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Advise needed to ease cat car travel

Hello fellow Savannah cat owners..
We adapted our F5 male cat six months ago when he was 7 months old. We just adore him and is very much part of our family now. He is very uneasy in the car, meowing every 3 seconds when the car is moving.

We travelled 30 minutes weekly to the cottage for 4 months and he was very stressed by meowing every 3 seconds the whole way when the car was moving. He always sheds hair during a trip.
We have tried everything ... In cage, out of cage with harness, in cage with blanket covering cage, cage with pheromone spray, toys, food, water, music, quiet, gently speaking, etc. and nothing made any difference. When he arrived at our final destination he was fine... Laid on the floor very relaxed to watch us unload the car, he eat or drank so we knew his stomach was not upset from the ride.

Just recently we took him for very short 10 minute car rides a couple times. He seems to be a little better for the first few minutes, then meows every 3 seconds again.

We really want him to be able to travel with us .... so we would really appreciate any advice to help him and us.
Thank you to all in advance...
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cbain

Site Supporter
Same problem with our male, when I first saw him at the airport he was meowing and all the way home, he stopped when I put his carrier down at home and got the door open ,I called the breeder to tell them I had the kitten and he was ok and I told the breeder about the meowing and he said something happened during the trip to stress him out. Cody was a door darter and one night he got passed my wife and off the deck into the bushes, she ran after him yelling his name and he stressed out and started meowing and that was the only way she could track him in the dark, if he sees us get the carrier out he hides.
 

Lesley

Site Supporter
I would like any advice about this as well. I know for long trips some light sedation is sometimes used. Would like to get ours more comfortable for trips of less then an hour.
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
For the most part, my cats travel very well without a peep. For those that don't, I have found that using the largest carrier possible really helps. I use one large enough to fit a bed or blanket and litter box inside. These are similar to what I use for traveling: http://www.doghouses.com/dog-crates...e=msadcenter&kwid=canvas dog crates&tid=Exact

The Go-Pet canvas crate is NOT made well enough for cats! Bought one at Walmart to try out...returned it the next day.

I also use my canvas pop up show cage, if traveling more than an hour. This one fits across the back seat of my car: http://sturdiproducts.com/products/show-shelter-double When I arrive at my destination, I climb inside the car and transfer the cat (s) to a smaller, plastic carrier. What I really like about this crate is that there are loops to hang a hammock.

There are other brands similar to the sturdi-cage for less cost. The plastic mesh on any of these MUST be made of heavy plastic, or a determined cat will tear right through it. Be advised that some cats CAN tear through even the most-well made canvas crate. If you have the room in your car, and are concerned your cat might claw his way out of those, use a larger plastic crate. Try securing the crate with the seat belts so the carrier/crated does not move around with every bump or braking. Try driving with the crate covered or uncovered; turn up the radio; talk or sing...loudly!

I also occasionally bring out various crates of differing shapes, sizes and materials and leave them out for the cats to play in so the carriers or crates are familiar, fun places to be. Make sure the door is removed or secured so it can't swing around and injure your kitty. Place toys, treats, a blanket inside.

Try taking your cat out as much as possible in the car, starting with short trips and graduating to longer ones.

I've never sedated a cat for travel. Hopefully someone who has done that, safely, can chime in...
 

Lesley

Site Supporter
I have been leaving the carriers out for them to get used to. Thats good info about using a big carrier. Didn't know if that would make them more or less secure. Thanks for the links. My only experience with sedation was a friend who used a light vet prescribed sedation for a very upset kitty to go from KY to TX. I don't know what the sedative was, she said he slept the majority of the trip and when he woke, he was quite and calm for the last 2 hrs.
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
I have been leaving the carriers out for them to get used to. Thats good info about using a big carrier. Didn't know if that would make them more or less secure. Thanks for the links. My only experience with sedation was a friend who used a light vet prescribed sedation for a very upset kitty to go from KY to TX. I don't know what the sedative was, she said he slept the majority of the trip and when he woke, he was quite and calm for the last 2 hrs.


For some reason, the larger crates for traveling seem to make them feel more secure..at least for my cats.

And really loud singing seems to help :)

I'm not sure your boy would require a prescription sedation for trips lasting a few hours or less, but I'd ask your vet. Have your tried the lavendar calming collars?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produ...tid=21527&ref=6137&subref=NA&cmpid=PPC-B-6137
 

Lesley

Site Supporter
I haven't tried anything other then short trips with lots of treats. They ( we have a brother and sis 8 mos old) they stop meowing after 15 min., but are obviously stressed. They settle quickly after a trip, but I was hoping to have them tolerate it better, maybe even enjoy it. We always take them together for any travel.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
I've not sedated cats for car travel either, but I know others have used acepromazine or xanax for their cats. Both are prescription so would need to be obtained from your vet. If you do go that route I would recommend you try it on your cat before you take a big trip so you know how he will react to it, and you can work on adjusting the dose if necessary.
 
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