Hello Again Stefanie!
I hope that your move will go smoothly - I have just moved and I know how stressful it all is!
There are a few options for things you could try to calm your cat before the trip. Some you can do without seeing a vet, but for some you would need to see your vet.
If I have seen a cat recently (last few months) I would be comfortable prescribing a sedative without actually doing another exam, as long as the cat has been in good health.
So, you could always phone your vet to see if that is an option.
Anyway, here are some options for what you can do without seeing a vet:
Purchase Composure Liquid from Vetri Science It is composed of a protein extract from a milk product and a soy product plus a few other things. It seems to work great for cats that have to travel. http://www.vetriscience.com/composure-liquid.php
Another thing to pick up would be some dimenhydrinate (Dramamine, Gravol) tablets, as you asked about. It comes as a 50mg tablet, and the cat dose is ¼ tablet given every 8 hours. It makes most cats just a little sleepy – BUT the very rare cat will become disoriented and hyperactive with this, so it is really important that you TRY IT OUT AT HOME FIRST!! It is very safe, but it is best that you find out before travel how it affects your cat! http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/dimenhydrinate-dramamine/page1.aspx
Some cats just need a bit of cat pheromone to “take the edge off.” One of the things that I would strongly recommend is a Feliway spritzer. This is a spray bottle device that squirts a cat pheromone into the air, helping to calm the cat without drugs. It contains a scent that is very calming to cats, and pleasant to humans too. Here’s a link to more information: http://www.catfaeries.com/feliway.html
And when I have owners contact me because they need something stronger than these options, then I can prescribe medications to help. The two I most often use are as follows:
Acepromazine – this is a medication that can be given as a pill, and is the stongest sedative I would give. It is good for cats that really get stressed and frantic when traveling and might injure themselves in their desperate attempts to escape. It can lower blood pressure, so I don’t like to give it to cats with underlying disease. Here is more about it:
Amitriptyline – this is an anti-anxiety medication that I sometimes put cats on long-term in order to help them with severe anxiety problems (which might manifest as a refusal to use the litter box). It makes cats fairly sedate in the first few days of use, and is very useful for trips as the effects last only 8 hours or so – which also makes the cat quite calm on arrival in the new surroundings. Here is more: http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/amitriptyline-hcl-elavil/page1.aspx
The other thing that I wanted to mention is that I quite often see cats that have been stressed that suddenly stop eating. This is a VERY SERIOUS problem for overweight cats as it can lead to Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver disease). I will give you links to this, so you know about it.
It can be prevented by making sure that your cat keeps eating when you get to your new home!
I hope that this helps you to help your cat, and that the move goes well!
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If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.