Whether it’s across town or across the country, these tips can help you make it easier on your furry friends, and yourself!
Prepping for the Move:
- get a harness/collar combo and leash for each pet
- make sure to put them in it well before the trip so they get used to the feeling
- have a pet-care bag so you don’t have to dig for their necessities during and after the move
- water bottles
- bowls (or something to put the water/food in) for meals
- their favorite toys
- litter box and extra litter
- baggies for litter waste
- meds and other necessities that your furry friend needs
- a carrier
- we used the collapsable one from IKEA, which was able to hold two of them for short distances between the truck and hotel room. It was also small enough to go in the truck cab so we always had it on hand (just in case).
- pheromone spray
- this helps to calm them while they get used to new environments (like vehicles, hotel rooms, and your new place)
- if it’s a long move, try taking them on short drives around town leading up to the move so they can get a sense of what’s coming 🙂
The Move Itself – Truck
This is going to vary based on how long your move is! For us, we moved from Indiana to California in a moving truck with a car towed behind on a trailer – meaning lots of stops and overnights in hotels.
Our two kitties rode in the cab of the truck with us while we put their litter box in the car’s passenger seat. This allowed us to grab the litter box each time we stopped for a break and put it up in the cab for the kitties to go as well. With two of us, we were able to go one-at-a-time to the bathroom or fast-food place so the cats were never left alone.
We sprayed the pheromone spray in the cab first thing before bringing the cats out, letting them get used to the smell and vibration of the motor before we opened the flaps to let them not feel trapped during our 30+ hour drive.
Ralphie, 3.5 & on top of the carrier, was an explorer (he loves to go camping and hiking) and quickly took to the experience – climbing out to flop about on our laps as he enjoyed staring out the window. He was particularly fond of the other trucks passing us and would always pause to stare at them. He loved to get out with us (on his leash) at less busy truck stops so he could sniff around and explore. The surprised looks are always fun~
Princess, 1.5 & in the carrier, was wild before we adopted her just months before our move. She wasn’t very trusting in the first place and ended up staying in the carrier for most of the drive, though she would stick her head out every so often and loved her pets while safely inside the carrier.
The Move Itself – Hotel
During our trip, we stayed exclusively at La Quinta’s because they allow two pets, cats or dogs, to stay for free in a room. With free parking, free breakfast, and free pet stay, there wasn’t a reason for us to look anywhere else.
We planned out our drive on Google Maps and I played around various locations to split up the drive into roughly 8-hour chunks. We had no trouble finding a La Quinta near these breaks, though we held off on booking a room until we knew that would be our stopping place for the night.
Unfortunately, with long drives, you never know exactly how it’s going to turn out. Especially when you’re driving a moving truck with a 55mph limit…
At the hotels themselves, I highly recommend doing a room check before letting the kittens out to explore:
- check under furniture
- especially check mattress base – we forgot to at one hotel and it was the one that had a hole in it (took quite a while to entice Princess out)
- put pillows or blankets down to block these places
- make sure there isn’t a way to get between the bed and the wall
- they’re not the cleanest spots and trash is often left there because it’s hard to clean
- we used pillows here and it worked great
- hide anything that you don’t want your pet to mess with
If there are too many things you need to block your pets from, you may consider putting them in the bathroom for the night. You can fill the tub with a blanket and pillows to give them a place to sleep comfortably without fear of them getting into something you’re worried about.
Also, leave their toys hidden away. The last thing you want is for them to knock it under something and you not to realize until you’re a state away
Have you moved with cats before? What are some of the tips and tricks that you used?
Note: I am not affiliated with any of the links in this article and they are simply to show what worked for us in case you want to try them out yourself 🙂