Does anybody know how to make a cat go to sleep? I have to take her on a long drive and I want her to sleep so she doesn't get too stressed. I tried using the calming spray but it doesn't work on her.

Does anybody have an advice?

  • 1
    Welcome to Pets StackExchange :) Can you provide more information about your cat that may be relevant to the question? For example, age, breed etc.
    – Henders
    Dec 12, 2018 at 9:21
  • Thank you! Well my cat is a year and 5 months old and is a former feral cat. She is a tortie with a little but of tortietude but still a good girl. She doesn't get along with another cat who's going to be in the same car with her on our drive so I really want her to fall asleep during the ride to get less stress...
    – Joan
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:14

3 Answers 3


The first thing to make sure is that you take your cat on small trips in your car so that she gets used to it. Start it with a trip for a few minutes and then return home. This is to show your cat that nothing bad happens and for her to get used to the situation.

It is best to use a fairly small carrier for your cat. Cats do feel safer in small spaces. You will need to put a towel in the carrier and it is best if you use one on which the cat has rested upon. If the towel smells of her she will feel more at home.

Before you take the cat for the long drive you will probably try to limit feeding and drinking right before you leave so your cat can go for some time before she needs to eliminate.

You need to bring food and water if the drive is long. She will probably not eat but try to get her to drink a little during the drive.

I do not think she will be able to sleep during the drive but she will hopefully be able to relax a little.

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    For my cat a cage covered with towel will have opposite effect. She is a lap cat and she can relax the best when she is in our lap. She can easily sleep then.
    – Sonevol
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:15
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    i was not suggesting to cover the cage it is for the cat to have something soft to lay on(and to absorb any mishaps) Dec 12, 2018 at 13:25
  • Thank you for the detailed answer to my question! I already take her on short rides every now and then but she seems to still hate it. I put the blanket in the small dog carrier (she's a tiny <7 lbs baby) with her for her comfort but she hates the fluff and the softness so she moves it to a corner haha. I put her "favorite" (or least hated) blanket on top of the crate so she can't see outside (i heard that that help cats get more relaxed), but she still gets really stressed and meows throughout the whole drive...
    – Joan
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:20
  • @Joan cats complain a lot when in a moving car but i do non think anything can be as bad as the cat say :) as soon as the cat is out of the cage everything is ok and back to normal in the blink of an eye. Dec 13, 2018 at 7:16

Drives can be very stressful for cats, especially if they've been medicated. It is highly recommended that cats in a car, in boats, or on planes remain unmedicated during the trip, both for comfort, and safety reasons.

Instead of trying to have her sleep, I would rather look into getting her a comfortable enough cage, and making sure she has a view during the drive. I'd also look into pheromone spray to make it feel less alien (the spray is basically artificial scent marking, so it smells more like her own territory.)

  • Thank you for your advice! I tried using a calming spray but it didn't work. And I use a Comfort Zone pheromone diffuser (?) at home to make her feel more relaxed with another cat she has a trouble with in the house but it doesn't work either. Does the pheromone spray do a similar thing?
    – Joan
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:25
  • The spray and the diffuser is the same thing, basically.
    – Stig Tore
    Dec 13, 2018 at 7:15

I don't know about other cats but I can answer based on my experience with my cat.

During a journey, if we put her in a cage she gets too stressed and constantly calls for our attention. If we cover the cage with a towel she gets even more stressed.

She is a complete lap cat. The only thing that can relax her is lying on our lap with our assuring hand on her. She can even calmly go to sleep then.

Regarding elimination, she knows that she has to inform us about her need to eliminate. We can understand it and act accordingly.

  • Thank you for your answer~ My kitty is a former feral so I think she gets really stressed during rides because she's so not used to being in there. I think she would freak out even more if I let her out of the carrier😞. Thank you for the answer still!
    – Joan
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:27

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