Sedating older cat for travel

(Try wrapping the cat in a towel if it hisses or fights you.) Let the cat spend a few minutes inside the carrier to get used to the experience.

Over the next few days, have the cat spend longer and longer periods in the carrier and start taking short car trips around the neighborhood with the cat and carrier.

An uncomfortable carrier equals an uncomfortable cat.

The carrier that might be perfectly fine for your dog can be a bad fit for cats, and a basic carrier that works for vet visits may be too small for long trips.

Owners sometimes wrongly assume that their pet's travel will be less stressful if they are sedated.

In fact, most airlines will not fly a sedated pet, as over-sedation can be a cause of animal death during air transport.

Start by placing the carrier in a room where the cat spends time.

Place a favorite small blanket or an old piece of your clothing inside to make the space smell familiar.

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Start preparations at least a week before hitting the road.

When the big travel day arrives, limit the cat’s food intake to prevent nausea and minimize “bathroom” use.

Stash a few favorite or new toys in the carrier and spritz the interior of the carrier with a calming spray.

These products are made to mimic the soothing pheromones that cats release.

When it’s time to go, it may comfort the cat for its carrier to be placed in a spot from which it can see you and hear you.

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