Road trip with cats in the winter

Travel Forums North America Road trip with cats in the winter

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1. Posted by Teekee14 (Budding Member 5 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

We are traveling for 6 days from the east coast of Canada to western Canada during the early winter. Hotels/motels are always a challenge when traveling with pets. So, I am looking for ideas on traveling with a heated pet kennel in the back of my covered truck. The cats would travel in the vehicle during the day. On the days we could not find a good option for pet-friendly accommodations, they would spend the night in the heated kennel in the back of our truck.

A few things I've pondered:
The kennel would be home made but would need to be odor free, so no plywood or other materials that would have strong odors

I would use a proper quality heater, likely one that is for keeping your vehicle warm in the cold winter time when parked

I would be forced to monitor it carefully, likely check on them every 2 hours. Or set up a video monitor of some sort. Not sure how to deal with the electricity issue yet.

I'm not sure the night time isolation is OK. There are 3 cats, We may sneak the smallest one into the hotel room. She is a special needs kitty. The other two comfort each other.

I'd appreciate constructively critical comments with possible solutions.

Thanks

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2123 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Why not board these cats for 6 days?

If you have some sort of construction that does not absorb cat odors make sure the material does not give off fumes when warmed up.

Friends or relatives not available??

There might be a heating pad that runs off of the cigarette lighter outlet.

Good luck.

3. Posted by Teekee14 (Budding Member 5 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Boarding is not an options nor are friends and family. I neglected to mention this is a one way road trip.

A heating pad is an excellent idea. Thank you

4. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 511 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

You don't mention returning to the east coast, so I assume you're relocating.

Cats don't like change, so if you are returning then it would be far less stressful to board the cats in a cattery for a few weeks.

The stress of changing locations every day can cause cats to do very odd things, like 'doing their business' in the worst places possible (like on your pillow/cushions etc) and destroying stuff that they wouldn't normally do (could turn expensive if a hotel wants you to pay for the destroyed stuff) so it may be wiser to build a large pet box in the truck and leave them in it for the whole journey.

Assuming the cats are trained to use a litter box, that shouldn't be a problem in the truck (make sure the box is secured when driving) and I don't think plywood wouldn't be a problem for such a short time (a few weeks would become difficult).

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 511 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Oh, since starting my comment you've confirmed that it's a relocation...

6. Posted by Teekee14 (Budding Member 5 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thanks Andrew. We have extensive experience traveling with our cats and mostly understand the issues with the cats(if cat's can actually be understood), but thanks for that reminder as I am trying to address most of the serious issues.

So I will consider using plywood and making a large pet box. The box will be fully secured and under cover in the truck box with cap. It's mostly the cold I'm concerned with, but I should be able to figure something out. Temperatures could drop to -20 Celcius at night for some stops.

7. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 511 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

Talk to an RV electrician about wiring in a second battery which can be charged by the motor whilst driving, but would only be available for heating pad/s in the pet box.
I've no idea what power heating pads would need, but if it's a lot then better to exhaust a small extra leisure battery than exhaust the main battery needed to start the motor.
Maybe they'll tell you a standard truck battery would be sufficient...

8. Posted by Teekee14 (Budding Member 5 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thank you again Andrew, that's perfect. I will check into that.

9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2123 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Google search will give you some 12 volt heating pads. (Sample search below.)

https://www.amazon.com/Trillium-Worldwide-Heated-Travel-TWI-2202/dp/B001NBCKYO

I guess you have to make a test to see how long a heating pad will work off a car battery. In the cold a battery might run down faster. When you do your move have a battery charger with you. Maybe an extra battery too!

Lots of responses in a short time.

Good luck.

10. Posted by Teekee14 (Budding Member 5 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Yes, and wow! a lot of great responses. Thank you karazyal, and thanks for the link.