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My cat is kinda scary (she starts crying and shaking a bit) when it comes to even a simple trip to the vet. Soon I'm going to take her with me to another city, by train. Although the trip will take only three hours I'm afraid she'll be very frustrating (gonna start crying or trying to get out of her carrier). Are there any tips on how to make this trip less stressful for her? Maybe give her a little sedative or put a toy in the carrier?

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    Sedatives work but dosage is not something you can do on your own. You need to consult a vet.
    – ck1987pd
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 9:24
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    Welcome to Pets! Please have a look at the tour, it only takes a minute. In order to help you, we need to know more about how exactly your cat is "kinda scary" and "very frustrating". It would also help to know how long the trip will be. If she's not very stressed but only annoying other passengers, I wouldn't sedate her. If she is stressed, certain types of sedatives can make the experience even worse for her. Please edit your question to add more information.
    – Elmy
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 9:26
  • Thanks for your suggestions! I'll edit the question Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 15:41
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    did you mean that the cat is "scary" (scares other people) or "scared" (seems to be frightened herself)? Similarly, is she "frustrating" (causes frustration to the people around her) or "frustrated" (feeling frustration herself)?
    – Esther
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 15:49
  • Just wanted to let you know that the trip went very well! She was so calm and even a bit curious Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 14:45

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Caution: sedatives may cause breathing problems that require immediate medical treatment, which presumably won’t be available on your train. Most carriers prohibit sedated animals (unless accompanied by a vet) for exactly that reason.

What you actually want is something for travel anxiety. The two most common medications I’ve seen are gabapentin and diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl). These are safe for travel/shipping since they aren’t sedatives, though they may still cause drowsiness. Discuss with your vet to get the correct dosage for your pet, which varies by species and weight; this is a common enough thing they may even be able to do it over the phone.

My rescue cat was shipped to me by air cargo, and the sender’s vet recommended diphenhydramine. After two flights and eight hours, he arrived calmer than most humans would have.

I don’t have personal experience with gabapentin, but I’ve seen anecdotes that it is similarly effective.

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