Before putting the cats in their carriers spray the padding with Feliway. One or two squirts are enough. Let the pad sit in the air for 10 or 15 minutes before you place it and the cat in the carrier.
Our water proof pads (see Furniture Protection) are great because they are washable. Cats often “hold it” while traveling by car, but other cats panic a bit and pee or poop.
If you are able to spray one or two squirts of Feliway on the car seats where the carriers are.
If you can thread the seat belt though the handle of the carrier so that in the event of a fast stop the carriers won’t go flying.
Are hard plastic carriers better than soft ones? Debatable. We have the hard plastic ones as we feel they protect the cat better and if the cat pees or poops it’s easier to clean.
If you are traveling by car and there is more than one of you, someone must stay in the car when you make food or gas stops. We have heard of cars – with cats inside – being stolen at rest stops!
Keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the door of the hotel AT ALL TIMES. If one of you needs to hunt for food someone needs to stay in the room. Housekeeping could ignore the sign and enter and a cat could escape.
Lodging is tough but not impossible. Take a bottle of Anti Icky Poo with you for any accidents. You don’t want to leave a mess like that behind because hotel management might tighten up their allowing of animals.
As for where to stay we asked our Facebook friends for suggestions of animal-friendly hotels or resources and this is what they said (you should always call the local number of a hotel location first to make sure with any chain, each location has a different actual owner/operator):
Shawn once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express with 7 kitties!
Debi agreed about the Holiday Inn, and added Comfort Inn, but call first to make sure.
Sleigh says the La Quinta chain is very animal friendly (we’d heard that too)
Kristy suggests Candlewood Suites
Susan tells us that Days Inn did allow animals at one time – call and ask
Spray Feliway around the hotel room or install a diffuser. This will help keep the cats calm. Our flower essence formula Calm and Serene will help too.
When you reach your new home “prep” the house with Feliway before you let the cats out to explore (or hide) Before you let them out of their carriers at the new house zip through it and spray Feliway “here and there” especially in the room you think most of them will want to hide in. Install diffusers around the house as well.
Your best bet is to give the cats one room with a closet and things to hide under (like a bed). Some cats are more curious than others. When we bought our house Betty spent 4 days exploring and marking with her cheeks, then she collapsed and slept for 2 days! The others hid in a closet and slowly came out to explore.
To make sure the house is as unthreatening as possible Check the doors on the outside for any cat urine marks from neighborhood cats which may have come by and marked. Look at cat-butt-height for water marks and clean with Anti Icky Poo.
Congratulations on the move! I hope it’s a beautiful house with wonderful neighbors. Start looking for a good vet clinic now. Yelp is a good place to start, and call the local pet shops. You might also start looking for a great cat sitter.