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here's the breakdown

cat has a heart murmer, possibly a sign of a heart condition called hypocardiomyopathy. the murmer has been downgraded at our last vet visit, which is a great sign but might mean the condition is caused by cysts on the heart which is probably going to be a reoccuring thing.

cat was overweight, vet suggested he drop a pound or 2. i switched from dry to canned food, which has less carbs and processed junk which is what makes them fat.

he was doing great, healthy as he'd ever been, but got sick of his food and stopped eating. ended up with fatty liver disease, lost 5 pounds. had to forcefeed with a syringe for a week. got better, gained back to a healthy weight but now we have to monitor his food intake, if he's not getting enough calories he'll get sick again. so he has to be fed consistently. all he'll eat is cheap junk, i cheat and mix in a bit of a high quality food for the sake of my own conscience.

we're going away for christmas, 5 hours north to visit family, for 4 days. nobody i know will be available to come in 4 times a day to feed him. and he's gotten so picky, he only eats if i'm in the room with him. i pretty much have to bring his dish to whatever room i'm in, or else sit on the kitchen floor and wait for him to finish before i go do anything.

i can't ask someone to come in and do that 4 times a day. so a friend was going to take him to her apartment while we were gone. now she can't (won't) and the only other friend who'd be willing to do that is going away for holidays also.

soooo, 5 hour car ride for kitty, as well as introducing him to a new house, and another cat.

i was picking up food and litter yesterday and on the counter they had these homeopathic anxiety remedies, one is for travel. it's a non-sedating thing that's just supposed to calm him. so i bought it but i want to check with the vet before i use it. the heart condition makes anesthesia and sedatives dangerous, and though this stuff claims to be nonsedating i want to find out for sure. it's plant stuff and borax and something i can't pronounce that sounds like a mineral.

anywho we have a folding chair he sleeps on a lot so we're going to bring it and the blanket that's usually on it for him, and his litter box so we don't have to worry about sharing with the other cat. we'll bring some food in a sealable container to give him when we stop halfway.

is there anything else i can do to keep him calm? if he's stressed he won't eat and if doesn't eat he'll get sick again. if he gets sick i'll be stressed and not eat..

he really really hates the car, a lot. not sure how he'll be with my brother's cat, he was raised with other cats but that was 7 years ago. he's met a couple of small dogs and got along ok. he was wary at first but after a few hours they were playing together.

i know they should be introduced slowly and he should be allowed to check out the house first. the other cat's stuff is in the basement where my brother's room is so we'll lock her down there and let Moo snoop around and find his food and litter and chair. we'll keep bedroom doors closed so he has less to check out. he knows my mom at least. once he's settled down we'll let Bitsy out. she's skittish and anti-social so we figure she'll hide in the basement anyways, but she's kind of mean and declawed, i'm worried she'll pick a fight and get hurt. she's teeny, Moo's almost 20 pounds of mostly muscle, and very pointy lol.

*sigh*

am i forgetting anything? i've never done this but i've thought about it before, i hope i'm not missing anything
 

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ours all ride much better on a harness than they do in a carrier so you might want to try that, my boyfriend's Pandora (sister to my two in the avatar) will cry herself hoarse driving a mile away in a carrier but will sit semi-contently in his lap with only a few mews when on her harness.

Give him a bit to get used to the harness and then a few short rides with something VERY yummy when het gets home to get him used to the car.

Good luck with him, it's so hard to go out of town with pets, and then you add all the medical conditions and you get practically glued to your house.
 

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A general comment re. the people recommending leashes. For people who have indoor cats, I would definitely not take a cat out of the house initially on a leash unless you know how your cat will behave. Take the cat in a carrier, maybe with the leash on, and then open the carrier in the car, if you choose to do this. When cats freak out, there is little way to control them, and you might lose your cat. The cat instinct is to run and hide when scared, and some will also turn on you if this can't be accomplished.
 

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You're only going to be there for four days... I would not stress your cat out by introducing it to your brother's cat. Just keep him locked in one room with his things. Less space and no other cat will be less stressful for him.

My cats get shuttled back and forth to my parents house with me (2 1/2 hrs) because I feel weird without them, and I used to not have anyone to watch them. My bf would now (since we live together) but Atticus has had a urinary obstruction in the past and I'd rather keep a closer eye on him myself. That being said, the drive sucks. Atticus screams pretty much the entire way. They stay in their carriers the whole time because I don't trust them not to jump on me or climb under my feet while I drive, and it isn't worth everyone's safety that maybe Atticus will be quiet. Monchichi is pretty good, but he's recently learned how to Meow (at 5 yrs old) and I'm a little concerned that Att will get him going!! I tried drugging them once, and it didn't affect Att at all, and Munch was zonked and I was really worried the entire time about them, so I've decided to just deal with the yelling.
 
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