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It's time for the yearly checkup. Last year Daisy had terrible traveling anxiety. It's a one-hour drive to the vet, and she vomited, defecated, and foamed at the mouth in her carrier. I do not want her to have this level of stress again this year. I'd like some recommendations on sedatives; I plan to go to Petsmart tomorrow. If necessary, I could go by the vet and get something prescription, if you all think that's really better. Obviously, b/c of the severity of her anxiety, I need something potent.

Thanks!
 

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Kristi, when I moved myself and my cats to Kansas in 2001, I got from my vet in central Calif. some sedative pills for my furkids. It did calm them down, although, if I had someone to help in loading them into my truck, I don't think it was necessary to sedate them. The very small pills were white, and I had to give them in some canned food. I dont remember the name of them.

...wayne
 

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Drugs are probably not necessary, and alot of cats are sensitive to drugs and may have an adverse reaction.My advice is to line your carrier with newspapers, cover the carrier with a towel because the less she can see to be scared about the less she'll stress, and make sure to buckle the carrier up so it doesn't slide around and she'll be safer if (knock on wood) there's an accident. Finally don't stress out too much yourself, cats know when you're upset, then they think they have to worry too. Good luck!
 

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Sorry I dont have much advice on sedatives, my cats love riding in cars and they dont go crazy when going to the vet, but maybe the suggestion of putting the towel over the carrier would help. I'm glad that this isnt a monthly trip you have to do but only yearly! Good luck :p
 

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Is Feliway good for reducing stress due to travel? It says it is on the webpage, but I wonder if anyone had experience with this? Would this help me be able to get my kitty to go into his carrier?!
 

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My cats are like dogs when it comes to going to the vet...I put them in the carrier, but they yowl until they discover if they push on the zipper hard enough, it will come unzipped. Then they climb on my lap and look out the window while I drive -- not squirming too much. You can imagine the stares and pointing I get while driving!
 

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Hippyhart said:
Then they climb on my lap and look out the window while I drive -- not squirming too much. You can imagine the stares and pointing I get while driving!
My cat Sugar likes to sleep in my lap and look out the window sometimes. It's so cute but we usually drive them around at night. I can imagine the looks I'll get if it was daytime, I know I'd do a double take if I saw a cat looking out :!:
 

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Drives me crazy when I see people driving down the road with a dog on their lap. Would you drive with a child sitting on your lap as you drove?
Did you ever think what would happen if you needed to make a fast move and the cat was in the way? How would you feel if you had an accident and someone was killed or seriously injured be cause you couldn't control you car because the cat got in the way.

Know a woman that insisted on driving holding her child in her arms. The Dr. I worked for was always chewing her out about it. She always said
"I am a good driver". Well she was but the guy that hit her wasn't. Her 9 month old son was in her lap. He was paralized from the waist down in the accident. Dogs, cats, and kids have no business sitting in someones lap while that person is driving a 2000+lb vehicle down the street at 40-60 miles an hour.
 

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This past January, my cat got really sick and had to go to the vet several times over a period of two or so weeks. Because he was such a terrible (vomit, poop, pee) traveler, and already under so much stress, my husband drove and I sat in the back with Norville on my lap on a towel. He was still stressed, but did not have his usual stress reaction. It was the most pleasant stressful experience I've ever had. I know it is not a safe solution, but for this special instance, it was what I had to do for him.

Another thought is - have you looked into the possibility of a vet in your area that does home visits? I don't know how common this is, but I'm in Vermont and we have one here. Might be a good alternative to the bad driving experience.
 

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I would try the feliway travel spray in her carrier and the car, and take a warm blanket that smells like home. No cats generally enjoy going to the vets, and I tend to see sedation as a last option. With sedatives, your cat is still frightened, she just can't show it. Thats why I hate the idea of sedating animals for Fireworks Night rather than desensitisation.

Oh, and PLEASE do not drive with cats loose in the car! Believe me, accidents do happen. The calmest cat can get a fright and cause a serious accident. Not to mention the fact that they could bolt when you open the door. Even worse, if you had an accident and the windows smashed, do you really think your cat would stay in the wreckage? It would run across the road and chances are you'd never see it again.

Cats should always travel in a secure carrier, and dogs should either be behind a grill on the backseat or in the boot, or wearing a seatbelt harness. I once saw a mastiff who had been thrown right through the windshield from the backseat in a crash. Please be responsible when it comes to travelling with pets, for their safety as well as yours and other drivers.

Ems
 

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Rescue Remedy is a good bet for travel stress. Start giving it a day or two ahead. You can get it at any health food store. We have a specific formula called "Adjustment" that is made for this, too: www.spiritessence.com.

I would not use homeopathic Arnica. That remedy is for bruising and trauma, not emotional stress. You might be thinking of Aconite, but even that would be more than I'd give for this. Homeopathic remedies are not harmless, and misusing them can result in serious problems.

Sedatives are a real Pandora's box as far as vet visits. In my experience, the cat is quieter, but just as frightened and also feels weird. I find them to be more unpredictable and dangerous, and the sedative skews the results of my exam of the cat as well. I don't recommend them. (On the same idea, NEVER give catnip to a cat before taking it to the vet!)

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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We found a mobile vet who works M-F, so that helps for annual/semi-annual check-ups. For weekend situations, we find that having a blanket/towell in the carrier gives them a better surface for getting comfortable. We use the seatbelt to hold the carrier and drive a little slower, especially with turns and bumps. We also talk or sing almost constantly and put our fingers through the front to touch them, let them lick us. That seems to help.

Call us crazy, but we also believe it helps to tell them the day before that tomorrow we're going to see the doctor to make sure everything is okay. Then the day of, we explain again.

I'd also try the Rescue Remedy like Dr. Jean recommended, for both you and your cat!
 
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