Car & Plane Travel with cats
Traveling with your cat can be nerve wrecking for both people and their feline friends. Read below to learn how to manage your cat's automobile or plane trip for a successful journey!
Car Travel with Kittens
I am moving out of my parents' homeand into a new apartment, five hours away. I am allowed a cat in my new apartment and would dearly love to take my own kitty, Panther. Panther was born and raised here at my childhood home. She is a spayed 10-year-old female. She is in good health except for occasional sneezing. She has always been outside and has never been restricted in her roaming, though most of the time she is within calling distance of the house.
Panther loves to cuddle up in my lap and be petted for hours on end. She has been an only cat for four years now when her brother and daughter ran off together. (What a CATastrophe!)...Panther has endured a limited number of car rides to the vet. She dislikes the process, once having urinated all through her carrier and another time scratching my hand. I worry about the long car ride nearly as much as her adjustment to a new apartment.
Should I take Panther with me, or leave her with my parents? If I do take her, what can I do to help her endure the car trip and adjust to the new home? Thank you so much for any advice! Stephanie P
Dear Stephanie P,
While Panther appears to be doing well at your parent's home,
This is probably a difficult time for you and your parents, and it may not be such a bad idea to make the empty nest a bit less empty for your parents by leaving Panther at home.
However, should you decide to take her with you, the following may help you out:
Planning Car Travel with Cats
During the Car Trip
Traveling on an Airplane with Cats
I agree with your vet. Traveling in the luggage compartment can be quite dangerous, this danger is augmented when cats are tranquilized. The FDA has evidence that suggests that sedatives are a major factor in deaths of pets traveling by air. What happens is that the impact of the tranquilizers is enhanced by the relative lack of pressurization in the plane's underbelly. Cats that appear to be properly dosed on the ground, may overdose once in the airplane's luggage compartment.
The passenger cabin is safer since the pressurization is better. I recommend that you not sedate your cat if at all possible. There are some herbal alternatives you could try to reduce anxiety.
As for his sleeping or his going to the bathroom during the flight, it is all dependent on his state of relaxation and his digestive schedule. It might not be a bad idea to feed your kitty some dry boiled chicken (a common cure for loose stool) to avoid any poop incidents on board. His urinating is contingent on how nervous he is. Cats have been known to avoid going to the bathroom when uncomfortable. Be sure you allow him a bathroom break when you arrive. To do this pack litter in a small disposable container and spread it on newspaper where you are able to once on the ground. Other steps:
I live in Paris and will be flying home to LA next month. My kitten will be 3-months-old at that point. Would he be safe to take him with me? Would the air circulation/pressure hurt him? I know that's an awful long flight for a cat, but I am worried more about him being so young. What would you suggest? - Thanks, Worried in Paris
Dear Worried in Paris,
Cats older than 8 weeks are allowed on most US airlines. Many airlines also allow small animals to travel with their humans inside the passenger cabin, if your kitten and his crate are small enough to fit under your seat in a cabin-size appropriate carrier. Because yours is a kitten, he will likely meet the weight criteria.
As for preparing for his travel, get him a nice blanket, food and small ice cubes in his water tray and he should be ok.
Airlines require that your cat have been checked out by a vet a few days before you travel. Also, the US Customs Service">US Customs Service requires that cats must be examined at the port of entry. I recommend that you time your flight such that the exam at the airport can be done fairly soon upon arrival. Be sure that you have all of your kitten's health documents. Your Pal, Simba
I have a 5-month-old kitten and my girlfriend wants to bring her home for two weeks (to a house with another cat and two dogs). I think it would be better to board her for the two weeks as opposed to traveling with her and introduce her to a very new surrounding. What should I do? J.E.
I think you are right in your instincts. Traveling is not easy on Cats & Kittens and new environments can be difficult for them. Because of that, boarding may not be a bad idea. Be sure to carefully select a kennel for your kitten. Look for a place that gives your kitty plenty of room to move about and has trees and the sort for her to climb. Most importantly, look for a place with nice and caring people and a good reputation. Simba
All contents are intended for entertainment purposes only. Pet owners should in no way use this site's content as a substitute for the opinions of a veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider. Owners should consult a veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider for all pet health matters. All pet care is the responsibility of the owner.