Introducing our very own Thundercat!!! A look at the Thundershirt for cats who travel (or the owners who want them to).
I've seen a lot of strange things when I've travelled, but one scene really sticks out in my mind. We were camping in Prince Edward Island’s Cabot Beach Provincial Park, and enjoying gorgeous ocean front views, when we realized we weren't alone. There was another presence nearby, something sly and unnatural….It was a cat! A camping cat! A fluffy Persian camping cat on a leash! It was the last thing on earth we were expecting to see. Who goes camping with a white fluffy cat and secures them under a pine tree with a leash and harness? Obviously they never met my cat!
Darwyn is the one member of our family who’s not a dedicated traveler. In fact, travel tops her list of things she hates, as evidenced by the insane meowing that occurs on the rare occasions we have to put her in the car. The short, 10 minute drive to the veterinarians’ office and the pet hotel are met with mournful howls and frantic panting. We have yet to determine if she’s scared, anxious, or just really mad that she’s in an environment where she doesn't rule the roost. No matter the reason, it’s clear that she’s put out and, while it IS kinda funny for the first few minutes, there is no denying it’s also distracting and annoying.
Eager to have her ease up on the car drama, I was excited to try out the Thundershirt. The Thundershirt works on dogs and cats much like swaddling does on a newborn baby. It makes them feel snug and secure, like being in a never ending hug, and it’s designed to comfort pets who have anxiety with thunderstorms, loud noises, and anything that causes over-excitement or fear. While it sounds a bit unusual, there was no harm in giving it a try. Anything to stop the travel meltdowns! So what did Darwyn think of the Thundershirt?
Overall, we had moderate success. We found it to be very easy to put the Thundershirt on – and Darywn is NOT the kind of cat who tolerates dressing up. While she wasn't thrilled to be in it, she also wasn't angry – just a bit unsure. While she still howled considerably at the beginning of the car ride, she did calm down and settle into a slightly less pathetic pattern of looking woeful with the occasional screechy meow – a real improvement in her case!
I liked that the Thundershirt came in a non-cutesy, non-girly heather grey and that it’s easy to wash. I loved that it was easy to put on and take off. The only thing I would change would be the addition of a handle or loop on the back of the Thundershirt so it would be easy to grab Darwyn as she tries to run away when it comes time for the car! I’m guessing that wouldn't be allowed for safety reasons but it would be fun. I would recommend the Thundershirt to anyone who has trouble traveling with their pets, especially if you’re looking for a safe, natural, easy alternative to anxiety and sedation medications.
Have you had success traveling with your cat? What's your secret - I'd love to know!
If you enjoyed this post, you'll also like:
Oceanfront Camping in Prince Edward Island
Does A Sleeping Bag Count as Carry On?
Travel Disasters: When the Tent Blows Away
A complimentary Thundershirt was provided in order to complete my review. This did not affect my review and all opinions remain my own.
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