Travelling with your cat can be a trial! Some cats have no problems travelling but for others it can become a stressful time and they might feel unwell. Any motion your cat is not used to can cause it to feel ill and disorientated. Signs of car sickness are pitiful meowing, yawning or excessive drooling which is sometimes followed by vomiting.
There are a few herbal and homoeopathic remedies for cats that can safely help to treat and prevent car sickness without harmful side effects. Herbs like ginger, peppermint, slippery elm and pasque flower have been proven to be beneficial for the condition.
Ginger is an effective alternative to conventional anti-nausea medication. It has a long history of relieving the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, indigestion, flatulence and dizziness. Ginger works on the digestive tract by boosting digestive fluids and neutralising acids.
Peppermint is another excellent herb for motion sickness in cats. It relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract and stimulates the flow of natural digestive juices and bile.
Pasque flower helps to calm and soothe cats during bouts of travel sickness. It is particularly useful for cats that hate being confined in small spaces.
Homoeopathic remedies like kalium phosphate provide quick relief of a nervous stomach. Aconite and cocculus are a good complement. They alleviate fear, anxiety or panic attacks that may be brought on by travelling in a vehicle.
A gentle but effective ready-made remedy is EasyTravel Solution from PetAlive. It relieves motion sickness and supports your cat’s digestive system during air, sea, or car travel. It comes in granule form and is very easy to administer; simply sprinkle on your cats tongue or mix with some food. Administer 10 minutes before journey. The treatment can be repeated every 20 minutes for up to 6 doses if necessary.
EasyTravel Solution can be used on short car trips or longer journeys by air or train and can safely be used along with prescription medications.
If you have to take your cat on a long distance journey, the following treatment will minimise the discomfort for cats prone to motion sickness. Put your cat on a fast 10 hours before you are starting out. Then before you leave, give two dropperfuls of apple cider vinegar and honey diluted in water (two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and honey each per 200 ml) Also give large pills of solid honey mixed with a little powdered ginger, slippery elm and a few drops of neat apple cider vinegar.
Whether your cat’s journey is a short one visiting the vet or long-distance travel, there are many other things besides giving medication you can do to make the journey a successful and stress-free one.
Conditioning can help your cat to overcome car sickness. Let your cat get used to being inside a car. Sit with it inside a parked car with the engine off to start with. You can play with toys and give it lots of attention. Repeat this for a couple of days, then run the engine. Next try backing out of the driveway and then pulling up to the house again. Keep talking to your cat, praising it for good behaviour. Finally, go around the block. Keep this up until your cat is able to ride without getting sick. Take your cat on short journeys regularly to help accustom it to travelling.
Try to avoid giving your cat any food for about an hour or two before the journey. When travelling keep your cat in an appropriate cat carrier lined with newspaper in case of any accidents. Ensure that your vehicle is well-ventilated, and open a window if necessary. Take along a favourite blanket or other item to help your cat feel more secure in the vehicle. On long journeys, ensure that you stop regularly for water breaks.
While this is helpful in preparation for the journey, for long trips or severe cases of motion sickness you also may want to try the above mentioned home remedies for cats.