travelling with an epileptic cat

Here are some tips to help you to travel as safely as possible with an epileptic cat.

before the journey

Think about the mode of transport.

Unfortunately, stress, including during travel, could trigger a seizure. It is advisable to keep journeys as short as possible and avoid taking your pet on unnecessary journeys. When travelling with an epileptic cat, it is best if you can keep an eye on them so you can act quickly should a seizure occur. It is also reassuring for the cat to be near to its owners. Ensure that your cat has an appropriately sized cat carrier that is securely placed in the car so it cannot slide (e.g., fastened in with a seatbelt or placed in a footwell).

Plan ahead for your pet’s treatment

If you are staying away with your cat, or boarding them at a cattery, make sure you have enough of your cat’s epilepsy medication for the entire trip (and ideally some extra in case your return journey is delayed). It can also be helpful to identify the closest vets to where you will be staying or provide your cattery with your vet’s details should this be required in an emergency.

Pack your pet’s usual food

Sudden changes in diet are not recommended because they can cause tummy upsets and may affect how well the drugs are absorbed by the body.

During the journey

Watch out for heatstroke!

During a long journey in summer, be mindful of the risk of heatstroke in pets. It usually affects dogs, but cats can also suffer. Heatstroke happens when a pet is unable to control its body temperature. Unlike humans, cats don’t sweat other than through their foot pads. If the environment is too hot or humid, cats therefore can’t regulate their body temperature. Although no particular breed or sex is immune, long-haired cats and flat-faced breeds (such as Persians) are more at risk.

The signs of heatstroke include; panting, foaming at the mouth, dehydration, red mucous membranes (gums), followed by drowsiness, hallucinations, sometimes seizures, collapse and death. Heatstroke can be fatal in as little as 30 minutes.

Avoid heatstroke or seizures due to overheating by turning on the air conditioning or opening the windows of your car.

Never leave cats alone in a car, even on mild days cars can get hot very quickly!