Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

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Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby 22/7 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:50 pm UTC

So, my girlfriend bought a cat. And she is frickin' adorable. Her name is Turbo Pascal and she is pictured below.
Image

So in about a month and a half I'll be driving home (roughly 12-13 hour trip) for a couple of weeks and taking the cat with me (because my gf's family is allergic to cats, and she'll be away from her apt for at least a week as well. We've checked with other friends who own pets in the area and none of them are an option at this point. Basically, the cat's coming with me, and I'm very, very happy about it). So the question is, has anyone else ever taken a cat on a long car trip like this, and do you have any advice. My main concern is about the litter box situation. I'm pretty confident I can get her food and water for the day, but cats are not like dogs, in that you can't put them on a leash and just train them to go outside (especially just for one day). Any suggestions?
Last edited by 22/7 on Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Belial » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:51 pm UTC

If you can get a reasonably small, self-contained, and covered litter box, you can just put it on the back seat. Clean it out in an open area when necessary.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby 22/7 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

Yeah, I thought about that. I think I may need to rig up some kind of device to hold the thing in place, as I really don't want it flying around while I'm driving, especially if Turbo is inside making it heavier when it happens.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Angelene » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:15 pm UTC

Sedate her for the trip! Oh, such a cute cat though, we had one *just* like that but she disappeared one day never to return...wait... :shock:
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby ZeroSum » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:21 pm UTC

Just don't feed her in the 10 or so hours before the trip and sedate her and she'll do 12 hours fine in a carrier.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Moo » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:25 pm UTC

CaraInFrames wrote:Sedate her for the trip!
Most definitely seconded. Cats do NOT like car travel.

Also, cats don't always adapt to a new environment. Whenever we moved to a new house my mom used to always put the cat's blanket in a large closet (so it smelled like home) with his food and water and stays with him in a reassuring kind of way until he doesn't want to run away anymore the second you open the door.
This always seemed to work well.

Also, wish I had a kitty :(
Also, love the name! :)
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Flying Betty » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:26 pm UTC

They make disposable litter boxes. You can get one and jam it into the back seat and that thing won't go anywhere. If it's just you in the car, I would recommend getting a cat carrier or other box to keep her in while you drive, and let her out at rest stops to use her litter box. Even with a leash, a free cat can be inconvenient. Their favorite places to be are either directly under the brake pedal or on top of the driver's head.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Moo » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:40 pm UTC

Flying Betty wrote:Their favorite places to be are either directly under the brake pedal or on top of the driver's head.
That made me laugh. That is such a cat thing to do.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby space_raptor » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:49 pm UTC

Can I suggest modifying the name to "Turbo Pascal, Destroyer of Worlds"?

I just think that would be funny to have on the tags.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby libellule » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:08 pm UTC

Drove from Arizona to Alabama with kitty in car. He HATED it. He didn't, however, go to the loo during the driving part, and hung on til we stopped overnight. YMMV though, so a disposable kitty box might be a good thing. Be prepared for a lot of yowling. And if you've ever wondered how long a cat can yowl without losing his voice, i didn't find out.

Please don't sedate the kitty unless you let the vet do it. Adorable kitty.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:11 am UTC

A vet can provide some tranquilizers that will help calm the cat down during the ride. Most tranqs will last for a couple of hours, so the vet might prescribe enough to help with the long journey. If it takes more than two hours, the vet will tell you to give the cat a pill every two hours or so.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Master Gunner » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:43 am UTC

I remember moving from Ontario to the East Coast a few years back with my friend Catherine. From what I heard, I'm so glad he was in the other vehicle with my father and brother for most of the trip. They really hate cars, even when sedated. Seriously, a few days ago I had to pick my friend Catherine up from the vet after he had surgery (he got an overgrown tooth removed), and was very heavily sedated. Didn't stop him from moving around and making some noise in the car though. So sedating your cat will help, but don't expect it to solve everything. Pit stops every couple hours of course, and just take her out and comfort her, in addition to letting her use the loo.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby sethicus » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:14 am UTC

I had a kitty that would sit on my shoulder while I drove. This, however, is not common. She really loved to go for rides.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Shro » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:17 am UTC

I wonder what the occurrence is between cats who like cars and cars that sound like big kitties. Do kitties like certain types of engines, etc.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby bookishbunny » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:21 am UTC

There are these big carrying cases that have soft walls (as opposed to rigid) and the strap onto the front passenger seat. They are mostly made of mesh, so there can be lots of interaction & visual contact.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Hexadecimator » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:21 am UTC

Take her for a short car ride and see how she handles it. If she's ok with it then great; otherwise, you'll want to talk to your vet about tranquelizers.
2 of our past 3 cats have been just fine in the car. Our current kitty does ok, but we sedate her to make it less traumatic.


No answer for the litter box question though, longest we've travelled is 3hrs.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Flying Betty » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:41 am UTC

Moo: I heart you for that picture! Fortunately I wasn't the driver for the cat-on-head incident. It was much funnier being an observer.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby miles01110 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:55 pm UTC

Kittens don't care as much about driving as older cats. What I do is I put my two kittens in the carrier for a few hours, then stop and feed them and let them go to the bathroom, then repeat. I wouldn't let them run around free in the car though, they might miss the litter box or fly out the window if it's open or something.

You don't need to worry about the litter bx slipping and sliding if you put enough litter in it, especially if it's just highway driving. If you are spending 12-13 hours driving on backroads, then I pity you greatly.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Eleven » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:52 pm UTC

I had to take my friend Catherine on a 3-day trip from New York to Florida (it was supposed to be about 18 hours, but that just happened to be when I-95 was closed through Virginia. Not a pet-friendly hotel? WELL YA ARE NOW!). It wasn't bad because A.) He likes car trips, and B.) He slept most of the time. A blanket over the carrier usually put him to sleep for a good four hours.

Everyone here is giving good advice, just also remember not to give her treats in the car. Cats are good at projectile vomit. And usually cats will go to the bathroom about an hour after eating (not sure for drinking), so you can time it roughly and stop once she goes and dump the box. Did I mention projectile vomit? You may want to spread newspaper in front of the carrier.

Also, BEST. KITTY. NAME. EVER.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:31 pm UTC

Eleven wrote:I had to take my friend Catherine on a 3-day trip from New York to Florida (it was supposed to be about 18 hours, but that just happened to be when I-95 was closed through Virginia. Not a pet-friendly hotel? WELL YA ARE NOW!). It wasn't bad because A.) He likes car trips, and B.) He slept most of the time. A blanket over the carrier usually put him to sleep for a good four hours.

Everyone here is giving good advice, just also remember not to give her treats in the car. Cats are good at projectile vomit. And usually cats will go to the bathroom about an hour after eating (not sure for drinking), so you can time it roughly and stop once she goes and dump the box. Did I mention projectile vomit? You may want to spread newspaper in front of the carrier.

Also, BEST. KITTY. NAME. EVER.


I KNOW! I was quite excited that Turbo Pascal was the name that she chose (she's not actually my friend Catherine, but my GF's), especially since I was used to good names (my parents named my two siamese mixes Bailey and Kahlua). I think I might buy her a bigger carrier (she's got kind of a tiny one right now) and pad it some and throw a blanket over it for a decent chunk of it. I kind of hate the idea of her not being able to walk around in the car, but it'll be a relatively short trip (2 weeks) so I'll probably be able to get most of what I'm taking into the trunk, and maybe let her wander around a bit. Not quite sure, just yet. She's done a pretty good job on short rides so far, so maybe I'll take her on an hour long one to test the theory.

Thanks all for the suggestions. Keep em coming if you've got new ones!
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Delbin » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:32 pm UTC

If possible, get her used to a harness before you leave. That way if she dashes out of the car or goes through the window, she won't choke herself on the leash. Cats can do their business outside in the grass, but I'd definitely reccommend a litter box. We used to bring one of our cats everywhere and he would use the litterbox immediately when he went in the car. They're just used to them.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Umlaut » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:48 pm UTC

Cat's will do their business outside without any trouble, but if their isn't loose dirt or sand, be prepared for feces on the paws...
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby ZeroSum » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:30 pm UTC

You may be able to then just bring a bag of kitty litter and sprinkle it on the ground and bring your cat to it when you stop...

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:55 pm UTC

definitely take the cat on a trial run or two in the car to make sure that the cat won't be horribly scarred by this trip. I've known a few cats that really didn't mind the car- my kitty right now can't go on any length of car ride- she gets sick and throws up. Not a pretty sight.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby PictureSarah » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:04 pm UTC

Last winter I brought my kitty on a 7-ish hour plane ride. Get some sedatives from the vet. Don't give the kitty enough to knock it out completely, but enough to make it pretty drowsy...it won't are that it's in the car, and it probably won't need to use the bathroom.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:31 pm UTC

She's done ok in a couple of 20 minute car rides (both times not in a carrier) and was a *very* unhappy camper in one roughly 20 minute car ride *in* a carrier, so I think I might allow her to be out and about for maybe a half hour or an hour and see how she does. Thinking I'll probably get some sedatives as a back up. Hate to sedate her if I can help it, but if she's not going to handle it well, I'll probably have to.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Rat » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:33 pm UTC

this thread makes me want to rob an animal hospital

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby DuSTman » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:44 pm UTC

My own intuition on this is that you should bring along a laptop and set it to use the starscape screen saver. Then tape the cats head to the screen.

If it works as I suspect, the cat will enter a trance and not bother you for the time..

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:46 pm UTC

DuSTman wrote:My own intuition on this is that you should bring along a laptop and set it to use the starscape screen saver. Then tape the cats head to the screen.

If it works as I suspect, the cat will enter a trance and not bother you for the time..


Awesome. If you need me, I'll be at the store buying a power converter for my car and some ducttape.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Pesto » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:50 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:She's done ok in a couple of 20 minute car rides (both times not in a carrier) and was a *very* unhappy camper in one roughly 20 minute car ride *in* a carrier, so I think I might allow her to be out and about for maybe a half hour or an hour and see how she does.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Khonsu » Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:41 am UTC

What Belial said, but if you have anything tighter in back than a Ford Taurus, you'll want to wedge the litter box (HER litter box, the one your girlfriend uses for her) between your seat and the backseat on the floor. It will not slide or move because litter boxes are very bottom heavy.

Sedating would be a good idea for an older cat, but a little kitten is fine. She'll love the trip, just be certain to crack the back windows about an inch when you go pee/eat at a rest stop if you leave her in the car, and make sure you're holding onto her nape when you get back into the car. You do not want to lose a kitten on a highway. Trust me, I've seen it happen and it's horrific.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Devilsaur » Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:35 am UTC

If you're going to put her a carrying thing for the trip, I'd recommend putting her into it before you start packing everything up. Remember, they will know what's going on and they can sense evil.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Rey » Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:09 am UTC

Starting at the end of the summer some friends and I started moving from Ohio to New York. Part of this was moving 12 cats ages 1.5 years to about 4 years old on a 11 hour trip. Of that only three had ever been on a long trip before. We had enough pet cages in the car to fill it from floor to ceiling. As far as the a litter box was concerned if the cat needed it we had on that we could set up on the passengers side of the car at a rest stop. Like an idiot I fed my two cats before the trip. Personally I was anticipating a 11 hour cat chorus.

The end result of all this. A most of them cried for the first 2 hours. Thats it. We didn't even break out the litter box. None of the cats made a mess. Nor are any of them showing any mental problems. The funny part of this is one of the cats was know to not like car rides at all. It was one of the three that came from Wisconsin. It cried the whole way From WI to OH.
They all ended up with the flu a week later but thats not surprising considering they came from 3 different house holds.

As far as driving around with the cat loose in the car, bad idea. If its still small it could get into the dash. It might decide to sleep next to the brake petal. Yes you could pick it up from there but can you do it with your eyes on the road. No matter were it is, if you hit the brake what will happen to a cat.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby bookishbunny » Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:46 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:You may be able to then just bring a bag of kitty litter and sprinkle it on the ground and bring your cat to it when you stop...


That's not a bad idea, assuming the kitty is in on a leash. my friend Catherine can't stay out of freshly poured litter. I would suggest Swheat Scoop. It's made out of wheat and nothing else, so you can probably just push it into some shrubbery. (it's also flushable)
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby 22/7 » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:15 pm UTC

Just to update. Took Turbo on a 45 minute "test run" today (highway) and she did really well. She *really* hates being in the carrier, but she's ok with laying down for most of the time. She did try and get under my feet initially, but after I said no (twice) she settled in and pretty much just layed there looking cute. She never seemed car sick or anything like that, so I think we're in business. May stop by the vet to get some tranqs just in case things go sour somewhere down the line.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby MotorToad » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:42 pm UTC

If the cat didn't mind that, I'd say go with a box in the floor of the back seat.

When I moved to college I put my friend Catherine in a cardboard box and he thought poorly of that. He was strong/bright/tough enough to bust out of the box and everything was great once he was free. He did a full lap of the car, then sat on my lap for the remainder of the trip. It was just a couple of hours, though. Certainly you wouldn't want to allow the cat to get in the vicinity of the pedals.
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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby ZeroSum » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:46 pm UTC

My first cat when in the car would do nothing but sit on the area behind the back seats in the rear window and cry the whole time.

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby libellule » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:47 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:...She did try and get under my feet initially, but after I said no (twice) she settled in ...

Are you sure this is a cat?

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby Seven » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:30 am UTC

Some cats are actually OK with travel (some are wonderful). You just won't know until you try it. Some adjust nicely - and some never do.

PS - she's sooooo pretty!!! :D

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Re: Kitty! No really though, I need some suggestions...

Postby 22/7 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:21 pm UTC

libellule wrote:
22/7 wrote:...She did try and get under my feet initially, but after I said no (twice) she settled in ...

Are you sure this is a cat?


HAHAHA. Yes, I am. She's normally pretty stubborn about things, but I think the new environment made her a little more cautious and "persuadable" with pettins.

Seven wrote:PS - she's sooooo pretty!!! :D

I KNOW! I'm *ridiculously* excited about having her for the 15 or so days that I'll be home. I just hope she gets along with my parents' two cats.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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