Moving long distance with your cat can be a difficult and unpredictable process. Cats are sensitive creatures that require care, attention, and comfort to feel safe in their environment. Cats generally don’t love moving. According to expert advice by ASPCA and WebMD, a move can create fear responses in cats including crying, hiding, and aggression. But while a move is a big change for them, it is possible to reduce the stress your pet feels during the entire trip till you get to your destination. For those who want to move but have a cat at home, keep reading for our guide on moving long distance with your cat!

How to move long distance with your cat ~ Bellhop Bellhop Blog

Prepare your cat for the journey

Preparing your cat for the journey is usually a busy time. You can pre-train your cat to be accustomed to long-distance travel road trips by getting them used to drive around regularly in their cat carrier(preferably a sturdy carrier). Rather than being an arduous trip the entire time, travel for your cat would be easier because of this preparation. The cat dislikes any kind of travel. However, it will increase their comfort as the car is recognized as a safe place to travel. So, car rides should be as comfortable for your cat as possible.

Think about the carrier’s comfort. Minimize the amount of sound and direct sunlight or a sunny spot. You should decrease the volume of your radio if possible. Honking horns and strange engine noises can also increase stress. Take with you bottles of water, containing plenty of water, to avoid giving different-tasting water to your cat. This estimate includes about a gallon of water for a one-way trip. And, it must be water from home. Different water may upset cats. Ride as smoothly as possible. Avoid hard braking, too. Drive smoothly and gently in general. This will make things a little more calming for moving long distance with your cat.

Let your cat get used to the carrier

Beyond ensuring that the acceptable carrier is suitable and comfortable for your cat, you must make sure it is large enough for it and has not to crate darkness. So, ensure that the cat must be able to stand in the crate or carrier without touching the ceiling. Adventures with kitty using hard plastic carriers are strongly recommended. With this, your cat is safe in case of an accident. Clearly, the carrier you choose should be ventilated. By getting your cat accustomed to the leash and carrier, it will be a useful exercise, and the familiarity it experiences will reduce the impact of stress.

Visit the vet

Before your trip, you should be sure to give your cat a health check up. Make sure that its health records are checked. Ensure the cat is checked for chronic health concerns and other chronic health issues, and there is nothing wrong with it that could affect the trip in any way! Tell your vet that you are moving long distance with your cat, and listen closely if they have advice on how best to get through the process. If not sedative medications are advised but do consult them first because different cats will react differently based on their age or temperament so make sure you know what’s safe for yours beforehand. Also, remember to get a pet first-aid kit at the vet clinic, if you don’t have it.

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Plan for stopovers

Remember, cats do not travel well. Therefore, depending on the duration of your trip you will need to consider stopovers along the way. Let them have a break and investigate pet-friendly hotels before booking in advance. Your stopovers could also be for a food break.

Feed your cat before the trip

It is recommended that you feed your cat at least four hours before the trip, but it can be even longer. The ideal amount of time for cats to digest food properly and avoid getting car sick or developing a case of indigestion during their travels are between three-four hours. Feed them enough so they won’t get hungry on your way. Make sure your cat receives the right nutrition 24-48 hours before the trip.

Properly secure the carrier

Never forget that cats dislike traveling. A relaxed, stress-free, and safe experience is required. Make sure the carrier is secured using the seatbelt while ensuring the carrier doors are the right fit. This will make moving long distance with your cat a little easier. Prevent unnecessary movement and improve safety in the event of an accident. To ensure that the cat is not able to escape, make sure the carrier’s door is firmly shut. This will prevent mishaps.

Make the trip as comfortable as possible

With your carrier secure, you have to now focus on the actual driving. Try not to avoid any potholes or bumpy roads where possible! Keep in mind that this drive is a silent one. Cats love silence and detest loud noises so keep the radio off for best results; low volume will suffice if necessary but it’s always better when there are no distractions at all from outside noise sources as these may contribute uncontrollably with unpredictable reactions by cats during their long journey home.

Spread out your cat’s toys and other possessions

Making your cat’s new environment as comfortable and friendly as possible is important. Cats are naturally less accepting of change, so you want to make the transition for them easier by making it seem like home or at least not such a shock. Remember that cats have an inherent aversion to change due to their territorial nature – If they had been given choice, they would’ve preferred staying in familiar territory where there were fewer changes. This is why when welcoming your pet into its new surroundings be mindful of all aspects which may cause discomfort.

The Better Way to Move

It can be tough when your cat has to move homes. One way you can make them feel at home is by bringing a sense of familiarity into their new place and surrounding them with his favorite things such as toys, a food bowl, or litter box where he feels most comfortable. By doing this they will take comfort in knowing what’s around the corner from getting back to feeling like themselves again.

Spend time with your cat

It’s no surprise that pets are often the most steadfast companions in our lives. Whether you’ve been a cat person your whole life or adopted one after moving into an apartment, there is something special about having them around – and it goes both ways! It might be worrisome if they don’t seem to like their new surroundings right away, but with some time spent talking, playing games together (and maybe even getting him/her used to his litter box), everything will come back for good as soon as he starts purring again.

What if you can’t drive your cat yourself?

For those who don’t have a car, or prefer not to drive when they’re driving their pet across the country; there’s a way out! There are many professional road pet shipping companies that could help you get your cat from anywhere to the destination address with no hassle and worry. All varieties of pets can be transported safely by these professionals at competitive prices too! Private drivers will work closely with you to provide safety measures for any extraordinary needs during this long journey so both the driver’s vehicle and your cat are safe on their way out there. Your cat can also enjoy an all-night ride if you so want.

Once you have found a driver that suits your needs, you can contact them through their email address or phone call, and they will help to make sure that the ride is smooth. You can arrange for an exact pick up and drop off time with them so there are no unpleasant surprises along the way. The drivers also stay in touch throughout the journey just like a family would do! In case you find yourself without high quality litter boxes or other necessary supplies for traveling cats, one of our top-notch professionals has what it takes to lend those necessities as well.

For those making a move with a cat that need additional help, Bellhop can help in these cities and more:

We’d also like to offer this guide for assistance on comparing moving company quotes.

Transporting your cat by air over a long distance

Many considerations come with transporting a cat by airline travel. First, do you have the proper carrier for flying or air in-cabin carrier? Air travel is stressful for your cat for the couple hours it will be on board, and it’s important to make them as comfortable as possible in their crate. It is particularly important to put the quality of the crate in mind, ensuring it has crate openings. And as long as the crates have been pre-approved by the airline company, then they would be fine the entire trip.

Transporting cats via airplane may seem like an overwhelming task but there are plenty of features that can help ease some of this stress such: having enough space at home or work before leaving so your cat feels safe in his new environment.

When flying, you have less control. You place your cat in a carrier and have it stowed in the cat into the cargo hold. Comfort, familiarity, and the personalized aspects of traveling in the vehicle will be eliminated. This is a huge disadvantage of transporting your cat by air, considering the previously mentioned fact that cats hate to travel. 


Other Long-Distance Moving Guides

Long-distance moves are undeniably tricky. We’ve put together a few guides to help you manage some of the thornier points of a long-distance move. And of course, if you need help with your long-distance move, just give us a call. 

Harrison Stevens