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Can I Give My Cat Benadryl For a Long Car Ride?

If you have a long car ride ahead of you, you may be wondering if Benadryl can be an option for your cat on a long drive (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad).

Can I give my cat Benadryl for a long car ride?

Cats can be given Benadryl, but it’s advisable to consult your vet to clarify the dosage. It can be purchased over the counter, so it’s not a requirement. But, it’s better to clarify any medication with your vet first. Because every cat has a different medical history.

So, now you know that cats can have Benadryl, you may be wondering if it will make your cat sleepy, or how much is required, right? Well, keep reading for these answers, and much more.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl is a Brand of diphenhydramine. It is classed as an antihistamine. It is primarily marketed to humans but cat owners have been known to use it for various ailments and sedation. It can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.

If you have heard people talk about, or recommend Benadryl, but wondered what it is, now you have a good overview of what it is, and how it is typically used.

Will Benadryl make my cat sleepy?

There is a good chance that Benadryl will make your cat sleepy. And, if they are using any other medication, their drowsiness could be worse. This is why it’s worth consulting your vet before going ahead and using it.

If you are planning your long car ride and wondered if Benadryl will make your cat sleepy, you now know it will. But, as discussed, it’s worth checking with a vet first.

How long does it take for Benadryl to sedate a cat?

According to this site, it can take 1-2 hours. But, one of the challenges is getting your cat to consume it orally. This is why some vets are known to inject it. But, obviously, that can only be done by a trained vet.

If you have a long car journey (Click here if your Kia Soul has a weird smell) ahead, and you have decided to try and use Benadryl, you may have wondered how long it takes to kick in. So, now you know how long and the some of the associated challenges.

How much Benadryl Can I give my cat for sedation?

The amount of Benadryl a cat can have, according to this site, is 1 milligram per pound of body weight. This can be taken up to 3 times a day, at 8-hour intervals. It’s important not to go over this. And, ideally, verify with your vet first.

15 Tips for moving your cats across country in a car without sedation

If you are heading on a long journey across country in your car, and Benadryl or any other sedation is not an option for you, you need to make sure that you are prepared.

This is different from taking your cat for a walk in your best stroller, you need some specific advice for long journeys. For this reason, I have created 15 tips valuable tips when you are taking your cat across country.

01. Packing Pet Supplies

One thing you really need to avoid is being caught without enough supplies for your cat. Therefore, I strongly advise you to pack enough supplies for your trip.

In fact, it is actually better to pack slightly more than you need. This includes canned food, for easy storage, also cleaning items that will inevitably be required.

02. Pet Licensing

Depending on where you are traveling to you may be required to license your cat. This varies quite a lot between countries and even within countries, such as individual state laws in America.

To be safe it is worth checking ahead of time before getting to your desired location.

03. Pet-Friendly accommodation

When you plan your accommodation at the intended location, make sure that you have confirmed that they allow pets. It is a bad situation to be in when you find out, after a long journey, that they do not allow pets.

You may also find out that some hotels may have a pet deposit fee that you will have to pay, so it is always good practice to check ahead of time.

04. Pet identification

Just in case your cat gets lost, it is worth considering having them microchipped (Click here to see if a collar is also needed if they are chipped). This way they can be found and identified a lot easier.

It is also a good idea to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.

05. Reduce the chances of Sickness or cat mess

If you are going on a long journey then a good strategy to reduce the chances of your cat being sick, or even making a big mess on the route, is to reduce the intake of food and drink (Click here to see if lemonade is good for your cat).

So, rather than loading your cat full of food and drink before leaving, reduce the amount you give to her.

In addition to this, it is a good idea to have paper towels (Click here to learn how to stop your cat peeing on your towels), disinfectant, and plastic carrier bags with you in case you need to clean up any mess.

06. Using Feliway in your car

If you want to keep your cat happy while you are on your journey, you can use Feliway (Click here to see the price on Amazon #Ad). In all honesty, I had a hard time getting my head around what this really was, but in a nutshell, it is a spray or vapor that, in Feliways’s words, “containing synthetic copies of natural cat pheromones”).

They claim that this can be used to prevent unwanted scratching and urinating, which would be great for a long journey in your car.

07. Offer a Litter Tray Whenever you stop

As soon as you stop for a long period or get to your destination, offer your cat food and water, provide a litter tray, and give her some space to do her business.

08. A Cat Carrier or Transporter is a must

cat carrier - felinefollower.com

Even if it feels tempting to put your cat directly in your vehicle, ignore the temptation and get a cat carrier (Click here for my best 3 carriers) or transporter.

Another thing that some people attempt to do, maybe in an attempt to save money, is to put their cat in a cardboard box. This is not a good idea. The problem here is, if your cat urinates or messes it up, it is very hard to clean. In addition to this, if this happens the cardboard will become weak and insecure for your cat.

The best option is a dedicated cat carrier or transporter. There is a range of different carriers available, including plastic, metal mesh covered ones and wicker. Select the best option for your needs.

When it comes to the size of the carrier, although it may seem kind to get the biggest carrier you can on the market, to give your cat space, it is not always the best option. Firstly, it will take up a lot of space in your vehicle. Lastly, it will not necessarily make your cat feel any better. In fact, you may find that your cat is cozier and happy in a smaller one.

09. Getting Your Cat Used to Its Carrier

If you want to travel with your cat without a headache, it is important to get your cat used to the carrier way before you travel.

The easiest way to do this is to purchase your carrier at least a few weeks before traveling and making your cat feel comfortable with it.

An example of this is by leaving the carrier on the floor at home and putting some tasty catnip in it. This will get your cat to associate comfort with the carrier (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad) and not feel uncomfortable with a new environment when you set out on your journey.

10. Do a Small Dry Run First

Before you set out on your long journey, prepare your cat with a smaller dry run. What does this really mean though? In simple terms, take your cat on a small journey in your car (Is your cat hyperventilating while traveling? Click here) first a few times before your long distant travel.

This will get your cat used to traveling in your vehicle and being put in your carrier at the same time.

11. Avoid Distraction While Driving

It is critical to stay safe while you are driving. The best way to improve safety is to place the cat carrier out of the direct view of the driver. If you are driving and can see your cat moving about it will distract you.

12. Keep the Car Temperature Regulated

It is important to keep the temperature in your car (Click here to see how to do long trips) not too hot, but also not too cold. Apply some airflow by opening a window slightly.

The biggest thing that you must avoid is leaving your cat in the car in hot weather, even if it just for a few minutes. This can have very bad consequences and must not happen.

13. Consider a Litter Tray and Carrier Combination

When you are on a long journey, over a couple of hours, one thing to consider is a combined litter tray and carrier (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad). This will make your cat feel a bit happier on its journey and also reduce the chances of accidents in your vehicle.

14. Travel litter box for car travel

cat sitting in litter box

One thing that we can never get away from is cat litter. When you are on the move it is crucial to keep this simple.

One suggestion is a disposable litter box (Click here for the price, on Amazon #Ad). This will allow you to get rid of the mess when you stop off. However, the material on these things is quite thin so make sure you line it in case your cat has a heavy leak and causes a mess.

15. Making Your Cat Feel Cosy

If you are using a cat transporter with wire meshes, that allows your cat to see all around. It is a good idea, to make your cat feel cozier, to cover it with a blanket. This will make your cat feel comfortable and emulate a cat den that will make them feel happier.

Lindsey Browlingdon