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Flying with cats from one place to another is more difficult than with dogs. To avoid any untoward incidents with other passengers or with the airline, prepare your cat for air travel. Even then, she may fidget or act up during the flight.Here are a few tips to keep it calm during the entire duration of travel.
- Find out your airline’s pet policy – Many airlines allow pets in the cabin area. However, do not assume yours will too. Call them in advance and find out their rules for pet travel. You may have to pay additional fees for it.
- Take him/her to the vet before travel – The vet should provide a clean bill of health before you can travel. They may prescribe medications to calm your cat during the flight. You may also need to pick up medicines for nausea, cold, diarrhea, and other conditions, which may occur during the flight.
- Train her – If you are moving houses, you obviously will know it well in advance. Use the time between moves to train your cat for air travel. Get her used to leashes and carriers so that she doesn’t become uneasy when you put her in them.
- Pick the right carrier – Choose a carrier which is large enough for your cat to comfortably sit in and fit under your seat. Line it with swaddle or pheromone wipes to reduce her anxiety. You cannot remove her from the carrier throughout the flight.
- Talk to him/ her – Airports and planes can be quite noisy. Talking to your cat as you would at home should keep her calm during the journey. Your voice will let him/her know that things will be okay.
- Keep her close at all times – Keep the carrier on your lap until boarding is completed. During takeoff, slide the carrier below the seat slowly while uttering assurances so that it doesn't get overwhelmed. Do not put him/her in the overhead luggage bin as she may get scared. Once the plane has taken off, you can put the carrier back on your lap and keep her engaged.
- Prepare ahead – Apart from medications, carry other necessary items that can calm it. Put an item of your clothing along with his/her favorite toy(s) in the carrier. Also bring cleansing wipes, extra towels, plastic bags, and gloves in case she vomits or eliminates in the carrier.
Traveling without you cat can be strenuous for you and is definitely difficult for your cat. Many cat owners even dread going on a vacation, leaving their beloved friends with a sitter. They prefer taking them along and have more fun that way. Preparing well can help both of you have a calm and comforting journey.