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A three hour journey with cat

We will be collecting our new cat in early January from Essex.  We will be facing a three hour car journey with a hopefully relaxed cat who will simply want to sleep.  Mira is used to going to the vets and has had four litters of kittens and been well looked after.  She is even tempered.

We will buy a good cat carrier.  We'll drop the back seat to make the surface level and have her right next to us (the car is a mini) and secure it.  We'll talk to her/have the radio on.  We'll make sure she has water and the odd little treat.

Any tips for surviving such a long journey with a marginally sane cat/humans?

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OK, once you have the good quality and secure cat basket, line the base with newspaper (cats may leak when stressed). Put a blanket (preferably one that smells of her) on top.

Expect her to be stressed. She will just have been kidnapped from the only home she knows. Mine quivered in fear for the duration of her journey home. I talked softly to her with no radio, frequently repeating her name. Let her sniff your hand while talking to her to start to get her used to you. A treat or two that she is known to like could be issued if she is reasonably calm.

My practical tip is on facebook but a less practical one is classical music, not too loud. It depends on the cat, but Leicester and Humbug settled down nicely when Magic Flute got to the Queen of the Night's aria - think they liked all the high notes. We now know that Leicester doesn't really care for music but Humbug will seek it out if it's the right kind, especially Bach and Vivaldi, or avoid it if it's the wrong kind. Vivaldi's 4 Seasons simulates birdsong and has no nasty bangs and crashes so should be a safe cat choice ;)

Colchester to Brum ... yes, that's quite a bit further than he offspring had to come. And they were kittens, so in that mewing 'what *is* everything' curiousity phase.

My best advice would be to take it gently and smoothly. But I'm sure you don't need that advice. It's possible there'll be a leak. On the other hand she's a well socialised indoor cat, from a household of well socialised indoor cats, so I'd expect her to do her best to hold it till she encounters a litter tray (which you'll have set up before you leave for Essex, of course).

Otherwise, if the non-driver can keep fingers by the cat carrier door so she has human contact, and can just chat to her in a low calm voice, I think that'll probably do more for her state of mind than anything.

Oh yes - make sure the car's tank is full and yours empty before you depart Colchester, so you don't have to stop at services.

I'd be worried about water in the carrier spilling, and she might be happier being a little thirsty rather than surrounded by wet bedding. Cats don't drink that much anyway (desert ancestry), and three hours is not that long. Perhaps take a bowl and a bottle of water, but don't put the water in the bowl unless she seems distressed.

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