cat tranquilizers and traveling

Michele EnensteinMichele Enenstein EurekaMember Posts: 1,247
edited 19 May, 2012 in Cats & Travel
My husband and I are divorcing and splitting up the cats. My boy is going on a two day car ride and spending the night at a hotel. I plan to ask our vet about tranquilizers but I'd love to hear people's experiences with traveling with their cats.


  • Andrea DailyAndrea Daily GainesvilleMember Posts: 72 ✭✭
    edited 19 April, 2012
    The last time Patricia saw a vet, I said she needs to be sedated to survive a 15-hour car ride (central Ohio to northern Florida). She explained at age 15, Patricia is too old for that because it can cause problems. I was worried she will meow her head off nonstop until she got tired. Great news! It never happened. As scared as she was, Patricia NEVER meowed in the car. I was surprised. Eventually, she got out of her carrier, which I had to leave open so she could get food and water anytime. But she was too scared to eat and drink when we made several pit stops to feed ourselves or the car. Your biggest problem is going to be the hotel stay. Patricia was so scared in Marietta, Georgia she went under a chair, behind the nightstand, and under my mom's bed. I strongly recommend booking a Marriott suite if you can because I noticed Patricia was a lot more comfortable there than she was in Marietta. I guess she thought, "This is like home," when she saw a seperate living room. After three nights at Marriott Suites, it was back to being a scaredy cat for Patricia. She spent the first two days here in her carrier, which I left open in my walk-in closet. Next she went under the bed. It took a full week to get into a normal routine of sleeping ON my bed again.
  • Michele EnensteinMichele Enenstein EurekaMember Posts: 1,247
    edited 23 April, 2012
    He's 4 so age isn't a problem. We have a regular cat carrier for him to travel in. Then for the hotel we have a large dog kennel with space for litter box, food, and water.
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 24 April, 2012
    Has your cat ever traveled in a car before? If not, you may want to take him on some shorter trips just to see how he does in the car. Two of my cats do fine on car trips and do not need to be medicated at all, the other two get a little nervous, so I spray some Feliway on their bedding in their carriers before the trip. I have also used Rescue Remedy which can be effective. You may have to experiment a little to find what works. I would only consider a sedative from the vet if it were absolutely necessary. You may be surprised and find out he does fine in the car. Don't forget to bring some favorite toys and his blankie in the carrier so he has some familiar smells. Happy travels to you and your kitty :-h
  •  Member Posts: 76
    edited 24 April, 2012
    I've never been in a hotel but I traveled across the country in the air once. Mommy said I was really, really good. She packed my favorite-treat-wet noms and my/her blankie. When I got to the new home, she had my bed ready for me so I had a touch of home. I seemed to do ok so long mommy was near me. I was 4 and a half then.
  • Michele EnensteinMichele Enenstein EurekaMember Posts: 1,247
    edited 26 April, 2012
    The only time they've been in cars was when they got altered. Otherwise, we used a house call vet as we had no car. My parents are going to be helping me move and we can try some short car rides. I think I'll get some Feliway.
  • Debra HoffmannDebra Hoffmann RidgewoodMember Posts: 1,174
    edited 27 April, 2012
    I really don't suggest sedating for travel unless you speak with your vet. We didn't use tranqs on Ruffy when traveling, and my vet says' she's leery of tranqs, and does prescribe us cerenia for nausea in case needed, which does appear to ahve a calming effect. The reasons she doesn't care for is that tranqs can sometimes not be good for cats, and she doesn't really like to do it when cats are older. Ruffy was fine with the travel. When the others have had to do short trips, they have been fine. My suggestion is to get a good size carrier that will accomodate a litter box and a place for kitty to move a bit and lay down. Make sure car is well ventalated and that cat is never left alone in the car unattended. We always run the air-or open windows for ventalation. We feed at 'stops' and there is always water available. Don't feed too heavy a meal on the road...we feed when we make rest stops, so they have a chance to eat when not moving... all the best, and lots of purrs.
  • Arna CohenArna Cohen Member Posts: 565
    edited 27 April, 2012
    Tranquilizers make a cat feel very disoriented and can actually upset them more. Have a blanket handy that you can drape over their carriers to darken them. The "den" atmosphere can be calming.
  • Lisa LukowskiLisa Lukowski Sterling HeightsMember Posts: 9
    edited 29 April, 2012
    I travel about 2 hours with Colby about once a month to visit my parents. He meows less than he used to, but still does. I find the best method is sticking him up front with me in his cat carrier, and facing the gate toward me driving. He can see me, and he tends to quiet down if I just set my fingers on the gate so he can rub his face on them if needed. I also put a towel (with his scent) inside for comfort and a toy just in case he decides to snuggle. I've had lots of people tell me to use Benadryl but I just can't see myself doing that to my cat.
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 8 May, 2012
    We travels to shows, all over the East Coast, we been 6-7 hrs one way to a show, and we stayed in lots and lots of hotels. We is very glady to tell you hows to do this, but it is long and involved, but it works, and we sleepys the whole way, well, except for tolls and human bathroom/coffee. We gets up, is we there yet, nope, we goes back to sleepys. We just wants to know, if ya still wants to know, b 4 we types all this out, we is just kittens, and just learning how to types. The Kittens
  • M BenkeM Benke Member Posts: 581
    edited 9 May, 2012
    I just made a 10 hour drive with Mocha which included an overnight stay at a hotel. I thought it was going to be a nightmare but it turned out alright. I did dose her with Rescue Remedy, though. Instead of using a standard cat carrier, we got a medium sized floppy-foldable-kennel from Walmart for $16. There was enough room for a small litter box w/out a lid, food, water, and room for her to lay around in. I did put her in a kitty harness with leash as well as a collar and ID tag. She meowed for a little bit, and got carsick once (windy roads), but otherwise, it was an incredibly uneventful trip. I did have a couple of towels in there for her too. When we got to the hotel, I let her out and about and she did fine. I really think it had to do with the fact that she wasn't as cramped up and such from the standard carrier. The trip back home went even smoother! No Rescue Remedy, just put her in the kennel, and she did amazing! No meowing, and she even ate, drank, and used the litter box!
  • Michele RohyansMichele Rohyans Member Posts: 231
    edited 19 May, 2012
    I am on meds and 16, so tranquilizers are out of the question, however, I can recommend "Quiet Moments" Natural Herbal Calming Spray" it contains simulated feline pheromones. Mommy sprays it on my carrier blanket 1/2 an hour before I goes in, and it is very soothing. I have been in several airports and will be flying twice this summer. One thing mommy has noticed is that her imagination is WAY worse than the reality of traveling with me. The truth is, when I am scared all I want is to stay near mommy, once we are on the plane I go right to sleep. I agree that putting a blanky over the crate to create a "den" is an excellent idea; it also cuts out the amount of outside stimuli that might over stimulate a younger cat like you. Oh, and one more suggestion, there are calming cat treats that work really well for my brofur Bandit (he's 10, but still VERY kitten like), and Bandit is afraid of EVERYTHING! You have gotten a bunch of good advice here, I a sure that you will find something that works. Best of Luck!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!! ;c;
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