Can Cats Get Car Sick And Throw Up? Discover the Surprising Truth

Yes, cats can get car sick and may vomit as a result. Car sickness can be common in cats.

Car rides are a common part of many cats’ lives, whether it’s a trip to the veterinarian or a family vacation. However, some felines may experience car sickness and throw up during the journey. Just like humans, cats can get nauseous and uncomfortable when subjected to the motion and changes in surroundings while on the road.

The unfamiliar movement and constant vibrations can wreak havoc on their sensitive equilibrium, resulting in bouts of vomiting. While not all cats are prone to car sickness, it’s essential for pet owners to recognize the signs and understand how to help their furry friends feel more at ease during car rides. We will explore the causes, symptoms, and possible solutions for cats experiencing car sickness and vomiting.

Why Do Cats Get Car Sick?

When traveling with your feline friend, it is not uncommon for them to experience car sickness. This can be a distressing experience for both the cat and the owner. One of the main reasons why cats get car sick is due to their inner ear sensitivity. The movement and changes in direction during a car ride can cause a disruption in the cat’s balance system, leading to nausea and vomiting.

Motion discomfort is another factor that can contribute to car sickness in cats. The constant motion and vibrations of the vehicle can trigger feelings of unease and discomfort in their stomach, leading to vomiting.

Additionally, stress and anxiety can exacerbate car sickness in cats. Being in an unfamiliar environment combined with the motion of the car can cause the cat to become anxious and stressed, further intensifying the symptoms of car sickness.

If your cat tends to get car sick, there are steps you can take to help alleviate their discomfort. Ensuring proper ventilation, minimizing car motion, and keeping the cat in a familiar and enclosed space such as a carrier can all contribute to a more comfortable travel experience for your feline companion.

Recognizing The Signs Of Car Sickness In Cats

Car sickness is not exclusive to humans. Cats can also experience nausea and vomiting when traveling in cars. Recognizing the signs of car sickness in cats is essential to provide them with a comfortable journey.

Excessive drooling is one of the most common indications that a cat is feeling unwell during car rides. If you notice your cat drooling excessively, it may be a sign of car sickness.

Panting and heavy breathing can also occur when a cat is experiencing motion sickness. If you observe your cat panting or breathing heavily, it is likely that they are feeling uncomfortable.

Vomiting and retching are clear signs of car sickness in cats. If your cat vomits or retches during car rides, it is an indication that they may be experiencing motion sickness.

Restlessness and agitation are behavioral signs that your cat may be feeling car sick. If your cat appears restless, agitated, or tries to hide during car journeys, it could be a result of motion sickness.

Tips To Prevent Car Sickness In Cats

Traveling with cats can be a challenge, especially if they experience car sickness. Car sickness in cats can cause them to feel nauseous and even vomit during car rides. Fortunately, there are several tips to help prevent car sickness in cats and make the journey more comfortable for them.

One of the key strategies is to gradually introduce your cat to car travel. Start by letting them explore the stationary car and then gradually progress to short drives around the neighborhood. This allows them to become familiar with the sensation of being in a moving vehicle.

Another important tip is to provide a comfortable and secure carrier for your cat. Make sure the carrier is well-ventilated and has enough space for your cat to turn around and stretch. Additionally, keeping the carrier stable and secure within the car can help alleviate motion sickness.

It is also crucial to ensure proper ventilation and fresh air during car rides. Open the windows slightly to allow fresh air to circulate in the car. This can help reduce any lingering odors that may trigger nausea in cats.

Lastly, take frequent breaks and keep car rides short. Cats may feel more comfortable when they have the opportunity to stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Dividing long journeys into smaller segments can help prevent excessive stress or discomfort for your cat.

Managing Car Sickness In Cats: Medical Interventions

Managing car sickness in cats can be challenging, but there are several options available to help alleviate symptoms. One effective method is using anti-nausea medications specifically designed for cats. These medications target the root cause of car sickness and can help prevent cats from feeling nauseous or throwing up during car rides.

Another option is to explore herbal and natural remedies. Some herbs like ginger or chamomile have been known to reduce nausea and promote calmness in cats. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any herbal remedies to ensure they are safe for your cat.

Consultation with a veterinarian is crucial when it comes to managing car sickness in cats. They can assess the severity of your cat’s car sickness and recommend the most appropriate treatments. Additionally, a veterinarian can provide guidance on dosage and potential side effects of anti-nausea medications or herbal remedies.

Desensitizing Your Cat To Car Travel

Getting your cat acquainted with the car environment before taking them on actual rides can help minimize car sickness. Start by allowing your cat to explore the car while it is parked in the driveway. Encourage them to sniff and investigate the interior, making it a positive and stress-free experience. You can use treats or toys to create a positive association with the car.

Once your cat is comfortable being in the car, gradually introduce short car rides to build their tolerance. Start with short trips around the neighborhood and gradually increase the duration. Make sure to drive smoothly and avoid sudden stops or turns to minimize motion sickness. Create a calming and familiar environment by using your cat’s favorite blanket or toy during the ride.

During the car rides, reward your cat with treats or praise for good behavior to create a positive association with car travel. This will help to reduce anxiety and make car journeys more enjoyable for your feline companion. Consider consulting with your veterinarian if your cat continues to experience severe car sickness despite desensitization efforts.

Common Misconceptions About Cats And Car Sickness

One common misconception about cats and car sickness is that only long car rides cause car sickness. The length of the journey does play a role, but some cats can become sick even on short trips. Another misconception is that all cats are prone to car sickness. While it is true that some cats are more prone to motion sickness than others, not all cats experience car sickness.

It’s important to understand that car rides do not always result in vomiting for cats. Some cats may display signs of distress such as drooling, panting, or excessive meowing, but not necessarily vomit. It’s crucial to be observant of your cat’s behavior during car rides to identify and address any motion sickness symptoms.

In conclusion, cats and car sickness can vary from cat to cat. While some may experience vomiting or other symptoms during car rides, not all cats are prone to car sickness. By understanding these misconceptions and being attentive to your cat’s behavior, you can better address their needs during car travel.


Based on the symptoms and factors discussed, it is evident that cats can indeed experience car sickness and vomiting. Understanding the causes and taking appropriate measures can help alleviate the discomfort for our feline friends. From using carriers, providing a familiar environment, and implementing gradual exposure, we can make traveling a more enjoyable experience for our furry companions.

Remember, with a little preparation and care, we can keep our cats happy and calm during car rides.

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