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How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Car Sick

How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Car Sick

As much as we love our cats, there’s one thing that can sometimes be a bit of a pain: car sickness. Yes, unfortunately our feline friends can sometimes get just as carsick as we do. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to help prevent it. Here are some tips on how to prevent your cat from getting car sick. 

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Start Gradually

When it comes to car rides, cats are notorious for getting sick. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to begin acclimating your cat to the car gradually. Start by placing them in the car and then sitting with them in a quiet, familiar place for a little while. This will give those who might experience stress or anxiety time to adjust.

Then take short trips or drives around town, stopping for breaks if necessary. Increase the length of the trips over time until your cat is comfortable traveling to their destination without becoming upset. Taking these steps can make all the difference in how your cats reacts when you take them on car rides! 

How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Car Sick

Get Your ESA Today


Due to the new Department of Transportation (DOT) policy, Emotional Support Animals are NO longer allowed to fly in airplane cabins for free. However, Psychiatric Service Dogs are eligible.

Practice Ahead of Time

When preparing Emotional Support Animals for an upcoming trip, it is important to acclimate them to their carrier. A few days before departure, place them in the carrier and take them on short drives around the block. This ensures that they become comfortable with the new environment of being in a moving car while also introducing them to the feeling of being restrained inside a small space. Taking short breaks and offering rewards can instill positivity surrounding being placed in their carrier, making the upcoming movements of transport less intimidating and anxiety-inducing. 

How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Car Sick

Acclimate to Vehicle Movement

When introducing cats to riding in a car, it is important to ensure that they are comfortable and familiar with the situation. Begin by talking through the process so that expectations are well established. Start off short trips first with two to four minutes and gradually increase their duration. This may help ease their anxiety or fear of the vehicle movement.

Once they become used to this scenario, it can be helpful to incorporate some fun activities during the trips such as listening to music or talking to them from the front of the car. Doing this allows for pleasant experiences with being in a moving vehicle and can help make driving enjoyable for fur parents! 

Feeding Prevents Nausea

On the day of the trip, feed your cat a small meal 4 hours before you leave.

Preparation is key when planning to travel with our furry friends! When your kitty has a full stomach while you’re traveling, they will have a higher chance of experiencing motion sickness.

To help prevent this from happening, make sure to feed them a small meal four hours prior to leaving. You don’t want their last impressions of the trip to be nausea and discomfort from an upset stomach caused by eating too close to departure time. Make sure you plan appropriately for your pet’s wellness, so everyone’s trip is safe and enjoyable!

How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Car Sick

Limit Fluids

Try not to let your cat drink too much water so they don’t have to make frequent stops on the road.

When traveling with cats, it is important to plan ahead. Regulating how much water your kitty drinks per day can help you make fewer stops throughout your journey, making the trip more enjoyable for everyone! Having your cat drink water in moderation helps them stay hydrated without having to make too many bathroom breaks. This not only helps you to stay on schedule, but also ensures that their little bodies remain replenished with the necessary amount of liquids.

Setting up a litter box within the car is also an option for long drives, but we suggest anchoring the box down very well to ensure no big messes while hitting your car breaks.

Fresh Air

Make sure there’s plenty of fresh air circulating in the car by cracking a window open slightly.

Staying safe on the road means making sure your car is a healthy environment. Cracking a window open slightly while driving helps to ensure there is plenty of fresh air circulating in the cabin. This can prevent drowsiness, as well as reduce levels of pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide produced by your car’s engine. Taking this precaution helps you maintain focus while on the drive and protect yourself from potentially harmful emissions. Remember to always crack the windows open slightly when driving for maximum safety.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Car Sick

You Got This!

Although it may take some time and patience, by following the tips in this blog post, you can train your cat to not only tolerate car rides but even enjoy them. Just remember, on your journey to finding out how to prevent your cat from getting car sick, to give yourself plenty of time to prepare before the big day, so both you and your feline friend are as relaxed as possible. And if you’re ever unsure about whether or not your pet qualifies as an Emotional Support Animal or Psychiatric Service Animal, we’ve got you covered. Simply take our quiz now to find out. 

ESA or PSA Certification?

The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal certification and a Psychiatric Service Dog certification are drastically different. Fortunately for you, American Service Pets’ network of active board certified doctors can help you find the right path to certification. To find out whether you need an ESA or PSD letter, take our easy, three-step Pet Owner Survey!


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