Kitty on the Plane



If you absolutely must fly with your cat, All Feline Hospital has a few travel tips that will make it a little less stressful on everyone, including kitty.

• There are two ways for your cat to travel by plane—in the cargo hold or in the cabin with you. Keeping your cat with you is ideal, but bear in mind that some airlines do not allow pets in the cabin.
• When you make your reservation, if someone tells you that cats are allowed in the cabin, get the person’s name and contact info. Even better, have the person fax, email, or mail the policy to you.
• Show up early to the airport because most airlines have a limit as to how many animals are allowed in the cabin, and it will be a first-come first-serve basis.
• Be sure that you have an airline-approved carrier for kitty. It must fit under the seat in front of you, so it will have to be fairly small.
• Have a cloth cover that covers the openings in the carrier. The less activity kitty sees, the less stress kitty will experience.
• Keep your cat’s health certificate (required by most airlines—better safe than sorry) and vaccination information both on your person and taped to the carrier somewhere.
• If your cat tends to cry a lot when stressed, consider a sedative or tranquilizer from your vet for the trip.
• If you are checking your cat as cargo, be sure that the inside of the carrier is well padded and that the carrier is extremely secure and will not break open easily if dropped. Label the carrier with your name, phone number, where you are from, where you are going and alternative contacts if you cannot be reached.
• Regardless of whether your cat is traveling in the cabin or in the cargo hold, withhold food the night before and the morning of the trip. If your cat vomits in the carrier, you will not be able to take kitty out to clean it. Kitty can still have water to drink the night before and morning of—most cats can hold their urine quite well for 24-48 hours. To be on the safe side, put something absorbent and padded on the floor of the carrier.
• Consider having your cat wear a harness with identification on it for the duration of the trip, as collars can come off too easily.
• When you check into the airport, you will have to take your cat out of the carrier so they can inspect kitty. If your cat is wearing a harness, snap a leash onto it before you take your cat out. If your cat spooks and jumps out of your arms, it is much easier to step on a trailing leash than to catch a scared running cat. Do not leave the leash on in the carrier, however; your cat could get tangled up in it and panic.
• Wait until you arrive at your final destination before you take your cat out of the carrier.

All Feline Hospital provided these travel tips on their website to make travel pleasant for everyone, including kitty. For the complete article, go to: