Outdoor feral to indoor cat...from 7 hours away

Queries and discussions about cat rescue & rehoming
Post Reply
sfm307
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:07 pm

Outdoor feral to indoor cat...from 7 hours away

Post by sfm307 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:10 pm

I'm bringing a feral cat into my house, but it's a bit complicated. Kitty is a young male (not sure exactly how old) who lives in my boyfriend's parents' yard two states away. He's very friendly, but he's never been inside. He gets along very well with boyfriend's dog, who is an indoor dog but gets to go outside to play a lot.

My boyfriend's rental does not allow indoor pets, but I've just bought a house, so we are going down to his parents' about a month from now to bring the dog back to my place and we've decided to bring the cat along as well. I've wanted a cat for some time, and this is one who needs a home and also gets along with the dog for sure. So here we come to the question.

Because kitty is two states away, there is no way to bring him in gradually. I'm also not sure if boyfriend's parents are willing to help by setting out a carrier, litter box, scratching post, etc. Based on what I've heard thus far, probably not. So I'm faced with going down there, putting the cat in a carrier, taking him for a 7-hour drive, and then having him indoor in a home he's never seen before.

Once he's here, I've got space for a cat sanctuary, and I can do litter-box training etc. He'll also have the company of the dog, who will be familiar to him. But I'm very concerned about the initial pickup and trip. Any advice?

User avatar
MarySkater
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:47 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Re: Outdoor feral to indoor cat...from 7 hours away

Post by MarySkater » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:41 pm

Does your car have space for something bigger than a standard cat carrier, something like a dog crate? If you could give him a bed, water dish and litter box, the trip would be a little less stressful for him.

I once took a cat on a long-distance house move, and I don't have a car, so I paid a pet courier service who used a biggish car with a crate and the comforts. (I travelled with the cat as well.) That was a house cat, so it was easier for her than for your feral, and she still got stressed on the trip. So all I can say is, look for whatever comforts you can give him. I don't know if anyone would advise giving him a sedative, or how possible it would be to get it into him.

sfm307
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:07 pm

Re: Outdoor feral to indoor cat...from 7 hours away

Post by sfm307 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:23 pm

I have a Camry, so while it's not as great as an SUV would be, it's still got enough space in the back to maybe fit a small dog crate on the back seat. I like that idea better than a carrier since like you mentioned, he would have food and a litter box, etc. I wouldn't be so concerned if the trip wasn't so long. I'll look into a sedative too. Thank you!

User avatar
MarySkater
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:47 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Re: Outdoor feral to indoor cat...from 7 hours away

Post by MarySkater » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:06 pm

My feeling also is that you should take a couple of breaks on the trip. You'd probably want to anyway, if you are doing all the driving. I could understand the inclination to keep going until the trip is over. But I think the occasional half-hour where the noise and movement stop would give him a bit of a rest from the strain.

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Outdoor feral to indoor cat...from 7 hours away

Post by Crewella » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:44 pm

I would also cover the crate, or at least part of it. The sight of the scenery flashing past always seems to upset cats not used to travel, and cover/shade seems to calm them.

Post Reply