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Q: Has anyone sedated their cat during long travel before?

October 16, 2008 | By Brit E. | 11 answers | Expired: 2244 days ago

Brit E.

I am moving several states away, by car, and my tabby is horrendous while driving or even in a carrier in general. She screams, pees, poops, you name it. Someone suggested sedating her for the trip, and I was wondering if anyone else had tried it, and whether they would recommend it or not.

Readers' Answers (11)

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Katie C.
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Oct 23, 2008

If you have a few weeks, you might try starting off with VERY short trips-- first just 2 minutes in the carrier, then take her out and give her a treat. Then 5 the next day, then next day 2 minutes in the car, around the block. Then take a day off, then 5 minutes, then 7, then 10, etc, working up to maybe 1/2 hour.

This way hopefully she'll be less spastic until the sedatives kick in. Most cats I've known needed some behavioral and usually medicinal preparation for long trips. (I'd recommend asking for a natural sedative, or at least not acepromazine.)

Make sure you go over with your vet which side effects are common and which should cause concern. My friend's cat starting frothing at the mouth on their last long trip, and it sucks to be on a highway in the middle of nowhere and not know if you should lead-foot it to an emergency vet (he was fine, just stressed). Good luck!

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Carrie T.
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Oct 22, 2008

I have to give my one cat, Eeyore, a small dose of Dramamine about 30 minutes before any car ride along with making sure I pull the food and water the night before.

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Alessandro B.
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Oct 21, 2008

when I had to fly here from Europe I asked my vet and he told me that I could give the cats a natural tranquillizer, specific for pets. They wont; go to sleep but they will be calmer, it's herbal, and you have to start giving it to them ywo or three days earlier. I have to say they were good, but of course it is stressful for them to travel...

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Jessica P.
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Oct 21, 2008

Medication would probably work...and there are many "natural" sedatives that you could try. I had a cat that would howl and shake terribly from the second he got in the car until the minute he got back safely home...That was until his 2nd ten+ hour car ride...after the second 10hour ride (back and forth from PA to ME) he didn't "mind" the car at all..During the second ride he clawed his way into the sleeve of my jacket (yes I was wearing it!) and fell alseep (out of fear I believe)...after he discovered this place and allowed himself to feel safe for all the other rides he would meow for 2minutes, then relax and go to sleep. I never put him a carrier, though he did have a seat belt harness that I used most of the time. Maybe try some different positions, or a cat sack (like they have for nail clipping) if you don't want to sedate...or just take a few ten hour drives...(not really reccomended!)

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ShelbyBallard
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Oct 20, 2008

my mom did it to one of our cats and they were fine. acctually the cat lived to be 27 years of age

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Greenkittenbrechler
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Oct 18, 2008

it does 'look' sad, but kitty is much happier stress-free. my friend had to sedate a semi-feral she flew to a cat sanctuary. he arrived so calm/happy. the sanctuary said he was the best kitty she'd ever picked up at the airport!! he got to stay in her home that night - and did really well!
meds can be a good thing.

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Tammy M.
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Oct 16, 2008

When my husband and I moved from Georgia to Oklahoma, I had to sedate both of my cats. . . and I agree with allie0210 that they did act a bit drunk. We used the vet prescribed medicine and when we stopped to sleep for the night, my Himalayan screeched for an hour before going to sleep. It's a toss up for me as to whether I would sedate her again, but my other cat just passed out and was fine. By the time we made it to Oklahoma the sedation was wearing off and they were both back to normal. Is it possible to try sedating before the actual trip? That way you would know what to expect. Also, what about using something like Bendadryl to calm them a little but not make them entirely loopy? I think I'd ask my vet about that.

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Nelson M.
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Oct 16, 2008

My cat, Clarence, was insane during travel. Aside from vet prescribed medication, Clarence was calmer resting inside of a pillow case (head first) while in his carrier.

Good luck.

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Allie0210
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Oct 16, 2008

We sedated our cat during a move to another state. The vet suggested it and dispensed the medicine. Our cat was much less agitated and scared, however, I think he was bit drunk. He meowed off and on throughout the trip but willingly stayed confined and slept alot.

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Cindy
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Oct 16, 2008

Yes, I have several times for moves between states. It can be done.

I would recommend you get a pill dispenser. It's a pipe like gadget that you can put the pill into and inject it into the cat's mouth.

Get everything ready ahead of time - you will need a 3 cc syringe (no needle) with a couple of cc's of water for flushing the pill down after you insert it into the cat's mouth with the pill dispenser.

Put the cat on a surface at waist level so you can hold and control him better. Open the jaw - you'll need to have avet or tech show you how to do this. Insert the pill and follow with a cc, ive or take of water. Hold the mouth shut for a couple seconds after that if you can to make sure the cat doesn't spit the pill out.

Sometimes I dab the pill in some canned food so it is tastier. But dont' give your cat much if anything to eat before yu head out on your trip.

Ask your vet for a test dose before your planned trip to see how your cat responds. Start with a lower dose and work up if needed. One time a vet overdose my cat by giving him a second dose of what his partner had prescribed when I wasn't able to get all of the med in my cat. That was very scary for me, but he came around and is just fine now. That's why I say, start with the lowest dose and work up if needed.

It was hard for me at first, but I learned to do it. You can try some practice pills before you go. My cat did great with the medication. We have had some great trips together.

Hope this helps. Message me if you have more questions.

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