10 Travel Tips
Ready to embark on your trip with your cat? Follow these tips to make the journey go smoothly.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers the following tips on travel with cats:
1. Restrict the food and water intake before and during in-cabin air or car travel to minimize the risk of your cat eliminating in its carrier, which means no food or water within four hours of departure.
2. Make food and water available on a long flight, but only after the airline food service is over because it will encourage your animal to eliminate, which may disturb other passengers. Line the carrier with towels or shredded paper in case of an accident.
3. Inform the person sitting next to you that you have a cat with you, in case he or she wants to change seats.
4. If your cat is traveling in the cargo area, attach dishes for food and water to the inside of the carrier where airline personnel can reach them. Freeze the water so it will thaw by the time your cat is thirsty but won't splash out during loading or unloading.
Gayle Martz, a former airline stewardess from Westport, Conn., and designer of the Sherpa travel carrier, adds the following:
5. If your cat is flying with you in the cabin, shampoo it the day before the flight to prevent the spread of allergy-triggering dander.
6. Bring ice cubes in case your cat gets thirsty. They are easier to bring on board than water, which can spill.
7. Keep a low profile when boarding with your cat. However, it's a good idea to inform the flight attendants of your cat's presence.
8. If traveling by car, be aware that some states require a veterinary health certificate in order to take an animal across state lines.
9. Once you have arrived at your final destination, set up your cat's litter pan and make sure all windows, doors and other potential kitty escape routes are closed and locked.
10. No matter how small your cats are, or how well you think they get along, resist the temptation to cram two into one carrier. And never try to sneak your cat on board an airplane without a reservation. "Being able to travel with your pet on board is a privilege given to us by the airlines," Martz says. "Follow their rules, and we have a better chance of keeping that privilege."
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10 Travel Tips