Monday, April 30, 2012

Cat About Town

When you're moving 1700 miles, the first question a lot of people ask is, are you giving away the animals?

Our answer: Emphatically no!

We will be moving with 4 cats, 3 dogs, a turtle and a tortoise. The fish have been for the most part rehomed, which was an emotional journey of itself, but I was seriously worried that they would not survive the trip. I located some homes, and they went off to them and have been doing well.

Of course the dogs are used to traveling and should pose no trouble.

Turtles are silent, I can't imagine there should be much trouble with them in the car.

Cats, on the other hand... Cats are a whole different ballgame to travel with. I have traveled with cats long distances before. Most do really, really well in the car after the first couple hours. However, our cats now are not normal cats. Bella hates being confined. Period. She hates it. She also hates change of any type. Neptune gets so severely car sick that I can't take him more than 8 miles without him getting violently ill. So we're taking precautions with this trip.
What trip?

We have been slowly desensitizing the cats to different aspects of car travel. They're eating in crates every night, and we have a particularly cozy crate equipped with blankets located in a sunny window where they sleep, and occasionally the door gets shut.

A couple have gone for car rides, just short times to get them used to going into a kennel and ending back up where they started.

We are also using Feliway, which is a cat calming spray. We have used the diffusers when on vacation, and it helped tremendously. For the trip we ordered the spray, and also a collar that has the same ingredients. The collar will go on Neptune who is the most stressed cat in general, and who also gets extremely car sick. Since he'll be riding in proximity with the other cats I'm hoping they'll all benefit.

In addition to that, I've ordered Spirit Essences. These are flower essences that were developed by a vet. Jackson Galaxy on My Cat From Hell, uses these in all the cats on his program. After talking to the company (very friendly and helpful people) I ordered Changing Times and Travel Helper. We are currently starting to give Bach's Rescue Remedy, but when these arrive, we will switch to these remedies instead.

I've also trained Neptune to walk on a harness and leash. He's really bonded to us, and hates to be left home. I'm hoping that a harness will allow him to occasionally get out to exercise safely when we walk the dogs.

If nothing else, the preparations make me feel a little better. It's going to be a memorable trip, I'm aiming for it to be memorable in a good way.

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