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Cat scared of the car

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm going to take my little boy on a car ride today to go visit my boyfriend (about a 2 hour drive). In previous car ride experiences, he has yowled on and off, and shakes pretty much the whole time, and if let out of containment, he hides under the car seats. I bought him a carrier (i had borrowed one before), and I've left it sitting out so he can go in it and sniff it, etc. Along with all the typical kitty supplies, I plan on taking his bed as well. And I also have some of that kitty pheremone spray which is supposed to calm them. I want him to get used to traveling, because I go away a lot on the weekends, and I can't always get someone to feed him (I'd rather have him with me anyway). So, my question is: what can I do to make him more comfortable in the car? Thanks!
post #2 of 10
It seems you are doing everything right.

If none of it works, you might want to talk to the vet about a tranquilizer. Not strong enough to knock him out, but enough to help him relax.
post #3 of 10
I know that Poppy feels more comfortable if he can look out the car window. So I prop up the carrier so he can see out. Don't know if that would help your cat.
post #4 of 10
You can give him some Rescue Remedy - you can buy it at whole foods, or another health store. It really seems to work!
post #5 of 10
I don't have any advice to add, but I did want to say that all the cats I have ever owned have always cried when they rode in a car. I think it's because they can feel the motion of the car and they can't understand it, so they get scared.

Btw, please think twice about letting the cat move freely around in the car. You wouldn't want him to get in the way of your feet on the gas and brake pedels and cause an accident.
post #6 of 10
Yes, please do NOT let the cat out of the carrier in the car. It is much too dangerous. And even though your cat may cry, he actually feels more secure in the carrier than he would roaming freely in the car. You're keeping both of you safe with him in the carrier.

Be sure to have his favorite treats for him at the end of each trip. It's possible that as he travels with you more regularly, he will be less afraid of the car.

A friend of mine had a show cat who traveled from the time he was a kitten, and he's the only cat I've ever known who LOVED the car, but that was because he traveled so often throughout his life.
post #7 of 10
I also suggest strongly never leaving him out of the carrier or cage when in the car - it's just too dangerous, for both of you. And, you'll never forgive yourself if he gives you the slip out the car door - it happened to a friend of mine; luckily, she had a happy ending, but her cats have never been out of a carrier while in transit since.

I've read that going for short rides around the neighborhood, with treats during and at the end, can help - but my girl simply hates going for rides, while my boy seems to take it in stride.
post #8 of 10
i brought a cat home on friday night and she cried for the entire car ride. she quieted down when the blinker was on, and when i was at a red light. try playing classical music for her. it's scary. some cats get upset stomachs. it could easily be that he hates being in the carrier. a two hour drive is tough on a cat. i would not recommend taking a cat out of a carrier. tranquilizing a cat for a car ride seems like a bit of an extreme measure. i always put a favorite toy and blanket in the carrier with my cat. she still cries, but at least she has something familiar with her.
post #9 of 10
I am curious about RR -- the dosage says 4 drops given "several times a day" -- does that mean every 3 hours, 4 hours, twice a day, etc...????? Is there any risk of overdosing???

How long do the affects last???
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
yes, i was also curious about the rescue remedy - i happen to have some but i didn't dare try it because i wasn't sure how much might be too much. anyone know the proper dosage for a cat?

i didn't intend on letting him out of the carrier, but thanks for the concern. my reasoning for it is that i don't want him squeezing himself underneath my car seats and then being impossible to get out.

as for the trip, he shook and yowled the whole first hour of the trip, then he seemed to calm down once we were on the highway. luckily he doesn't get sick (and i don't feed him within 6 hours of the ride). at my boyfriend's, he mostly hid under the bed the whole time, but he did eat and use the litter box (although he did not do anything other than pee, so i was concerned about him getting constipated)....by the end of the weekend, he was getting more comfortable and would gradually explore farther and farther from his hiding place, but if there was a noise, he would instantly run under the bed. i just hope that when we go back this weekend, he'll remember, and we won't have to start at square one with his acclimation. it makes me so sad when he's scared....especially when he's shaking. oh, and when we got home, he was exhausted (his eyes were even all red), and slept all evening and all night...i worry that he didn't sleep at all while we were away...poor thing!

anyway, thanks for all the help! if anyone has any other ideas for my "scared-y cat", please don't hesitate to share.
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