It’s approximated that 35 percent of the homes in the United States own a cat. The number of cats owned is estimated to be 85.8 million.
There are times when the love for our cats is so much that we have no option but to travel with our cats. For instance, when moving out or when going on a vacation. You may find it hectic to fly with your cat especially if it’s your first time.
However, you don’t have to worry anymore as it’s now more manageable and easy to travel with your pet.
Below are 7 essential tips for flying with your cat.
1. Study the Pet Policy
Check the pet policy of the airline you’re traveling in prior to booking a flight. Sometimes pet policies can charge and it’s good to be on the safe side.
Also, if you have to travel along with your cat, ensure the carrier is suitable as per the guidelines of the airline. Opt for a nonstop flight as it’s the best option when traveling with a cat.
You should know that your cat carrier is part of your carryon luggage. Thus, you are only allowed to carry one more bag; a backpack, tote, or a purse, which should fit the overhead compartment. The other luggage you choose to travel with should be checked in.
Airlines expect you to book a cargo space or ticket for your cat in advance. Ensure that there is enough space available since there can be a limited area for cats in the aircraft.
A pet health certificate is mandatory in some airlines before they allow your cat to fly. Some require you to present a health certificate that is issued around 10 days before the day of your departure.
Thus, it’s necessary to see your veterinarian and ensure they examine your cat’s nose to tail to ensure it’s ready to fly. Get to know the vitality science for cats to ensure they don’t fall sick during the flight.
Confirm with the state veterinarian of where you’re going off the health requirements and documentation to ensure you’re ready. Also, it is important to confirm that the breed of your cat is not restricted in your destination.
Make sure you consult a pet travel expert for more information to be on the safe side.
2. Follow the Airport Screening Procedure
The security officer will expect you to take your cat off the carrier, hold him, and walk past the security checkpoint barefooted. You can stage rehearsals at home with your cat to prepare it for the screening procedure.
After every practice session, you should praise your cat to make the action is more tolerable and pleasant for them.
Arrive at the airport about an hour earlier. In case of any delay, you’ll both go through the security screening after reviewing your cat’s paperwork.
3. Exercise Your Cat Prior to the Flight
By tiring your cat out before the flight, it will sleep calmly through the flight. When you engage your cat in intense playtime, it will remain calm making things easier for both of you.
Avoid giving your cat a lot of water or food. This way, it will not have the urge to ease itself on the floor. Thus, you and the rest of the passengers will remain comfortable throughout the flight.
4. Expect Your Cat to be Disobedient
The cat will not stay on cue and sit whenever you ask it to. Thus, it’s highly important to monitor your cat using an identification microchip or your cellphone. You should not risk losing it inside the big airport.
Ensure your cat is safe and secured with a seat belt on the carrier.
5. Pack Feline Essentials
Go for a carrier that is approved by an airline and that has a zipped pocket. Here, you can place a collapsible water bowl, wet naps, a leash, a small bag of treats, and a collar with an ID tag.
For multi-leg and long tags, you should consider adding a small litter box in your cat’s carrier.
You can also carry some blankets and toys to ensure your pet stays comfortable. At the end of the flight, if your cat remained calm and did everything right, reward it. This action will make flying with a cat much easier in the future.
Also, you can place your worn sock or clothe in the carrier to make the cat feel more secure and at home. Don’t forget to bring a cozy pillow along.
Test the stability of your carrier to avoid your cat from escaping.
6. Respect Other Passengers
Avoid opening your carrier or placing the cat on your lap. Some people may be allergic to cats or scared of felines. Opening your carrier will motivate your cat to meow even louder and disturb other travelers.
Consult your veterinarian on ways to calm down the health condition and temperament of your cat during the flight. Besides, you may consider using a feline pheromone product that has calming feline scents.
7. Grab Some Fresh Air with Your Cat After the Flight
Both you and the cat are tired from sitting and sleeping all through the flight. Enjoy some fresh air and prepare yourselves to enjoy the new destination. Allow the cat to experience new things.
Regardless of how pet-friendly the airline is, it’s now time to explore new things with your furry best friend.
Make Use of the Above Tips for Flying with Your Cat
It’s now much easier to carry your cat along during a vacation or when visiting a relative or friend abroad. Ensure the cat is ready for the flight and carry items that will make it as comfortable as possible.
Prepare to undergo security checkpoints and regular visits to the veterinarian for safety. Safe flights begin with you. Calm your fears by communicating with the airline before the flight.
Following the above tips for flying with your cat will make sure that you and your pet are well prepared for the flight no matter how tricky the process might be.
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