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Travels with Cats

September 27th, 2012

You may remember back when I asked advice on traveling with cats. If you haven’t read the comments on that post you should, many of them are hilarious! The plan was to get a sedative, but then my vet wasn’t keen on it. That left me searching for other options.

Amazingly, the few options I tried worked like a charm. We barely heard a peep out of them for the entire 15 hours of travel. Heather and I were AMAZED and kept commenting on how well the cats were doing. Every now and then Dexter would let me know if I went around a corner too fast or braked too hard, but other than that, they were so quiet. What did I use that worked so well?

Maybelline recommend Thundershirts for Cats, so I ordered one for each cat hoping they would do the trick. At $40 each they were pricey, but I figured I would have spent a pretty penny for sedatives. These would also be able to be used in the future if they worked. If not, they have a money back guarantee. I figured I couldn’t lose.

We got the shirts a week before travel and tried them on Dexter, Samson & Soafie. Dexter took to it the best, he walked over and laid down in his box and slept for a few hours. Samson and Soafie didn’t mind them for a bit, but then they wanted out of them.

Amazingly, on the morning of travel, I even got the feral cat into a thundershirt. She didn’t seem to mind much at all. It’s a good thing she has her mama’s sweet disposition!

I figured I needed something in addition to the shirts, so I purchased some herbal calming cat treats. They were a great addition to the travel regimen. I gave them all a treat every day for a few days before travel. The morning of our trip, they each got two. Then halfway through the long drive they all got another one. I definitely could tell a difference on the days they received the treats. They were especially helpful since we were busy packing and loading the trucks. The cats slept away the days without a care.

Another thing I did to help ease travel stress was to give them each a few milligrams of melatonin before our trip. We had a vet that recommended this once for Dexter when he was dealing with motion sickness. I like to use this naturally derived fermented melatonin.

When we arrived in Maine, the cats were put in one room and kept there for a few days. Then they were moved to the back screened in porch with lots of windows. On Monday, we let them loose in the house (including the feral cat). In a few more days, we might let the feral cat and Dexter outside for small bits of time to let them explore. We haven’t quite decided how to transition them to their outdoor lives again. Dexter is ready to go outside now and is letting us know. He does not like to be cooped up in the house!

All-in-all, we were very happy with the products that we chose to use. I am very pleased with the thundershirts and know they’ll be put to good use from now on when traveling to the vets and other places. Luckily, we don’t plan on taking the cats on a 14-16 hour car trip again. I can barely make it that long in the car and was so happy the cats did so well!

What’s the longest you can spend in a car without going stir crazy?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.