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Treating Motion Sickness in Cats

  
  Michael Dym, VMD
Dr. Michael Dym
Holistic & Conventional Veterinarian ()
 
 

It is very common for cats to experience motion sickness while traveling. Cats typically do not adapt to change very well, and sudden changes in the environment, including traveling by car or plane, can be quite stressful to even the mellowest feline. Because of this stress and anxiety, it is not uncommon for cats to vocalize and drool excessively throughout a trip and even pant on extreme occasions. Trembling, restlessness, and overt vomiting are frequently seen in cats as a result of motion sickness and anxiety. Many cats will even have bowel movements and urinate in their carrier, due to the stress of travel.

  
Cats are sensitive to changes in their environment, especially during travel. Natural remedies, anxiety medication, and conditioning your cat to travel can help decrease your cat's nerves.

Natural Remedies for Your Cat

Homeopathic remedies that have a great reputation for use in motion sickness in cats include cocculus and aconitum. The recommended dose is one dose in 30c potency 15 minutes before travel, and then up to two more doses two times every 30-60 minutes as needed to reduce nausea, vomiting, and anxiety during travel. The product Easy Travel Solution from Pet Alive is an excellent combination herbal and homeopathic product that often helps reduce motion sickness. Flower essences Be Serene and Rescue Remedy also help and can be used every 15 minutes as needed during travel to reduce your cat's fear and anxiety during travel.

  

Calm Your Cat's Nerves with Medication

Prescription Acepromazine is a long-time favorite of many veterinarians. It helps calm anxious cats, and helps reduce nausea and vomiting. Caution is recommended when using Acepromazine, as some cats are very sensitive to this drug, and may become excessively sedate. Rarely, a cat may become hyperactive or have a seizure when given this medication. Prescription Benzodiazepam drugs including Lorazepam and Xanax are two other options, especially for reducing stress and anxiety in some cats. These are both safe and short acting in cats, only rarely causing side effects or complications.

 
 
  

Conditioning Your Cat to Travel

Introducing your cat to traveling in a car or plane from an early age may help encourage a positive experience and help your cat become accustomed to the plane or car. It is always important to secure your cat in a crate or carrier when traveling, as this helps them feel more safe and secure. If it is necessary to go on multiple trips with your cat, it may help to start by increasing the amounts of time in the vehicle with each trip. This will allow your cat to become more comfortable and adjusted with subsequent longer trips. Playing soothing music such as soft classical music can also help calm many cats during travel. Flower essences are recommended, including Rescue Remedy and Be Serene, which can be given every 15 minutes if needed during travel to help calm your anxious cat.

  

  
 
Vet Tip: To ensure your cat's safety, when using the 3-in-1 Soft-Sided Pet Carrier as a car seat or when leaving the top open, clip the safety tether to your cat's collar. - Michael Dym, VMD  
  

 
 
   
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