How Travel With a Cat – Best Tips And Tricks For You

how to travel with a cat
how to travel with a cat

Do you want to know how to travel with a cat with you? Ask Jennie Lane.

The owner of Synergy Animal Behavior in Germantown, Tennessee, is a certified animal behaviorist who has traveled with as many as seven cats at once and lived to tell the story.

People may think cats aren’t good travel companions, but it is possible. Lane, RVT, and ACAAB say that the best way to travel with your cat is to start when they are young, so they get used to it.

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“They can learn to love travel if they are exposed to it from a young age,” she says.

Be aware that not all cats will learn to love exceptionally long traveling. Alice Moon-Fanelli, Ph.D., CAAB, a certified animal behaviorist and owner of Animal Behavior Consultations LLC in Hartford, Connecticut, recommends leaving cats behind in most cases.

How Travel With a Cat – Best Tips

“Most cats aren’t good candidates for going on vacation,” she says. “Most cats prefer to stay in their own homes.”

But what if your cat is no longer a kitten and you still need to drive, for example, to go to the vet? Or maybe you want to take your cat on a trip for the first time? Lane says that before going on a trip with a cat, it’s a good idea to talk to a vet and find out if the cat is “physically and mentally ready” for the trip.

Follow these tips to make traveling with a cat as easy as possible once you’ve decided your cat is ready.

How To Travel With a Cat In a Car-

Even though your cat may protest loudly, the car is often the best place for a cat to go. Most experts agree that keeping a cat in a suitable pet carrier is the most important thing when driving with a cat.

Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., and Daniel Estep, Ph.D., both CAABs with Animal Behavior Associates Inc. in Sun City, Arizona, say, “The first thing to think about is how you are going to hold your pet.”

That’s because pets can distract drivers, and cats like to get under their feet. But a July 2011 American Automobile Association and Kurgo found that only 16 percent of pet owners restrain their pets, even though 83 percent of drivers know that having a pet in the car could be dangerous because it could distract them.

How Travel With a Cat – Best Tips

how to travel with a cat

Most vets recommend pet carriers that are big enough for the cat to stand up and move around.

The All Feline Hospital website says, “Put your cat in a large, sturdy carrier that lets them stand up, stretch, and turn around easily.” The Snoozer Products for Pets The Roll Around 4-in-1 Travel Dog & Cat Carrier is up to 23 inches long, 15.5 inches wide, and 12.25 inches high.

It can hold cats up to 21 pounds and has wheels to roll your precious pet. The MidWest Skudo Deluxe Plastic Pet Carrier is sturdy plastic and has a metal grate door that locks with a button.

AAA also says keeping the pet carrier in the back seat is best. If your pet is in the passenger seat, even in a crate, and the airbag goes off, it could hurt your pet.

How Travel With a Cat – Best Tips

Cats don’t like change as other pets do, so experts like Dr. Moon-Fanelli suggest getting the cat used to its carrier by putting treats, catnip, comfortable blankets, and toys in it. Pet owners can also take their cats on short trips to get them used to traveling.

For example, Dr. Moon-Fanelli says that she would take her cat out for ice cream so that the carrier would remind her cat of good times.

AAA says it’s also important to plan stops so cats can stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. For example, if you let the cat out of its carrier while stopped, ensure all doors and windows are closed.

Also, ensure the cat is in the airline or a tight cat harness and leash, like the PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness, when you get out of the car.

How To Travel With a Cat On a Plane-

Cats are becoming more common on airplanes, but many experts say that flying should only be done when no other options are left.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) says that more than 2 million live animals, including more than 424,000 pets, fly in the United States annually. The Air Carrier Access Act says that service animals and psychiatric or emotional support animals must be allowed in the cabin of planes and must fly for free.

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Most major domestic airlines also let cats fly as pets or cargo for a fee. Each airline has its own rules about how big a pet can be. Most of the time, they must stay in a pet carrier that fits under a seat. Fees for pets in the cabin range from $75 to $125, and rates for cargo vary. Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier, Jet Blue, and Spirit do not let animals travel as cargo.

Many experts say that you shouldn’t travel with a pet as cargo, especially a cat. People say that pet crates are often handled roughly during transport, noises are loud, and temperatures can change a lot.

How Travel With a Cat – Best Tips

Dr. Moon-Fanelli says, “I don’t think there’s much an owner can do to prepare a pet for that level of ‘over-stimulation assault.'”

Animals with “pushed-in” faces, like Persian, Himalayan, and exotic shorthair cats, can be especially at risk when they fly. Because they have short nasal passages, they are especially vulnerable to temperature changes, heatstroke, and other environmental dangers. Because of these risks, some airlines, like United, have rules about what kinds of cats they will let them carry as cargo.

Even though airlines can’t limit the number of service or support animals or emotional support animals on a flight, they often restrict the number of pets if you want to pay to bring your cat with you as a pet, book early and arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check-in.

How Travel With a Cat – Best Tips

Some airports have rules and limits on top of what the airlines do, so you should talk to your travel provider about these. For example, some airports don’t let pets travel between specific dates when the temperature in the cargo hold might get too high or too low. Before you book, ask questions and research to ensure you won’t have any problems.

No matter how you plan to bring your cat on a plane,

make sure, it and its carrier have clear identification In case something goes wrong or the cat gets away. If you’re traveling with your cat in a carry-on, you’ll need to go through security while holding your pet. A harness and leash can also be helpful in this situation.

When traveling internationally, make sure you know about different rules, such as quarantines. Check with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines,

United Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Allegiant Air to see their pet policies.

How To Travel With a Cat On a Train-

Amtrak began a program in 2016 to permit assistance dogs on its trains,

and it has subsequently expanded to help domestic cats and dogs. Service animals are welcome on all trains and can travel for free with their owners. Call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) in advance to make reservations.

On the other hand, Cats are typically regarded as “comfort animals” by the carrier and,

if they are not trained for a specific duty, are subject to carry-on laws.

For journeys up to 7 hours, carry-on pets cost $26 each. Cat parents must complete a Pet Release and Indemnification

Agreement before boarding and plan additional time at the station to go over the document.

Only passengers traveling in coach class may have one pet. Pets must be transported in a carrier that fits underneath your seat,

is no more than 19 by 14 by 10.5 inches, and weighs no more than 20 pounds. Pages must have sufficient ventilation and be waterproof and leak-proof.

How Travel With a Cat – Best Tips

When time allows, passengers may leave the train with their pets,

but they must notify the conductor and stay close to the train, according to Amtrak.

Here is further information about Amtrak’s pet regulations.

Small pets can travel on numerous metros, regional and tourist trains, and subways if muzzled, leashed, or in carriers. Some train stations will demand that assistance animals wear a special identification vest or badge to signify their status.


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