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Alternative to Anesthetics?

January 12th, 2012, 12:18 AM

I was wondering if anyone knew any alternatives to keeping a cat calm on a plane (or car) trip, other then the use sedatives.

If you have any tips or tricks (non medicated) they're also welcome!

I'd like to know because my cat may be travelling in the future, and most airlines require you to keep the pet calm and quiet. They usually suggest sedating the animal before you take the long flight.

But I'm very hesitant to use sedatives unless it's absolutely necessary.

Thanks guys!

January 12th, 2012, 12:44 AM
Is your cat already comfortable in a carrier? If not, slow positive introductions to being confined for short times would be good to start well ahead of travel time. Work up slowly to longer time frames moving into different rooms of the house, eventually into the moving car.

A blanket or towel draped over the top covering the sides of the crate/carrier is always good to provide a calm, dark, quiet space.

I've not used it myself but some have had success with Rescue Remedy a calming herbal formula. I know some vets have suggested specific medications but not every animal will react the same way to different things, for example cat nip makes some cats hyper while it calms others.

Anything that you do use should be tested prior to the flight, at a time that the vet is easily accessible should there be an adverse reaction.

January 13th, 2012, 09:31 AM
Delta, and a few others, have programs which allow you to take cats with you as carry on. You have to follow all of their rules and most require the cat/dog to be current on all shots and to be small enough that their carrier and the cat fit under the seat.

I would be scared to death to check my cat as baggage.

See your vet for medication.

January 13th, 2012, 01:21 PM
Definitely do not use sedatives if the cat is going as cargo or baggage. It inhibits the animal's ability to regulate body temperature and could result in death.

If you take kitty on board with you, most of the time they're too scared to do much except huddle in the back of the carrier. I wouldn't worry all that much about freak-outs. Even if your cat does become very vocal or restless, covering the carrier as growler suggested should help. I'm also a fan of Feliway spray for helping give cats a sense of calmness. Spray a blanket and the interior of the carrier before leaving, but wait a few minutes before putting your cat in there as the airborne particles can causing sneezing/coughing.