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+1 vote

I have a cat that needs to be transported to a new state.  What is the safest and most cost efficient way of doing it?

It is very hard to drive her in the car so me driving the cat with me to another state would not be a solution.  I wish though. 

in Pets by (2,490 points)

8 Answers

+2 votes

Why? If the cat is in a cat carrier. I brought a budgie all the way from Germany in a cage.

by (3,097,830 points)
+1 vote

If you mean that she can't be in cars at all, then I'm not quite sure what alternate solution you're looking for. It really depends how far you need her to travel I guess. Bike courier? Small airplane? Commercial airline?

Otherwise, if you just mean that it's too stressful for you to deal with her being with you specifically, then maybe consider putting her in a carrier. She might hate it, but if you pay someone else to transport her that's just exactly what they're going to do too? I've never looked into it, but I imagine there are pet transporting companies that you pay a certain fee to, where they handle moving your pet from one location to another, depending on your budget. Clearly the most cost efficient way is to do it yourself. The second most cost efficient way is to ask a friend or family member to help you out. The third would be to look into a service like this, I guess.

I speak some from personal experience: I've had a cat for 5 years who has traveled in the car with me to over 30 states, and travels well - in fact he gets bored if we stay in one place too long, woops. He sometimes sleeps in his carrier at home just for fun; I occasionally throw treats into it for him to find and reinforce positive association. He is also leash trained. I know not all cats are the same, and I started training mine at a very young age, but cats are receptive to operant conditioning!

by (60,050 points)

what kind of carrier would you recommend?  My cat would pee in it for sure.  


I recommend a carrier that has enough space for the cat to sit up straight in, as well as lay down comfortably in while sleeping. Most carriers are not big enough to accomplish all this. You also want something where the cat can see out of multiple sides, and where the carrier has good ventilation. I think stay away from soft or hard plastic "windows" that show the cat the outside world without providing much airflow, and go towards mesh sides. My cat carrier has mesh sides and despite my cat's numerous attempts at scratching and biting on it for years, he still hasn't ripped it open, just some fraying in a few parts.

Maybe something like this could work:

(Though personally I think it's too flimsy to be car-safe enough regarding keeping your cat safe in a collision or vehicle accident....but most pet carriers are inadequate.) Besides being seemingly large enough (possibly too large, but the size of your cat and the other things you need to fit into the car will determine that), this one seems nice because the cat could have the option for complete privacy with the mesh parts covered instead of exposed, which could help soothe stress depending on her reactions.

If you're sure the cat will pee inside, then do what Amy says and put a towel or pee pad inside the carrier, and ideally change it out as soon as you can. I know my cat really tries everything he can to not go inside his carrier, so I think it will very much stress your cat out to have to be stuck near it. Cats are very specific about where they want their scent and where they do not, and also in what forms.

Also, as someone else said, anxiety meds will be good, but at the pet store there is also some calming spray that should help soothe your cat as well. I'd spray all over her cat carrier inside and outside before she gets into it, and in the car near where she's going to be, and refresh every couple of hours or so. It also helps if you are as calm as you can be so she can see that from your perspective this is not a stressful situation.


Sapph, with regard to the pet carriers, I found that a  plastic one with windows works better than the softer cloth ones with mesh. The reason being, one of my cats was in the mesh one and caught her nail in that mesh and couldn’t move at one point. She’s a bit feistier than the other cat and wont sit still unless she’s sleeping. I traded places with her and the other cat, and she was better off in the plastic one which was also larger. 

+2 votes

Yeah, a good sized cat carrier is about as good as it gets.  Put a blanket and pillow in there for it to snuggle into.   Usually after a while (might be an hour or even two) they settle in and deal with it. 

The cat's going to have to get a ride somehow.  I don't think you can mail it.  Maybe a vet can give you some sedatives for kitties.  

by (995,080 points)

I was told to talk to the vet to clear it for travel first and then they can provide some sort of sedative if the cat has some kind of anxiety.

+2 votes

I have done this with three (3) pets; a large dog and two cats, across 2 states.  This is how I did it. 

First, calculate how much time you are spending in the car. If it's more than 5 hours, and I suspect it may be, then consider staying in a hotel halfway there. For disposable cat litter pans I used those large aluminium roasting pans. bring garbage bags for the litter boxes to get rid of the litter daily. Bring the water and food bowl, enough food for a day or teo in the hotel, and perhaps some toys inside the pet carrier. Expect plenty of meowing, but also I recommend you put the cat into the carrier with a small towel inside for the driving, and for safety's sake, dont let it outside to roam the car unless you have someone to hold it. One of my cats meowed so loudly when I was driving, and it was then I realized she had to pee and didnt want to go inside the carrier, but I was in the middle of a highway and so make sure she or he goes to the bathroom before you put her in the carrier.  Put towels under them or wee pads to soak up urine. 

   The best bet is to go by plane. Shorter time frame, and you can put her under your seat for the duration of the flight. But if you cant do that, then stopping at a hotel for the night (a pet hotel or one that allows pets, such as some  Redroof Inns, La Quinta (fore sure) and some comfort Suites. Make sure you call ahead of time to see if they allow pets.  

    Yes, it is doable, but expect some mishaps. As long as you get to where you want to go safely, everything else should be fine. 

by (1,250,910 points)

Ideal answer, Amy! 


Yes, this is helpful with some nice tangible tips, Amy!

I especially like the part about using aluminum pans for litter. I know pet stores now seem to offer sustainable disposable litter boxes, like made out of cardboard or recycled paper, but I bet they are not as cheap as aluminum pans. But if someone has a noise sensitive cat, it might be a good option to go with.

Since I travel so much, I have a plastic bin with a lid that I reuse for my litter box, and I use litter liner bags so that I don't have to worry about the bin getting gross. 


Thanks guys. Sapph, that litter bin with the lid sounds ideal, as well as the cat liners. I have those cardboard ones I place inside the plastic litter boxes, and yes, they are costly. 

+1 vote

Two words: bungee cords!

just joshin' here 

by (894,480 points)


+1 vote

Cat carrier for sure.

Contact your Vet about possible medication to prevent Kitty fro becoming too stressed!

by (881,550 points)
+1 vote

I use a medium dog carrier.  The dog just rides loose in the car and pukes in the corners.  Lol. But the larger size gives the cat plenty of room.  I put a small amount of kitty liter in a tray in the carrier, along with a little water, and a towel to lay on.  Then get sedatives from the vet.  Give the sedative to the cat, put it in the carrier and cover the door and windows.  They will be quieter if they cannot see out.

good luck. 

by (1,598,670 points)
+1 vote

Just play some soothing music.

by (4,243,331 points)
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