Ways to calm cats?

Szewan

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My sis and her family will be emigrating from Asia to Canada in a few weeks, bringing along their adopted cat - a BSH of unknown age (possibly quite old since she already developed arthritis along one of her back legs). I never met the cat but as per my sis she’s an easily-scared cat - probably something to do with being dumped after some ruthless breeders finished using her to pump babies out. She was even panting with her mouth opened when she got home after a vet visit yesterday. My sis asked the doc during the vet visit if he would recommend any safe sedatives for her so the cat can endure the flight better, but the doc said no need. My sis will be putting her in a carrier and bringing her along to the main cabinet of the plane (under the seat when taking off and landing etc.)

Any tips on traveling by air with scaredly cats?
 

FeebysOwner

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Sorry no one has responded to your post yet! I personally think the vet is being a bit overly-optimistic, and I am not sure if your sis shouldn't push the issue as a 'just in case'. If your sis has enough time to experiment with calming products, you could try some of those ahead of time to see how they work. There are sprays to use on/in carriers and things like Bach Rescue Remedy which are drops you rub into a cats ear to help calm them. You can do an internet search on 'cat calming products' to see your options. Not all of them work on all cats, so experimentation with them is sometimes needed.

Your sis had better be prepared to line the carrier and bring extra towels/cleaning items so that if any 'accidents' were to happen, she has the means by which to clean out the carrier and the cat. I was only going on a 2+ hour trip and my cat who wasn't really the skittish type decided she needed to poop in the carrier!

Hope others will come along soon with more helpful information/tips!
 

betsygee

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If you don't get some kind of sedative, you might try these. I used to wipe down the carrier with one and then put one under the pad in the carrier to help a skittish cat on trips to the vet. But I don't know how effective they'd be on a long flight.
 

susanm9006

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I would make sure you stick a used tshirt of yours in the carrier so your cat can take comfort from your scent. I might stick a bit of catnip in the carrier.
 

Norachan

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When one of my cats had to make an 8 hour car journey with us our vet recommended an anti-motion sickness medication that made her sleep pretty much the whole way.

Meclizine (brand names: Antivert® and Bonine®) or dimenhydrinate (brand name: Dramamine® II work as anti nausea meds, Alprazolam (Xanax®), gabapentin (Neurontin®) help calm cats down.

These should only be used under a vet's direction though. If your sister's vet doesn't think it's necessary maybe she could talk to a different vet? Scared cats may pee or wail in fear, which will make the flight tough on other passengers as well. I think it would be a good idea to get some kind of prescription medication for the cat
 

mani

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I'm with Norachan Norachan on this one.. See if another vet will prescribe something.. My boy soils himself when I take him to the vet.. I hate to think what his carrier would be like after a long flight!
 
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