Any cat owner knows the ordeal of taking cats anywhere. First, you have to find them—not an easy task when they’re hiding under a bed, in a closet, or on top of the fridge. Then, you have to encourage them to enter their carrier, a step that often requires kitty treat bribes and promises of wet food dinners for life.
It’s hard enough to take cats a couple of blocks down the street to the vet. So what about moving cats across the country? You want to make them comfortable during the hustle and bustle of packing, and you also want to keep them content during the long journey.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll discuss all you need to know about how to transport cats across the country. By following these tips, you’ll make your felines less prone to show you their claws and more willing to give you affection no matter the distance.
How to Move Cats Across Country
Before moving your cats across the country, it’s important to know that cats generally hate changes to their environment. Cats are creatures of habit, and they tend to get anxious when their homes (and owners) are full of excitement. Even moving their litter box might cause them to panic.
That said, there are things you can do to make your cats feel at ease while their toys are boxed and their cat tree is disassembled. Below are a few tips to follow if you want to make your cats content before the move and during the journey.1
Tip #1: Schedule Vet Visits Well Before the Move
If you’re moving to a state that doesn’t require any additional vaccinations, you may be able to skip this step. However, if you’re moving somewhere that requires vaccines your cats currently don’t have, it’s wise to schedule a vet visit well before the move.
The problem is that while some cats like going to the vet, many cats don’t. Don’t add extra stress to your cats’ new adventures by scheduling a visit a day before the move.
Your playful felines already have enough on their plates. Make their pre-move preparations as easy as possible by taking care of vet visits sooner rather than later. Call your vet to schedule that appointment well in advance so your furry friend can have some recovery time between the dreaded vet trip and the big move.
Tip #2: Get Suitable Carriers Ahead of Time
Chances are you already have carriers for your cats. However, if these carriers are too small or too uncomfortable, you’ll want to get different carriers.
If you’re flying, and have come to terms with the answer to “how much does it cost to fly a dog or cat?” you should also be aware of airline carrier regulations. The following regulations generally apply to all airlines:2
- Cargo – Although many airlines allow pets to fly in the cabin, some airlines may require pets to be entered as cargo.
- Weight limits – Most airlines will allow pets up to 18 inches long and weighing 11-12 pounds to fly in the cabin, but some airlines have different regulations.
- Carrier limits – Your cats’ carriers should be small enough to fit beneath your seats. Additionally, carriers should have waterproof bottoms, adequate ventilation, security so your furry friends can’t escape, and enough toys to keep cats occupied.
If driving, you should still do all you can to make your cats’ journey as pleasant as possible. If you’re spending hours and hours in a car, your cats will want to stretch their legs, find comfortable napping positions, and maybe even have enough room to play with a toy during the journey.
Regardless of the mode of transportation, it may be wise to help ease your cats’ worried thoughts and feelings by giving them CBD.
Natural and plant-based, Canna-Pet Advanced Small Capsules can help your cats feel at ease during their trip to their new home.
Tip #3: Make Cats Comfortable as Possible
Similar to the above tip, this tip involves making your cats’ carriers warm, friendly, and inviting. The last thing you want is your cats spending 18+ hours in the car with nothing to do.
The following are smart ways to make your cats’ carriers feel like temporary homes:
- Make sure their carriers are large enough for them to move around.
- Keep warm, cozy blankets on the bottoms.
- Place—but don’t overstuff—the carriers with toys.
- Make room for snacks and water, but be sure to remove them when they are finished so tuna bites don’t spill all over your Volvo.
If your cats are especially calm, you might be able to make their trips even better by letting them outside of their carriers. To do this, get seat belt harnesses and attach them to their collars.
Tip #4: Introduce Cats to Their Travel Environment
Obviously, this is way more difficult to do if you’re flying, but if you’re driving, it’s good to get your cats acclimated to your vehicle.
Before the long drive, take your cats on a series of shorter drives to see how they do. If they show symptoms of car sickness, roll down the windows. If they show signs of restlessness, you may need to upgrade their carriers.
Introducing cats to their travel environment early also helps you plan your travel space. By placing them in the car in their carriers, you’ll know how much space they’ll take up. This means you won’t have to frantically move belongings over to the moving van during moving day.
Tip #5: ID Cats Properly
You’ll need to get your cats a tag with their new address anyway, so why not do it before the move? Getting your cats fitted with new tags before their move will also ease your mind in the unfortunate case that they escape during the moving process.
Be sure your new address is on their tags, as well as your phone number. Don’t forget to let your neighbors know where you’re moving to in case your cats escape during the hustle and bustle of moving and head back to a familiar setting.