Motion sickness in cats: cause, symptoms, treatment and prevention

The cat has the same symptoms of motion sickness that humans also have. However, it will be necessary to identify whether it is stress, anxiety or motion sickness in the cat.

The cat is generally an animal that does not like to travel and in particular to travel by car. There is a reason associated with this, unfortunately as humans, the feline during the journey of varying lengths, can suffer from motion sickness in cats, the so-called motion sickness.

Cause of motion sickness in cats

In animals, motion sickness occurs as it does in people: it has to do with the balance we have in the ear. Kittens are more likely to suffer from vertigo, as the feline’s ears are not fully formed.

Although, it also occurs in adults (both humans and animals), but less frequently. A probable cause of motion sickness in cats can certainly be emotional (behavioral), linked to a bad travel experience in the first years of life or even to the fact that cats do not travel often by car and this involves the lack of habit and therefore the discomfort.

Symptoms of motion sickness in cats

The cat in this situation shows its discomfort in various ways. The first symptoms of motion sickness in cats can be:

  • excessive drooling;
  • meowing insistently;
  • staying still or acting with fear of moving;
  • vomiting or regurgitation;
  • anxiety and stress in cats;
  • distress;
  • urinating or defecating.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis is soon made, once the veterinarian has investigated the previous history of the cat, put aside the considerations of a neurological, behavioral and other type of vomiting, he will be able to identify the cause of motion sickness in the cat. The treatment of this problem is to familiarize the cat with car rides.

If this does not solve the problem, the vet may prescribe certain medications to help overcome the situation. For example: Antihistamines ( eg Diphenhydramine) perform a sedative action to calm the animal slightly during the journey and to reduce drooling.

Other over-the-counter (OTC) medications that may provide relief include meclizine and dimenhydrinate. These drugs do not sedate the animal, but can reduce the cat’s nausea and vomiting. Also on the market there are specific products that limit nausea with relaxing effects based on natural substances such as extracts of ginger, Icelandic lichen and passion flower.

In some cases you can try to calm the cat by using a pheromone spray to be sprayed directly on the pet carrier to instill greater confidence and relaxation.

Prevention of motion sickness in cats

In the case of the cat, try to associate the car with positive things. It is good to take short car rides at first and then go out for a ride or do something fun. As the cat gets used to this association of self = fun, the dizziness from stress gradually disappears. Here are some tips:

  • contact your vet first, who can recommend safe and effective medications to ensure the trip goes smoothly every time;
  • makes the cat travel on an empty stomach;
  • if you travel by train or plane, find the right place to keep it safe and give it peace of mind;
  • help yourself with floral therapy, with a travel-specific formulation. When it comes to dizziness due to stress, a personalized wording will need to be achieved as each cat will have to handle different emotions.
  • you can use a few drops of lavender oil scattered around the car, but never apply it directly on their cat body. This method can be relaxing and effective for them and for us.

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