Should I Sedate My Cat for Air Travel?
I'm taking my cat on the plane but am super concerned about having to take him out at security. He can be aggressive when anxious. My vet prescribed 10mg Acepromazine for my 15.5 Ibs cat but I feel reluctant giving it. What are your suggestions? Sedative or not?
This is an important question. Owners sometimes wrongly assume that their pet's travel will be less stressful if they are sedated. However, sedating a pet when flying is dangerous and is one of the worst things you can do for the safety of your pet.
Sedatives can interfere with regular breathing and other bodily responses, and pets may react differently and unexpectedly to medications when they are in the air. In fact, most airlines will not fly a sedated pet, as over-sedation can be a cause of animal death during air transport.
Check out more information about the the dangers of sedating pets during air travel and the best alternatives:
Also, some of our clients have explored various natural products that can have calming effects (think herbal remedies) -- this is worth asking your vet about or checking your local pet store. You can also place a T-shirt or blanket in the travel crate that smells like you or that reminds him of home.
Above all, the best thing you can do to ease your cat's anxiety is to make sure that he is properly crate-trained. The more comfortable your cat is with his crate, the less anxious he will be during travel, and the less likely that he will show aggression at the airport.
Should you have any more pet transport questions or if you think you'd like some assistance carrying out your move, feel free to contact us. Thanks for your question and good luck with your pet travels!
Pet Travel Question Details:
Number of Pets: Three
Pet Type: Dogs, Cat
Pet Breed: Mastiff, Bloodhound, Siamese mix
From: Austin, TX
To: Denver, CO
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2013 and has been updated with new information.