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Tips for Taking Plane with Your Cat

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by Alexander Thompson
Nov 14, 2022
2 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Research the Airline
  • Consult Your Vet
  • Choose the Appropriate Pet Carrier
  • Familiarize Your Cat with Her Carrier
  • Pick the Essentials Ahead
  • Arrive at the Airport on Time
  • In Conclusion
We have grown so close to our pets that we see and treat them as part of our family. That means they are most likely to follow us wherever we go, including on planes. Taking your furry friend on an airplane is more complex than it seems. It requires adequate planning, from knowing the best airlines for such trips to preparing your cat for every possible situation weeks before the trip. It is also important to have contingency plans to take care of unforeseen flight cancellations or delays.
If you are unsure how to proceed, we have provided some helpful tips in this blog.

Research the Airline

The first step is to learn more about the airline you plan to fly with. Some airlines have ruled against having pets on the plane while others allow them. Therefore, you must check the airline policies to see if it provides pet reservations for the cabin. If yes, what are the conditions for such reservations? This often includes the age of the pet, the carrier size, and breed requirements.

Consult Your Vet

This is an integral part of the preparation that most pet owners overlook. Consulting your vet is necessary to ascertain the physical condition of your pet before you get on the plane. You want to know whether your cat is fully fit to fly or not. Your vet will also offer recommendations on how best to prepare for the trip and practical ways to calm your pet down if he ever gets stressed or afraid during the flight.

Choose the Appropriate Pet Carrier

One of the obligatory requirements for long-distance pet trips is a pet carrier. You can find the maximum size allowed on the TSA website. However, the PAWAii pet travel carrier, with a dimension of 16.9*10.6*10.6 inches, is in line with the requirements of the TSA and will allow you to carry your pet conveniently and safely on the plane.
This foldable pet carrier is ideal for pets of medium and small sizes, including rabbits, hamsters, squirrels, and cats. It sports a top-opening design that makes it easy to keep an eye on your pet and calm her whenever necessary.

Familiarize Your Cat with Her Carrier

It is essential to help your cat get comfortable with her carrier before the trip. You can do this at home by letting your cat in and out of the carrier often. More importantly, your pet will not go through airport security while in the carrier. Instead, you will be asked to bring her out and hold her in your hands as you walk through the screening platform.
That is why you should help your cat get familiar with the carrier one or two weeks before the trip day. You can throw some toys and treats in the carrier and guide your cat to enter it willingly. The more you practice, the quicker your cat gets used to the carrier, and this will make your trip more convenient.

Pick the Essentials Ahead

Your pet carrier should have a pocket to keep essentials like potty pads, paper towels, and a plastic resealable bag to clean up your pet’s poop while on the plane. You should avoid feeding your cat hours before the flight. Instead, pack a small bag of cat food and treats and feed your pet on the plane. You can also get a collapsible water bowl to carry water for your pet so that she stays hydrated throughout the trip.

Arrive at the Airport on Time

Traveling with your cat means you will spend more time going through the TSA than other passengers without pets. So, you should get to the airport earlier and prepare for the TSA process. Another advantage of arriving early is that you can take time out to calm your cat down if she reacts adversely to the noisy environment of the airport before boarding.
airport worker checking passenger belongings through scanner

In Conclusion

You will expect a flight with your cat to be smooth and enjoyable. But that is hardly the case, even if you are a veteran. This is due to the plethora of unplanned events that may occur in the process. You can only relax when you and your cat arrive safely at your destination.
The tips above will help you and your cat plan and execute a safe and hitch-free flight. Remember, planning adequately and early enough is vital. Click here to learn more about how to travel with your pet.
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