Flying with a cat? Here’s everything you’ll need

Travel Essentials

Make sure you do your research before traveling internationally with your pet. You should review the pet procedures for both the airline and the country.

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All you need to fly with a cat

Traveling can be stressful, and making the arrangements needed to fly with your cat can add to that stress. However, if you plan ahead and purchase the right equipment, your trip through the airport can be easy and your flight smooth. 

What to expect when flying with your cat

Different airlines have different procedures, so the first thing you want to do is check with the airline to make sure you’re up-to-date on everything required to fly with your pet.

If you have your cat fly with you up in the cabin, it will have to remain in a carrier that fits under the seat. The other option is for your cat to fly with the cargo. On average, airlines charge $125 each way for you to carry your cat aboard, but having your cat travel as cargo might cost more on some airlines. 

You also want to look into whether or not the airline you’re flying requires a health certificate from a veterinarian. 

What you’ll need to fly with your cat

Cat carrier

You need to purchase a sturdy cat carrier. You want it to be spacious, and something your cat will be able to lay comfortably inside for an extended period of time. It’s good to get your cat used to the carrier prior to the flight. 

Calming products

If you haven’t flown with your cat before, it’s worth investing in calming sprays or chews. Even products that help alleviate motion sickness and anxiety can be lifesavers if taking long flights with your cat. 

Tips for flying with your cat

Arrive early

On the day of your flight, show up earlier than normal so you can check in with the ticket counter. 

chede Breakaway Cat Collar with Bells

If your cat is flying as cargo, make sure that you know exactly where to drop off your pet. Have a secure cat collar in place with all of your contact information. In the unlikely event you’re separated from your pet, keep a photo handy. 

Prepare for delays

In case you get delayed or stuck at the airport, make sure you have all the essentials. 

Greenies Feline Natural Dental Care Cat Treats

In addition to food and water, pack plenty of cat treats, and make sure you have a few cat toys handy. Keep your cat leash and harness in your carry-on and not your checked luggage in case you want to venture out of the airport. 

Best cat travel kit

Petmate Complete Airline Travel Kit

Petmate Complete Airline Travel Kit

Ensure your cat’s ultimate comfort with this airline kit that has everything you could need while traveling. It includes food and water bowls, an ultra-absorbent potty pad and identification tags to keep your pet easily identifiable.

Sold by Amazon

Best calming products for cats while flying

HomeoPet Travel Anxiety Drops for Pets

HomeoPet Travel Anxiety Drops for Pets

A fast-acting, non-sedating homeopathic remedy for motion sickness will quell your cat’s fear of traveling. This remedy promotes calmness and comes in an easy-to-administer liquid.

Sold by Amazon

Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Calming Spray

Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Calming Spray

Promote relaxation and reduce hyperactivity in stressful situations with this calming spray. This non-sedating formula is available in soothing, long-lasting scents that can reduce your pet’s stress caused by the change in routine and unfamiliar space associated with airline travel.

Sold by Amazon

Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Behavioral Support Supplement for Dogs and Cats

Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Behavioral Support Supplement for Dogs and Cats

Naturally flavored with real chicken liver, so your cat will love it. A great way to calm your cat and avoid any potential behavioral issues before a flight, these chews are also good for everyday use, or dreaded car rides to the vet. 

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Relaxivet Pheromone Calming Spray for Cats and Dogs

Relaxivet Pheromone Calming Spray for Cats and Dogs

Tested by vets, this no-stress formula spray works for both cats and dogs. It starts working almost immediately and can last up to 6 hours. It’s made from natural ingredients and helps to relieve stress and stop aggressive and anxious behavior.

Sold by Amazon

Best cat carriers for planes

Purrfect Pack Cat Backpack

Purrfect Pack Cat Backpack

This TSA-approved cat backpack for air travel has been designed for maximum comfort. It has all the storage you need for traveling with your cat. The mesh ventilation allows your pet maximum breathability, and a clear view of you from their space under the plane seat. It’s also safe, as the built-in inner tether keeps your pet from jumping out when opening and closing the backpack.

Sold by Amazon

Mr. Peanut's Airline-Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

Mr. Peanut’s Airline-Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

A premium cat carrier, this has been approved by most airlines and has self-locking zippers to keep your cat safe. The fleece padding and plywood base keep your pet comfortable and well-supported during airline travel.

Sold by Wayfair and Amazon

The best travel accessories for cats

IRIS Travel Cat Litter Pan

IRIS Travel Cat Litter Pan

Made from lightweight canvas, this litter pan allows for easy storage and is the perfect place for your cat to do their business while traveling. The inside is coated with PVC to prevent leaks and the zipper top allows you to store the litter pan when not in use.

Sold by Amazon

Petleader Collapsible Portable Cat Litter Box

Petleader Collapsible Portable Cat Litter Box

This durable, nylon, easily collapsible and portable little box is perfect for cat travel. It’s simple to clean and has been designed to control odors.

Sold by Amazon

Vittles Vault Gamma TRAVEL-tainer

Vittles Vault Gamma TRAVEL-tainer

This portable feeding system is airtight and keeps food fresh all day, so it’s a great way to store meals on the go while traveling. The design is compact and it can transform quickly to a perfect-size food bowl.

Sold by Amazon

Duke Dixie Pet + People Pleasers Pet Kennel Pads

Duke Dixie Pet + People Pleasers Pet Kennel Pads

Upgrade your cat’s travel carrier with these ultra-soft inserts that provide additional comfort. These serve two purposes, as they’re highly absorbent and protect your cat from sitting in a wet carrier after having to release their bladder during long fights.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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