Travel drugs for cats

With the right strategy, you can travel with your cat.With the right strategy, you can travel with your cat. (Photo: Hemera Images )

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Just like some humans, cats are susceptible to motion sickness. Cats also hate new routines and environments, which can make car travel very stressful for them. Pet owners can help their cats get used to both the carrier and the car to help remove the foreignness of the situation. Your vet can also suggest prescription medications to help calm your cat and soothe away motion sickness for a relaxed travel experience.

Items you will need

  • Cat carrier
  • Cat treats or catnip
  • Cat pheromone spray
  • Prescription cat drugs

Step 1

Choose the right carrier so your cat is comfortable. It should be tall enough for your cat to stand in, and wide enough to allow your cat to turn around. The carrier should also have a secure latch on its door and side air vents so your cat can breathe fresh air.

Step 2

Train the cat to associate positive events with the carrier. Place the carrier in your cat's favorite room and put a towel or pet bed inside. Further enhance the appeal of the carrier with a sprinkling of catnip or by regularly giving your cat tasty treats inside the carrier.

Step 3

Get your cat used to the car, especially if you plan to take a long trip. Guide the cat into its kennel and latch the door. Place the carrier in the car on a flat surface, such as the floor or a car seat. Take a short drive of five to 10 minutes, then return home. Repeat several days later, extending the travel time gradually until the cat is accustomed to long trips in the car.

Step 4

Spray your car with a cat pheromone product before departing on your trip. CatChannel.com's Arnold Plotnick, DVM, recommends these sprays to calm cats during car travel and to accustom them to stressful environments. They are available through some pet stores and veterinary offices.

Step 5

Treat your cat with a prescription cat drug designed to calm and sedate cats and reduce motion sickness, one of the major causes of stress for cats during car travel. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends medications like chlorpromazine, phenobarbital and diazepam. These drugs are available from your vet, who can also determine the appropriate dosage for your cat's age and weight.

Step 6

Talk to your cat in a calm voice while riding in the car. The familiar sound of your voice may calm your cat and provide reassurance.

Tip

  • If you are traveling in a car with plans for transferring your cat to an airplane, choose a carrier that meets the government requirements set for airline pet carriers. Contact the Federal Aviation Administration toll-free at (866) 835-5322 for the current requirements and regulations.

Warning

  • Stress and motion sickness from car travel can cause your cat to drool, cry, vomit and experience loose bowel movements.

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