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I will be moving from NJ to Tx and driving with 2 cats. My cats HATE being in the car and we will be driving for a few days. As soon as they see the carrier they flip out and hide. Once in the car, 1 cat pants and cries the entire time and the other vomits, pees and poops.

I have moved with them 1 other time but it was a 6 hr drive and the vet did give me something to knock them out but I feel it made them too lethargic for too long.

Does anyone know of anything I can do to make the drive a little easier for the both of us? I have read about giving cats benadryl for anxiety. Any suggestions would be appreciated as I am so stressed about this. Thanks, Elizabeth
 

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Welcome, and I think the best you can do is get it over with asap with as few stressors as possible.

In 2001 we moved from the NW to the SE. 3200mi and 9 days of travel. We drove south and picked up an RV at about 600mi and the cats rode loose in that, mostly hiding under blankets in the back sleeping area. For the 1st 600, they stayed in their individual carriers (oh, I had seven cats, btw) with a large towel in each carrier to absorb liquid messes and allow them to 'bury' solid waste.
Do NOT open the carrier unless the cat is in a room that is completely secure; no way to escape and no way to hide and/or become inaccessible to you. Period. If that cannot be arranged, the cat stays in the carrier and everyone just has to suffer until we reach a place that *does* have those requirements. For the kitty who pants, try to arrange to keep both carriers out of direct sunlight and if you can direct a vent to provide an exchange of fresh air it will help the cat to not overheat.
 

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I just flew 12 hours straight and 17 total... and i am lucky my cat is very calm. but get it over with quickly drive as long as you can... also you may consider using something like benadryl to make them sleep. it will help I use this stuff instead of sedation pills because it is not so harsh and doesnt sedate them it makes them sleep... i hope your trip goes well
 

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Thanks for the advice! When using the benadryl, did you use childrens liquid or the pills? The vet said 1mg per pound but I am not sure if I an to be using the adult or childrens. The vet did say that the liquid tastes very bad.
 

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okay so the cats are hardest to get to take a pill... the easiest way is either a pill pocket doesnt always work cause you hvae to give like five different small pieces... and well the other is called a pill popper... it is like a little injecting thing that pops the pill down the throat far enough for them to swallow it and I think your right aobut 1mg but as your veterinarian to be certain... :D
 

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I just went through this a few months ago. (WA to TX)

I was worried because my male, Jethro, did not do well in stressful situations (he gets so anxious at the vet that he'll pant like a dog).

I talked to my vet about possible medication, but they had nothing to suggest, so I ended up going without.

My female, Martha, meowed for a bit, so did Jethro, but about 30 minutes later, they both settled down.

We did have to make pit stops when the car suddenly had a scent to it...for quick pee/poo cleaning so the cats weren't sitting in a mess. Usually occurred soon after taking off, and the rest of the day would go scent-free (and meow-free, except for Jethro, who would occasionally meow at traffic stops, as to ask "Are we there yet?")

Anyways, he did surprisingly well, and I never had to use anything to help him (I did have some herbal calming spray, just in case, though). I didn't worry much about Martha, since she was originally a rescue from Hurricane Katrina that traveled by car up to WA, so I figured it wouldn't be completely new to her.

I do think I spent more time stressing over the possibility of the cats stressing during the 3-day drive...than they actually spent stressed. They really just settled in for a long ride, and napped most of the way. Jethro didn't have a huge appetite along the way, but everyone still ate, pottied, and survived. (Even their rattie passengers in the carrier between them) :)
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I am stressing myself out quite a bit about this. My cat too will pant like crazy and its a little disturbing to me. I did buy some de-stress spray and also rescue remedy for their water. I am also so nervous since they are 11 years old and I don't want them to be in distress, atleast if I can help it. I guess time will tell!! :)
 
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