Would you use a tranquilizer for travel?

Stephanie JohnsonStephanie Johnson Member Posts: 556
edited 17 September, 2011 in Cat Health
I am moving with Isabelle and our drive is 6 hours. I got a tranquilizer pill from my vet but I'm nervous about using it. Isabelle has only ever been in the car for about 20 minutes and she is NOT happy about it. She is very anxious, yowls, and has even started panting a bit one time (it was not hot in the car). So, I'm not sure if she would settle down after we got going or if it would be like that the whole way. ::o I'm just afraid that if I don't give her something before we go there will be no way I can medicate her on the road. Has anyone used a non-prescription calming option? Also, is a soft or hard carrier better for long trips like this? I have a hard one but it rattles from the metal front and sides (annoying to Isabelle and everyone in the car). I'd like to make her more comfortable, but then worry about safety if we happen to be in an accident. :(


  • Tiffany AldingerTiffany Aldinger Member Posts: 620
    edited 15 September, 2011
    I've traveled with Monida in the car a number of times - usually it's about a 9-hour trip. My vet also gave me a tranquilizer pill. The first few times I drove with her, I would give her half the pill. It really helped. On my return trip the first time, I tried to go without, but had to pull over after 20 miles or so because she was so upset. I think eventually your kitty would calm down, but it can be pretty stressful and heartbreaking until they do. You could try giving her half a pill days before you travel and see how she reacts. That way you can see what affect it will have on her. One thing I should mention that my vet failed to tell me, is if your pill is anything like mine, the cat's third eyelid will go up. This freaked me out the first time I saw it. Definitely keep her in a carrier while in the car - I made the mistake of letting Mo out and she almost climbed under the pedals as I was going 80. ::o::o The carrier is by far the best place and she'll probably feel much safer in there too since it's her own little spot. I don't think it matters if it's hard or soft-sided. You can put a blanket in it, and it'll be just fine. This is probably more than you're looking for, but just let me know if you have any other questions about traveling long distances with a cat!
  • Tiffany AldingerTiffany Aldinger Member Posts: 620
    edited 15 September, 2011
    Also - what did the vet give you? You might need to ask the vet if it could be halved (if you were interested in doing that) since not all medicine should be cut.
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 15 September, 2011
    I'd say do a longer test drive of an hour or a little more first. Pandora and I used to whine for the first 30-40 minutes, then give up and go to sleep, now we only have ten minutes or so before we settle. We, plus Bodrouex our friend ode all the way to NJ in july, 10 hours the first day. the second day Meowma messed up and we had to ride 13 hours; that day we did start to whine after the 11th hour, then all peed in our crates :r Other than that, only the smallest amount of meowing either day. S, take a little longer ride and see what happens first if the idea of tranquilizing doesn't appeal to you.
  • Stephanie JohnsonStephanie Johnson Member Posts: 556
    edited 16 September, 2011
    We have acepromazine 10mg, give 1/4 pill every 6-8 hrs. So that's like 3.5mg per dose and she weighs 12 lbs. I will definitely put soft blankets in her carrier so she's comfortable, though she tends to bunch them all up and hunker down in a corner anyway. I should try it out first, in case she has a reaction to it. So nervous! :(
  • Barbara FruinBarbara Fruin Member Posts: 614
    edited 16 September, 2011
    You could wait & see if she settles down and give it to her only if she does not. You could even give a half-dose instead. When I moved it was a 14hr trip. I had two kitties and they were on tranquilizers for the trip with no adverse effects. They even bounce back sooner because they don't remember much of the trip or the trauma. Good luck - hope it all works out!! Luv, Tink|^|
  • Arlye DruryArlye Drury DartmouthMember Posts: 826
    edited 16 September, 2011
    we recently traveled about 5-6 hours to go camping. I put a fair-sized kennel with a litter box and cat bed in it. Purrcy "sang" for a little bit, but settled down fairly quickly. Try taking for a few "test"drives?? and see how your cat does. I prefer not to medicate unless it is absolutely necessary. Hope your trip goes smoothly and good luck!
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 17 September, 2011
    I would have to agree about giving 1/4 pill now and go for a short ride or just watch her at the house and see how she acts. Meowma has driven from Colarado to Fla. And Fla. To Min. With cats that were not on anything. Both were males and started out in a crate. But after a long time, we found they were better loose in the car. The first kitty was better right next to me on the front seat. But on both drives, there were more then just Meowma In the car. Since you will be on a shorter trip then that, it would be best done in a crate. Please keep us all adviesd as to what you decide to do and how it went.
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