Long driving trip, escaping cats, how do I contain them?
November 30, 2007 9:16 AM Subscribe
I have a 25 hour drive ahead of me (Chicago to Seattle), and I am taking 2 cats. The problem I am worried about is the food/water/litter situation, as I have one cat that will run away if given the smallest chance.
posted by ceberon to travel & transportation (23 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
We adopted 2 cats. They are both full time indoor cats.
One is very friendly, easy to pick up. She has walked outside our house a couple of times (because she's also curious), but leaned against my leg and wouldn't go further because she was nervous.. though I can't count on her staying nervous forever.
The other one is friendly as long as I move very slowly. She'll come cuddle as long as I'm safely not moving in bed. I heard from the adoption agency that she had been abused, etc as a kitten. Now what this means is that if you're in a enclosed space with her, or are too close, or move too fast, or talk too loud, etc etc, she freaks out and sprints for the nearest exit. She is strong and fast. She has never walked out the front door because if I'm walking to a door, she's on the other side of the house. She is very hard to pick up, claws like mad, etc.
So if I'm sitting in a car with her, if I let her out of the cat carrier for food/water/litter, she will most certainly hide under the nearest seat and dig her claws in tight.
I'm driving to seattle, 25 hours. Figure I'll take 3 days. The hotel stay isn't a problem, I'll somehow drag that darn cat out from under the bed eventually.
My current driving plan is to drive around 4-5 hours at a time, then stop for gas, and let the cats out of the carrier. I assume they can last for 5 hours at a time without needing a break? I'd have food/water/litter available to them. Somehow I will sneak out the car door and slam it behind me to get the gas, probably take a short walk while they do their business. Now I'm very concerned about trying to get back in the car. One cat will want to come play, the other one will want to sprint out the door I think. So both could potentially end up outside of the car in the middle of Wyoming, and at least the scared one I'd never get back.
In summary, long drive, cat going to run if I open a door.
Any idea about how to contain a cat inside of a car? Most likely I will drive my wife's car, a VW beetle convertible. I've thought about putting up some type of barrier to keep them locked in the back seat and trunk (there is a passthrough), but anyone with cats will know that if you leave the tiniest hole, they will figure out a way past it. I can't imagine building something good enough to keep them safely in the back seat so I don't have to worry about escapes.
Any feedback would be appreciated :) And I already looked into shipping the cats cargo, but I've had multiple people recommend against it, and I need to drive out there anyway with the car.