Written by: Lucas James

Cat Sedative for Travelling in Car

Travelling with cats

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Travelling in the car long distances with your cat can prove a nightmare. Just like any animal, cats do not like change. They don’t like changes of scenery, they don’t like changes in their environment, and they especially don’t like being shoved in a box and stuffed in the back of a sedan. 

Travelling with cats

Cat Sedative for Travelling in Car

Written by: Lucas James

Last Updated on:

Cat Sedative for Travelling in Car

Cats & Car Travel

What are the best cat sedative for travelling in car?

Cats are generally territorial creatures that like their routine. They like their home and they like their territory.

Travelling in the car long distances with your cat can prove a nightmare. Just like any animal, cats do not like change. They don’t like changes of scenery, they don’t like changes in their environment, and they especially don’t like being shoved in a box and stuffed in the back of a sedan. 

You may be wondering how you can transport your cat in the car without stress. While cat sedative for travelling in a car is certainly an answer, they should definitely be a last resort.

Best Cat Sedative for Cats in the Car

Yes, cats will get anxious and stressed when in the car, and you will see this by them meowing, panting a lot, and being generally ill at ease. If you have an especially psychotic cat, sedation may be your only option. 

But there are other ways you can make your car trip with your cat less frightening without using sedatives. Before drugging your cat, I suggest trying one of these methods. 

Make the Car Safe

If you make the car a safe place, you may not need sedatives. Obviously, cats like to hide. They enjoy dark places where they can be away from people and the world at large, especially when they are nervous and scared. They need a place where they feel safe and where no one can see them. 

To make this happen in the car, try placing a dark piece of fabric over their cat carrier. This will help your cat feel like it’s in a special hiding place. Do not place a thick blanket over the carrier.

Cats still need to breathe, and their heart rate will spike and their breathing will get out of control when they are scared or nervous. Plus, the temperature inside the carrier will get too hot with a blanket over it. Always make sure the piece of fabric is thin, like a tablecloth. 

Best Cat Sedative for Cats in the Car

Another great option is window tinting. This will provide the cat with a darker environment, it will also take away some of the outside distractions, and as an added bonus keep the car cooler.

There is not much else you can do other than provide a comfortable safe space for your cat while in the car. If they are still anxious and frantic, it may be time to consider another option.

Calming Collar

There is still one more option before drugs. A pet calming collar works to release natural cat hormones that make your feline feel safe. They are used for cats or kittens who get stressed easily or who are frequently in anxiety-high situations like going to the veterinarian or driving in a car.

The technology works by emitting the same pheromone that a mother cat will produce to calm her kittens.

Pet calming collars also come with ingredients that give off a slightly soothing fragrance, most often chamomile or lavender. Basically, these collars are designed to chill your cat out so that it can deal with the stressful situation of driving in the car.

All you need to do is place the collar around your cat’s neck. Make sure it is comfortable and snug before getting in the car. Once the collar is on, a white powder will be released, and this is what activates the pheromones.

Make sure you wash your own hands after placing the collar on your cat. Unfortunately, these pheromones probably won’t work to calm you down.

It is important to note that if your cat begins acting very strangely after the collar is applied, you should remove it. It is generally considered safe, but your cat could have a strange behavioural reaction.

Cat Sleeping Pills

Yes, there are sleeping pills just for cats. Before we go any further, I need to warn you never to give human sleeping pills to your cat. They absolutely must be designed only for felines.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that giving a small dosage of a human sleeping pill to your cat is going to be OK. This can make your cat extremely sick and downright kill it. 

And with that grim warning over, it is time to talk about sleeping pills. These can basically be used as a sedative. These are often used before surgery to put the cat to sleep in a veterinarian’s office. The best part about cat sleeping pills is that you can usually buy them at the pet store without a prescription. And while they are indeed available on the internet, I would not suggest buying random pills off the net. Some have been known to make your cat sick while travelling.

Be sure to ask your vet about their recommended brand, then you can use a sleeping pill as a last resort when transporting your cat. 

Best Cat Sedative for Travelling in a car

Cat sedatives are basically the same as human sedatives. They are used to keep your cat calm and docile on an airplane, in a car, or in any other possibly traumatic situation. Most contain the same active ingredients that are found in sedatives for humans, just like benzodiazepines. In fact, benzodiazepines are the most common cat sedative and are considered the best and safest. The others are diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, gabapentin, clonidine, and SARI – but today we will talk only about benzos.

Benzodiazepine can be used to sedate your cat and is an effective muscle relaxant and anti-anxiety medication. A small dosage of Benzodiazepine will make your cat relaxed and a little bit sleepy. Basically, your cat gets stoned. Have some people argue that this is better than using sleeping pills, as it does not actually knock your cat out or do any harmful damage. The only major side effects of using this sedative are nausea, vomiting, and respiratory depression – the same as in humans.

As with everything, check with your veterinarian before administering any sedative. Because this is a narcotic, you will need to get a prescription. No doctor is just going to hand you benzodiazepine, even if it is just for your cat. And while the side effects might seem scary, they are far from deadly.