Ways To Stop A Cat From Meowing In The Car That Actually Work

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If you have ever taken a cat into a car you will know how stressed out (and noisy) they can get. They will do things like drooling, howling and meowing and it can be a real headache. The thing is how can you stop your cat from meowing in the car with you? Here are some ways that personally work for me.

Why Do Cats Hate Car Rides in the First Place?

The reason why they do not like car rides is because felines do not like change and like what is familiar to them. It was also the way the they simply evolved. If you want to read more on this topic you can go to my article on that here “Why Do Cats Hate Car Rides?: Here’s How To Fix The Problem“.

1: Train Them To Enjoy Car Rides

The best way to stop a cat from meowing in the car is to just get them used to riding with you. A big reason why they meow in the first place is because felines don’t like anything that is unfamiliar to them.

If you familiarize them to you vehicle they will look at your car as if it were anything else and will stay calm during the ride. To do this take them on short rides first then move your way up to bigger rides until you cat feels ok riding in the car with you.

This however does not work for all cats as some cats will never get used to riding with you so you will have to try something else.

2: Get Them Used To The Carrier

Carriers are also something that really freaks out a lot of cats. Before you take your cat in the car you should really get them used to being in the cat carrier first as it will just add to their stress of being in a moving vehicle.

To do this the best way I found is just leave the carrier around your house and leave it open so they can get an idea of what the carrier is like. Soon after lock them in the carrier for a short amount of time and gradually do this for longer periods of time until they feel comfortable with the carrier.

If you have a problem luring them inside, using treats or some type of food will work well.

3: Sedative

If you have a cat that will never get accustomed to riding with you, hates their carrier or you rarely ride with them a cat sedative can work great for your cat as it can take a lot of the edge off the stress of traveling. Some of the ones that I like to use are catnip and melatonin.

I like these because they are natural and safer to use. A lot of people also use Benadryl (which will work fine) but I personally don’t like the idea of this. I would train your cat to like car rides and only go with Benadryl if training is impossible in their case.

If you want more information on cat sedatives you can read my article on that here “How To Sedate Your Cat For Travel: The Ultimate Guide“.

4: Calming Collar

Another method you can use is having your cat wear a calming collar. It releases pheromones and gives your cat a calming effect which can make traveling a lot easier for them.

5: Play With Them Beforehand

A really common reason cats meow is because they are bored and want to play with you. If you play with them a lot they may be too tired and just sleep the whole car ride. You could also have someone play with them in the backseat to help them calm down a bit.

6: Give Them Something To Do

As I said cats get bored like anyone else does so giving them something to do during the car ride might make it less likely that they will meow a lot. A hammock and some toys inside of the carrier would be something you could do to keep them busy while driving with you.

7: Cover The Cat Carrier/Get A Cat Carrier With Privacy Windows

A great way to keep your cat calm during car rides is covering the carrier so they don’t know what is happening around them. As a result they will be less likely to meow a lot. make sure to cover the windows before you leave so they don’t know they are inside of the car.

You could also get a cat carrier with privacy windows like this one here which can make this easier “PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier (click here for the amazon link)“.

8: Talk To Your Cat

Talking to your cat in a calm voice can help them relax a bit. Just tell them anything that you think that will comfort and calm them down until you get to your destination.

9: Leave Familiar Things In The Carrier

Cat like things that are familiar to them so if you leave anything in there with them such as their favorite toys it may help them relax a little more. Another way you can give your cat this feeling is to make the carrier smell like your home.

What you do is leave the cat carrier open in your house for a long period of time and your cat will get a calming effect from it since the carrier will absorb the smell over time.

10: Anxiety Jacket

Another way you can make you cat relax a lot more in the car is to use a anxiety jacket. These are a special kind of shirt/jacket that your cat wears and the light pressure causes a calming effect for them. It doesn’t make sense that something like this works but oddly it does.

One of the best ones you can get is the “ThunderShirt” which has a 80% success rate but there are other ones that work good as well. You can go to my article on anxiety jackets at this link here “Best Anxiety Jackets For Cats: Some Of My Favorites“.

11: Cat Muzzle

Another way to stop a stubborn cat from making too much noise is a cat muzzle. Muzzles that cover your cats entire face can help make them feel more calm as they don’t see what is going on around them and not only that prevents them from meowing in the first place.

The problem with this method however is that sometimes you might be able to fix the meowing problem but then you will end up having a growling problem.

12: Soft Mellow Music

Playing loud obnoxious music can scare your cat but if you were to play softer music in the car such as classical music it can really help them calm down during car rides.

13: Pet Your Cat

Cats can find it soothing when you pet them so try to pet them if you can. A lot of the time it can help with the meowing a bit.

14: Shock Collar

I don’t really recommend this method but for extreme cases you could use a shock collar if you don’t really have any other option.

15: Possible Motion Sickness

Its very possible that your cat hates riding in the car with you and starts meowing a lot because they get motion sickness when on the road with you. signs of motion sickness include:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive meowing

If you suspect that your cat has motion sickness then you should talk to your vet about this issue so they don’t have this problem.

16: Don’t Feed Them A lot Before The Trip

If your cat does have motion sickness keep their meals light as this will reduce the effect of motion sickness when on the road with you thus reducing their meowing.

Tips On Keeping Your Cat Quiet

  • Don’t reward your cat for meowing: If your cat knows meowing will allow them to get what they want then avoid this as it will make them meow even more during car rides. Only do this if you need to calm them down in the beginning.
  • Make sure your cat isn’t in pain: If your cat has been meowing more than usual even before or after the car ride they might be in pain so a veterinarian trip would be advisable.


If you do all of these things correctly you will greatly reduce your chances of your cat meowing too much inside of your car. If none of these things work you might want to ask your vet if there is anything that you could do to make the rides easier on them.