Relocating my 18 Year Old Cat

by Paula
(Santa Monica , CA )

Dr. Neely,

I have a handsome red tabby cat who is 18 years old. Tiger is indoor/outdoor and has only lived in one environment his entire life. I would like to relocate him with me from California to Arizona (a 9 hour car trip!) and the idea of the travel with him completely stresses me out.

He hates being in a cat carrier and almost always defecates when going to the Vet. He is an awesome cat .. but worried he will freak out in the new environment or on the way in the car.

Is it better to have him be fostered in the apt building where we live or take him to Arizona? Would it be wise to give him a tranquilizer or Rescue Remedy on the road?
I need help.

Please advise,

Thank you!

Santa Monica, CA

Hi, Paula,

If you are going to Arizona temporarily for a short period, I would suggest leaving your cat, Tiger, in California if there is definitely trusted, loving care for him in a familiar place.

However, you said "relocate" and so I assume you are moving permanently or indefinitely. In that case, I can't imagine that you wouldn't want your cat of 18 years to not go with you. That would be my choice.

A mild sedative prescribed by your veterinarian should help Tiger with the trip or Rescue Remedy if you have used it on him before successfully. In either case, it is always wise to try a small dose of the sedative on a cat at home before traveling so you know for sure what effect it has on your cat.

When you travel, have an extra cat carrier, lots of paper towels and newspaper and extra towels and trash bags for accidents.

In your new home, confine Tiger to one small room in the beginning with his litter, food and water for a day or two or more depending on how he adjusts. Above all, make sure he eats and drinks.

When Tiger appears to be comfortable in that room, open the door to the rest of your home and let him explore at his own pace. If you are planning on letting him outdoors, I would wait weeks before doing that. Some will disagree with me and say it shouldn't take that long, but your kitty is 18 and in a new environment and I believe it is better to be safe than sorry.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision and your trip.

Best Regards,
Dr. Neely

Comments for Relocating my 18 Year Old Cat

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Oct 14, 2015
old cat NEW

Of course it is better if you take your cat with you. Don't leave him cause he is very used to you. Though it would be on an easy trip. but hold on!

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