In 2008 I moved out of my parents' house first time and since I was a child I had told everyone I will get a cat. I had a little trauma asking for a kitten ever since I was a little girl, but never got one because my younger sister was allergic. Years later, it turned out that her allergy basically disappeared and when my brother turned 13, my parents decided to get him a cat for birthday present?! I remember how devastated I was even though, the kittens we took was obviously for the whole family. I guess at that moment my parents did quite stupid move, but then again I was still happiest ever because we got two kittens, who we named two musketeers Athos and Aramis. Later on we also got Porthos, who is still cheering up my parents after all the kids flew from the nest. With one annoying (and cute) Chihuahua, Rudolf.
Anyway, as soon as I moved out I started to look for a cat, more specifically Ragdoll since it has always been my favorite. Later on, I could have thought it through better, since amount of hair they lose daily is enormous. You have to decorate your home based on your cats and anything dark colored is a big nope, the same applies to fluffy carpets. Nevertheless, I would never give up on my cats and because of that they have been traveling with me was a chance to take them. After I got my first cat, Kiki, I of course had to look for a friend for her. Less than a year later, I had Siro (both ladies, as this might not be obvious for readers from outside of Finland :)).
I am lucky to have two little sisters and a little brother, because I have always had someone to take care of Siro and Kiki when traveling. Longest time one of my sisters took care of my furballs was a half a year and my cats had always "two homes". For me it was easy to leave them in a place I know they also considered a home and they were surrounded with familiar people. Even though my sister always kept complaining about amount of hair they leave, she still missed them every time I took them back.
When we decided to move abroad new problems emerged because we don't know how long we stay and where. It was then obvious that cats have to move with us. First, with me to Poland and later on they came with us to Croatia. Since we were moving within EU, it was quite easy. They only needed rabies vaccination, pet passport, and microchip. And reality is, that none of them were checked, not in airport nor on a border when crossing it by car. I was really nervous how the cats will take the trip but everything went better than expected. During car journey only problem was Siro’s ability to meow hours and our sanity when listening it. She has always been very verbal and new environment turns it to new levels.
What to take care of during long car journeys with cats? Longest one we have had, was 11 hours. We made sure there is enough space for them to use a toilet if they had to (unfortunately they did) and to offer water from time to time. Most of the time they really didn't give a crap about food or beverages, only thing they actually enjoyed was the possibility of free movement in a car. Then they were able to find the most comfortable spot. After first few hours both of them got used to the driving and went to sleep. Many of my friends asked if we gave some sedatives to the cats, but we didn't and it was not needed. Actually, vets do not recommend sedatives, especially for flying, because airplane temperature is lower and also with sedatives body temperature of animals decreases.