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How To Travel With Your Cat On Plane

With the increasing number of pet owners wanting to take their beloved cats on air journeys, understanding the do’s and don’ts of flying with a cat is essential. Whether it’s the intricacies of airline policies or the practicalities of preparation.

The nuances of keeping your kitty calm in flight, this guide will provide invaluable insights for every cat owner on the move. Join us as we unravel the essentials of ensuring a safe, smooth, and stress-free flight for you and your whiskered friend.


How To Travel With Your Cat On Plane


How To Travel With Your Cat On Plane

Traveling with pets, especially cats, can be a nerve-wracking experience for both the owner and the feline. However, with the right preparation, flying with your cat can be made significantly smoother. Whether you’re considering domestic or international travel, understanding airline policies, costs, and best practices is essential. This article delves into the steps to make your cat’s journey as comfortable as possible.


Be prepared for security

When you arrive at the airport, you’ll need to pass through security checks, and this includes your cat. Remove your cat from its carrier and hold it while the carrier is being scanned. This can be stressful for the cat, so ensure you have a tight grip and speak soothingly to calm it down.


Consider a soft-sided travel carrier

While there are various carrier types available, a soft-sided carrier often proves to be the best choice for air travel. They’re not only lighter but are also flexible, making them easier to fit under the airplane seat. Ensure it’s airline-approved and provides ample ventilation.


Make the carrier a happy place

Before your travel date, get your cat accustomed to the carrier. Place toys, treats, or familiar bedding inside to make it feel safe and inviting. This familiarity can drastically reduce your cat’s anxiety during the actual journey.


Pack essentials

Prepare a small travel kit for your cat. This should include a leash, a collapsible water dish, a small portion of food (for after the flight), a waste disposal bag, and any medications your cat might need. It’s always better to be over-prepared.


Avoid feeding the morning of travel

It’s advisable to not feed your cat on the morning of the trip. This reduces the chances of them feeling nauseous or needing to use the bathroom during the flight. However, ensure they have access to water.


Talk to your vet about medication

Some cats may benefit from calming medications or sedatives for air travel. Before you consider this option, discuss it with your vet. They’ll advise on the best course of action depending on your cat’s health and temperament.


How to Fly With Your Cat Internationally?

International travel introduces additional complexities such as quarantine regulations, specific airline policies, and additional paperwork. Always check the importing country’s pet regulations well in advance. Consider working with a pet travel agency to streamline the process.


Every Airline Has a Different Pet Travel Policy?

Absolutely! Before booking your flight, research the airline’s pet travel policy. Some might allow pets in the cabin, while others may require them to be in the cargo hold. Weight restrictions, carrier dimensions, and health certificates are other variables to consider.


The Cost to Fly With a Cat on a Plane?

The cost can vary based on the airline, destination, and whether your cat is in the cabin or cargo. Generally, prices range from $50 to $500. Always inquire in advance to budget appropriately.



1. Can I bring my cat into the plane cabin with me?

Yes, many airlines allow small pets, including cats, in the cabin. However, there are weight limits and specific carrier dimension requirements. Always check with your chosen airline for their specific pet policy.


2. How can I help my cat remain calm during the flight?

Familiarizing your cat with the carrier in advance, using comfort items like favourite toys or bedding, and talking to your vet about potential calming medications or sprays can all help. Avoiding food just before the flight can also reduce discomfort and anxiety.


3. Are there any health requirements or paperwork needed when flying with a cat?

For domestic flights, many airlines require a recent health certificate from a vet. For international travel, requirements can include vaccinations, microchipping, and sometimes even quarantine upon arrival. It’s essential to check both the airline’s and the destination country’s requirements.


4. Can I give my cat food and water during the flight?

It’s best to avoid feeding your cat the morning of the travel to prevent nausea. However, you can give them a little water. For longer flights, consider freeze-dried treats or a small portion of their regular food once you’ve landed.


5. What happens if there’s a flight delay or cancellation?

If there’s a significant delay, especially if your cat is in cargo, inform airline staff immediately. They might be able to check on your pet or even allow you to see them. Always have essentials in your carry-on, like extra food, in case of unexpected delays or cancellations.

VeryWell Pets
VeryWell Pets
Verywell Pets brings you the latest pet information, news, and inspiration to help your dog or cat live their best life.
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