

But here is what I did.

  1. When packing up the house your cats will notice something is going on. Start using Feliway to help reduce their stress. One day Winzton (the large toast colored  cat) sat on our stairs that no longer had any photos or art on them and cried. It just about broke my heart. We took both of the boys to the vet and he recommended starting with Feliway. They had started to fight more too. The other recommendation of our vet was to add a urine support food to their diet at soon as possible as male cats can have a lot of urine issues related to stress. They didn’t like the first kind we got, so we forked out the big bucks for the Hill’s Prescription Diet food. It is less expensive than replacing all of our furniture. Bonhomie has always loved to dart through open doors and spent a lot of packing time stuck in all kinds of odd places.

bo helping pack He eventually figured out how to open these and some cupboard doors.

2. I took about 2 weeks to get my cats used to eating their food in their crates. I gave them lots of extra treats and sprayed each of the crates with Feliway. They got more comfortable, if not happy, with this practice.

3. I have had to plan for at least one week in the extended stay hotel. This has been very challenging for all of us. Bo is very active (when not in a cupboard). He also likes to dart out doors. We got a Prevue Pet Products Premium 4 level cat come and a OneFast Cat treadmill. The boys helped me assemble their new cat home.

home away from home bohome away from home win

4. We got some over the counter Dramamine to help with motion sickness and anxiety on the trip. I also picked up a copy of our cats’ most current immunizations. I taped the immunization page into the front cover of my calendar. You may need it if checking in to a pet friendly hotel with your cats.

5. The day we closed on our house in Wisconsin (yeah!) we (attempted) to give our kitties each a dose of Dramamine, but Winzton just kept spitting it out. The key to giving a cat a pill is to get it into their mouth and hold said mouth closed. Rub the cat’s throat to help encourage swallowing. It worked with Bonhomie. Not that we could really tell. They both vocalized (cried) for the first hour in the car. We gave them the medicine before the paperwork and kept them in their crates in a quiet room in our neighbor’s house. We picked them up and hit the road. We already had a reservation for a pet friendly hotel in Ohio.

6. One thing that really helped was that we stopped after about an hour of driving and covered the kennels with sheets. I think both stopping and covering them helped. When they would hear my voice they would start crying again so we put on some podcasts. If my husband and I responded to what was said, so did the cats. So, we tried listening to Enya. I listen to this when I am falling asleep and when my migraines are bad. Both cats became quiet! After that we started listening to an audio book, which I frequently do to manage my migraine. They were ok with that too. It was really hot when we were driving so at all of the stops one of us humans stayed in the van with the AC running. It made for some unhealthy eating, but the kitties usually quieted down at all of our stops.

7. When we got to our hotel I carried the litter box and my husband carried the cats in their kennels into the bathroom. We had to put one of the kennels into the bathtub, but I let them out of the kennels in the bathroom while my better half brought everything in from the van. I gave them fresh water and lots of treats and attention. We had put small dishes of water in each of the kennels but neither one drank anything. One other suggestion that may have been helpful was to bring bottles of water from home for them. Bo ate a few treats at one point, but they weren’t interested in water, food or litter box on the drive. When we opened the bathroom door I got out one of their flying toys to get some exercise. Winzton was not interested in anything. Can you see his paws peaking out from under the bed skirt?

hiding in hotel

8. The second day of driving we decided not to medicate and it turned out not to make a great difference. We continued with the audio book and Bo vocalized for about an hour. After we stopped for our first break he stopped. I think that making that first stop after a bit of driving may be recommended.

9. At the hotel we did the bathroom routine again and they found some places they liked. Sorry about the quality of the photos. My good camera battery needs to be charged and the charger ended up getting stored in one of the pods until we move into our house. I’m really curious to see what all made it into the pods.

cats hiding in bathroom

Our hotel suite is a little smaller than I expected so there isn’t room for the cage and the OneFastCat treadmill. We have had the cage open to get them used to it. Housekeeping is weekly here and I’m trying to get them ready for that. I plan to keep both of them in the cage while cleaning goes on. I will also stay in the room just in case. I want to give the treadmill a chance because they are not getting enough activity during the day to let us sleep all night.

We are settling in and look forward exploring and to our small house. It will seem spacious after our sweet little suite! I’m grateful for all the friends and family who helped us leave Wisconsin and that we were able to sell our home there so quickly! I’m grateful for my husband and the new adventure we are about to embark on together. I’m grateful for seeing my husband! It had been a while since we had seen each other. I’m grateful to the Candlewood Inn and Suites which is providing our cats and selves with a temporary home away from home.

cats getting settled in nj.jpg