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Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14883
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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We have 4 cats and will be moving next month. 1 is so

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We have 4 cats and will be moving next month. 1 is so skittish that she will not allow anyone to pick her up. A second can also be. We will need to get them into carriers, spend 1 night in a hotel and then get them back into carriers early the next morning (while we are at the closing sale of current residence). Then there will be a***** a wait in the car while we attend a 2nd closing for the new house. As 1 will not allow us to pick her up, what can I put in her food that will allow us to get her when needed?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: The real skittish one is Ruby and is about 18- 19 mos old.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Ruby?
Customer: No, otherwise very healthy and active

Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is Rebecca; I am a veterinarian. Please give me a moment to type my answer.

I am sorry your cat is so skittish. Giving medication in her food is unpredictable in how well and how soon it will work. We usually use "ace" or acepromazine for travel. I would get this from your veterinarian, and try giving her a dose now, to see how it will affect her and so you know as it gets close to the time to move what to expect.

A better choice would be to train her to go into the carrier, and with a month till you move you have time to do this. Get the carriers out, open them, and leave them open in the house. Yes, I know at first all the cats will flee from them! But if you put food and a bed inside them, and keep the doors open, they will start to go in.

Start by putting the food just inside the door so they can eat without going inside, and gradually move the food farther toward the back. Never move the carriers, and be sure the doors can't close accidentally. Do not put food anywhere but in the carriers.

Usually in a week or two, the cats will be going in and out of the carriers, and even sleeping in them. I have done this many times, trapping stray cats that would not be handled, and it has never failed yet! Then the easy part: the day before you are going to move, do not feed them that night. They will be really looking for food that morning, so put food in the back of the carriers and when the cats go in to eat, simply close the door.

When you get to the motel, get their food and litter and water ready and open the carriers. Leave them open, pick up the food before bedtime, and feed them in the carriers in the morning.

I would consider getting the acepromazine from your vet for travel as well, but try it out first to see its effect so you know what to expect.

Good luck with the move and please let me know if I can answer anything else.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Will a vet give me a prescription without first having seen the cat? I assumed a vet would not (and as I can't pick her up this is an obvious problem).

Probably not; it is a state law in the US that you have to have seen and examined a cat to give a prescription drug. If he has seen another of your cats and you explain the situation, your vet may be willing to dispense it but that is up to your vet.

Honestly, with a month to go, if you train her to go into the carrier, drugs may not be needed. I have trained some pretty wild cats to go into a carrier to eat, and then I would find them sleeping in the carriers, so the day I wanted to take them in for neutering and shots, I just closed the door. Surprisingly they quickly start going back in the carrier after I bring them home and release them.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** try training them to the carriers

You are welcome. With a month to go, this should work well. I have told this to people who were certain they could not get the cat in a carrier, to bring them in for vaccinations (is your cat vaccinated for rabies, before you move? It is a law in all states but Hawaii), and I have not had it fail me yet!

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