How to Travel With a Cat on a Plane? (Step-By-Step Guide)

Traveling with a cat can seem quite stressful as cats are not considered to be happy travelers.

They like to be confined in their own territory and seek much more attention and care than any other pet animals.

But has it ever crossed your mind that traveling with your loving feline friend can also be fun and peaceful?

Never, right?

It may seem impossible, but it definitely is possible only if you know how to travel with a cat on a plane with the best preparation!

Cats are very attention-seeking creatures.

They tend to get very nervous if they are taken to any new place and do not get enough physical contact. That’s why you have to start taking preparations a few days before traveling to help your cat cope up.

By taking these pre-travel measures and on air arrangements, I promise that your travel with your little friend will be an irreplaceable fun memory for you. Here is my guide on how to travel with a cat on a plane:


Things to do a few days before the flight:

How to Travel With a Cat on a Plane

A successful travel with your cat begins a few days before the flight.

From booking the flight ticket to carrying your cat to the airport, you have to be very careful to follow these steps, so that you can have the very best journey with your cat.

Checking the flight requirements

This is the first and most important step. Before booking the tickets for you and your cat, you must go through and check all the regulations and requirements of that specific airline and see if it is compatible with you and your cat.

There are some online websites that let you check the airline regulations from your home. Before booking the tickets, be sure to check if the airline has these options-

  • allows cats in the flights.
  • lets your cat travel in the cabin with you. Cats tend to get very nervous in unknown places if they don’t get to see you. You must avoid the airline if it asks you to keep your cat in cargo or luggage holder as it’ll frighten your cat and lead to panic attacks.
  • has a space under the cabin seats large enough so that you can fit your cat carrier. So you won’t have to buy an extra ticket for your cat.
  • will fly nonstop.

Getting a compatible cat carrier

A cat carrier is definitely the most important thing while traveling with your cat.

A compatible cat carrier can make your journey peaceful and your cat’s journey relaxing.

So you have to buy an appropriate carrier for your cat a few days before the journey. While buying the carrier, keep these few things in your mind:

  • the size of the carrier is compatible with the space under the flight seat and can fit properly.
  • the carrier has enough leg space for your cat to move.
  • it has proper mesh panels and ventilation system for air flow so your cat won’t feel suffocated.
  • it has a perfect security system with a locked door or tight zippers and neck belts so your cat can’t open it up and escape.
  • it has extra space for keeping treats and poop bags.
  • it’s well constructed enough to carry the weight of your cat so it won’t fall apart and cause a ruckus in the middle of the journey.
  • it fulfills all the airline requirements.


Visiting the vet:

According to wikiHow, It’s one of the most important steps on how to travel with a cat on a plane.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

That’s why take your little one to a local vet and let him do a full body checkup before a few days of the flight.

Make sure that your cat is well enough to fly with and all its vaccinations are up to date. Some of the airlines require a health certificate for allowing cat travels.

If yours is one of them, then get a health certificate completed by your vet to avoid any kind of problems before the flight.

Practicing your cat:

Your cat can get nervous and get panic attacks in the journey if it’s completely unfamiliar with the new carrier.

So after getting your carrier, place it in your cat’s room with its door open.

Put some treats or your cat’s favorite toy inside so your cat gets inside and get familiar with it. Be sure to keep the exact toy and treats in the journey too.

Learn more about it here!


Things to do the day before the flight

Preparations are very important for knowing how to travel with a cat on a plane.

The day before the flight is really crucial. It’s the day when you have to get everything together and complete the final preparation. Here’s a list of things that you should do-

  • Pack treats, medicines, poop bags and other necessities of your cat. If your cat carrier has extra pockets for keeping things, it’s the best if you keep your cat’s necessities there. In that way, you won’t have to carry any extra bag.
  • Put your cat’s favorite toy or something that has your cats smell in it inside the carrier.
  • Put a label on the surface of the carrier that says ‘Live animal inside’ for extra awareness.
  • Put a pee absorbent pad inside the carrier.
  • Let your cat have a good amount of sleep and try to keep him jolly.
  • Give it medications if it gets panic attacks or jet body.

Things to do right before and during the flight:

I recommend you read this section very carefully as this is very crucial for knowing how to travel with a cat on a plane.

When you are done with most of the preparations and have a few hours left before the flight do these things for the safest and most comfortable journey for your cat-

  • Feed your cat a few hours before the flight. So that it’ll get enough time to poop before getting on the plane.
  • Re-check if you have taken the health certificate and other necessities of your cat with you.
  • Tie a collar belt around your cat’s shoulder with an identification tag.
  • Put your cat inside the carrier with its favorite treat and close the door properly. Use extra lockers if needed.
  • After you get on the flight, put the cat carrier under your seat and make sure it’s stable.
  • Check your cat and let it see from the mesh panels that you are here with it.
  • Put treats and foods in the carrier during intervals and give him ice cubes or little amount of water to make him feel like home.

Well, that’s all you need to do before and during your flight.

Go through all these easy steps and take the best preparation to have the most enjoyable and relaxing journey with your feline friend.

So best of luck for your plane travel with your cat and let me know how it has been in the comments below!

Additional Resources:

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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