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How to Sedate a Cat for Travel

Updated March 16, 2017

As a cat owner, you have limited options when it comes to moving or taking a prolonged vacation with your pet. While fabricated sedatives are available from your veterinarian, they are not recommended for travelling cats due to complications. Natural sedatives, such as catnip and pheromone sprays, can help calm your cat during travel.

Purchase some catnip or a feline pheromone spray from your local pet shop. Catnip is a known natural sedative for cats when eaten. Certain pheromone sprays, such as Feliway, reduce stress levels in cats naturally and help them relax. While catnip can stimulate cats when sniffed, cats will usually sniff the cat nip, rub around in it, and then eat it. When the cat eats the catnip, the cat will become slightly sedated.

Spray the inside of your cat’s carrier with the pheromone spray. Spray each corner once; do this roughly 15 minutes before you intend to leave. Sprinkle some catnip into the corners of your cat’s carrier.

Place the cat carrier as low to the floor as possible to reduce sensory stimulation. Keep the temperature at a moderate level during your travels. Consider playing low music.

Stop periodically during your journey to supply your cat with food and water. Add more catnip and pheromone spray every five hours. When you reach your destination, spray the pheromone spray and sprinkle more catnip around your destination to further facilitate your cat’s reaction to the new place.

Things You'll Need

  • Catnip or pheromone spray
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About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.