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House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

We will be moving in July and it's going to be a c. 5 hour journey.

Our cat gets incredibly distressed just going to the vets. We did a test run for a hour recently and it went very badly. It was massively stressful for her, and for us.

We've now got lots of very helpful advice from the vet, which we will try (including using Feliway).

One extra thing they suggested was giving her Gabapentin the night before and morning of the move, to help keep her calm. I just wondered if anyone else has ever used Gabapentin for a cat in this way, and if so, how did it go?

We don't need other advice, just if anyone has any experience of using Gabapentin when taking a cat on a long journey.

Boosts appreciated.

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House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

Thanks to everyone that boosted my post about this. I've had some helpful answers and we are going to give it a go, and hopefully do a test run using it first just to see how it affects her. Hopefully we'll be able to make the journey as low stress as possible.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden (Deleted initial reply: wrong drug). We used a powerful sedative with our very nervous cat when she had to go on an airplane. We also give her gabapentin daily (small dose) and a larger dose if she has to travel to visit the vet. The small dose seems to reduce her general stress level. Large doses makes her clumsy.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@pburka thanks for this. It's useful just to know that you do use Gabapentin and it helps reduce her stress level, and that it's ok for cats.

The Vet said it was an option, but I really wanted to know if other people has tried it. Particularly given I use Gabapentin for my health, it seemed odd to give it to a cat.

Do you use a liquid version that you could 'hide' in her food?

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden We get gaba in capsules. We open them and sprinkle the powder on her wet food. (For pills (different med) we use Greenies Pill Pockets).

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@pburka We will do the same then. Thank you for this advice, it's helped lessen the worry considerably.

I've not heard of Greenies Pill pockets before. I looked them up and they look like they are a good idea. Obviously your cat eats them without a problem, so defo worth trying.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden FYI LeeLoo is on 50mg of gabapentin daily. 150mg on vet days.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden If it's any reassurance, Gary takes several human meds!

I get his antihistamines at the pharmacy. And paracetamol. And D was delighted when Gary was prescribed omeprazole because that meant they were both on the same med for a while. :)

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@bright_helpings oh that's interesting. It's obviously more common than I realised. We are going to give it a go. After the test run being so awful, we want to try everything we can to improve the chances of moving the cat with as little discomfort to her as possible.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden @bright_helpings I first heard about gabapentin when I worked at a vet's office before I ever knew it was used for people!

Izzy and I used to share trazodone for her vet anxiety but I don't have insomnia anymore so if we need any for her she gets her own prescription.

I once took her carprofen by mistake (it's an NSAID that was first developed for people). She gets benedryl for her allergies

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden It is probably worth giving the gabapentin a test run before using it for the move. My older sister's cat actually got a bit hyper on it while she was healing from her leg amputation after my sister adopted her.

Typically it's administered to cats as a liquid in the mouth with a syringe. Ask your vet for dosage (it might be VERY different than simply adjusting human dose for size).

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@stelepami ah, that's interesting. I've ordered it from the Vet so I'm not sure how much they will give me, but if they give us enough to do a test run, I will do.

I'm not sure if I'm getting pills or liquid, but I'll find out later in the week. We aren't moving until late July, so I've got plenty of time to test etc.

I used to be on Gabapentin myself, now Pregabalin, which is in the same school of meds. I wouldn't give my meds to my cat though (or to another human either for that matter). I assume they'll give me clear instructions on how much she should have.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden I'm sure your vet will give you excellent instructions.

Sharing meds with animals (or other people) is perhaps unethical (or uneconomical) but it happens sometimes for various reasons.

Animal metabolism can be very different than human metabolism. Izzy gets FIVE benedryl pills twice a day during allergy season! She's large but she's much smaller than I am and that's way too much for me.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@stelepami I do get why people might share meds so I wouldn't be absolutely strict on that, depending on the circumstances. But I would never cross that line between myself and an animal. As you say, their metabolism is very different.

Goddess, 5 Benedryl pills twice a day - poor Izzy.

@stelepami Yeah Gary is on carprofen too. :) I didn't realize it was originally for people! @GwenfarsGarden

@bright_helpings I looked it up after I accidentally took Izzy's pill! Although I knew it was an NSAID and wasn't too concerned anyway, doses for dogs and people can be very different because of different metabolisms so I doubled checked. I think a lot of meds used for animals were first developed for people and then tried in animals; the vet industry does not have the same same size or funding as human medicine and research on house pet health wasn't a huge priority for early vets.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden Absolutely no specific advice, I'm afraid, but given that the info sheet for gabapentin-for-humans is approximately one third list of side-effects, I'd be terrified of giving it to a cat.

(I either don't get any or it exacerbates my fatigue -- it's hard to tell -- but it gave my mother hallucinations.)

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@sparrowsion I was fine on Gabapentin; everyone is different. A couple of have replied saying it helped their cat, and we've decided to give it a go.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden I do hope it works for her

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@GwenfarsGarden for our medically complex and very travel-stressed cat, Gabapentin works wonders. Chills him out for up to eight hours. He even did fine on an airplane when we had to move.

House move with a cat on a 5hr journey - specific advice required (Gabapentin) 

@wlonk this is really good to know. Thank you!

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