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how long is too long for cat travel with no bathroom break??

how long is too long for cat travel with no bathroom break??

Old Aug 7, 11, 12:18 pm
  #1  
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how long is too long for cat travel with no bathroom break??

Hi,
As posted in another thread, we will be travelling to France (big move) with our 2 cats.
The flight itself is probably 9 hours.. We will need to be at the airport early so probably add 2-3 hours more to that..
Then the plan is to take the high speed train which is another 4 hours.. but usally there is about a 2.5 hours wait betwen arrival of plane, departure of train.

I am thinking we will definitely need a travel litter box or 2..
Maybe one to use before we board at the airport, and one to use when we wait for the train..

I don't know where we can do that (take them out of the bag and let them go without them being scared as ****

Anybody has ANY experience with that?

thinking we could take one of these with us:

http://www.petco.com/product/100483/...t=OnSiteSearch
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Old Aug 7, 11, 4:17 pm
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How long can a cat "hold it?"

12 noon to 5 a.m. the next day is my answer.

We left our old home in CA at noon, en route to the east coast, got stuck in road construction hell, stopped for take-out dinner, detoured 58 miles through the Sierras in the dark on logging roads because of more [email protected] road contruction and finally hit Winnemucca at 5 a.m. Twice we made "box stops" where we set up the litter box in the trailer we were pulling, put the cats in it. No way, no how, you should have seen the look we got from one of them in between him turning to glare at the 18 wheelers zooming past.

However, once we hit the hotel, litter box set-up was job # one, and both cats (only had 2 then) used it multiple times in the first 20 minutes.

I had talked to our vet in advance about the issue, and she said to offer the cats the box, but not to be surprised if they didn't use it on the road.

There's a super jumbo sized Ziplock that holds a regular plastic litter box for our road trips, but doubt that it would work for air travel.
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Old Aug 14, 11, 4:51 pm
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On my recent trip from BDL-JFK-AMS-LCA with my cat, she did not have to "go" during the entire trip. We left my sister's house in CT around noon and did not arrive in LCA at my home until 4pm the next day (that was a total of 21 hours of travel.

I brought a very small litter box with me with some litter and gave her the opportunity to use it at least 3 times. She didn't. I also lined her carrier with "puppy papers", which are like pampers just in case she had an accident. She didn't.

In order to let her out of her carrier to use the litter box or to at least let her play a bit, I found a restroom that was completely enclosed (often the babychanging rooms are a good option) and I just let her out. She didn't really want to play or anything because the room was new to her and the trip was a new experience for her.

When we arrived in LCA and exited the airport, I let her out of her carrier (on leash and harness) but again, she was a bit shy about being in a strange place with new noises and such.

I was worried about her being dehydrated, but she was ok. I fed her in the morning before we left, but took her food and water away about 3 hours before we left. I brought some food and treats with me but she didn't eat much. I did give her some Tillamook cheese from teh SkyClub in JFK. She ate a few bites of that.
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Old Aug 15, 11, 4:27 pm
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thanks, that was so helpful! I will talk to my vet too.
Sounds like the trip might be a little longer than I realized. but we will make it work right.
If anybody had to vote, high speed train for 4 hours in france or car trip for 7 hours?
I wanted the train cause I thought it would be less disruptive (more stable, etc..) but luggage wise we might not be able to..
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Old Aug 17, 11, 12:01 pm
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We just completed a 25 hour trip without any problems ( pee/poop ). I guess it came pretty close to torture, but the alternative would be to put the cat down.

We stopped giving the cat any food 12 hours before we left, and water 4 hours before. We gave it a tiny amount of water roughly 12 hours and 20 hours into the trip. The cat did not touch the water at 20 hours.

The cat was in a Sherpa Delta soft bag.

2 days later the cat is a bit depressed ( or jet lagged ), but hopefully it'll bounce back in a week.
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Old Aug 17, 11, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by hovik View Post
I guess it came pretty close to torture, but the alternative would be to put the cat down.
OT: There are plenty of far better alternatives than putting the cat down. Even surrendering it to a shelter is a better option, as at least it would have a chance to get adopted. That's not to say you would do that, but this is a general comment for anyone who, for any reason, can no longer take care of their pet(s).
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Old Aug 17, 11, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by hovik View Post
We just completed a 25 hour trip without any problems ( pee/poop ). I guess it came pretty close to torture, but the alternative would be to put the cat down.

We stopped giving the cat any food 12 hours before we left, and water 4 hours before. We gave it a tiny amount of water roughly 12 hours and 20 hours into the trip. The cat did not touch the water at 20 hours.

The cat was in a Sherpa Delta soft bag.

2 days later the cat is a bit depressed ( or jet lagged ), but hopefully it'll bounce back in a week.
If the cat is not looking a whole lot better within another 24 hours, it should be checked by a vet. dehydration can cause serious health problems for cats.

and as cepheid said, there are always alternatives to putting down a healthy animal. our feline family consists of 3 rescue cats, and they are wonderful, loving animals that needed us as much as we needed them.
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Old Aug 19, 11, 1:27 pm
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Interesting.. I am pretty sure the OP meant sedate the cat for the trip which would be bad for sure.... not putting the cat down like killing it..
I would think so. I cant imagine someone spending 25 hours travelling with a cat accross the world considering putting it down..
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Old Aug 30, 11, 12:03 pm
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Sorry to re-visit a sleeper thread, but as a veterinarian, I cannot let this go un-addressed.

Originally Posted by hovik View Post
We just completed a 25 hour trip without any problems ( pee/poop ). I guess it came pretty close to torture, but the alternative would be to put the cat down.

We stopped giving the cat any food 12 hours before we left, and water 4 hours before. We gave it a tiny amount of water roughly 12 hours and 20 hours into the trip. The cat did not touch the water at 20 hours.

The cat was in a Sherpa Delta soft bag.

2 days later the cat is a bit depressed ( or jet lagged ), but hopefully it'll bounce back in a week.
You are right, 37 hours without food and 29 hours without adequate water is indeed "pretty close to torture," especially in a small animal whose metabolic needs are pound-for-pound much greater than humans' metabolic needs. Next time, please ask your veterinarian before you need to travel with your cat.

You can offer your cat small amounts of tempting food (i.e., something canned, moist, and strongly-odored) during the trip. They will be more likely to eat it than to eat their usual dry food, and the high moisture content will at least get some water into them even if they won't drink plain water.

Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
If the cat is not looking a whole lot better within another 24 hours, it should be checked by a vet. dehydration can cause serious health problems for cats.
Not only dehydration - if a cat doesn't eat for several days (especially an overweight cat), it can go into liver failure.

Fasting a cat for 37+ hours, combined with the stress of a long car ride, is a bad, BAD idea.
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Last edited by eturowski; Aug 30, 11 at 12:21 pm
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Old Aug 30, 11, 1:11 pm
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Interesting to see a vet's perspective and advice on travel with cat, especially as we just did 2 very loooooong car trips with a cat (thanks, Hurricane Irene ).

This trip was Cat #3's first road trip. With our other two, we always offer food and water right up until we put them in the carriers, but then while en route they usually refuse food or water when it is offered. However, Cat #3 has her own ideas about meals. Outbound, mid-afternoon on the Connecticut turnpike she starts meowing like crazy. At the next rest stop, I offer her food and water, and she eats a full serving of kibble. After her "lunch" she curled up and slept the rest of the way.

Same thing on the way home: when we stopped for lunch, she had her lunch as well, then slept. I was glad she was sleeping, because our drive home, which should have been 4 hours ended up being 9 and 1/2 hours of hellish traffic due to flooded roads.
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Old Sep 10, 11, 4:56 pm
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I don't seem to be able to get my cat into her hardside carrier. So when taking her to the vet, I got a plastic file box that has a secure fitting lid and I put a scratch pad in the bottom, since the plastic is slippery. I've drilled quite a few holes in the top and she does great in the car with this. Don't know if this would help with the soft side carriers...they could hang on the the scratch material. Here is what it looks like:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/SmartyKat-...s-Cats/3363306

She loves this scratcher...sits on it in the bedroom all the time. I had to pick her up from boarding, which is almost an hour from home and one the way back home, she had to poop. She pooped on the pad and I was able to pull off the highway and pick it up with a wet wipe and put it in a plastic bag.

Hope this is helpful to some of you.
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Old Sep 25, 11, 11:09 am
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I stole an idea from a rescue group for my cats. I used some strong, smooth fabric to sew a hammock with sewing tape in each corner. I made it a little smaller than the carrier and attached it with small carabiner clips to the ventilation holes at each corner. I put absorbent puppy pads on the bottom of the carrier to catch urine. My cats were elderly with renal problems, so there was no way they were going to hold it for the twenty hours to fly back from Germany. With the hammocks, the shy one could hide behind it as needed and both of them had a resting place above the mess on the bottom of the cage. When the had to urinate, they put their back legs on the bottom of the carrier while leaving the rest of the body cradled on the hammock. When they were finished, they put their back legs back up on the hammock again. The carriers were a mess, but both cats came out dry. I use medium carriers for my cats; this might not work in a small carrier and would definitely not work in a soft sided carry on. My cats liked them so much that I used them any time they had to be in their carriers.

I'm also a veterinarian and would absolutely never withhold water from a cat and would not fast a cat for more than 18-24 hours. It's far better to have to clean up a cage than to have to deal with a dehydrated cat. They are prone to kidney disease anyway, so anything that might damage a cat's kidneys is bad.
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Old Oct 3, 11, 10:26 pm
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Longest (only) trip with a cat I ever took was a 2.5 hour drive, then a flight MHT-CVG-XNA. Don't look forward to having to remove her from the carrier to go through security, and then after the trauma of the first flight, if you can avoid additional security screening it would be in your best interest. My best recommendation for a place to let the cat out and get some relief would be a family restroom at a layover airport. You can close yourself in, so there's no running away, and let her stretch out and do her business. Even if no litter box, maybe grab a newspaper and tear it up a bit, then just toss it in the trash when she's done.
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Old Feb 12, 17, 8:20 pm
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Help with car travel!

Hi! I am very likely moving to England in the near future (from the US) and because of air travel U.K. Laws I will have to fly to France first then a train then a taxi then a ferry all the to London where it would be the first place where my 15 lbs 4year old healthy cat will have her first rest from traveling (all to continue with another 5 hour train ride but this could be done two days later to lessen the stress) the total time of the first travel between home-airport-trains etc will be of about 20 hours, I plan to offer her canned food (to help with hydration as well) and once we land in Paris see if she is interested in litter box. My question is, if she is. It interested at all in food or litter during travel is that ok? I know once we get to our room in London she will eat as long as I'm in there with her, just want to know if the 20 stressful trip turns out she is not interested in food is that doable? It would be a lot more costly to all the adding cost of bringing her with me (800 extra dollars) to get a room in Paris if I need to break the trip but I will do it if you think 20 hours is too long.

Please give me your advice?



Originally Posted by eturowski View Post
Sorry to re-visit a sleeper thread, but as a veterinarian, I cannot let this go un-addressed.



You are right, 37 hours without food and 29 hours without adequate water is indeed "pretty close to torture," especially in a small animal whose metabolic needs are pound-for-pound much greater than humans' metabolic needs. Next time, please ask your veterinarian before you need to travel with your cat.

You can offer your cat small amounts of tempting food (i.e., something canned, moist, and strongly-odored) during the trip. They will be more likely to eat it than to eat their usual dry food, and the high moisture content will at least get some water into them even if they won't drink plain water.



Not only dehydration - if a cat doesn't eat for several days (especially an overweight cat), it can go into liver failure.

Fasting a cat for 37+ hours, combined with the stress of a long car ride, is a bad, BAD idea.
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Old Feb 13, 17, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by hbco View Post
Hi! I am very likely moving to England in the near future (from the US) and because of air travel U.K. Laws I will have to fly to France first then a train then a taxi then a ferry all the to London where it would be the first place where my 15 lbs 4year old healthy cat will have her first rest from traveling (all to continue with another 5 hour train ride but this could be done two days later to lessen the stress) the total time of the first travel between home-airport-trains etc will be of about 20 hours, I plan to offer her canned food (to help with hydration as well) and once we land in Paris see if she is interested in litter box. My question is, if she is. It interested at all in food or litter during travel is that ok? I know once we get to our room in London she will eat as long as I'm in there with her, just want to know if the 20 stressful trip turns out she is not interested in food is that doable? It would be a lot more costly to all the adding cost of bringing her with me (800 extra dollars) to get a room in Paris if I need to break the trip but I will do it if you think 20 hours is too long.

Please give me your advice?
That trip would exhaust me, let alone a cat.

Find a budget hotel room that allows pets and give both yourself and the cat a breather. Pick a cheaper neighborhood; the cat won't care about sightseeing.
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