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Taking a cat on a train

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Taking a cat on a train

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Old 12th Aug 2018, 20:16
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Taking a cat on a train

In a little under two weeks time, I'm getting a new kitten. He's a pedigree and the breeder is located some distance from me. Driving would take abour 4h30 to 5h. Can do it by train in a little under 2h30, plus a 20 min drive from station to home. As far as I'm concerned, the less time kitty is travelling, the better.

In case there's anything I've forgotten, does anyone have any tips for the journey?
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 20:21
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Cat carrier? - even kittens can get spooked and become ballistic . . .
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 20:24
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Kitty will be in a cat carrier, which wil be well secured with cable ties. Don't want £xxx worth of kitty escaping, do we?
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 20:50
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Make sure he's got access to a small amount of water. They do become dehydrated when stressed.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 20:54
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Tricky this. I have transported cats, but always in my own car and usually no more than 4 hours.
The problem may be that if you use public transport and the cat soils its bedding, you will be very unpopular indeed. At least in your own car it's only you who gets exposed to the offensive odours! You also don't want to be accidentally releasing the cat into a train while you try to change the bedding.
Kittens are usually pretty good travellers (they go to sleep at the drop of a hat).
(Unless you get a noisy one, as I did about twenty years ago, who screamed about every thirty seconds for the entire 2 hour journey).
Another reason to take your car?
Covering the cat-carrier sometimes helps keep them calm, but be careful if the weather is warm.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 21:58
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We often took our cat ( really do miss him ! ) to our friends in Italy.

The journey time was usually about six hours, all but 30 minutes of it autoroute / autostrada.

We just put him in the space in the back of the X-trail, which had one of those dog guard things so he could see us if he wanted to, and left him to it - no cat box, just his regular sleeping box and a specially deep but only half filled bowl of water, and an old plastic sink bowl with screwed up newspaper for emergencies.....

After the first 15 minutes or so, when he was a bit noisy and curious, he usually slept the rest of the way.

Just an idea, as if your new cat is a kitten and first time ' out in public ' it might be less stressful in the car than surrounded by a large noisy group of unknown people on a train.

Edited to add - I'm more than a bit jealous if he / she is a Blue British Shorthair
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 22:14
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I'm more than a bit jealous because it's a kitten. They are hilarious.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 23:33
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The kitten will be far happier travelling by car. Far easier to control the environment in a car, less distraction from strangers and fewer smells, strange noises and distractions.

Use a cat carrier with a water bottle with one of those spouts with a ball bearing on the end to provide drinking water for the journey. Some dried cat biscuits can be dropped in to the cat carrier during the journey. The kitten will work out how to lap water from the spout and finding the kitten treats/biscuits will keep it occupied. Past experience suggests it will sleep through 99% of the journey anyway.

Taking animals on public transport should always be regarded as a last resort. The chances of picking up so,e random infection are greatly increased by exposure to all the other pet owners on the bus/train. Kittens are a magnet that willl attract attention from anyone nearby.

There is the remote possibility that you may find yourself travelling with someone who is allergic to cats or phobic. My daughter's mother-in-law falls into both categories! Daughter still has a kitten though...

Take the car.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 00:00
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Or a Bengal - I love Bengals, although they are incredibly vocal cats. Mine will really yowl in protest if things are not to his satisfaction. Quite painful on the ears in a confined space such as a car.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 00:22
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Very recently, I transported my mother's cat 1000 sm over two days (~7 hours each day, plus finding a pet-friendly hotel).

You can get pet tranquilizers prescribed by vets - usually a pill "cut down" to 1/2 or 1/4 to suit the animal's weight. We've used those previously for airline cabin cat trips, as well. Then they just doze, unless the ride is really rough.

No guarantees, but 2-3 hours should be well within a cat's "just hold it" zone for excretory needs. In the long trip mentioned above, I used an oversize dog carrier, which allowed space to give the cat a small potty box if needed. But in the case of the airline trips, one of those was 5-6 hours, and the cat did not "let rip" until we were in the car driving home from the airport - poor baby! They are naturally clean - they'll try really hard to avoid soiling their "space" as long as possible.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 05:43
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Originally Posted by Super VC-10 View Post
I'm getting a new kitten. He's a pedigree
What pedigree is your new kitten Super VC-10?
`
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 06:20
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He's a Manx. Not expecting temperature to be a problem as trains have air conditioning. If sunny, will be sitting on shady side of train. Something to cover carrier is a good idea, give him a bit privacy. Not keen on tranquilisers, am capable of putting up with yowling even if fellow passengers aren't. Hoping kitty will sleep most of the journey.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 06:27
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Originally Posted by Super VC-10 View Post
In a little under two weeks time, I'm getting a new kitten. He's a pedigree and the breeder is located some distance from me. Driving would take abour 4h30 to 5h. Can do it by train in a little under 2h30, plus a 20 min drive from station to home. As far as I'm concerned, the less time kitty is travelling, the better.

In case there's anything I've forgotten, does anyone have any tips for the journey?
You find yourself in a rather invidious position here unfortunately.
Animal welfare is an issue close to my heart so this should not be construed as anything less than helpful advice.

For the kitten, this trip will, presumably , be the separation from an environment the animal feels safe in and familiar with... and, as with puppies and children, it's a bewildering and scary world out there. Even more so if it's in a confined carrier on a crowded train with useless air cond with all the associated noise from the train itself along with that produced by humanity. Cats and dogs can also suffer from claustrophobia

It's perfectly understandable that you wish to minimise the travel time, but, at least with a car you can stop and offer the cat comfort and gentle reassurance should the cat shows signs of distress Is there anybody whom you know, who is animal friendly, who you could take with you in the car at all ?. That way, you can concentrate on the driving whilst being able to stop if required and also help comfort the cat.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 07:05
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K&C thanks for that. Train is definitely the best option. I could drive but due to a back injury it would not be the best option for me. As I see it, train is better for both of us. The cat carrier I have is a large one, so kitty will have room. It is also a wire basket type, so not as claustrophobic as those that only leave a view out of the front.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 07:27
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It'll be fine, they are tough little buggers, nice comfy blanket, something from its mother's house, soft toy of blanket scrap and all will be good.

If it pee's .. Its natural, sod the other passengers and anyway, it won't smell.

Our kitten gets transported from one side of Nairobi to the other (anything up to an hour plus) in the back of a taxi or a matatu and is perfectly fine, plastic shopping basket with a towel over it.... Definitely no air-conditioning.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 07:46
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You're kidding right......? This is really an issue in the UK? I traveled with a cat in a travel bag for 17 hours---Hawaii to Florida---not a problem...they adapt.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 08:17
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Originally Posted by Super VC-10 View Post
... Not expecting temperature to be a problem as trains have air conditioning...

You have been on a UK train recently? I'm sure the cat will be fine but I wouldn't rely on the train being air-conditioned, on time, smell better than the kitten, quiet enough to hear the kitten or frankly not being a replacement bus service.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 08:29
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Daysleeper - I've already done the train journey. Have visited kitten, met breeder and asked questions, also gave her a chance to evaluate and approve me as a potential owner. The journey will be on a Saturday morning so no commuters to contend with. Expect trains to be relatively quiet. Am leaving early to get to destination in time for building society to open and extract the money to pay breeder. Should be back home in time for a late lunch all going well. Have already checked out the engineering work situation and amended plans to take planned work into account by starting from a station two stops nearer London than originally planned. Car parking checked out for new station too, there's one 2 mins walk from station.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 10:00
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Hope you have a purr-fect trip.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 10:18
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Originally Posted by annakm View Post
Or a Bengal - I love Bengals, although they are incredibly vocal cats. Mine will really yowl in protest if things are not to his satisfaction. Quite painful on the ears in a confined space such as a car.
Ah, that's what that cat is I often see when I escort a friend home from the pub each week. Very friendly, very vocal, very beautiful... We decided it was a Burmese but it doesn't look quite right.
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