Traveling with a Cat
(Bryn Mawr, PA)
My cat Sammy gets extremely nervous when traveling in the car. It is hard to even get him in his crate. He pants excessively. What can I do to get him into his crate more easily and to calm him down when travelling in the car? Thank you.
Benadryl works nicely and safely to sedate cats for travel as does Dramamine. However, not having examined your kitty, I couldn't say you should give it or give you the dosage. You should talk to your vet who could also prescribe actual tranquilizers if needed.
There are many natural tools that might help as well. One of my personal favorites is Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic solution that can simply be rubbed into your cat's ears, a few drops placed in his water or on his tongue, or even a few drops on the pads of his feet. Some of my clients swear by this! Again, you should discuss this with your veterinarian before trying it.
Spraying your cat's carrier with Feliway spray can also make it feel more safe and reassuring. Feliway mimics your cat's natural facial phermonones, which he uses to mark something as safe and familiar, and can help him believe that the carrier is a safer place to be.
Also, the easiest way to get a cat into a carrier is to have two people, one to hold the carrier upright on its end and the other to lower the cat into the carrier, hind feet first. A top-loading carrier can work equally well.
Good luck. Many cats have this problem and can be helped.
Thank you for writing,