A Cross Country Trip With Cats
My wife and I drove 1600 miles across the country – a twenty four hour trip – with three dogs and two cats. The plan was to drive three or four hours, take a break to give the dogs a chance to run, then back on the road for another three or four hours before stopping for the night. Managing the dogs seemed like an easy task. They would ride just behind the front seats of the Honda Pilot in the cargo area. Getting the dogs in and out of the vehicle without losing one seemed pretty easy, too; we would simply put them on a leash before opening the door.
But What About Cat Travel Safety?
The cats were another story. They would be in a 24 x 36 dog crate for the journey. This would give them enough room to lay about and still fit a litter box in the same crate. Getting them from the vehicle to the hotel room would be a challenge, though. They might dash when the crate door opened, or squirm out of our arms while being carried to the hotel room. This is where Cat in the Bag came in handy for a cat travelling in a car.
Cat in the Bag is a fabric bag with a large opening at one end that can be zippered closed, and a smaller opening at the other end for the cat’s head. Using it is a snap! With the zippered end wide open the cat walks into the bag and puts his head through the smaller opening at the other end. You zip up the large opening, then tighten the Velcro around the cat’s neck so he can’t slip out. The Velcro acts as a collar and you adjust it as such. That is, leave room for one finger so it isn’t too tight around the cat’s neck. Once the cat is in the bag you can pick the bag up by the convenient sewn-in handle and away you go. Viola! It is just that easy.
Okay, maybe not that easy. When we tested it on Cash, (our “cat in black”), he did not want to go in. It was a bit of a struggle and he was scared until he realized his feet were under him and his head was free. After that he did not mind going into the bag. Our other boy, Dingle, was another story. It wasn’t until his very last trip in the bag that he went in willingly.
A Cat Travelling In A Car Is Like…Well, Nothing Else You’ve Tried!
You may be asking why we didn’t use a traditional cat carrier. There are two reasons. One reason was where to put it? We knew that storage space would be limited. Cat carriers would never fit in the Pilot with the dog crate and the dogs. And our moving truck was full to bursting! The biggest reason we did not want to use a traditional crate style cat carrier, though, was comfort. This trip would be stressful on the cats as it was. Can you imagine trying to get them in a cat carrier twice a day? My cats, like most cats, hate carriers because they have a fear of forced confinement. They will brace, struggle and scratch in a desperate attempt to avoid being put in a crate. I didn’t need that stress any more than they did. Getting the cats from the house to the car, then car to hotel, hotel to car, until at last car to house would have been a total of eight trips. Can you imagine putting a squirming cat into a cat carrier eight times in four days? Torture for both man and beast!
The Cat in the Bag took the stress out of the equation of cat travel safety. A cat does not fight the bag carrier like he fights a crate. When your cat is in his Cozy Comfort Carrier, his head stays outside the bag so you can hold him, pet him and calm him. He doesn’t feel isolated or trapped. The loose, soft cotton bag gives him plenty of room to stretch, sit up, stand up, lay down and curl up. And with his head outside of the bag he does not feel confined.
But, once you have properly fastened the adjustable Velcro collar around his neck, he is secured in the bag and it is safe to take him outside. You will be able to carry him without him scratching you or getting away and getting hurt.
I mentioned earlier that Cash went into the bag with no problem, but Dingle resisted. So how do you get the cat into the bag? Start by seeing that the small opening with the Velcro is fully opened. You need enough room at that end for the cat to easily stick its head through the opening. Unzip the other end so that the bag is fully open. Gather the material together and slip the cat’s head through the small opening. He may able to get a paw out but there is no getting its whole body through that hole. Pull the bag over the cat’s body and zip shut. (watch the tail!) It is just that easy. At least it was with Cash. Dingle wasn’t so willing. To get Dingle into the bag I had to kneel, and hold him against my legs. Using my forearms to hold him in place, I put the bag over his head and he quickly stuck his head through the small hole. He thought it was a way out and kept going which helped me to draw the rest of the bag over him and zip it up. You would think he would figure that out, but it worked this way every time I needed him in the Cat in the Bag. Eight times! So it really wasn’t all that hard after all. And as corny as it is, once you arrive at your destination you will not be able to resist letting the cat out of the bag.
The bag is made of tightly woven cotton, is soft on the cat, and it will not rip or tear. The cloth handle attached to the bag is solid and long enough to put over your shoulder. This made carrying multiple cats easy for me. The bag carrier does not add any weight to the cat and is not as awkward to carry as the crate. The cat does not slide or scrabble back and forth like he would in a crate — the hammock-like bag keeps him in one spot-which made it easy for me.
A Cross Country Trip With Cats Can Be A Snap
The Cat in the Bag is a great way to move cats without the stress of a traditional cat carrier, and the Cat in the Bag can be used for so much more. Giving your cat medicine, dental care, nail trimming, and even baths are much easier when the cat is in the bag. Have you ever given a cat a bath? In my experience – they don’t like it. Cat in the Bag makes the process easy. You can soap them up, wash them, and rinse them thoroughly while they are in the bag. And you get the job done without getting scratched!
Go to the Cat In The Bag website for more detailed information on the product.
Dave Jones, our Video Editor, is president of Your Pet Space by day and a professional magician by night. He lives with his wife Joy in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but grew up on a farm with pigs, chickens and cows as well as dogs and cats in Ohio. You can e-mail Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as follow him on Facebook.