14 YEARS OLD CAT TRAVELING ABROAD FOR THE FIRST TIME
Toti is a 15 years old male, neutered, indoor, 9 pounds weight, orange tabby cat. He is very playful, loving and happy furry kid.
Twice a year, he has control appointments with the veterinary. He runs complete blood tests, blood pressure, etc. and the last results (May 2010) are: Creatinine 2,5 /BUN 47,4 /S.G.O.T. (AST) 48 /S.G.P.T.(ALT) 55.1 /Alk.Phosph. (ALP) 28,1. In terms of WBC he is on the lower side (5.220) but is the same value since 5 years ago . He is totally asymptomatic.
He is on K/D Prescription Diet, mostly canned food but also dry. He was taking VETOQUINOL AZODYL once a day. Since last week I started with twice capsules daily in order to improve his values (It was the vet’s advice). I give him, as a supplement, “The Missing link” and Tonic-Lax for the Hairballs.
He is a totally indoor cat. He has no contact whatsoever with any other pet. For that reason I stop vaccinate him six years ago because I think it does more harm than good. However, the vet suggested doing the Elisa Snap Combo Test for AC FIV (Feline Aids) and AG FelV (Feline Leukemia) and the results were negative for both.
At the moment I live in Venezuela–South America. However, I need to go to Canada for 2 months and half and I want to take Toti along. I am aware that I have to vaccinate him. I am not pretty sure if the vaccines will affect him because of his low WBC. However, I have no choice if I want to take him with me to Canada. Or do I have another alternative? If I don't, I only will allow the essential vaccination protocol for feline diseases and the minimum requirements for the travel and entry into Canada.
I am married with no kids so Toti is my furry child. He is extremely attached to me. When I travel, my mother stays with him at my home so he has no routine changes at all. The only thing is that I play and interact a lot with him every day and my mother doesn’t. However, during our last trip (for a month) he was sad and depressed after 10 days. On the other hand, I believe he has a very accommodating personality. For instance, when we moved in our actual home, it took him 15 minutes to get used to the apartment even though he came from a big house with a garden and a lot of freedom. He was 3 years old though! But six months ago (he was 14 years old then), I left him at my mother’s apartment for 5 days and even though he was a little bit anxious at first, but he was not upset at all. He ate, drank water,
Albeit I am going to take all the safety measures and precautions advised by the local vet, I am worried because this will be his first trip ever (locally or internationally). From here to Toronto is a 5 and half flight plus waiting time at the airports (he will travel in the cabin with me and my husband). On top of that, he will be staying in a completely strange place for him. I am very worried about the stress or if his psychological state is too fragile for this adventure. He will have all the TLC and dedication required, but I am preoccupied if these will be too many changes to be exposed all at once.
Please take into account that Venezuela is a third world country. Accommodations for pets are very precarious. After my last trip he was so sad, he lost weight, etc and he was with my mother!!.
I really want to take him with me. I have the strong feeling that he wants to be where I am. I love him so much that I don’t want to be apart for such a long period of time. But I am responsible for his well-being as well and I want to do what will be best for my dearest furry kid, with respect to his health and his emotional well-being.
Thank you in advance for your advice. I fhave the feeling that it will help me calm my anxiety about this issue.
Answer by Kate
What can i say, you seem to be a very competent cat owner who only wants the best for their cat, so I feel that I do not have a lot more to offer in the way of advice then I think you already know,
Of course being able to stay at home during this period would be the best option for your cat as this will have the least upset for him. but if no one is able to stay with him then you have no other option than to take him with you.
All i can suggest is that you speak to your vet about sedatives for your cat during the trip and to settle him into his new home. You vet will know whether this is viable for your cat at his age etc.
there are also cat calming plug in sprays I believe by a company called feliway. these way help your cat in his new home.
I do have a couple of pages on my site about general advice when moving with a cat which you may find of further interest
I wish both you and your cat a happy trip and I'm sure that with such a caring owner as yourself your cat will be fine.
best wishes Kate