Cats like staying in their own territory, and when you take them off their home turf, they feel vulnerable and cranky. If you need to travel with your cat, here are some tips to make it a little less stressful.
First, make sure your cat is properly restrained. You need a carrier, even if you are traveling by car. If the cat becomes agitated, the entire car could be a dangerous place, both for the human passengers and for your pet. Make sure the carrier is properly secured. If you have the option, give the cat a break from the carrier on occasion, but only when you are safely parked.
Once you arrive at your destination, keep your cat secured in one room, with water and a small amount of food. Do not let the cat outdoors for at least a week. If you need to let your cat outside, consider withholding food for 12 hours so the cat will be hungry enough to return when you call her.
Finally, be careful with tranquilizers. Some advocate the use of tranquilizers when traveling with your cat, but this may not be a good idea. Many cats end up more agitated with the use of tranquilizers, and your cat may not acclimate to the changing temperatures in the airplane hold well if she is drugged. Only use tranquilizers if your vet feels it is best for your cat.