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Its no fun getting into a car with a cat. They hate the experience and you probably do as well. Its even worse when your cat has problems with motion sickness. If your cat has motion sickness you should probably do something about it before you get into a car with them again. Here is how I would go about this problem.
Signs Of Motion Sickness In Cats
Before I go into anything lets make sure that your cat has motion sickness in the first place. The most common symptoms are:
- Excessive meowing
- Less meowing than usual
- lip licking
- Urination and/or Defecating in their carrier
If your cat has some or all of these symptoms you should probably treat this problem as soon as you can. But how do you do this exactly?
What Causes Motion Sickness in Cats?
Cats will get motion sickness because of a super sensitive inner ear apparatus. This is what regulates equilibrium and balance. As your cat gets older their ear will develop more and there motion sick will gradually go away.
Other reasons why they can get motion sickness is because of the stress of the car ride since they probably aren’t used to traveling and if they aren’t used to being in their carrier. these things will also contribute to their motion sickness as well.
How To Stop Motion Sickness In Cats
There are many things that you can do to help your cat with this problem. These include:
1: Get Them Used To The Car
Training your cat to enjoy car rides can actually help them with motion sickness. The best way to do this is take them into the car and leave the motor running. When they used to this after a while then you want to go on small trips and gradually go on longer ones.
If you do it enough they may get used to the experience and will calm the motion sickness problem.
If they were good and didn’t freak out be sure to feed them a treat afterward so they associate the car with positiveness.
this will make them look forward to getting in the car with you Unfortunately this does not work for all cats and they never get used to it at all.
2: Get Them Used To Their Carrier
This is really important if you are riding with them in the car because cats tend to hate carriers and it can add to the stress of riding with you. the best way to do this is leaving the carrier around the house and let them go into it when they feel ready to.
Once they go into the carrier then shut them inside of it and let them out after a short time. Repeat this method and leave them in there for longer periods of time. Eventually they will get used to being inside of the carrier.
Unfortunately this doesn’t work for all cats. Some cats will just hate carriers no matter what you do.
3: Give Them A Light Meal
Food is something that can easily mess with your stomach. A good thing to do if your cat get motion sickness is to give them a lighter meal so its less likely that they will get sick.
4: Get A Cat Car Seat
Cat car seats are a good idea to get because it allows them to see out the window of your car which can aid in motion sickness. You need one that allows you to adjust the height like this one here “PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Booster Seat (click here for the chewy.com link)“. Here is my article on cat car seats here if you want read more about these “Best Cat Car Seats You Can Currently Buy“
Motion Sickness Medicine
If you have tried everything and your cat still has the same issue you should give them medication for this. Here are some options that cat owners typically use.
Most people will use a medication called dramamine. This is a medication for humans but it is common to give to your cats as well if they have a motion sickness problem.
How Much Dramamine To Give A Cat?
If you want to safely give your cat Dramamine you give them 12.5 mg total dose per cat three times daily. You should however always consult a vet before administering medicine to your cat.
Will Dramamine Make My Cat Sleep?
One of the potential side effects of dramamine is lethargy so you cat will potentially be more likely to sleep when your cats takes this medication.
If your cat has motion sickness you can also give them Benadryl if needed. I wrote a really extensive guide on how to do that here “How To Sedate A Cat With Benadryl: What You Need To Know“.
If you want to treat vomiting for your cat (since motion sickness can cause this symptom) this is a really good medicine to do this with. Cerenia (maropitant citrate) is the only FDA approved medication for vomiting for cats. You can learn more about this medication here at this website https://www.cerenia.com/how-to-use-cerenia.aspx
Why Is My Cat Foaming At Mouth In The Car?
This might initially seem scary at first but its a completely normal thing to happen. If you give them something that taste very bitter (especially medicine) this is something that will happen and is completely harmless.
Can Cats Die From Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness is not a fatal condition and your cat will return back to normal when your trip is over with. It does however cause things like vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms.
As a result the only thing you should be concerned about is dehydration since diarrhea and excess urination can cause this.
How Long Does Motion Sickness Last In Cats?
Generally your cats motion sickness will last one or two hours once the trip ends.
Motion sickness can be a real problem but if you take the necessary steps to help your cats get over this problem you should be able to travel with them no problem.