do cats get car sick

Motion sickness in cats is a common problem. While many dogs can be “trained” to comfortably ride in cars, it can be much more challenging for cats to overcome their anxiety. Most motion sickness in cats is caused by the stress and anxiety associated with travel.

Why do cats get car sick?

The unpredictable motion that affects the inner ear in cars, planes, boats, and other forms of transportation is the cause of motion sickness. By informing the brain of the body’s orientation in space, the inner ear aids in the regulation of balance. The fluid in the ear moves in tandem with the movements of the head and body. This movement triggers the brain to send compensatory signals to the body, which keeps you from falling or feeling lightheaded. The fluid in the inner ear moves quickly when the head moves erratically, as it does when driving. This can cause the brain to receive confusing signals, which can cause feelings of nausea and vomiting. Car sickness symptoms and anxiety symptoms can coexist and contribute to nausea. You can schedule an online virtual care appointment with a veterinarian to talk about the issue if you have any questions about the treatments, signs, or causes of motion sickness in cats.

How can I help my carsick cat?

There are many ways to help motion-sick cats. Travel sickness symptoms are less common in cats who are used to the motion of a moving vehicle. Starting when the cat is as young as possible, gradually acclimate it to its pet carrier and the automobile. By providing favorite snacks and toys and by driving instead of visiting the veterinary clinic or other stressful locations, you can foster positive associations with your car. Put cozy things in the carrier, like a bed or a cherished blanket. Additionally, it can be beneficial to cover the travel carrier and face the carrier forwards in the car as opposed to sideways or backwards.

To help with symptoms, you can talk to your veterinarian about using pheromone sprays, anxiety medications, or anti-nausea medications. There are over-the-counter and prescription medications available that may help. Never give your cat any medication—including human medications—without first visiting a veterinarian.

Motion sickness vs. anxiety in cats

The symptoms of situational anxiety and motion sickness in cats are similar, making it challenging to distinguish between the two. “Many cats get nervous when they’re not in their comfortable surroundings, and they can get stressed in the car,” says Dr. Jo Myers, a Vetster veterinarian. “Stressful past automobile experiences, like exclusively taking a car to the veterinarian, can exacerbate this anxiety.” ”.

FAQ

Do cats throw up in car rides?

Cats experiencing motion sickness or anxiety in the car can exhibit symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, vocalization, and incontinence. Find ways to help your cat’s anxiety or car sickness when traveling, such as medications and comfort items.

How long does motion sickness last in cats?

“If your cat’s motion sickness is mainly due to the inner ear’s vestibular system being out of whack, it should get better once the motion of the vehicle stops,” Dr. Conrad says. The car sickness may also clear up on its own within half an hour. You know your pet, so be sure to watch for signs of anxiety.

Is it cruel to travel with a cat?

Although some cats may be well suited to travel and there are times when you may not have much choice, changes in a cat’s routine or surroundings are usually stressful. The majority of cats are creatures of habit and prefer to stay in a familiar environment. Start by asking if your cat will enjoy the experience.

How long can a cat ride in a car?

Your cat needs access to water and litter, and anything more than six hours is a bit unfair. To give your cat a little more room, try a large dog crate. This way, they can move around and access water and litter as needed, and they’re still contained so you don’t have to worry about them roaming around your car.