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
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
Pick the right carrier – Choose a carrier that
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
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 your 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 having more fun that way.
Preparing well can help both of you have a calm and comforting
How to Calm Feline Stress While Traveling
It's safe to say that cats despise traveling. Unlike your canine
playmates, there's something about a car that just doesn't appeal
to your felines. Cats are creatures of habit and become easily
anxious when faced with a change of routine. They are also
incredibly territorial and averse to new places. If you intend to
take your cat for a trip to the vet or a drive to your best
friend’s upstate, here are a few suggestions on how you can calm
your feline’s travel stress –
Choose a comfortable
carrier – Never attempt to take your cat out in
anything but a cat carrier. It is for your as well as your
cat's safety. An uncomfortable cat carrier translates to an
uncomfortable cat. Choose a carrier that is spacious enough for
your cat to move around a little if you're taking it on a long
trip. Your regular cat carrier for a short vet visit won't cut
it. Make sure there’s an opening for your curious cat to keep
updated with its surroundings.
Introduce the cat to the
carrier early – Don't wait till the big day to let
your cat meet its carrier. Place the carrier in a room where
your cat spends its time and maybe toss in a worn-in garment or
soft blanket you've used – the cat will be comforted by your
scent. Place treats inside the carrier for the cat to find.
Repeat this routine over the days. Once, the cat doesn't seem
too averse to entering the carrier; you can consider driving it
around the neighborhood for test runs before your long trip.
agents – Spray the insides of the carrier with a
spritzer. These sprays available in the market contain
anxiety-releasing pheromones that cats themselves emit to
soothe themselves. You can also introduce your cat’s favorite
toys inside the carrier.
Consider administering mild
sedation – The vet may recommend you to administer
anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medication to your cat before
embarking on your car travel with them if your cat happens to
be excessively worked up at the prospect of travel.
The tips shared above should help ease your cat’s travel anxiety.
However, be considerate to your cat and leave him/her behind if
they show no signs of calming down even after you've tried all of
these practices sans the sedation. If you have a friend, who can
put them up for a few days, ask them to do you this favor. If
not, there are many cat boarding services available that you can
look up online. Your cat will miss you while you're gone, but at
least they won't have to be subject to the intense stress, and
anxiety felines face when posed with travel.