How to take an extremely timid cat on a 3 hour car journey?(6 Posts)
Moving house soon and worrying about how I'm going to get my very timid cat there. It's a nightmare to get her into a cat carrier; she's not one for being handled and last time we went on the short journey to the vet a few years ago she was so worked up she pooed in the carrier. Any tips for traveling with cats? Someone mentioned I could ask the vet for sedation tablets?
Do you have a big travel carrier for her that you could put a nice comfy blanket in, her toys and a bowl of dried food? To help her to be less frightened about being in the box, leave her travel box on the floor in the house, where she can see it and get used to it. Put some of her familiar items in the box and she might be tempted to go in. You should take her for a few very short car journeys, so that she can get used to car journeys a bit more. Don't have the radio on or music whilst she's in the car with you and try to keep things as calm as possible for her. You could put a cover over her travel box, which might help her to stay calm.
Any vets I've ever spoken to about cat sedatives have said absolutely no way to giving them.
There is a natural "calmer" called Zylkene, worked well for mine when it was fireworks season. Not a sedative as such, but makes then just a bit more chilled out & relaxed. It comes in capsules which you can open & sprinkle onto their food - mine loved it and gave me dirty looks when the firework season was over & I stopped putting it on their food.
get the cat carrier out now so that the cat can start getting used to it, and start putting her food in the carrier so she associates it with good things!
Big carrier with a blanket/stuffed animal to keep her calm, and Zyklene from the vet.
My old cat pooed in the carrier everytime. He got so stressed
I had to do a massive relocate (UK/Ireland) with my elderly, timid cat and was dreading it, but with the help of a cat-friendly vet it went really well.
The advice which was helpful was NOT to use a massive carrier as cats tend to feel less stressed when they are in a 'safe' contained space. I used a carrier which was only slightly bigger than the one I use for vet visits etc - enough for the cat to turn round, lie down, stretch etc. I used a clip-on water bowl about half full and it didn't spill.
Otherwise - yes to PPs suggestion to use Zylkene. It did make a difference - just sprinkle it on the cat's normal food for a couple of weeks before, and during, travel I also used Felispray on the cat's bedding.
The cat traveled really well - no incidents - and that included an overnight stop at a hotel. Two days of travel. I know you're not doing an overnighter but for anyone else, I'd recommend using disposable litter trays. You just chuck the whole lot in the bin as soon as it's dirty. Saves a lot of hassle, especially if staying in a hotel.
The other thing I did was put the cat in a really nice cattery for a couple of days prior to the move. We then picked her up on the way. Apparently moving day is a very common time for cats to get distressed and run off/out through an open door.
Good luck - I'm sure I was waaaay more frightened than the cat on the day, but it was all fine. Hope your move goes well. And do talk to you vet.
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