Just like humans, our pets can also experience motion sickness and gastrointestinal distress while riding in a vehicle. If your cat gets car sick, it might be overly stressful to travel with them, bring them along on road trips, or even take the short drive to the vet for regular check-ups. Here’s what you need to know about car sickness in cats, and what you can do to ease their symptoms.
Symptoms of Cat Car Sickness
Since gastrointestinal distress is common in cats, one of the primary symptoms your cat may experience is vomiting while riding in the car. Additionally, they may exhibit:
- Excessive lip licking
- Repetitive vocalization
- Despondent behavior
Causes of Car Sickness in Felines
One of the common reasons cats experience car or motion sickness is a disruption of balance, which results in nausea and stomach discomfort. Your cat’s balance and equilibrium is regulated by an apparatus in the inner ear that can easily be disturbed while in consistent motion. Your cat may also be prone to anxiety and stress when in unfamiliar places or even just outside of the comfort and familiarity of your home. For some, motion sickness becomes a conditioned response and your cat may associate travel with gastrointestinal upset, causing further anxiety when they are traveling with you.
Helpful Tips for Calming Your Cat’s Car Sickness
- Keep your cat in the crate or carrier they are most familiar with when taking long trips in the car.
- Place a blanket or other soft item that smells like your home in your cat’s crate.
- Avoid feeding your cat within 5 hours of travel.
- Try playing soft music to see if your cat is calmed by it in the car.
- For severe cat sickness, talk with your veterinarian about possible medications that help reduce gastrointestinal distress and anxiety your cat can be given before long trips.
Concerned About Your Cat’s Health?
Whether your cat experiences regular motion sickness or they simply haven’t been acting like themselves recently, Catonsville Cat Clinic is here to help. Our veterinarians are highly-trained and experienced in cat health and can diagnose and treat a wide variety of feline health issues. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.