Cats don’t often enjoy the thrills of travel. But there may come a time when your feline friend has no choice but to arrive by plane, train or car. When that time comes, be sure you’re ready to follow the rules and keep your cat safe. Consider these tips before you go:
Do your research
There are many rules and policies in pet travel. Airlines, car rental companies and hotels all dictate if and how they’ll allow your feline travel companion, so it pays to research in advance. Airlines, for example, often request a health certificate dated within 10 days of your flight. Hotels might also charge a non-refundable pet fee.
Update her shots
Minimize health risks for your cat by updating her shots before you leave. Once your vet gives her a clean bill of health, ask for a certificate and proof of vaccination. You’re likely to need them during your trip.
Use an airline-approved pet carrier
Whether or not you’re traveling by air, a pet carrier is vital. They’re required on planes and trains and they’ll keep your cat secure in a car. For safety, choose a metal crate or plastic kennel that meets airline requirements. It should also be large enough for her to stand in and be comfortable. If you’re taking her on board the plane in the cabin, you might want to use a soft-sided carrier instead.
Bring the right supplies
To help your cat deal with the stress of travel, add familiar toys and blankets to her crate. Take her litter pan, scooper and litter disposal bags, along with her food and water bowls as well. Don’t forget her leash and collar, which you’ll need for her bathroom breaks.
Although it may seem more humane and less stressful to sedate your cat for travel, we don’t recommend it, unless it’s advised by your vet. Tranquilizers can interfere with your cat’s ability to regulate her temperature, which may lead to further distress. Your safest option is to get your cat accustomed to traveling in a carrier instead. Try practicing with her at home using these tips.
With careful preparation on your part, your kitty cat can navigate the skies or the road like a travel pro. Be sure to give her extra TLC when she arrives!