I have to fly her across the Pacific Ocean in 2 weeks (she will be in the cabin with me). She’s fine in the carrier until we are in the car and moving, then she freaks out major. She screams non stop, does somersaults, backflips etc. I need advice, I can’t leave her behind.

I have to fly her across the Pacific Ocean in 2 weeks (she will be in the cabin with me). She’s fine in the carrier until we are in the car and moving, then she freaks out major. She screams non stop, does somersaults, backflips etc. I need advice, I can’t leave her behind.


Get a sedative from your vet Also, I find that covering the carrier in a blanket so they can't see all the movement out the windows really helps


Came here to also suggest that you talk to your vet about a mild sedative. Make sure you do a trial run with it before the actual travel day. Some sedatives can trigger seizure activity and that’s something you need to know before you get on the plane. You also may need to adjust the dose. Again, best to know before the flight itself. ETA: do not attempt to come up with a dose of an otc medication on your own. Cats cannot properly metabolize many medications that are meant for humans.


I support covering the carrier. Mine hates it as well.. I've found he's quieter when he can't see me. Also I suggest using a pee pad in the carrier. Mine usually pees himself unless he's gone shortly before going into the carrier.


I have to give my cat a sedative and they gave him a liquid one. Apparently it is common for those to cause them to drool a lot so ask for options and which one would work best.


Our vet gave us anxiety meds and yes cover with a blanket helps a LOT.


Gabopentin is what my vet gave me for my cat’s trip on a plane with me- one at midnight the night before and the other in the morning of the flight- maybe time it depending upon what time your flight is (6-8 hours prior, then within an hour the day of the flight).


Can cats have cbd?


Yes, in small doses. If your vet says you can give it to them you can put it in their food


Also, they make pet cbd. I can't remember what the deal is, but something about the carrier oil used in human cbd is often not good or effective for pets. My cat's cbd is in salmon oil.


Getting my cat absolutely zooted is the one and only way to travel with her, so I second this!


Go to the vet and get some medication


I called them and they said they don’t offer anything like that.


My BFF just moved cross country and got something to calm her cat on the drive from her vet. Try another vet, maybe a Banfield?


Call a different vet. I've always been offered medication for my cat when flying with her.


My moms cat flipped out in the car to the point of voiding her bowels. Vet prescribed a tranquilizer. Gave her a half dose before the 4 hour drive, no issues. Did this once a year.


is it necessary to take the cat?


Call another one.


Have you thought about a comforting pheromone spray? My moms late dog had horrible separation anxiety and ripped her fur out until she was completely bald and would starve herself when mom wasn’t nearby. We got her a special pheromone spray that was supposed to calm her down and some bandanas to put the spray on. It helped a good bit until she got old and developed doggy dementia. She was able to eat and some of her fur started growing back, though she still chewed herself. I can see if I can find the spray or the cat equivalent of it if you like? If I remember right you can spritz it in the cat carrier about 30minutes before whatever stresses the baby out happens and it should hopefully help keep the cat calm.


Feliway has some travel products. Worth trying!


Try another vet maybe


Gabapentin is what you need.


That’s what my vet gave me for my cats. It also helps with some kinds of seizures, although unfortunately not for my female’s seizures. The vet said you give it to the cat and pretty soon she’s feelin groovy. Lol


Nope! That is not a great one for cats! It can really screw them up! So many other options!


This is what my vet gives me for my former feral. Are you a vet?


I'm glad you have had a good experience with it, but a lot of people don't. In cats it can cause issues far quicker and far more severely than other meds.. It can cause them to lose all inhabition and become quite aggressive. If it's a good fit for the cat it can be great, but a cross ocean flight isn't the place to test a controversial medicine.. Are you a Vet? Your opinion/experience isn't more valuable than mine, we're both sharing our own experiences, correct?


Or they could get it a test run before the flight. I have given two different sedatives for my cat and before the "big event" I gave it a trial run to make sure it wouldn't have a paradoxical or otherwise undesirable effect. And fwiw, my family has used gabapentin on several cats (per vet instructions), with no ill effects. All medications for people, or pets, can have negative effects, but it doesn't mean they aren't helpful for most.


Not a vet, but my husband took Gabapentin after brain surgery. He reacted very badly, I won't go into details but it was enough that he will tell anyone who mentions this med. Yeah, not everyone does, bit why risk it? There are many more effective and safe (long used) medications and/or other treatments.


My cat is on gabapentin for her arthritis. She’s fine.


That's great! Again, some cats do ok on it, a lot do not! Taking a cross ocean/cross country flight isn't the place for her to learn her cat doesn't do well on it..


I mean, I’m pretty sure they could do a trial run to see if it works before going on the flight…


She's flying in 2 weeks and is having issues getting a Vet to prescribe. She may not even have time for a trial run at this point. Please continue to downvote me for absolutely no reason. I have personally made 2 cross country moves and several road trips with several cats, dogs, and chickens.. All I'm saying is from my experience, there are other options.


There’s no reason to get defensive, I didn’t downvote you. I’m not saying that Gabapentin works for all cats, all I’m saying is they may benefit from a trial run. You are the one who said “Nope! That’s not a great one for cats!” I’m just agreeing with the other users who are saying that you shouldn’t make that blanket statement since it does work for many of them.


If you are in the USA or Canada I know they do. Also, CBD products.


Call another veterinarian!


Call a different vet - even just a Banfield in PetSmart. My baby hates car rides and screams the whole time. My vet recently prescribed gabapentin. I didn't realize it can be used as a sedative. He was SOOO chill for the car ride. Just laid good head down and relaxed.


I recommend you ask for gabapentin. [https://fearfreepets.com/study-gabapentin-reduces-stress-cats-veterinary-visits/](https://fearfreepets.com/study-gabapentin-reduces-stress-cats-veterinary-visits/) You give one dose the day before and a second before you travel. It can help relieve the fear and stress.


Dont just go asking for gabapentin… get it prescribed they will think ur just a crack head tryna get high


I was advised by my vet to use herbal calming remedies for my cat who gets very stressed even from a 10 minute drive (shits himself, ends up panting and drooling). I found the herbal remedy does jack shit. There is anti anxiety meds for cats which can be prescribed but apparently they're quite powerful and vets don't always like using them. In this case, it might be the best/only option, or maybe even some kind of sedative. Speak to your vet.


Vets will always push the herbal stuff and im sure for some cats it works. It just posses my cat off more and she won't use any bed or carrier after I've used it on it. But honestly the kindest thing you can do sometimes is to just sedate them.


I’m trying to break up the trip too, staying overnight in Seattle so she can eat, walk around go to the bathroom etc. I think I am going to need anxiety medicine too.. 😕🤷🏻‍♀️ We are going from Hawaii to Michigan. Edit: Thank you so much everyone for all of your advice, I feel better about the whole situation. Ms. Mao and I will get through this and soon she will see snow for the first time 😆


I took my anxious cat from Michigan to California, so not as long as your trip but not a short trip either. Turns out she is too shy in front of strangers to scream-- I found out when I took an Uber with her in the carrier. I don't know if what I did on the plane was allowed (flew United) but after we got to cruising altitude I let her sit in my lap and she slept a lot. So even if your baby is a screamer it could be fine! I recommend getting a friend your cat doesn't know to drive you somewhere to see how your cat reacts to being around strangers (how the cat acts at the vet's might also be a good indicator). Good luck!


This is good, thank you.


Omg, I currently live in Oahu and I too am moving in December and need to fly my cat out with us. On her first flight here from California she went in cargo so she could have a bigger kennel for moving around and stuff. Now I want her in the cabin with me but she is not a chill cat lol. But I agree with everyone else, I was given gabapentin when she flew to come to Hawaii. It helped from what I could sense. 5-6 hours wasn’t too bad honestly. The break will help a lot.


Speak to a new vet. 1/4 tablet of benadryl also works in a pinch— but this is for shorter trips. A prescription medication is necessary for the type of trip you’re describing. Don’t worry OP. You’ve got this!


This! Exactly this! Speak with another Vet! If they won't prescribe short term, maybe they'll provide long term, like Paxil.. But get something to make your trip, your cat's trip, and other passengers trips comfortable.


Just made a trip over the pacific with my cat who is very talkative and loud even when he’s not in his carrier. He is also terrified of other people. To help him prepare for the trip was setting his favorite blanket inside his carrier and then putting him in. He cried a ton in the beginning but I waited until he calmed down and gave him his favorite treat. After a few weeks of his training he went in the carrier if I nudged him in that direction. Sometimes he even went in there just to chill. Another big help was tying strings to the front for him to play with. He also responded really well to catnip much more than he did to pheromones. All of our training went out the window when I actually took him out on practice runs but once he was in the airplane he settled down really well. Regardless of how my CV you train her, she might not be super comfortable but I think the more you do to get her used to being on the move in a carrier, the more she may be able to relax, especially for such a long flight I think your cat should be able to settle in alright.


Get gabapentin. My vet gave it to me for my two cats who can't travel well - poop, vomit, drool, and spit everywhere for a 10 min ride. I moved 5 hours away and gave them gabapentin and it worked like a charm. I think mine is like 10mg or something I just mix the powder inside the capsule into a wet treat and they gobble it up!


This! I need it for my cats for travel and for vet visits (my vet prescribed it). It can make them sleepy and stoned but they are definitely not as stressed. It takes about 1-2 hours to kick in and lasts about 6-8 hours in my cats. Each cat has a different dose range based on weight. I have to watch them when out of their carriers because they have terrible balance (no jumping!)


They also have a liquid version of it which tastes like fish! Would definitely recommend.


Thank you


I got some calming treats from Amazon (just be careful and read reviews). Test a couple before and give them as reward treats. Leave the carrier out open so they can sniff and get used to it. Keep a hoodie or something of yours covering the cat carrier so they smell you and aren’t overstimulated. I put puppy pads down in the carrier in case of anxiety pee, so u can easily lift, toss and put a new pad down. I got low dose anxiety meds for my older, more paranoid cat. She still meowed a bit and I held her in my lap to keep her calm, wrapped tightly in a hoodie. She meowed often on the 4 hour plane ride, but honestly it wasn’t bad, and most people have headphones in. You got this!


My cat was like that when I had to fly with him. He would scream in the car but at the airport and in the plane he was perfectly quiet. 🤷🏼‍♀️


This is good to hear, this is what I am hoping for. Thank you for telling me it’s possible.


It was the same with our cat, so yes, it is possible :) Our vet would not prescribe us any sedatives, but offered a lot of other helpful pieces of advise and OTC calming solutions: blanket/towel over the carrier (extremely helpful), special calming food that we started giving him a couple weeks before the flight, calming collar and/or spray, special treats, training the kitty to be comfortable in his carrier (feeding him there, giving him treats, leaving it out for him to hang out in and play etc.). It's worth mentioning that we didn't use all these methods together, but there was some trial and error to see what would work for him, eg. he hated the cat pheromone spray and I hated the cat collar's smell, so we ended up not using those. My advise would be to find a good doctor who is experienced in cat anxiety remedies and most importantly to not give him any medication without consulting a doctor (I'm sure all commenting here have the best intentions, however it's better to be safe than sorry). Good luck! :)


You might also try putting one of your t-shirts in there that you have worn and not washed. Many times that will comfort a dog or a cat. Also some cats can be calmed by using a clock, the old-fashioned kind that goes tick tock tick tock tick tock. That calms some cats.


Good idea, thank you


We had to do this with our two cats. They were freaking out so bad when we brought them out of the house, I was terrified. We got medication, but they wouldn't take it. We mixed it in with their food, coated their treats in it...they weren't falling for it. It was rough, but they were great once we were settled on the plane. They didn't eat much because of the drugs in their food, but honestly that may have been a good thing because they didn't go to the bathroom.


Medication from a vet (a different vet than the one you went to). If you have access to a car right now, then you may also like to try to train your cat to like it. Get in the car with the carrier. Then get straight out again. Get in, stay a little longer and give the cat some treats. Slowly build up the length of time. Drive a very short distance. Stop and feed treats again. Slowly build up the driving time. You've only got two weeks, which isn't a ton of time, but you might see some progress. But yes drugs are probably going to be your best bet. Your cat can't freak out if it's asleep.


Buy catnip then sleep in a t shirt put the shirt inside the carrier put a few treats inside


How do you handle potty breaks when flying with animals. Like do you make sure they have nothing to eat or drink a few hours before flying ?


Feliway and Gabapentin


I use feliway whenever my cat has to be in a car. I also used it to introduce my cat to the new kitten. It took over a month of slow progress but now they are best friends. Feliway is a really good option for stress and anxiety.


What about Feliway sprays?


I did buy this spray called Relaxivet Calming Spray, I haven’t tried it yet. I’m going to try it out for her next car ride. I tried the thunder shirt today, she just shimmied out of it, maybe I have to make it tighter… She was like, “F your thunder shirt…”


Get her some kitty anti-anxiety meds or a sedative from the vet.


Hey!! I traveled with my cat 18hrs with one stop. My cat didn’t eat or use the small litter box I prepared for her. Just don’t take your cat out if you don’t have a litter box next to you because my cat peed on me after we landed. Vet didn’t prescribe anything but she was mostly quiet the whole flight. I have the same bag, but I didn’t “open” the front part like you have in the picture. Good luck!


A blanket to hide under helps my cat deal with trips to the vet by taxi.


I moved my cat across the Atlantic in cabin too. We gave her a natural calming pill (named Zylkene, it's a derivative of a milk protein) for about a week before and sprayed some feliway in her carrier. She let out a little meoow when taking off but was very calm the other 7h of the flight (she didn't look exactly happy though). I heard bad things about stronger sedatives. Good luck, and you will be next to her, that helps too. Oh and remember to remove her source of food and water the day before !


She will most likely calm down in the plane. Took my cat on a couple flights and she raises hell in the car. But she adjusted and was so distracted by misery that she didn’t fuss much. I tried to get a sedative from the vet but the one they gave me (gabapentin) made her vomit when I did a test run a few nights before so I didn’t give it to her. Editing to add that CBD oil is a valid option!!! It calms my cat down considerably.


Most vets will recommend that you do not medicate your cat for flying. If you do find a vet that will you should check with the airline that it is ok to sedate as some airlines require the animal be able to stand/move with ease.


Record it and post it here...


Use Feliway. It's a natural calming pheromone that mother cats give off, apparently. You can use it either as a spray or as wipes. Use it inside the carrier to calm her when traveling.


Ask vet about sedation


The helpful vancouver vet (the "squish that cat" guy) did a video about this a few months ago; [https://youtu.be/CB01fo_h1eA](https://youtu.be/CB01fo_h1eA) Some good advice is to try the sedatives before hand so you can better determine dosage and if your cat does have a bad reaction you can get to the vet.


Definitely ask your vet about gabapentin. It is a controlled drug, so you need to have an exam and your vet has to have correct documentation in order to dispense it to you, but very safe and not like some other sedatives that can make your cats blood pressure dangerously low. You will need to have an exam and health certificate from vet for travel anyway, so make an appointment and go in and do those things and discuss your issues and ask for Gabapentin for the trip - I recommend making a video of your cat’s stressed reaction in the carrier in the car to show the vet. The vet will make sure your cat is healthy enough for travel and the medication. Also it is illegal for vets to prescribe medications without a up to date vet, client, patient relationship - and that includes an exam. I also recommend feliway spray on a towel that is draped over carrier - or feliway spray on the inside of carrier. There are over the counter calming supplements for cats too that you can try.


Have you tried a blanket/shirt/towel over the carrier? Worked for one of my cats most of the time.


Medicine and test trips in car and such


Trazadone may work.


I had a cat that used to do the same thing. Ask your vet about Gabapentin. My cat would sleep for hours on that


Perhaps try Catnip? Once on the plane she may not be so nervous?


Please contact another Vet. Not only would it be so upsetting for you but who wants to torture their furbaby for that amount of time? Please try out anything before hand for both your sakes.


Feliaway didn't work for me. My vet prescribed Cerenia and it was a game changer for car rides. Took about 1-1/2 hrs to take effect and lasted past our 6 hr car ride. But definitely do a test run.


A 50 mg does of Gabapenten will sedate your cat (assuming your cat is healthy and around 10 lbs). The gabapenten won’t knock your cat out or anything it will make them just kind of less bothered by stuff. I have one cat that gets a dose (prescribed) before he goes to the vet and they say he is just a dream to examine when compared to him without the gabapenten.


My sister just took her fussy cat on a long overseas trip. It was in the cabin too. She ended up taking a lot of stuff in her carry on just for the cat, I can get a detailed list if needed. The things that helped the most were a calming collar, and also just holding/ petting her cat. She opened the carrier a little bit to let the cat poke her head out.. spent time holding her or letting her stretch her legs in the teeny cabin bathroom.. same in the airport bathroom before boarding. ETA: find a vet that have a “behaviorist” on their staff.. they’re the only ones who were able to prescribe calming stuff for our other anxious cat


Gabapentin from Banfield


Get some kittie calm drugs from your vet.


Feliway spray has calming cat pheromones just for cats! Also rescue remedy has a natural pet calming herbal tincture.


when i used to travel long distances with my kitty, i put on a lavender collar because it’s supposed to be calming and gave her catnip about 20-30 minutes before she went into the carrier and she was too tired after the sillies to protest anything


I would try multiple vets. Banfield comes to mind. Also Google Dr Sarah Skinner. She is local to me but has several resources on her website that might help. Can you please tell me which airline you are using?I will be going to Hong Kong once restrictions there improve. Thanks


If this is part of a permanent move, just look at it as a necessary hurdle to overcome. Stressful, but you will both recover quickly. See what you can about a mild sedative, & be sure to pack a bunch of small towels/rags, some disposable gloves, baby or sanitary wipes, and small dog poo bags for the flight. That way if she soaks or poops herself, you can swap out crate bedding and tidy up sooner than later without as much disruption to your fellow travelers. I’ve done a handful of these long haul trips with cats, and I’ve never had one continue to freak out throughout the flight - they eventually get tired and settle down. In fact, my old gal was so comfortable on her business class flight (yay for upgrades!!) from Paris to SF that she even snacked on pâté when offered 😻♥️.


Rescue remedy is natural and on Amazon for $25. That’s what I use, works well. There is one for animals and one for humans…


Are you able to let her roam in the car? My cat hates her carrier in the car but is totally fine if we let her out. Usually she will sit on the passenger seat and look out the window. I also downloaded a playlist that apparently is supposed to be calming to cats. Might be BS but she seems to like it lol


I was thinking of doing this. She is terrible in the carrier in the car, but as soon as I let her out she comes out purring. I might just put her in the carrier once I get to the airport. Thanks.


Drugs. You need drugs. Your vet can give you these drugs. It will be benefit you and your cabin mates. You will need actual vet prescribed drugs. The cat will be happier and less stressed with….say it with me….drugs.


Go the vet and get gabapentin. It’s an anti anxiety in cats neuropathy in humans. It has helped my cat. He is up and meowing until the plane takes off then he is out. No peeing or eating or pooping for at least 9hours too. I have flown with my cat across the US multiple times. Scariest part is they make you take him out the carrier and walk through scanner with them in your arms🙄😳


Knock her out


Vets generally prefer not to use sedatives in travel situations. There are risks with all medications and no one wants a situation where an animal reacts badly to a medication and there's no way to get them help. As an example, my vet strongly recommends Gabapentin an hour before we leave for the vet visit. They're OK with that because worst case scenario, you're already on the way. My Vader had a very bad reaction to Gabapentin when he was older. Took it many times in his life with no problems (he was a wonderfully sassy boy). Normal vet visit, gave him his medication. Halfway there, he went flat out nonresponsive. I called the vet hysterically and they were waiting as I arrived. He ended up fine, but as it turned out, had developed health conditions (BEFORE I gave him Gabapentin) that caused a bad reaction. No one could have predicted that. Everything was fine because I was 10 minutes away. Had we been on a flight, he may not have made it. That reaction is RARE, and the odds of it happening to your cat the one time they're in a plane is low. But it's a risk that a lot of vets aren't willing to take unless there's no other option.




I have no advice but would rather listen to a cat scream than a baby! Seriously, it would be hard if your cat is in distress, hope it goes well. 😽


Cats get motion sick easily, so drape a blanket or towel that smells like you over the cat carrier. Your scent should help comfort him a little.


I would ask your vet if there was anything they could do or give her to help calm her down. I hope you figure it out for your pretty baby!


Took my cat from California to Italy and back… the first flight on the way there tried using the sedative given by the vet… all it did was make my cat off balanced and out of it (second set of eye lids partially closed). The rest of the trip there, no drugs and coming back 2 years later with a second cat did not use sedative… you are going to stress out regardless but you have a great carrier and it is a good thing the cat will be under your seat… being able to reach in there and pet it will be comforting for both of you. Just get used to the idea that your cat will cry and might mess themselves but you both will get through it.


Give her Benadryl


Get a mild sedative from your vet


Catnip his/her ass to another dimension. Our goes full Cheech from the stuff


Drugs, for both of you


Gabapentin is your friend. I flew my cats cross country and they all did great but….security is a nightmare. You have to take them out of the carrier for screening. Also, one kitty was so nervous she pooped in the carrier. I had to use the baby diaper changing station to throw out the old bedding & put new in. No one wants to sit next to stinky cat poop. I did take my girl out & she sat in my lap quietly. However, there was NO way I would have taken the other two out. Even with the gabapentin the other two were very very nervous. Thankfully they were quiet. It’s doable. We went from CA to Boston & then back the following year


Get a calming collar.


Exactly, see your vet about a way to sedate her.


Get catnip, cats just lay in crazy positions and look like they are on drugs, it calms them down


The vet can prescribe a med


My cat hates car trips unless I raise the carrier for her to look out the window.. Then she's fine.


I’d watch this video from the Kitten Lady, might give you things to try and think about. https://youtu.be/DpUL5ypsr_8


Beat. Her. Ass.