July 23, 2018 2 min read

Taking Cocoa the cat on planes, trains, and automobiles? Traveling with pets isn’t as scary as it sounds. Once you are prepped with what to expect, it can take the stress out of traveling with your cat(s). Here are some easy-to-follow tips for pet travel.

Before Your Trip

Depending on your travel destination, there are certain requirements for traveling with pets. For example, if you’re traveling to Europe or any EU country, you will need to obtain a pet passport. In the U.S., the term “pet passport” means the documentation of necessary information needed for traveling with pets.

Check your destination for vaccination requirements as well. Some places don’t allow animals to travel that are younger than four months, or those that have been vaccinated within three weeks of travel. Most destinations require animals to have the rabies vaccine and to be microchipped.

A Few Basic Travel Tips

  • Often, cats and pets travel best on an empty stomach. If you know your pet is prone to travel stress, ask your vet about a sedative.
  • Get a swaddle ‘shirt’ like a Thundershirt.
  • Feliway pheromone wipes can help reduce anxiety.
  • Check with your vet for any additional concerns or questions.

Supplies You Need Before Traveling With Your Kitty

  • Travel Carrier: If you’re flying with your feline, check airline requirements. They often require the animal to have the ability to make a complete circle inside while standing. Softer ones can offer more give than hard-sided ones. If the carrier is too large for a carry-on, the animal may be placed in the cargo area.
  • Documentation: Whatever documents your airline needs; this may include vaccination records and a health certificate from your veterinarian.
  • Medication: Make sure you have plenty of medication if necessary or you have the ability to acquire some at your destination.
  • Towels, Blankets, Pee Pads: It never hurts to carry an extra absorbent item in case of accidents.

TSA and Security Checks with Pets

You can totally fly with your cat! TSA.gov allows small pets through the checkpoint. You are definitely advised to check with the individual airlines for their policies. While going through security;

  • Remove your pet from the carrying case and place the case through the X-ray machine before your luggage
  • Maintain control of your pet with a leash, remove the leash when carrying your pet through the metal detector
  • Once the screening process has been completed, you can recreate your pet

Car Rides with Your Cat

Taking your cat on a car ride or road trip can be a fun and pleasurable experience! A few tips;

  • Use a carrier for car rides, consider your cat’s safety
  • Give your kitty time to get to ‘know’ the car. Particularly, it’s smells, sounds, etc.
  • Practice car rides and reward your cat after; this process is called classical conditioning
  • Bring something from home, like a blanket or toy

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