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C2004-21

Dear Christopher Cat

We are moving to Canada and plan to drive with our four cats. Should we sedate them for the trip? What else do we need to know?

Christopher Responds

I like to complain during the first 20 minutes of car rides, but after that, I settle down. I suspect your cats are the same, so it’s unlikely they will need sedatives.

Besides, sedatives sometimes have side effects. They can depress breathing and make it more difficult for us to regulate body temperature.

Talk with your veterinarian, who knows your cats’ health histories and can help you make an informed decision.
You’ll also need to see your veterinarian for a health certificate to document that your cats have no contagious diseases. In addition, their rabies vaccinations must be current.

These requirements are mandated by Canada and the states you’ll likely drive through on your way there.

Interstate and international travel of animals is overseen by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information on their regulations, call 1-800-545-USDA or visit their website at www.aphis.usda.gov. In Pennsylvania, call 717-782-3442.

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