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Is Air Travel Safe For Cats?

Published on: April 14, 2022  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel


As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial for you to familiarize yourself with pet travel procedures to ensure the safety of your beloved cat. Airlines have their own set of rules and requirements, and each destination country has specific regulations in place to protect the local animal population from potential diseases.

To make sure you are well-prepared, consult with your veterinarian about any health-related concerns and your cat's suitability for air travel. Your vet will guide you through the necessary physical exams, health certificates, vaccinations, and other documentation required for your cat's journey.




Talk to a Professional Pet Transport Company

Consider seeking assistance from a professional pet transport company. These experts are well-versed in the intricacies of various destinations and can ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork and arrangements in order. This will provide peace of mind and guarantee your cat's first line of defense when it comes to safety. They can also advise you on airlines that prioritize the well-being of pets and suggest flight options that minimize travel time and reduce stress.


Get the Right Travel Kennel

Selecting the right travel kennel is important for your cat's safety during air travel. Choose an airline-approved kennel made of sturdy materials without any sharp edges. These kennels feature secure doors that even the most cunning cat cannot open and provide ample ventilation. You can enhance your cat's comfort by allowing them plenty of time to acclimate to the carrier and making it their own space. Start by removing the top of the carrier to encourage exploration, and let them eat, play, and sleep inside. Adding soft bedding, such as a familiar blanket or a crate pad, will make the carrier feel more like home. Just ensure the bedding is no more than 3 inches thick to comply with airline regulations.

Snub-nosed Breeds

If your cat is a snub-nosed or brachycephalic breed, such as Persian, Himalayan, or Exotic Shorthair, special considerations must be taken. These breeds may have respiratory challenges that can be aggravated by traveling in the cargo hold. Some airlines may restrict them to the cabin or even embargo their travel. If permitted, your cat can travel in-cabin with you, provided you have a soft-sided carrier that fits under the seat. Be sure to make early reservations, as airlines have limited space for pets in the cabin.


Domestic Travel in the USA

For domestic travel within the United States or if your vet advises against air travel due to your cat's age or health condition, consider exploring ground transportation options offered by pet shipping companies. These alternatives provide door-to-door service and ensure your cat receives the same attention to detail and care as they would during air travel.


Air Travel Safe For My Cat?

Considering the vast number of animals that fly every year and the low incidence of injuries, deaths, or losses, air travel is generally safe for cats. While it may not be their preferred mode of transportation, it is perfectly suitable for long-distance journeys. Cats participating in shows, going on vacations, or moving to new homes frequently travel by air and still manage to thrive. If they can handle it and come out on top, your cat can too.


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