I need to move my cat with me from Toronto to North Carolina. It's very complicated. What is the LEAST traumatic way to get my kitty to our new home safe and sound? BONUS: Requisite animal pics inside!
I will be moving to Durham, NC from Toronto in August. My awesome little weirdo cat, Stephen Dedalus
, is (of course) coming with. I've been poring over various previous AskMeFi threads to try and figure out the best way to accomplish this, but the circumstances of my particular move are....complex.
I will be leaving Toronto at the end of June to head out West for family time/vacation time/not paying rent time. I will be flying. Sometime in mid-August, my (ridiculously generous parents) and I will be driving to Durham on an epic road trip adventure (that may result in one or more of us killing the others....but that's another kettle of fish) which may or may not involve stopping in Saskatchewan for a wedding. I understand this is not the most efficient or cost effective way to move, but for reasons that are too banal to get into here, that is the way we are doing it.
The options for cat travel are thus:
: Stephen D stays with his Auntie H (and his best cat and dog pals, Mitch
) while I'm out west and travelling. He then flies solo and we meet him at the Durham airport. While conceptually simple, this concerns me on a number of levels. Not only is it a HUGE burden on his sitters (who will have to go through the stress of getting him to the airport and dealing with airport people, and will also have to get his vet certificate, since it must have been issued within a few days/weeks of the flight), but I have been reading WAAAAYYY too many scary internet people telling me about the horrors of animals in cargo. It sounds incredibly traumatic.
: Stevie D comes to BC with me, chills with me at my parents house for a while, and then is a member of our Grand Road Trip company and experiences godknowshowmany days in the car with us. While this option has the wonderful advantage of allowing me to not be separated from my cat and thus be able to monitor how much stress the move is causing him, it unfortunately also increases the stress-levels he (and I) will experience to a pretty catastrophic height. The air travel conundrum won't be avoided (though he will be in the cabin, not in cargo), and I honestly can't see how a cross-continental car trip could be anything but horrifying with a cat who barfs during the 10 minute car ride to Auntie H's house. Not to mention the added stress of my parents' house (where another cat already resides), and the stress of being in a new hotel/motel/relative's house every night during the car trip. This option seems incredibly unfeasible (and possibly cruel) to me....but I'm willing to listen if you think strongly otherwise.
I enlist the services of a pet relocation company like this one
. This seems to solve the major issues presented by both option A (they can pick him up from Auntie H's house and save her the trouble of wrangling his ass to the airport) and Option B (he gets to stay in a place where he is comfortable for the summer, and the amount of actual travel time is massively reduced). However, this still doesn't solve the vet issue, and he will still be flying cargo (albeit in a "guaranteed pet friendly" airline....whatever that's worth). Also, being a complete neurotic, I'm veryveryvery skeptical about trusting my guy to companies I know nothing about. I will certainly be looking for reviews of these companies online...but would REALLY appreciate any personal insights or stories that MeFites might have about Pet Relocation companies (including but not limited to the one linked above). And, of course, this option is likely going to cost me an arm and a leg. I'm willing to pay it if this really is the best way.....but let's just say I don't have a lot of disposable income to be tossing around on things that are merely "convenient" for me (I have a nagging suspicion that services like this don't actually reduce the stress of the animal, but merely assuage the conscience of the owner by shifting the grim bits onto a third party. Out of sight, out of mind..) rather than truly BETTER/less traumatic.
What should I do? What options am I not considering? What other cat travel advice do you have for me?
(see what I did there?)