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Xanax for flight home

Posted by cookingrvc (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 2, 11 at 15:46

Bella is visiting with her parents and is getting ready to return home. Bella is a 1+ 10lb female grey tabby. On her flight here from Austin, Bella sat in an airline-purchased crate under the seat, with her mommy. Descending (from Austin to NYC) Bella pooped - all over.

They contacted their vet to see if they could make the flight more comfortable on the way back, and the vet suggested Xanax.

A. Is it ok to give the cat Xanax?

B. How much? She's 10 lbs, 1-2 years old, female, healthy (and chatty).


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Xanax for flight home

This came up recently, see link attached. It is not safe to sedate a pet for air travel, and most airlines will refuse to transport a pet who has been sedated. To avoid an accident in the kennel, don't feed kitty breakfast, and feed her when you arrive home. Air travel is so stressful for pets. It's so much kinder to make arrangements which allow them to stay at home or in a kennel for the holidays.

Here is a link that might be useful: Do not sedate a pet for air travel

RE: Xanax for flight home

When I know a trip is going to be all day, usually departing early morning and arriving late evening, I will feed my pets 2- 4 hours before before leaving the house. This approach has always allowed them to eliminate 1-2 times before they're put in the car/crate.

I understand the advantage of not feeding at all, but I feel the owner has to take into consideration the cat's (pet's) age & any health issues when making that decision.

Instead of the Xanax, I would ask the vet for something to help settle her tummy.
I'm curious, was the cat 'chatty' during the flight? My DM's cat cried in the car a lot when we took a trip, but once we reached the airport no one knew we were carrying a pet.

RE: Xanax for flight home

Continental does not allow you to sedate your pet. My vet suggested Rescue Remedy (you don't need to use the pet version) and lavender for the bedding (not on the pet).

RE: Xanax for flight home

My understanding for the airlines' restrictions against medicating pets for flights is that some meds can have potentially lethal side effects at high altitude. So you absolutely should NOT give Bella ANY med for the flight unless it has been approved by the airline.


RE: Xanax for flight home

Also Xanax is a controlled drug which can only be prescribed by a veterinarian who has a DEA license. So asking for doses online isn't helpful, since it's not like you can go a pharmacy and get it OTC. If the vet who suggested the medication has not seen your cat, I would ask your regular vet if Xanax is appropriate, and if so, call in a prescription to a nearby pharmacy. There are many medical conditions that would make Xanax harmful. Also high altitude can make sedation very dangerous, even for pets in the cabin. And finally some pets exhibit paradoxical excitement while under the influence of this and other drugs of the same class. Wouldn't want to find that out at 30,000 feet!

I personally would not prescribe Xanax or any other sedative for travel. While pooping is annoying, it's certainly not life-threatening.

Something like Rescue Remedy or Missing Link might be enough to keep Bella comfortable. I'd try that...

RE: Xanax for flight home

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