Car sickness remedy?

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QGM- Harlequin- (Striped- Seven)

I am a show- champion!
Purred: Sun Oct 27, '13 12:09pm PST 
Does anyone know a way to prevent a cat from getting motion sickness in the car? We travel with the cats in the car quite a bit and Harley gets carsick and regurgitates. For a while I was able to prevent it-- I discovered she usually would not get sick if she was not enclosed in a carrier. So I had her ride in a dog booster seat with a safety harness and most of the time she didn't get sick when riding that way. Unfortunately, recently she has been getting sick in the booster seat a lot more.
She even sometimes throws up when she is going from the car to the house in a carrier or stroller. I'm not sure if that is residual nausea from the car ride or if the motion of riding in the carrier is enough to make her feel sick.
I'm trying to find something else that might help prevent the nausea since riding in the booster seat doesn't seem to be enough anymore.


World's Best- Kitten- Socializer
Purred: Sun Oct 27, '13 6:52pm PST 
If your cat is getting sick on short car rides, this is probably due to stress. A few things MIGHT help. First, let the cat get used to the carrier (and I really do recommend a carrier). Bring the carrier in and take the top off. Put a fresh towel and a little catnip or a toy or something in the bottom to make it more appealing. Let the cat get used to just the bottom half of the carrier. Once that's happened, put the top on but NOT the door. This way, the cat can go in and out as it pleases. Once they are comfortable that way, THEN put the door on. Let the cat sit in the carrier with the door latched for a few minutes at a time, then reward her when you let her out. Another thing to try would be some Feliway spray on whatever towel is in the bottom.

Now if it's long car rides, here's what I've tried with Iba. Iba used to get violently car sick from both ends. Rule #1--Fast the cat for at least 4-6 hours (I fast Iba for around 8). A cat with an empty stomach is less likely to get nausea and puke. There are anti-carsick meds for cats and dogs that can be given. We started with those, but Iba and I have been able to phase that out. What we still use is acepromazine as a sedative. Again, it takes a little experimentation to figure out how much is enough. Iba is typically good on a half a pill for a 5 hour car ride (our longest thus far), but if he's had a particularly stressful day (a trip to the vet for example), I'll give him a whole pill. The one day I had to do this, I'm glad I did as we hit a deer on the highway and if he hadn't been stoned out of his mind, he would have freaked out. But test with a small amount and work your way up. Also, keep in mind that some cats start to sing like canaries when they are sedated.


I fetch,- therefore I am.

Purred: Mon Oct 28, '13 8:50am PST 
I'm thinking that the reason she wasn't vomiting when she was strapped into the booster seat was probably because she was too scared to throw up. Now that she's getting used to the harness and not being protected in a carrier, her nausea is stronger than her fear again.

I would talk to your vet about anti-nausea medication. There are some very effective ones available. Cerenia is a very good one, but it requires a prescription.

Hope you feel better soon, Harley! Keep us posted. hug


Stella- Felinis--Queen- of All Kitties!
Purred: Mon Oct 28, '13 10:22am PST 
It's Stella. Did she seem to enjoy being in the booster seat and looking around at the scenery? Our person had to drive her kitty 9 hours to get down here from Chicago when they first moved and Sarah was miserable in the carrier with no view of anything. When she was taken out of the carrier and fastened to the door rest, she could see the scenery and she relaxed immediately and seemed to enjoy the ride. However, most cats prefer smooth driving at higher speeds and not stop and start driving. Sarah had also flown in her carrier on the airline twice, which she did NOT like.

The puppy grew out of being car sick, but then she was a dog and loved going for rides with her people, the way dogs do. Some cats do, if they are taken to nice places and not just to the vet. If the only time the cat is in the car, s/he is going to the vet, then stress and fear are going to be the major feelings.

QGM- Harlequin- (Striped- Seven)

I am a show- champion!
Purred: Mon Oct 28, '13 11:20am PST 
Yes she seems to like being in the car seat or on the booster seat. She will hang out there and relax in the car seat, she doesn't act scared or try to get out of it or hide in the blanket. She seems to like her carrier too, she just throws up in it in the car.
She's been riding in the car since she was a baby so she's used to it, she used to go to pet stores and to cat shows a lot when she was younger. So I think it's nausea not stress.

Edited by author Mon Oct 28, '13 11:21am PST


QGM- Harlequin- (Striped- Seven)

I am a show- champion!
Purred: Mon Oct 28, '13 1:40pm PST 
Oh I forgot to add I also leave both the carrier and the booster seat sitting out in the house sometimes and she will sleep in them, so she is definitely used to them also. I also sometimes take them to events in the stroller, like pet shows and costume contests, she's always been comfortable with going places like that.
She doesn't get carsick right away, it's after we've been driving for a while although most often we aren't going on really long rides since we live in the city, but there's a lot of stopping and starting (city driving). Sometime she doesn't even throw up until after she's been taken out of the car when the ride is over.

Here's a photo of her riding in the car in the booster seat, you can see she's relaxed:
https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/1012104_744948745 359_773376834_n.jpg