8 Tips for Taveling with a Cat

by Melissa R. on October 30, 2015

Example of the cat carrier we used

We will be getting our new kitten soon! We worked it out to pick her up at the tail end of our vacation. The only hiccup was that we were going to have to bring her home with us on the plane. Here are my tips for traveling with a cat:

1. Find out what regulations your airline has regarding carrying on an animal. Some airlines have specific height & width requirements for a crate/carrier so it fits under the seats. We also had to call ahead, and let the airline know we were traveling with a pet. Worst part? We had to pay $100 to carry her on!

2. Find out if your state requires a health certificate for traveling across state lines.

3. We bought a little harness and lead. We had to take her out of her travel sack to go through the security, and even though we were holding onto her tightly, you just never know with a kitten. So the harness and lead were a nice safety net, just in case!

4. Do not feed or water your pet 7 hours prior to their flight time. You don’t want upset stomachs or them having to go potty.

Cirrhi, happy to be home for good!

5. We carried on a little sack of food “just in case.”

6. We *ALMOST* had to stay overnight in a motel due to airline delays, and I am not sure what we would have done. People suggested using torn up newspaper as a “Litter Box” for the kitten if we needed to.

7. Do NOT take your pet out of their travel crate. I think this makes them realize they could be doing so much more, and then complain even more loudly later. Also, some pets become more afraid when out of their crate. Their crate is a “safe haven” for them so just let them be.

8. If the pet starts complaining, just wait it out. They’ll stop eventually…Hopefully. You can try distracting them some, but in the end, I don’t think it helps much. At least it didn’t for us.

We wound up being stuck in travel for 12 hours, so we felt really bad for our new kitten, but she did really well. She was VERY happy to get out of her sack though when we finally got home!

Stay tuned to find out what happened when our other two cats met her…

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About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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