|Purred: Thu Mar 12, '09 3:11am PST |
|With my cats, we have sprayed Feliway inside the car from day 1 if the trip is going to be more than 5 minutes. This has helped them travel on multiday car trips. Feliway is a pherormone that only cats can smell. It calms them down considerably in stressful situations (I believe there are sold in pet stores under several name brands, but I'd go for the real deal if you can).
What also helps a lot for us is that we do practice car trips beforehand, that way by the time travel occurs, the cats are used to the routine of getting in the car, hearing car and road noises, and so forth. It's an important step of familiarizing your cat with travel, and you have to start it all over again if you haven't traveled for a while (we will be moving this summer, so I will probably start taking the cats on short around town car trips in April).
Also, I find that the more stressed I get about transporting the cats, the more they pick up on the stress and act out in the car (but mine do not do much more than meow a lot at this point), so practicing the car ride helps you know what to expect from your cats and relax about it.
As for medications, there are medications your vet can give you, but they are somewhat strong, so they really should be last resort (i.e., if feliway and car training don't work at all), and the instructions need to be followed to the letter. You will need to monitor for a lot of signs of distress during sleep and after they wake up, plus on some cats they will work to achieve the opposite effect, causing them to be more agitated and active than usual. It's a small percentage of cats, but you never know, so you need to test out the meds in advance.
To be honest, I got meds for Boris last summer, anticipating we might fly out and would need to be sedated, but then decided against drugging him up and just took him to destination via car, because the possible side effects of the sedatives kind of worried me. Never had to use them, and I'm kind of glad I didn't.
Edited by author Thu Mar 12, '09 3:13am PST
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