Travel Story: Cats on Drugs!

Here’s our first Travel Story from Harry Olsen. Send your story to [email protected]

Hi, here’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

We found our two cats, Thelma and Louise, in our garage about 14 years ago. They were 6 weeks old with no mother in sight. We owned a restaurant at the time and thought we couldn’t keep pets. We kept them in the house until the weekend and then took them to the humane society. We only got a block away before I broke down, so we turned around and got them back and we’ve been having a ball ever since! Except when we have to take them to the vet. They’re house cats and never go outside. When we take them to the vet, all heck breaks loose! When we finally corral them and get them in their cages, they whine, howl, pant and hyperventilate all the way to the vet’s. Thank god it’s only a mile away! When they get there they’re as quiet as can be. When we leave they start whining and howling again until we get home.

Now for the real problem. We sold our restaurant in Chicago and we were now planning to drive, with the cats, to our second home in Arizona for the winter! 1600 miles! We thought the stress might kill them, so the vet prescribed a pill to help them relax. The morning we were leaving, my wife broke up the pill into their food. The cats ate it and they seemed to settle down. But, I think by the time we got the car loaded, it looked like the pill wore off! We got them in the car and the howling, whining, panting and hyperventilating started all over again! After about 200 miles they settled down, but we had 1400 more miles to go! We finally stopped over somewhere in Texas.

When we tried to feed them their drug-laced food in the morning they refused to eat! So, in the car we went and this time after 100 miles they settled down! When we drove back to Chicago in the spring, we didn’t bother with the drugs and they were fine.

Moral of the story; don’t drug up your cats. Just don’t worry, they’ll be fine! Just think of all the whining and howling as conversation! Like any long road trip, the conversation will eventually die down!


5 thoughts on “Travel Story: Cats on Drugs!

  1. This story hit so close to our experience, just had to comment! When we moved from NY to Virginia, we had eight cats (we lived in the country, and people often “dumped” cats, causing our large family). My husband drew the job of driving down to our new home with the eight cats (several were originally feral cats–and always quite peculiar)–an unenviable job for sure. They cried, howled and whined until he was so rattled by the time he got to Virginia, he couldn’t remember where to turn for our new house! Thankfully, reason returned and he made it, much worse for the wear!

  2. Maybe they’ll be fine. Or maybe they’ll be stressed out and miserable the entire time they’re traveling. Just because one particular medication or dosage isn’t helping or because you can’t figure out how to administer it, doesn’t mean that lowering a pet’s anxiety with medications is not a kind thing to do.

    It’s great that your cats adjusted to traveling, others may not.

  3. Thank you for both story we have a 13 year old cat who as made the trip to Tx in a camper, but never in a car. In a few weeks we’ll be taking him and a dog to Myrtle Beach by car for the first time and have been a little worried, but the story put a little more at easy. Maybe if we think about it when we get there we’ll see if we can get back to you and the reader and let you know how we made out.

  4. I am facing a huge challenge: ..I live and work in Bangkok, Thailand. I will be moving back to the United States. I have three beautiful cats and I’m dreading the long trip for them. It will be more than 36 hours between here and there plus layovers in Seoul and Chicago. Does any one out there have experience with this kind of situation? I understand that all three will be carried in the cargo hold,,,,,but I’m trying to figure out how to make them all comfortable……they will be so scared. They are all rescue cats, as well…..One is afraid of most everything, one has some minor health problems, (heart murmer which is triggered by stress….hmmmm) and the little one is still a kitten….probably she will be fine…I picked her up in start and stop traffic on an eight lane highway, dodging the cars!!! Well, I sure would appreciate hearing from any of you…..Thanks!

  5. Hi Pam, I am feeling pretty much the same as you. I am flying out to the UK from Australia and taking my cat Bella with me. I have done a lot of reading on long haul travelling with cats and from what I hear the best thing is not to give them any drugs, get a pet company to organise everything for you and, finally it may be better to fly out beforehand. The company I am using here in Australia will pick Bella up from home and board her for a week and then fly her out to London and drive her to my front door. You are allowed to give them a blanket and a toy which for Bella is a relief as she always hides underneath a blanket when I take her to the vet. I think we tend to be more worried than our animals. At least your cats will be flying together so they will have company. Hope all goes well which I am sure it will.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *