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Ask LJ (odds and ends) - F*cking with Clusters

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Previous Entry Ask LJ (odds and ends) May. 5th, 2026 @ 12:53 pm Next Entry
So, plans are falling together, and I should be driving from Albuquerque to Bay Area starting next Sunday, accompanied by profgreg. I'll also have my cat in the car with me.. and, so here's the question:

Does anyone have advice for road-tripping with cats? How did you handle feeding/emptying the thing? Do they go ballistic after a few hours stuck in a carrier?

Other plans:
1. LA (E3!) : 5/10 -> 5/14
2. Drive to Sunnyvale: 5/14 -> 5/16
3. Pennsylvania, to introduce pabw to my mother's other 4 sisters: 5/17->5/27
4. 5/28: Sleep, and proclaim loudly how I never want to travel again...

Finally, I have a new phone with the same number. I am now up to 5 whole contacts on the phone. If you want me to have your number, can you send it to me? Merci beaucoup.
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From:garlikmongere
Date:May 5th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
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A few cats travel fine. If you aren't a lucky one you can try going by a vet and asking for some sedatives. (Little pills you have to shove down your cats throat; takes .5 to 2 hours to take effect, and then lasts for 5-12 hours.)

The only car ride I've bothered giving a my cat a sedative was from palm springs to san jose. and mostly since i was driving by myself, and he was stuck in his carier the entire time. palm springs to/from LA area i've done with out sedatives (cat stuck in carrier once, and roaming around car once - bad idea since i was in a van).

On the trips cross country and from michigan to minnesota, cat was loose in the car, no sedatives, but there were other people in the car to keep an eye on him. On the minnesota trip he mostly hid in his carrier, even though it was open. Both of the longer trips I brought a smaller litter box. on the cross country trip he used it. on the more recent minnesota trip he, unfortunately, didn't bother, and used his carrier, and my mom's skirt. If you're going to let the cat out of the carrier while on the road, I suggest bringing a change of pants and a towel, or 2, just in case.

On both of the long trips, I had a harness and leash, so it was easier to hold onto him, while opening doors, etc. On the minnesota trip he didn't bother eating/drinking. The cross country one, he did, eventually - on the second day or so.

You may want to consider stopping occasionally and letting the cat out of the carrier every once in a while.

Good luck.
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From:ejwu
Date:May 5th, 2006 08:29 pm (UTC)
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Given the relatively short distance of the trip from ABQ-LA, I'd go with the carrier. Having Taag loose cross country was okay, but it didn't feel particularly safe - he jumped down from my headrest into my lap once or twice, and if he'd caught me at a bad time, who knows what could have happened?
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From:garlikmongere
Date:May 5th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
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agreed. having the cat on top of the head rest is a bit disturbing, and very distracting. having the cat try to crawl under your legs while driving is also not good. on the minnesota trip the third person in the back was responsible for keeping the cat in the back, which was much better.
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From:avani
Date:May 5th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for all the good advice. I bet the harness/leash makes it easier to deal with motels too. I'm going to hope for no sedatives, as that would mean finding a vet.. (I am a terrible cat owner).
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From:mackenzie
Date:May 5th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
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Cool, so you're sort of doing what I think Chris is doing, with the whole stopping by and then making a break for it. Chris and I should be up on the 15th in the evening, so squee.

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From:tigrelis
Date:May 5th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
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will you pleaseeee visit us this time? I miss you!
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From:avani
Date:May 5th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
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I won't have a car I can drive there, so no promises. I'll ask my mom if she has time to make the trip, though. Also, you could drive up to PA :-)
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From:tigrelis
Date:May 5th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
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i could... but i have work/volunteer shit/ school stuff.
so completely not possible but if you come here you could meet andrew!!
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From:maggiedacatt
Date:May 6th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
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When we brought Axel and Tyler from Boulder to California, Axel bloodied his paws trying to get out of the carrier before we even got to Denver. We had to stop at an emergency vet to get them sedatives, which wasn't very effective after the fact since they were all worked up already. We had to let them out of the carrier in a 2-seat moving van. They got stuck under the seat, crapped in the cabin, etc. It was definitely the worst automobile ride of my life.

Might be good to take kitty on an 'experimental' car ride in a carrier.
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From:avani
Date:May 6th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)
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That's disconcerting...

How did Axel do on trips to the vet? Innana is pretty happy about being in the carrier for the 15 odd minutes I've had her in there at a time, but I haven't tried for longer than that since I brought her home.
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From:maggiedacatt
Date:May 6th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
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He's typically unhappy, but he doesn't try to get out of his carrier like he did that time. On subsequent trips he's been fine for short rides (<20 minutes).

His plane ride CA-->NJ really freaked him out, but he survived without mutilating himself. He did crap and then sit in it and generally make a mess of his carrier.
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From:coraa
Date:May 6th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
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My family has always been as paranoid as me, so we do it this way: Cat with a harness on (but no leash) inside a carrier. Having a cat loose in the car seems to offer too much chance of the cat causing an accident by jumping up at you at the wrong moment. Whenever we were going to take her out, we'd attach a leash to the harness while she was still contained (either still in the car with the doors shut, or inside a motel room with the doors shut), and keep a good grip on it. That was to avoid the possibility of having to chase her around a strange town.

She didn't enjoy it, but she was just angry (yowled at us) -- she didn't do herself any injury or seem any the worse for it.
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From:avani
Date:May 6th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
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Yea.. I like the harness idea. I actually got one today and stuck the cat in it, and she seems perfectly happy with it on.. (assuming she can even notice through all the fur she has). Hopefully I can keep her happy with me, since right now the plan is to drive her to a strange place and abandon her for a week and a half, so I need all the brownie points I can get.
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From:sithjawa
Date:May 6th, 2006 10:37 am (UTC)
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On cats in the car, I have only this bit of advice:

The cat will probably make pathetic meowing noises at whoever is not driving, asking to be let out of the carrier. It will accompany these noises with telepathic promises to be good and just look out the window a little.

IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE, DO NOT BELIEVE THE CAT. Some cats may do fine loose in a moving car; I wouldn't know. Others, however, immediately puff up to three times their natural size, dash around the car at breakneck speed, and then make it their new life goal to block the driver's view of the road, giving everyone around nasty scratches in the process.
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From:avani
Date:May 6th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
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Do you think it would be better to get some sort of transparent carrier? I saw some soft-sided mesh things at the petstore... The lady there claimed that while dogs like looking outside, cats like dark so they can sleep, which seemed suspicious to me.
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From:jeffspender
Date:May 6th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
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Sweeet. Paul's leaving for Europe for a couple weeks that weekend but there's liable to be harassment in the vicinity of shortly-after-Chris-and-Mackenzie-arrive.
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From:avani
Date:May 6th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Woo!
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From:maerdi
Date:May 7th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
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No one else mentioned this, so perhaps my experience was an outlier, but when I moved my cat locally she was okay (unhappy, but okay) in the carrier, but totally freaked out when we let her out in the new place. I think I still have the scars from 'releasing' her in the new apartment--the freaking out might have been related to the pet smells of other animals, though, as the hallways in that complex smelled pretty strongly. She was also afraid and angry with me for weeks afterward, though eventually she got over it. The second time we moved it wasn't nearly so bad, but it seemed to be worth mentioning.
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