My cats have never really been great travelers... especially old Cally and Bear. They cry so much, even on the 5-minute drive to the veterinarian. So when I decided that I would be taking Bear and Bourbon to my parents' house for the holidays (9 days is a long time for us to have someone watch them!) we knew we needed a different strategy.
Since Bear & Bourbon are buddies, we thought it might be best to put them in a big, comfy carrier together. The cat carrier we mainly use is quite big for one cat (the Sleepypod) but our second carrier from their kitten days is too small. We ended up purchasing a Nature's Miracle dog crate (I believe the 26" one) and a super comfy dog bed to place in the bottom. The crate can collapse flat when we are done with it.
I liked how they could see out of the screens and have plenty of room to move around. We left the crate out in the living room, and Bourbon took quite a lot of naps in it. I also spritzed it with a cat-calming spray before the trip. We loaded both kitties into the carrier and strapped it in with seatbelts. We were able to carry both cats (under 10 lbs. each) and the crate up and down stairs no issue.
Bear cried for a few miles, but then both of them because SUPER well-behaved. They lay side-by-side in the crate, moving from time to time, and watched me through the screens. Lots of kitty naps! It was the smoothest road trip with cats I've ever taken; the 4.5 hours went fine for them! When we arrived at my parents', both cats used the litter box within 15 minutes of being let out of the crate, and everything has been smooth since.
The kitties at their grandparents' house
Mom and Dad secretly love their grandcats, I'd say! LOL. They're better behaved than their kitten days. I'm really glad I took the chance and had them ride together for this trip, because I believe separately they would have been more anxious. They enjoyed exploring a new (and much bigger!) space.
P.S. One lesson learned, when your normally quiet kitty starts mewing consistently, he has to go potty. Just saying. Listen up, fur parents!