Have you ever tried to drug a cat?
Let me tell you, it’s serious business.
Four years ago I decided to pack up and move 2,000 miles. The reasoning for this decision is fodder for another post. Today, I want to focus on traveling with fur babies.
So at the time, I had only 2 cats, my baby, Bacardi Koshka and Miss. Sassy Pants Calypso. I wasn’t about to leave them behind so it came down to figuring out the cheapest way to get them across the country with the least amount of fuss.
Being resourceful, I first decided on flying them. Should be no problem, right? Millions of people travel by plane with their fur-babies and they are a.o.k. Here’s the thing about air travel: If you don’t have a pocket dog or other small animal, it’s a little more complicated. Before I continue here’s a few things you should know about air travel with your pets:
- It is not safe for smushy face pets (aka brachycephalic) You know, like Persians and pugs and what not. They have an extremely hard time breathing at high altitudes and are prone to oxygen deprivation. Never let these guys fly in cargo.
- If you must fly with your beloved pet, keep them in the cabin. Buy them a seat or make sure their crate fits under your seat. A lot of animals that are checked into cargo can suffer injuries, anxiety, sometimes get lost and sometimes fatalities happen (morbid, I know.)
- To minimize risk to your furry friends, research airlines that allow pets to travel in the cabin, only fly on direct flights, and keep a current copy of your pets immunizations and a recent photo.
So anyways, on to my story. I checked airfares for myself, a traveling companion and two kitties and it was way out of my budget. So on to option numero dos. I decided to drug my cats and drive the 2,000. Was drugging absolutely necessary? Yes, yes it was. Have you ever ridden in a car with a cat? I mean I know there are some freak cats out there that are ok with car trips but most cats I know get hysterical and then have to sing the song of their people the entire trip (mine sing in harmony.)
To keep the sanity of myself and my traveling companion, drugs were the way to go. Cats are not huge fans of change and traveling is hard on them. Here’s how to travel by car.
- Make sure they stay in a crate. This is for your safety and the safety of your kitty. There are lots of places to hide in a car and if they get scared and jump on you while you’re driving than you are going to have bigger issues on your hands.
- Make sure their crate is big enough for a travel litter box and water. You know big enough for your cat to move around and to put a small box with litter because you never know when the urge to potty will strike.
- Make frequent stops to offer food, water, and do a wellness check up. Mine weren’t all that interested in using the potty or feeding during the trip. At our wellness stops, I mostly got the fuck you look from drug laden eyes.
- Do not leave your animal unattended in a car for long amounts of time and if it’s hot, don’t ever leave your animal in the car. This is kind of a dur, since your cat is already under a lot of stress, don’t stress them out more by leaving them alone in a strange place. Cars can get really hot really fast so never, ever leave your pet in a hot car. Just don’t do it.
- Stay at pet friendly hotels when you stop at night. I did the 2,000 mile drive in 3 days, roughly about 8 hours a day in the car (that’s how long the tranquilizers last) There are lots of pet friendly hotels out there so it should be fairly easy to find ones along your path.
With that being said, here is the procedure to catching and drugging your cat.
- Make your plan of attack- This is when you plot out a map of your house, close off exits, and get your pill ready.
- Act like nothing is going to happen- You know just walk around and pretend like it’s a normal day meanwhile keeping an eye on your cats moves. Your cat might begin to become suspicious.
- Quietly stalk your cat like the Crocodile Hunter (Crikey, She’s a Beaut!)- Follow her around the house, get her pattern of movement down and lie in wait for the perfect meowment.
- Pounce and attack!- This part of the process might be long or short depending on your cat. Mine are both a lively bunch and will put up a good fight. And be especially careful of those nails!
- Pry open your cat’s mouth and drop that sucker in there- Do this while whispering soothing words and making them as comfortable as possible.
- Release and wait- Eventually they will start drunk walking and then that’s when you know it’s time to go.
….or maybe you can crush up the drugs and hide it in some wet food. (This method did not work for my cats, finicky little fucks.)
That’s it. Have any questions about traveling with a cat? Had any experiences with traveling with pets? I’d love to hear your advice and stories!