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Old 13.09.2011, 11:12
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Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

You know how people in forums post threads where they are pretending to ask questions but in reality they just want you to agree with them or condone their choice? I’m about to do that.

I am moving in increments from Lausanne to Zurich over the coming months and my most precious piece of cargo is the lovely Pablito, a big black macho 6-year-old farm cat from Fribourg (to give you an idea of size)

I have no furniture to move (sold all my Lausanne furniture) so I just move my clothes and worldly possessions each weekend in steps by train when I do my weekly commute.

I neither have a car nor a drivers’ license (another story for another day) so I do everything by train.

Pablito is currently staying with a luxury catsitter (sarcasm) in Lausanne and the idea is that when I get permanent digs in Zurich to move him up.

So:

1. The current plan is to move Pablito up by train and I need validation.

He has handled 30-minute car rides well with no visible stress or loud meowing or bodily fluids, and despite the fact that the door-to-door will be around three hours, I’m still thinking it is doable. I have a first-class AG so the wagon would likely be quite empty so no people drama (I would get his train ticket obvs).

2. But I’m truly open to insight: I know this will be stressful for him, but is it more cruel to move him by train rather than asking a friend to move him by car? Am I missing some PETA rules here? Am I a cat lady fail?

3. Another thing I was thinking is since I plan to live outside Zurich, would it be better to train to Zurich HB then car to my new apt?

4. Finally, he is freaking huge (too much Gruyere and double-crčme), he has the stature of a main coon or something, and I think his vet carrier (a normal cat carrier) is fine for short trips but I am wondering if for three hours, shouldn’t he have something larger (dog-sized) to be able to stand up and move around?

Thanks for any insight!
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Old 13.09.2011, 11:39
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

if you can carry him put him in the kennel and leave him in there. kennels are supposed to be small (only just stand up and turn around) it gives them a feel of security i guess. its a 3 hour trip you and your cat will be fine.


You do that commute every day?????? how is that going for you? (powercommuter in location is why i ask )
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Old 13.09.2011, 12:47
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

He shouldn't have a problem - our cat does regular (weekly) 50min trips - and after a 2 hour train trip no longer "bitches" about the car!!

She has also done 4 hour trips with no increase in stress - usually falls asleep after a while.
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Old 13.09.2011, 12:57
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

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shouldn’t he have something larger (dog-sized) to be able to stand up and move around?

Thanks for any insight!
That would be my only concern. I'm assuming though that he's fairly used to being in a box of sorts otherwise?

If you're not into doing it by train with him, or into the idea of having to carry Pablo and his crate, you could look into a pet relo service. ACE Pet Movers are in Zurich and they might be able to get Pablo from Lausanne to your new home with peace of mind if you can spare the cost.
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Old 13.09.2011, 14:23
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

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if you can carry him put him in the kennel and leave him in there. kennels are supposed to be small (only just stand up and turn around) it gives them a feel of security i guess. its a 3 hour trip you and your cat will be fine.

Thanks!

You do that commute every day?????? how is that going for you? (powercommuter in location is why i ask )
I actually do a Monday-Friday commute (e.g. I leave Zurich on Friday night and come back from Lausanne on Monday morning on the first train, but as I travel a lot for my job, sometimes I do more than that (this week I have to come back to Zurich on Saturday, etc).
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Old 13.09.2011, 14:24
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

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He shouldn't have a problem - our cat does regular (weekly) 50min trips - and after a 2 hour train trip no longer "bitches" about the car!!

She has also done 4 hour trips with no increase in stress - usually falls asleep after a while.
Yeah I'm hoping he will just revert to his natural state of somnolence after an hour or so.
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Old 13.09.2011, 14:25
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

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That would be my only concern. I'm assuming though that he's fairly used to being in a box of sorts otherwise?

If you're not into doing it by train with him, or into the idea of having to carry Pablo and his crate, you could look into a pet relo service. ACE Pet Movers are in Zurich and they might be able to get Pablo from Lausanne to your new home with peace of mind if you can spare the cost.
That would actually be a great idea! I try to avoid doing anything that makes him mad because he is a vindictive beast, so if a relocation service gets the brunt of his unhappiness, that would rock!
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Old 13.09.2011, 14:45
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

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That would actually be a great idea! I try to avoid doing anything that makes him mad because he is a vindictive beast, so if a relocation service gets the brunt of his unhappiness, that would rock!
Here's a link. http://www.acepetmoving.com/en/about-us.html

Good luck!
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Old 13.09.2011, 15:26
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

I would second the idea of a larger pet carrier...

I moved my cat from England to Lausanne via van and ferry (over 2 days), and she was... well she put up with it. I bought a larger carrier for her so she had more space.

No bodily fluid problems - and this was from around 9am to 5pm. I did put newspaper in the carrier instead of a cushion so that if an accident did happen I could just take it out and change it (had plastic bags and spare paper with me).

Maybe you could pause your journey part way so he can have a break from the movement, and a change of air?

I don't know about feeding... what I did was when we had a rest stop I put a pouch of wet food in the little feeding tray that came with the carrier. My vet suggested this as they said she'd never drink but if she had wet food she'd get some moisture in her. Of course it depends it Pablito is the kind of 'I'm going to escape out of this boy the first opportunity I have' kind of cat... (my cat is the kind of 'I didn't want to go in here but now I'm in here I'm not coming out until I'm back home' cat so escape was not a possibility).

One further piece of experience... my vet suggested using a Feliway hormone spray to calm my cat during the journey. So I bought one, and followed the advice on the packet (use in around the house for a few times before the journey, spray it in the carrier and leave for a certain amount of time before you put the cat in the carrier). I put the cat in the carrier, and she went berserk. Never seen her act like that before or since. She was scratching at the walls, trying to bite her way through the grid of the door... and I felt awful. But of course I'd waited until the last minute to put her in, so I couldn't let her out and clean the carrier... So if you do try some kind of 'soothing' spray (I know some people swear by Feliway), try it out in the carrier with your cat before the journey...
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Old 14.09.2011, 11:03
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Re: Moving my cat from Lausanne to Zurich

Feliway - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - in our experience. Our cat works herself into such a state BEFORE she gets in the car that normally she just is so tired and goes to sleep.

We now close the cat-flap OUT when we leave on the day we will be leaving - so she can come back in - and then not out again. We also make sure she gets plenty of attention as we pack.

I had one cat many years a go - who'd happily go in his basket - within 2kms he'd have done a poo!! So you'd stop, clear it up, and then he'd be fine!!
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