Flying With Your Cat

Preparation and a relaxed attitude can help you avoid travel turbulence. Our step-by-step guide will help you prepare for air travel with your cat.

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At the Airport
1. Check in at the main ticket counter.

2. Remove your cat from its carrier and walk through the metal detector.

3. If the cat seems agitated, ask security personnel to hand-inspect the cat and carrier. Never let your cat be put through the X-ray machine.

On Board

1. Remain calm and relaxed.

2. To soothe your cat, pet it through the zippered opening in the carrier.

3. Upon landing, do not leave the aircraft until most of the other passengers have deplaned.

Cats Traveling Via Cargo
1. Call the airline to verify requirements for pets traveling as cargo.

2. Watch your cat being loaded and unloaded.

3. Travel midweek in the evening when planes are less crowded.

4. Do not travel during extremely hot or cold weather.

5. Tell a flight attendant you have a pet traveling as cargo.

6. Do not fly short-faced breeds such as Himalayans or Persians in the cargo hold.

Upon Arrival at Your Final Destination
1. Keep your cat in a small quiet room so it can adjust to its new surroundings.
2. Offer water and a small amount of plain, dry food.

- More Travel Tips -

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Reader Comments

Cindy    Wentz, MO

6/19/2013 7:05:42 PM

Can a 12week old kitten fly with currier from
Florida to Missouri then 4 weeks later round trip
From Stl to Phoenix safely and without upsetinit to
Much it is a Scottis fold

Jack    Huntington Beach, CA

11/6/2012 9:10:59 AM

Get a Cat Flasher to deal with the Jack the Cat and Xiaohwa-type escapes from airports and other places.

Valerie    Ojai, CA

1/27/2011 2:18:11 PM

Just a couple of additions- if flying internationally it can take up to six months before the cat can leave the country, depending on requirements. So start preparations early.
Also, the cats do not fly 'cargo', but in a special area for pets that is pressurized and temperature-controlled. If they were in with the baggage, they would not survive at 30,000 feet.

Douglas    Oakland, CA

8/16/2009 11:49:40 AM

I'll be flying from SF to Paris with a cat in the cabin with me. What to do if my cat poops and urinates in flight? What kind of litter is good during the flight? Obviously, for such a long flight I'll need to give my cat food and water.

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