Moving: How Will You Travel?

Depositphotos_80421602_s-2015We’d like to thank some personal input from Waffles’ and Katie’s owner for talking with us about the differences between driving with a cat and flying with one. Waffles, being an easy going cat, traveled both by plane and by car by the time we were planning our move. The major issue, according to Waff and his person was the ability for Waffles to have control over his environment in the cat in a way he did not get to on a plane.

First, you can travel by car or plane or perhaps by train or bus. The two most common ways of traveling are by plane or by car. In moves that take less than a day to drive, we recommend traveling by car. There’s more control.

Longer moves can depend upon several factors, including if you would have to drive a car across country anyway, location of airports, personality of cats, comfort level of flying and how many pets you would have to transport on the aircraft.

First, traveling by air has the advantage of getting the move over with for the cat. I like this. On the other hand, there is less control. You are subject to very noisy spaces and can’t control the sorts of people and smells the cat will be exposed to. You will have to remove the cat from the carrier to go through security. You do not get a private room for this. The travel day may be long if you have to change planes and wait at another airport, not to mention the stress of worrying about the time if you miss a connection.

In addition to the stress of the airport, airlines typically have a limit on the number of in-cabin pets. Can you afford to make multiple trips?

One of our neighbors flew her cats to her new home. She was subject to a large number of people complaining to her about taking her cat on board because it would cause them a problem with their allergies. She said for her and her cats, that was the hardest part.

For us to travel by plane the woman said she’d need:

  • To have a harness and leash as well as an approved under the seat carrier
  • Money to spend on several flights to and from our new home
  • A direct flight to the where she was going
  • Not to have to drive the car across country after moving the cats
  • Some trustworthy place to leave the cat she wasn’t taking and then to leave the cats she was taking at the other end.

If you make that choice, be sure to understand whether you will need a health certificate.

Traveling by car gave her more control over our environment. While we weren’t allowed to sniff around and explore the environment like Waffles, we still had a much more protected area. Ichiro prefers to know where Gemini and I are at all times. He’s a busy body. That is one of the main reasons the woman put us all in one large carrier. It made him more comfortable. I was equally comfortable either way and she had an extra carrier if Gemini got pissed off with him. She did not. She seemed to like the company, which surprised us.

It did mean that the woman had to plan for hotels carefully and she mostly ate junk she could pick up through the drive through so she didn’t leave us in the car too long. It was a stressful week, but everyone made it. She made sure the car was well serviced, that we were in good health, and that she had reservations at hotels who knew she was traveling with cats all along the way.

In our next post, we will talk about how she picked hotels.



  1. Ellie and Allie came to us by plane. Raz has only been in the car and did great.

    The Florida Furkids

  2. I have only tried car rides and one ferry trip 🙂

  3. I cannot imagine having to travel with my cats! MOL

  4. We have only traveled by car for short trips to the Vet.
    Julie traveled the longest at only an hour.
    We do not know how we would do on a longer journey.
    We are liking this series(well, mom is) as you never know when we might have to travel!
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

  5. a couple of years ago mom helped a friend move from Ohio to Utah. they drove over 3 days with Jack the Lab and two cats. a couple of hours into the drive on the first day they discovered that if Cinnamon (one of the cats) could be in the carrier but turned to see the dog, then Cinnamon was a much happier boy. (and quieter too…)

  6. Our #1 flew with Ikkyu, TOWCB, from Japan to both Europe and North America many times, journeys of ±12 hours by plane. She always had him in the cabin with her and things went well, but she says she would never do it with more than one cat.

    The Chans

  7. Sounds like fings went well. Mommy sez twavelin’ by cawr wiff kitties is by faw da easiest way to do it wegardless of da distance. A pawdee box in da back floor and a sippy syringe fur water and yous off. Maybe a comfy blanky, da nip nanna, and mommy of course. And yes we take da leash along in case we all need a stwetch. Hope y’all have a gweat day.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  8. Having traveled with Katie & the Waff, well — they’re VERY good travelers, but we’re sure WE wouldn’t be!

  9. I think it would be a nightmare if I ever had to take Flynn on a long journey. Going to the vet he yells non stop for the 30 minute journey there and the same again coming home. I imagine he would be the same on a plane which would not make us popular.

  10. I am actually the opposite of Waffles – flying was better for me than car trips. I actually complain way more on the car trip to and from the airport than I do on the flights! I liked being able to sit around the boarding area on a harness and leash, and meet people. Plus my human is close by at all times – when we are driving, I’m in the back seat, away from her, and she is preoccupied with the car. So every kitty is different.

    Still, if we moved across country, it would probably have to be by car since there are three cats and only two humans. Unless my human could talk her boyfriend into driving Binga and Boodie and she could fly with me ahead of time.

  11. The head peep drove from Florida to NYC with five cats. (And back a year later.) Driving is so much easier logistically than figuring out how to fly back and forth to bring cats one at a time!

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