Moving from Vermont to Florida

Oct 21st, 2019, 10:09 AM
Original Poster
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Moving from Vermont to Florida

Hello all!

To give a little bit of a background, my husband and I got married when he came back from his last deployment. He is now out of the Marine Corps, and has decided to settle down near his family in Florida. I am currently located in Vermont for school, and he will be flying up on December 12, 2019 to celebrate my 21st birthday, and to help me move down to FL. We plan on beginning our drive to FL on December 19 around 5pm. Our drive starts from Lyndonville, VT and will end in Inverness, FL.

I have two cats, and two dogs, all of which will be coming with me to FL. I am not worried about my dogs as they've done long drives. My husky was raised in NC, and my pitbull was raised in NY (both are rescues and had to travel to get to me). One of my cats gets extremely car sick and hates being in his kennel, while the other falls asleep and loves car rides. My question is, what advice do you have for traveling such a long distance with a cat who gets carsick?

The Hulse Family
kylahulse2019 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2019, 11:11 AM
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Hello, I am the opposite, I want to move to Vermont from Fl. I would go to the vet and get some meds for the cat. I actually bought a harness for my cat when I moved many years ago. That way she got to go out for a bit of exercise on the ride. Good luck on the trip and hope you do ok in the south.
Macross is offline  
Oct 21st, 2019, 11:35 AM
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I would have a crate for each cat. So you are able to contain them at stops without them hopping out of the car accidentally. Definitely ask the vet about meds for the cat who gets car sick.

Are all the animals already chipped (for ID)?
suze is online now  
Oct 21st, 2019, 01:26 PM
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I can definitely relate. My husband was career military and we had two cats for most of that time, so made a handful of cross country drives with them. Our cats did not respond well to meds, but some do, so if you want to try that do it at home before you leave and see how they do. Our cats did best loose in the car, and would just curl up and sleep in the back. They did not like the crate, but anytime we stopped we had to make sure they were in it before we opened the doors.

Also, at hotels be very careful. Cats can and do go under the beds etc and you can spend hours trying to get them out. After once experience of that, we kept them confined to the bathrooms, which was much easier on them as wells us.
mms is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2019, 05:22 PM
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I would ask my vet for advice!

FWIW, my cats also preferred being "free" to being caged, but it definitely created some problems whenever I needed to get out of the car, and that included gas stations. In addition, I felt the need to build a bit of a blocking structure to prevent them from getting under the brake -- I surely didn't want to be unable to stop quickly without killing or injuring one!

Chipping, if not already done, is a great idea!
kja is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2019, 10:18 AM
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It depends on the cat. I've had ones that rode along nicely in the car. I've also have ones that insisted on suddenly leaping onto me, sitting under the gas and break pedals, etc. I believe generally speaking it is better to keep them enclosed both for their own safety, and your own. I've used a harness as well, but also had a cat that slipped it and lost her on the side of the road. Fortunately she was of the personality that returned to me. But scary moments.

If I were doing this trip myself, honestly, I'd have all 4 animals crated for the ride. to me it's like kids in car seats, I don't care if they like it, it's for their own safety.
suze is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2019, 01:17 PM
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Suzeófor safety you can also just use a dog/cat seatbelt. We have an attachment that goes on our dogs harnesses and attaches to the seatbelt. A bit of freedom but totally safe.
mms is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2019, 02:39 PM
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If there was a car accident I don't think harnesses are as safe as a dog in a crate. Everyone of course can make their own decisions on what works for them. But I would not transport 4 animals across 13 states loose in a car.
suze is online now  
Oct 24th, 2019, 07:35 AM
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Well, I just go by the advice of my vets. Our last one for 13 years and our current one of 2 years both recommend the harness/seatbelt, so that is what I go with.
mms is offline  
Oct 26th, 2019, 08:55 PM
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My daughters, husband and I have moved cats and dogs all over the US as well as to and from Europe multiple times, within Europe and from Ireland to the Caribbean. My advice is mostly for cats because I have transported so many.
1. In case of an accident, animals need to be in safe crates. There is less chance of one getting out and be scared and run or get run over.
2. If you do not already have them, get All of the crates right now. Donít get crates for the cats that are too small. They should be able to easily stand up and turn around, etc. and have plenty of room for thick bedding. Get proper bedding for each crate. For the cats, I recommend something really thick and soft with fat rolled sides, (not just those little flat crate mats. They give no protection.) something that will prevent them bouncing around and give them something to grip and curl up in. If they like them, an igloo type, bed works well.
3. Set the crates up in your home right now, with the bedding. Put treats in the crates. Let the crates become your catsí safe place ASAP. They will probably start sleeping in them and that is what is best. By the trip, they will feel happy and secure in the crates.
4. I do train my cats to walk on a leash, but you likely do not have time, so will just have to use a disposable litter box on the trip. I put litter in the box and put the whole thing in a large plastic bag, handy to take out when we need it, or put on the floor of the car.
5. If they will drink it, give them water but only a little food during the day. When you stop at night, feed a good meal and lots of water. I like canned food when we travel so they donít get dehydrated, but dry food is easier if they drink enough.
6. Continue to use the crates in their new home until they are acclimated. Donít let them outside for a month or so. Then, stay with them. During moving is a good time to leash train them, since you can do a lot of it inside.
7. Check with your vet about something for the kitty that gets car sick. With The bedding thickness, the motion may not be so bad, but it is a long trip. If kitty throws up a lot, she/he will need more water. If they get dehydrated, mix clear pedialite with their water and perhaps get some sub-q fluids. I also give my cats clear pedialite by mouth if it seems necessary. Truth is, I have needed it for only two out of many cats, but none of mine ever get car sick. It is not to make you anxious, simply a possibility to watch for.
8. Are they chipped? Even if they are, put break free collars on them with their names and your phone numbers on their tags.
9. Check ahead and reserve hotels that have pet rooms. Some set aside two or three rooms for travelers with pets.

Oh, also, Happy Birthday and thank you for rescuing and caring for animals. Your husband is lucky to have married such a kind hearted person.

Last edited by Sassafrass; Oct 26th, 2019 at 09:01 PM.
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 26th, 2019, 09:44 PM
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@ Sassafrass: What awesome advice! If I ever need to move with cats again, I'm definitely going to be looking for this thread.
kja is offline  
Oct 27th, 2019, 08:40 AM
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The suggestion about keeping cat crates around the house is one I follow. I figure in case of fire or earthquake (I'm in a 3rd-floor apartment, my cat is indoor only) I want it close at hand, not stored in the basement somewhere. My cat's is actually a hard-shell, small dog crate. He doesn't mind it at all, he'll even go into it when I ask (like a quick trip to the vet).
suze is online now  
Oct 27th, 2019, 11:14 PM
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It sometimes isnít practical to use a crate for each animal. My dogs have all been trained to ride in the back seat after the fateful move where the golden retriever refused to get back into his crate halfway through. And I do mean refused. It was leave the crate or leave the dog. We dismantled the crate.

I think harnesses might be safer than crates, because the crate can move around if you donít secure it properly.

absolutely agree on the bathroom and cats. Also agree you need to crate the cats if at all possible, unless they are car trained. Every single time you open your door or window, the dogs and cats need to be in a latched crate, or on a leash, no matter how well behaved. They can easily get scared in new places.

nausea: if cats have a bland food you give them when they have stomach issues, switch to that. Nothing too rich or smelly.

kitty sedatives might not be a bad idea, either. For some cats, it really is stressful to even be outside of their house.

Stop on a a regular basis to let all leash animals stretch their legs. It really helps sanity wise. A move like that isnít a time to just power through. I stop every three-4 hours with current dog. Just a stroll and sniffing and a chance to pee really improves his mood.

when the animals are done, you are done. You donít want them to develop an aversion to the car. Check into a hotel, feed the beasts, get some sleep.

In addition to dog friendly rooms, it pays to scout ahead to find rooms close to potty zone. Thereís one hotel where the bet room is twelve stories up. Awful idea if the elevators are down. Thereís another one where the potty lawn is clear in the other side. Major hassle. Also, try asking for a corner room, or end of hallway. Youíd think being next to the elevator would be useful, but it means the dogs are on high alert every time someone passes by.

if youíre willing to rough it some koas allow pets inside the cabins.

Last edited by marvelousmouse; Oct 27th, 2019 at 11:18 PM.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Oct 28th, 2019, 07:06 AM
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marvelousmouse--We have two Goldens as well That is exactly what our vets have said about crates. And if you are in a really bad accident and the crate goes flying out of the vehicle, they can open and the animal can get loose anode course they usually run off. That has happened so many times that I personally know of, so I stick to our vets recommendations. I did giggle at dismantling the crate. Sounds like our daughters cat. To get him in his crate you literally need to wrap yourself like the Michelin Man. He was feral, so not like a typical household cat.
mms is offline  
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