How To Fly With A Cat

Delta Pet Policy : Flying with Dogs, Cats & More : Delta Air Lines

Take off with your best friend, regardless of whether or not they have fur. Depending on their size, certain dogs can be transported as carry-on luggage or shipped as (very special) cargo.

Carrying On or Shipping My Pet?

The cost of transporting small dogs, cats, and domestic birds in the cabin is a one-way charge that must be paid at the time of check-in. A tiny, ventilated pet carrier that can be tucked beneath the seat in front of you must be able to accommodate them. Please study the following guidelines when travelling with a small pet as a carry-on to ensure that your pet has a safe, healthy, and happy flight:

  • When traveling within the United States, your pet must be at least 10 weeks old. If your pet is going to the United States from another nation, it must be at least 16 weeks old
  • If it is traveling to the European Union, it must be at least 15 weeks old. A maximum of one pet is allowed per kennel, with the following exceptions:
  • It is permissible for one female cat or dog to travel with her unweaned litter if the litter is between the ages of 10 weeks and 6 months. There is no restriction on the number of animals in a litter. As long as they are both tiny enough to fit into a single kennel and are friendly with one another, two pets of the same breed and size between the ages of 10 weeks and 6 months may be permitted to travel in the same kennel and will be charged as one pet.

Pets kept in cabin kennels will be counted as one of your carry-on belongings. Apart from the kennel, you are allowed to carry one personal item onboard with you while traveling by plane.

Carry-On Kennel Requirements

Your pet must be able to fit in a tiny, ventilated pet carrier that can be tucked beneath the seat in front of you and meet all of the following specifications:

  • Small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel without contacting or protruding from the edges of the kennel, yet large enough to allow for movement. Ideally, the kennel should be able to fit beneath the seat in front of you. It is required that the kennels, whether soft or hard sided, be leak resistant and have ventilation ports on three sides (four sides for foreign travel). Because the area under seats varies from aircraft to aircraft, the maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are decided by your travel. We propose a soft-sided kennel with maximum dimensions of 18″ x 11″ x 11″ because this accommodates the majority of aircraft types. It is your flight’s aircraft dimensions that determine the maximum carry-on kennel dimensions
  • Thus, please double-check the aircraft specifications of your travel to guarantee your kennel will fit.
  • We recommend that you have your pet’s kennel dimensions ready before calling us
  • Otherwise, we cannot assist you.
  • While in a Delta boarding area (during boarding and deplaning), a Delta airport lounge, and while on board the aircraft, your pet must stay in the kennel (with the door secured).

If you’re bringing a large pet, please see Shipping Your Pet for more information.

Onboard Experience with Your Pet

  • It is not permitted for customers to sit in the following places with their carry-on pets:
  • There are no stowage spaces in the bulkhead seats, and there is an emergency escape row. Seats with a flat surface
  • On the A330-200 aircraft, rows 30-35 are available. On the A330-300 aircraft, rows 30-43 are available. Center seats on the B757-200 aircraft are available.
  • It is necessary for your pet to remain in their closed/zipped up container for the whole journey.

When leaving Canada, a CAD sum will be charged, and when leaving Europe, a EUR amount will be levied. At the time of ticket issuing, these fees are determined by the contract of carriage in existence. Household birds are only permitted on domestic flights inside the United States, excluding flights to or from Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Carry-On Pet Exceptions

Pets are not permitted in the cabin for any flights to or from the following locations, with the exception of assistance animals. Pets must be transported as cargo for any flights to or from these destinations. Pets are not permitted to fly in the cabin on flights to Hawaii, and there may be further restrictions in place. Examine the pet-travel limitations that apply to your destination or connecting flights before booking your trip.

  • Australia, Barbados, Brazil – Exit Brazil, Colombia – Exit Colombia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries that have exited Brazil.

Australia, Barbados, Brazil – Exit Brazil, Colombia – Exit Colombia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates are all possible destinations.

  • Has a valid Drabies vaccination certificate provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, opens in a new window
  • Has proof of a microchip
  • Is at least 6 months old
  • Is in good health upon arrival
  • And Arrives at aCDC-approved airport, opens in a new window

CDC Dog Import Permission, which opens in a new window, is still required for dogs who have been vaccinated outside of the United States, and the standards for the permit have not changed.

Booking Your Carry-On Pet

Pets are only welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis at this location. If your pet fits the standards listed above, please contact Delta Reservations in advance to make arrangements for taking your pet on board. Be prepared to provide us with your kennel’s dimensions (length, width, and height) when you get in touch. Delta restricts the number of total dogs allowed on each flight in order to protect the comfort of all our guests.

Ticket Class

Domestic First Class including Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.Domestic Business ClassDomestic Delta One 2 Carry-on Pets are not allowed in any cabin with flat-bed seats
International First ClassInternational Business ClassInternational Delta OneDelta Premium Select Not Permitted at any time regardless of aircraft. Excludes service animals or emotional support animals
Main Cabin – Domestic and International 4 Restrictions may apply

Customers flying with a trained service animal or an emotional support animal who has been confirmed will not be permitted to bring a pet into the cabin for tickets booked on or after November 17, 2020.

Checking In with Your Carry-On Pet

When you arrive at the airport, you will need to go to the Special Service Counter to check in with your pet, which is located near the baggage claim area. At check-in, a Delta representative will confirm that your pet and kennel satisfy all of the essential conditions for your travel and will collect the applicable pet charge from you. Take extra time at check-in so that we can make sure your pet is ready to fly when you arrive. Once you have checked in and received your cabin pet badge, you will be able to go to the security checkpoint without incident.

You will be required to remove your pet from their kennel when you arrive at the checkpoint. Except for the time spent at the security checkpoint and in designated relief zones, your pet must stay in the kennel at the airport.

Delta Sky Club® Pets

You should keep in mind that our pet restrictions are the same whether you’re in a Delta Sky Club or on an airplane. In order to ensure the comfort and safety of your pet and our fellow Delta Sky Club guests, your pet must remain in its approved carrier with the door securely closed while in the Delta Sky Club. One of our staff can assist you in locating a pet relief area, which is offered at most airports to customers traveling with pets and service animals who have been trained to assist people with disabilities.

Pets − Travel information − American Airlines

A temporary suspension of dogs (carry-on or checked), including fully trained assistance dogs, going to the United States from countries that are considered high-risk for dog rabies has been issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. In order to fly on American, assistance dogs must be going to the United States from high-risk nations with an authorized CDC Dog Import Permit, or they must fulfill the CDC United States immunization and microchip criteria.

  • Notice of temporary suspension from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It opens a new window with a link to another website that may or may not comply with accessibility requirements.
  • Assistance with special needs
  • Mobility and medical devices
  • Traveling with children
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Pets
  • And other services

Carry on or transport your pet

According to the breed and size of the animal, it can either travel as a carry-on or be carried via American Airlines Cargo service. Cats and dogs that fulfill the size, age, and destination requirements are permitted to travel as carry-on pets only. We only accept checked dogs at the ticket counter for active-duty members of the United States Military and members of the United States State Department’s Foreign Service who are traveling on official business. There are fees and limits that apply.

Service animals are animals that provide assistance.

Reservations and ticket changes are accepted.

Which destinations allow travel with pets?

Most flights up to 12 hours in duration, as well as flights to and from specific places, allow you to travel with your pet:

  • Alaska, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and St. Thomas are all included in the 48 contiguous United States, as is the United States and Canada*.

*When traveling with dogs to or from these places, additional specific restrictions may apply. Restrictions on where you can go This material can be elaborated upon.

Carry-on pets

Provided you are flying with American Airlines, you may bring one kennel as a carry-on luggage if you meet the following criteria:

  • In order to bring one kennel as a carry-on luggage on an American Airlines aircraft, you must meet the following requirements.

A carry-on bag in addition to a pet carrier and one personal item will not be authorized, but you will be able to bring a pet carrier and one personal item. Instead, the kennel will serve as a substitute for your carry-on bag. If your pet is too large to be transported in the cabin, it will need to be transported via American Airlines Cargo. Keep in mind that we only accept checked dogs from active-duty members of the United States Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service employees who are traveling on official business, and the pet carrier must fulfill all kennel criteria for checked animals.

There are fees and limits that apply.

Carry-on pet kennel rules and regulations This material can be elaborated upon. Pets traveling with their owners are subject to kennel restrictions. This material can be elaborated upon. Restrictions on bringing a pet on board This material can be elaborated upon.

Checked pets

We only accept checked pets from active-duty members of the United States military and members of the United States State Department’s Foreign Service who are traveling on official business. Up to two dogs may be checked in, and they must fulfill the age and health standards of the destination in order to be accepted. Because space is limited, we only accept checked dogs on a first-come, first-served basis. When inspecting a pet, you must do the following:

  • Contact Reservations at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure
  • Present your formal orders at the ticket counter when you arrive. Allow additional time for check-in (at least 2 hours and no more than 4 hours before your flight)
  • Allow for delays. Complete a checklist with the assistance of an agent. Provide a copy of your health certificate.

Reservations and ticket changes are accepted. A veterinarian must give a health certificate to you within the following time frames in order to assure the health and safety of your pet:

  • 10 days before your departure
  • 60 days after your return (if you are traveling on the same ticket)
  • 10 days before your departure
  • 60 days after your return (if you are traveling on a different ticket)

All USDA health regulations must be followed. This link will take you to another website in a new window that may or may not be accessible. Kennel regulations for pets who have been checked This material can be elaborated upon. I double-checked the pet policy. This material can be elaborated upon.


American Airlines allows you to pay your pet travel cost at the airport or a travel center with your credit card or a paper voucher if you’re travelling with the airline (where accepted). We do not take payment in the form of cash or cheques. We do not collect pet fees from other airlines that are participating in your journey (even if it has an American flight number). You’ll need to check in with each airline and pay any costs that are due at the time of check-in. In order to determine whether you are traveling on a partner airline, check for the words “Operated by” on your flight ticket.

Service Region Fee*
Checked pet for Active-duty U.S. Military and State Department personnel only* Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, Europe and from the United Kingdom $200 per kennel $150 to/from Brazil
Cargo pet Varies Varies, Fees will be confirmed at time of booking.
Carry-on pet Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (based on specific country’s entry policy) $125 per kennel
Service animals All destinations No charge

*Fees listed are for each destination that does not include a voluntary layover / connecting lasting more than 4 hours. If your travel involves a voluntary stopover / connection that lasts more than 4 hours, costs will be charged for each segment of the connection. All pet costs are non-refundable and are charged per kennel, per trip, and per pet. Transporting your pet with American Airlines Cargo may incur additional fees, which vary based on the trip specifics and the size of your pet and its kennel.

Temperature restrictions

To ensure that checked dogs and pets flying with American Airlines Cargo are not subjected to severe heat or cold, we have temperature limitations in place. These include:

  • In the animal holding areas, for example
  • When animals are transported between the terminal and the plane, they must be handled with care. I’m sitting on a plane, waiting to take off

Heat restrictions are in effect. This material can be elaborated upon. The following material can be expanded: cold constraints

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Everything You Need to Fly With a Cat, According to Feline Experts

Photograph courtesy of GraphicaArtis/Getty Images You may not be traveling for pleasure right now, but you may be bringing your dogs with you if you have a major relocation coming up or if you expect to be away from home for a lengthy amount of time in the near future. It’s understandable if you’re worried about travelling with a cat that is notoriously finicky and fastidious about his or her surroundings. Several measures you may do before leaving your house for the airport will make your trip go more easily.

  • The Best Friends Animal Society’s Levi Myers, a cat carer, suggests that you schedule a visit with your veterinarian first, because many airlines need a current health certificate and vaccination record before boarding.
  • Pet rules differ from airline to airline, so be sure you have all of the necessary documents and a carrier that meets the size criteria of your particular airline before you go.
  • Myers suggests looking for a soft carrier that will fit under the seat and allow you to check on your cat while in flight without having to open the carrier.
  • Sleepypod Air is a favorite of Mikel Delgado, a cat behavior specialist with Rover, who loves it since it’s particularly built to fit beneath aircraft seats.
  • “Instruct your cat to perceive the carrier as a secure area,” she advises.
  • ” It is likely that the familiar-smelling blanket will offer them with some comfort during the travel.” When Rio Viera-Newton, a strategist and writer, recently traveled great distances with her cat, Martini, she appreciated the fact that this expandable carrier opened on all four sides.
  • “Because it is made of high-quality materials, it is highly sturdy and can endure years of travel with your cat,” she explains.
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Despite the fact that your cat will remain in the carrier for the duration of the flight, you may be required to remove him or her when passing through security.

Myers like harnesses of the figure-eight type, which fasten around the neck and chest for more security and comfort.

Delgado advises that you may also request a private area for TSA screening, which may make the process feel less rushed.

Both Myers and Delgado advise that you line your carrier with a pee pad and that you pack many spares just in case one of them becomes damaged or has to be replaced.

Schwab also suggests keeping a supply of these all-natural, biodegradable wipes on hand in case your cat gets into anything and wants to clean it up a little bit.

These foldable silicone bowls are convenient to clean and transport since they fold down flat when not in use and come with carabiners for attaching to your cat carrier when not in use.

Cat owners know that there are few greater diversions than their feline’s favorite snacks.

“All you have to do is put your cat’s favorite goodies in the ball and watch them swat away to their hearts’ delight,” she explains.

Among her favorite cat beds is this one from Petstages, which features a touch-activated purring mechanism that should be comforting for your cat to cuddle up with.

It’s probably a good idea to test them out at home first to see how your cat reacts.

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We update links as often as we can, but please keep in mind that bargains sometimes expire and that all prices are subject to change. Everything You’ll Need to Fly With a Cat is Right Here!

Flying with Your Cat

A successful flight with a cat begins months in advance of the actual flight day. It takes advance planning and preparation to ensure that the experience is as joyful as possible for both you and your feline companion. Make sure you do your research on the airline. Confirm if your cat will be able to fly in the airplane cabin under the seat in front of you by calling the airline. Make a formal agreement with your airline on the specific weight requirements and measurements under the airline seat, since this will determine the size of your transport carrier.

  • Make sure you have your cat’s travel carrier well in advance of your departure.
  • Teach your cat that the carrier is a comfortable place to hang out on a daily basis; feeding your cat in the carrier can assist to establish a good connection with the carrier.
  • Practice entering and exiting the carrier in order to make the operation as normal as possible – this will be key during the security screening procedure.
  • Most airlines demand that your cat travel with you with a valid health certificate for travel prepared by your veterinarian in order for him to be allowed to do so.

Are there details I should attend to when booking my flight?

There are certain airlines that have restrictions on how many pets are allowed to travel in the cabin or on a particular trip, and they may have specific flights where pets are not permitted to travel in the cabin. Make your trip arrangements as soon as possible to ensure that your cat has a place to stay. When selecting your seat, keep in mind that you will not be allowed to sit in an exit row or against a bulkhead due to space restrictions (there must be a seat in front of you for the carrier).

How will I move through the security checkpoint at the airport?

Your cat’s travel carrier must pass through the luggage X-ray screening apparatus at the airport, but your cat is unable to do so, therefore you will have to carry her through the human screening device with your arms wrapped around her. To keep her from escaping, she should be secured in a firm-fitting harness with a leash attached. Then you should take the following precautions:

  1. Prepare yourself and your things by taking your shoes and toiletries out of your luggage, as well as your laptop or tablet, and placing them in the bins to be scanned by the X-ray machine
  2. Take your cat out of the carrier and run the carrier through the X-ray machine. Find your cat’s carrier and carefully reposition your cat within it once you have passed through the screening process with your cat. Then gather your stuff.

In order to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, dogs in the airplane cabin must stay contained in their carriers for the duration of the trip.

What else will help my cat be comfortable on this trip?

Traveling on an empty stomach reduces the likelihood of experiencing nausea and vomiting, so skip breakfast the day before your flight. In the event that your cat has to urinate or defecate while traveling, you should line the carrier with an absorbent “puppy toilet pad.” Prepare for any possible cleaning and containment of a problem by packing additional pads as well as a couple of zip-lock bags, a few paper towels, and a few pairs of latex gloves.

Bring some of your cat’s food with you, as well as a water bottle and a dish, and don’t forget to bring any prescriptions she is currently taking with you.

Should I ask my veterinarian for a cat sedative for travel?

In most cases, cats travel pretty well on their own, without the need for medication. The stress experienced by certain cats when subjected to air travel, on the other hand, might be quite high. Obtain advice from your veterinarian to devise the ideal travel strategy for your cat if she is not a good traveler. Cat flight de-stressing strategies include the following:

  • A Thundershirt®, which swaddles the cats in the same way as swaddling a child does, and which can help to relieve anxiety
  • Prior to travelling, Feliway® pheromone wipes and spray can be used in the carrier to assist reduce anxiety. A relaxing collar with pheromones can assist in reducing anxiety. Benzodiazepines such as buprenorphine (brand names Buprenex® and Simbadol®), gabapentin (brand name Neurontin®), and alprazolam (brand names Xanax® and Niravam®) are examples of drugs that veterinarians may give to cats to help them cope with the stress of traveling. Make careful to give your cat a dosage at home as a “dry run” before you go in order to determine how he will react to the medication.

A little early planning, meticulous attention to detail, and consultation with your veterinarian may ensure that your cat’s flight is as “smooth as silk” as possible!

The Ultimate Guide to Flying With a Cat on a Plane

The thought of abandoning your closest pet buddy at home when traveling to see family across the nation or taking a long journey abroad makes you feel sick to your stomach. Our pets are like members of our family, and if we had the option, we would carry them with us almost wherever we went. If you intend to travel with your favorite kitty, it is critical that you make arrangements in advance. While it is generally permissible to fly with a cat, you should make certain that you adhere to airline laws and that your cat is as comfortable as possible throughout the flight itself.

Veterinary professionals were consulted in order to obtain the finest advise possible.

Can You Fly With Your Cat on a Plane?

Yes, that is absolutely possible! Prior to packing up your belongings and travelling to the airport, you’ll need to do your homework. In the first instance, a health certificate is normally necessary for domestic travel, and it must be obtained within 10 days of departure, according to Stephanie Sheen, DVM, a veterinarian with the pet health care app Fuzzy. If your cat is at least eight weeks old, up to date on immunizations, and free of any indications of an infectious disease, this health certificate will certify that they are in excellent health.

“If the cat is good with traveling, doesn’t mind being in a travel box or suitcase, and is comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, then it’s acceptable,” she adds.

The best thing to do if your cat is displaying indications of stress or anxiety like as excessive vocalization, excessive grooming, or drooling is to put him or her in the care of an adult relative or a trusted friend or pet sitter.

Flying With Your Cat Internationally

If you plan to go overseas, there will be a number of additional obstacles to overcome. Even if the laws are identical, Sheen notes that other places will require different immunizations for parasite protection and other health issues, even though the standards are comparable. “These documents can be many pages in length and are normally done by a veterinarian who is certified by the USDA,” she explains in further detail. It is possible that certain sites will requirerabiestiters to be completed prior to travel, which might take months to complete.

“Allow for lots of time to be spent negotiating this procedure. There may be firms in your region that provide a fee-based service to assist you in navigating this system as well, so do your research “She goes on to say

Each Airline Has a Different Pet Travel Policy

What about the airlines, do you think? Almost all airlines allow cats to travel with their owners on their flights. Although many airlines allow many dogs to fly on a same aircraft, it is best to book in advance to guarantee that there will be no delays at check-in. Since booking online is not always a possibility, most of the time, this necessitates a phone call to the airlines. Each airline has its own requirements for pet carriers and weight limitations, so you will need to be certain that your luggage fulfills their specifications.

Sheen suggests booking non-stop flights in order to lessen the overall trip time—and, consequently, the stress—for your cat.

Also, keep in mind that you will not be permitted to seat in an exit row if you have a cat accompanying you.

  • As for Alaska Airlines, the hard-sided dimensions are 17″L x 11″H
  • The soft-sided dimensions are 17″L x 11″H
  • And the overall height is 7″. Carrier must be able to fit beneath the seat in front of you, according to American Airlines. There can’t be more than 20 pounds of total weight between the carrier and your pet. According to Delta Airlines, the carrier must be small enough to fit beneath the seat in front of you. JetBlue’s carrier measures 17 inches long, 12.5″ wide, and 8.5 inches high. If your pet and the carrier weigh more than 20 pounds, they must be transported in another vehicle. In the United States, the hard-sided carrier has the following dimensions: 17.5″L by 12 “W by 7.5 “H
  • The soft-sided carrier has the following dimensions: 18″L by 11 “W by 11 “H

How Much Does It Cost to Fly With a Cat on a Plane?

Being a cat parent requires a commitment of 15 to 20 years. Not only does this entail providing for your feline companion and showering them with affection, but it also entails financial obligations on your part. Flying with a cat is not without cost, since airlines impose a fee for each trip. Also, as previously said, because your cat qualifies as a carry-on, you’ll most likely be required to pay for a checked bag, which may cost anywhere from $20 to $40 depending on the airline you choose. Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with flying with your cat on five major airlines:

6 Tips for Flying With a Cat Safely

It should be as simple and comfy as possible for you and your beloved little kitten to get from point A to point B together. Despite the fact that you will undoubtedly hear a lot of meows and experience some anxiety, there are several strategies you can use to prepare for the journey. These top advice from veterinarians will help you have a more pleasant encounter.

1. Be prepared for security.

In an ideal world, you would never have to take your cat out of their carrier until you’ve reached your destination without getting into any trouble. Unfortunately, that is not an option since security screenings require you to remove your animal from their carrier in order for the carrier to be scanned in the X-ray machine. Consequently, you will be required to transport your pet via the human screening machine. Sheen recommended that you place your cat in a well-fitting harness with a leash in order to prevent him from running away.

2. Consider a soft-sided travel carrier.

Many airlines enable passengers to fly in the cabin with either a soft-sided or a hard-sided carrier.

According to Sheen, a soft-sided carrier, on the other hand, can be more forgiving and provide your cat with a little more room to turn around and be comfortable. So, if you’re having trouble deciding, think about which one would make your pet feel the most at peace before making your decision.

3. Make the carrier a happy place.

Because your feline companion will spend nearly all of his or her travel time in the carrier, Katy Nelson, DVM, a senior veterinarian at Chewy, recommends that you make the carrier as pleasant as possible for your feline companion. She recommends including objects that remind them of their home, like as a favorite toy or an old t-shirt or blanket that they enjoy to cuddle up to on cold nights. You may also apply a feline pheromone spray, such as Feliway, to help them feel more comfortable in their carrier.

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This helps children to become comfortable with it and, as a result, not be afraid of it.

Continue to pack those identical goods in their carrier when it’s time to leave for your flight to avoid losing them.”

4. Pack essentials.

When traveling with cats, it’s essential to be overprepared in case of an accident or an emergency, as Nelson points out. You should bring the leash, harness, a foldable dish, wipes, and dog treats along with you. According to her, “Most carriers will have a location to store these items, but keep food and drink separate to minimize any spillage.” “It’s also critical to clearly identify yourself, your phone number, and the destination location on your shipping container.”

5. Avoid feeding the morning of travel.

Even though it may sound cruel, it may be preferable not to feed your cat in the morning before taking out on your flight. What is the reason behind this? Because some cats will feel nausea and vomiting, it is preferable to have less food in their stomach, according to Sheen. Of course, you should still make certain that they are properly hydrated! It is also recommended to line the carrier with an absorbent pad, such as a puppy potty pad, in order to absorb any accidents that may occur.

6. Talk to your vet about medication.

While the majority of cats do not require medication, it may be necessary if your cat is suffering from extreme anxiety. Sheen recommends that you consult with your veterinarian, who will be able to advise you on whether prescription sedatives will be required for your journey. Because they do pose a health risk, you should take precautions to guarantee that your cat will be safe before using them.

7 Tips to Make Flights Friendly and Stress-Free for Cats

Time allotted for reading: 4 minutes Casey, the Pet Safety Cat, is not like other cats in that he prefers to stay at home. This orange tabby has logged a lot of miles as my feline teaching companion for veterinarian-approved cat first aid/CPR seminars all across the country. He’s also logged a lot of miles in the car and the air. During his most recent journey, he traveled with me on a nonstop flight from Dallas to Washington, D.C., to give a Fear Free Pets presentation and teach a cat first aid workshop to guests at the Acatemy Conference in Dulles, Virginia.

  1. Casey’s sixth flight and thirteenth state visit since I adopted him as a kitten from the San Diego Humane Society highlighted his most recent milestones.
  2. Recognizing that cats, like some people, can experience feelings of dread, anxiety, and tension while traveling, I employ a variety of relaxing, Fear Free techniques when traveling with Casey to keep him quiet and relaxed.
  3. As a precaution, if your cat must accompany you on a flight due to a relocation, work trip, or visit to see family, spray his airplane carrier with Feliway or another feline soothing pheromone product such as Feliway.
  4. Make sure you have a pet diaper inside the carrier in case your cat needs to go potty during the journey.
  5. Following the completion of your reservation, contact the airline directly to schedule a reservation for your cat.
  6. Ascertain the record locator number for your cat before releasing him or her.
  7. It is necessary to bring your cat’s current medical documents in order to ensure that he is up to date on his vaccines.

As part of the security screening process, you will be required to remove your cat from the carrier and hold him as you walk through the screening.

Your cat should be secured in the carrier by a sturdy harness with a leash fastened to the D-ring on the side.

If at all feasible, opt for TSA Pre-Check to save time and avoid having to take your shoes off at the airport.

Attempt to keep your cat in his carrier as far away from a wandering dog or any other apparent hazard as possible.

Prevent a rough ride from occurring.

Holding your cat’s carrier in your hand while walking can cause it to wobble and rock, which are both actions that might make some cats uneasy or edgy, depending on their temperament.

Casey is seated in the pet stroller with his harness tied inside, and I am carrying my computer bag on my shoulder while I guide Casey through the airport.

We are heading somewhere, and he is looking forward to seeing the scenery and being met by cat-loving people.

Maintain calm for both the cat and the people.

Some people are allergic to cats, and others are scared of them.

Casey and other cats consider carriers to be safe havens.

It’s best not to speak to them in a babyish tone.

Cats are able to detect our emotional emotions, so try to maintain your composure.

Keep your cat in his carrier as you left the airport to make your way to your hotel, and make sure the driver who will pick you up allows pets in the vehicle before getting in.

Finally, give your cat bottled water on trips to limit the chance of having an upset stomach from tap water, and bring or purchase disposable litter boxes and lightweight litter to lessen the risk of developing an upset stomach from tap water.

I wish you a safe journey with your pets, Casey and I! Dr. Kenneth Martin, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, and/or Debbie Martin, a veterinary technician expert in behavior, have both read and revised this article for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Arden Moore is The Pet Health and Safety Coach. She is a best-selling author, radio show host, in-demand speaker and master certified pet first aid/CPR instructor who travels the country teaching with Pet Safety Dog Kona and Pet Safety Cat Casey. Learn more

Time allotted for reading: four minutes However, Casey the Cat of Pet Safety prefers to stay at home with his family. This orange tabby has traveled a lot of miles as my feline teaching companion for veterinarian-approved cat first aid/CPR seminars all across the country, both in the vehicle and in the plane. I took him on a nonstop flight from Dallas to Washington, D.C, where he participated in a Fear Free Pets presentation and taught a cat first aid lesson to guests at the Acatemy Conference in Dulles, Virginia.

  • After being acquired as a kitten from the San Diego Humane Society, this was Casey’s sixth flight and thirteenth state visit in all.
  • As a cat owner who is well aware that cats may experience fear, anxiety, and stress while traveling, I employ a variety of relaxing, Fear Free strategies with Casey while we are on the road together.
  • Make sure to spray the aircraft carrier that your cat will be traveling in with you with a feline soothing pheromone product, such as Feliway, whether you are moving, going on a business trip, or going to meet relatives.
  • Make sure there is a pet diaper inside the carrier in case your cat needs to go potty during the journey.
  • As soon as you’ve made your reservation, phone the airline directly to make a reservation for your cat.
  • Ascertain the record locator number for your animal before submitting your application.
  • It is necessary to have your cat’s current medical documents in order to confirm that he is up to date on his vaccines.

As part of the screening process, you will be required to remove your cat from the carrier and hold him as you walk through the screening.

A sturdy collar with a leash fastened to the D-ring on your cat’s carrier is recommended.

Consider up for TSA Pre-Check to save time and avoid having to take your shoes off at the security checkpoint.

Make every effort to keep your cat in his carrier safe from a traveling dog or any other imagined threat by positioning yourself between them.

A rough journey is avoided.

Try to keep your cat’s carrier steady in your hand while you walk.

A lightweight, folding pet stroller and his airplane carrier are among the items I bring for Casey.

We are traveling somewhere new, and he is looking forward to seeing the scenery and being met by cat-loving people!

Maintain calm for both the cat and the people around it.

It is possible that some people are allergic to cats or that some are terrified of them.

CARRIERS are considered safe havens by cats like Casey.

Avoid using a baby-talking tone while speaking to them.

Attempt to have a calm demeanor because cats can detect our emotional emotions.

Please remember to keep your cat in his carrier as you depart the airport and make sure the driver who will be picking you up welcomes pets in his vehicle before you board your flight.

Lastly, provide bottled water to your cat while traveling to limit the chance of having an upset stomach from tap water.

I wish you a safe journey with your pets, Casey and myself! Dr. Kenneth Martin, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, and/or Debbie Martin, a veterinary technician specialized in behavior, have both read and revised this material for accuracy and thoroughness.

How to Take Your Cat on a Plane

Bringing a cat or kitten along on a commercial aircraft may appear to be a simple concept, but the practicalities may become complicated quickly. You’ll almost certainly be subjected to additional fees, as well as documentation requirements and other limitations, which may vary depending on the airline you choose. Flights may be made safe and comfortable for you and your cat with a little knowledge and planning ahead of time. There are very few differences between travelling with a dog and flying without one, but as with canines, you should consult with your veterinarian and your airline well in advance of your flight.

Know your cat’s travel options

If your pet’s carrier fits beneath the seat in front of you, it will most likely be able to travel in the cabin with you. Generally speaking, this implies a pet weighing up to roughly 20 pounds, which is a smaller obstacle for cat owners to overcome than it is for dog owners. The amount of under-seat space varies from plane to plane, and many airlines restrict the number of dogs that may be transported on a voyage. It is for this reason that you should verify with the airline. It is not permitted to purchase an additional seat for your cat.

Please keep in mind that a cat in its carrier counts as one of your permitted carry-on bags.

. Or as cargo

The second option is to transport your cat as cargo in a pressurized and temperature-controlled container aboard a commercial flight. Cats can travel in this manner as checked baggage on the same plane as you, or as unaccompanied shipment cargo on a separate aircraft. If the cat is traveling as unaccompanied freight, there may be shipping timelines to consider; check with your airline for more information. The Humane Society of the United States recommends that you avoid traveling with your cat anyplace else than the cabin if at all possible.

Understand the costs of each

Despite the fact that you won’t be able to purchase an additional seat for your cat, you will still need to make a reservation for it. Some of the largest airlines in the United States charge $125 per person, per way, for an in-cabin cat. Other carriers, such as Southwest Airlines ($95) and JetBlue ($100), charge fees that are far less expensive. Prices are effective as of February 2018. Frequently, you will be required to pay the charge when you arrive at the airport on the day of your flight.

Pets that travel as cargo sometimes incur higher costs – for example, cats checked as luggage on American Airlines cost $200 each trip each way.

Research health requirements, other rules

In order to ensure that your cat is healthy enough to travel by airline, you should have your veterinarian inspect it. If you’re shipping your cat as cargo, keep in mind that certain airlines have breed restrictions, so check with them beforehand. In order to avoid respiratory discomfort when flying at high altitudes, American Airlines does not accept snub-nosed brachycephalic cats of any mix, including Burmese, Persian, and Himalayan, on its flights. Following the advice of the airline industry association Airlines for America, you may be required to get a health certificate from a veterinarian several days before your flight.

For example, airlines may impose additional limitations regardless of whether the cat is flying in the cabin or as cargo. For example, United Airlines wants kittens to be at least 2 pounds or 10 weeks old in order to fly with them. For further information, see the website of your airline.

Consider the carrier

Most airlines demand that the carrier in which your cat travels (also known as a box or kennel) be large enough to allow your cat to stand up and turn around comfortably while in transit. Nevertheless, several airlines have maximum size and occupancy restrictions, which are detailed on their websites. However, allow your cat to become familiar with its carrier before taking the flight. Airlines for America further recommends that you lay the floor with bedding or absorbent material, that you label the kennel with your contact information, and that you mark the kennel with arrows or writing to indicate which side should be facing upward.

International flights

Flying overseas with your cat can be more difficult and time-consuming, and requires more preparation. Pets are not permitted to go on international flights with some carriers, such as Southwest. If your cat is permitted, you may be required to get an international health certificate, and you must adhere to the laws and regulations of your destination country. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture maintains a list of rules organized by nation.

If your cat is an emotional support animal

If your cat is designated as an emotional support animal, you are unlikely to receive any preferential treatment, and you will very certainly be required to pay the necessary pet costs. According to a regulation change issued by the United States Department of Transportation, or DOT, in 2021, emotional support animals are no longer designated service animals, and airlines are no longer obligated to treat them as assistance animals. That implies that if your cat qualifies as an emotional support animal and has previously been permitted to travel on flights, there is no assurance that it will continue to be permitted to do so for free (and it is probable that it will not be permitted to do so for free).

airlines, which now impose pet fees that can vary from $95 to $125 or more per flight, one way, on all routes.

Tips for flight day

Make sure to arrive at the airport early on the day of your flight and check in with your cat at the ticket counter, if it will be traveling in the cabin with you. If it’s travelling as cargo, verify with your airline about where to drop it off because the freight terminal may be located at a separate airport terminal than the passenger terminal.

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Security screening

You tether your cat and carry or lead it through the metal detector while the cat’s carrier is scanned by an X-ray machine at an airport security checkpoint. Consider becoming a member of TSA PreCheck, which allows you to utilize shorter lines and avoid having to remove your shoes and a light jacket while traveling. Maintaining consistency among airlines’ pet regulations is important to bear in mind once again. You should contact your airline directly when arranging a vacation to guarantee that both you and your cat arrive at their destination safely and without incident.

Airline pet policies

Every year, millions of animals travel in comfort and safety on airplanes. The airline’s workers make every attempt to treat these creatures with the respect and dignity that they deserve. This brochure is intended to aid you in moving your pet in the most secure manner possible. However, please bear in mind that each airline has its own set of rules, and that it is critical to advise an airline of your pet travel intentions in advance as much as possible. Globally, the International Airline Carriage Association (IATA) regulates the transportation of live animals on commercial airplanes and on cargo aircraft.

If you decide to transfer your dog or cat by air, there are a few things you should look out for to ensure that everything is in accordance with applicable regulations and that your pet has the safest and most comfortable flight possible.


Pets traveling overseas should be equipped with a petmicrochip that complies with ISO standards 11784 and 11785. An unencrypted 15-digit microchip with a frequency of 134.2kHz is used in this application. It is mandatory that the microchip number appears on all health and immunization certificates. The microchip must be compliant with ISO standards, or the owner must offer a microchip scanner that is compatible with the microchip.

How to transport your pet by air

A pet carrier that is airline-compliant and fits beneath the seat in front of you may be permitted by some airlines for travelers to bring their pets inside the cabin of a plane. Despite the fact that carry-on pets are not subject to regulation under the Animal Welfare Act, airlines will require that your pet be able to stand up and turn around within the container. When traveling with animals other than dogs or cats, you should check with the airline to see what policies they have in place. If you have any questions, you may write us an email at [email protected] or make a comment on ourpettravel blog.

  • You should be aware that you can only transport your pet as accompanied checked baggage if you are flying on the same trip as your pet and are an adult passenger on the same flight.
  • To check your pet in and pick it up, you will need to go to the cargo facility of your airline, which is normally located on airport grounds rather than in the terminal building.
  • Animals transported in the cargo hold are housed in the same pressurized and temperature-controlled environments as those flown in the checked luggage compartment.
  • A pet transporter may also aid you with the travel of your pet, which is something you should consider.
Is your pet old enough?

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), your animal must be at least eight weeks old and completely weaned before traveling with an airline. A lot of airlines demand that your pet be at least 15 weeks old before it may be transported overseas. The longer you wait before carrying a puppy in the cargo hold, the more development its respiratory systems will have.

Which flights are easier on your pet?

If at all feasible, schedule a direct, non-stop trip and avoid traveling on holidays or weekends. Take into consideration scheduling options that reduce temperature extremes. For example, try to avoid traveling during periods of extreme heat or cold, if possible.

During prolonged periods of extreme cold, an Acclimatization Certificate may be required. Flights in the morning or evening are preferred and required throughout the summer when traveling from or to regions that are hotter during the summer months.

Is your pet healthy?

Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is healthy and ready to travel. Because they can have difficulties breathing even under normal conditions, several species – such as snub-nosed dogs (e.g., Pugs, Tzi Shuhs, Bulldogs, Boxers, Boston Terriers) – simply do not fly well. In these types of situations, you should purchase a crate that is one size larger than is ordinarily necessary. It is important to inform your airline that your pet is a snub-nosed breed, as many airlines will not take this kind of dog.

Your veterinarian will be able to take care of this for you.

Make sure to check with the airline to find out the precise amount of time they demand prior to your pet’s departure.

Use of tranquilizers

Because the effects of tranquilizers on animals at higher altitudes are uncertain, it is not recommended to sedate traveling dogs while on the road. Your veterinarian should make the choice on whether or not to prescribe an atranquilizer for your pet. The majority of airlines, including United, will not accept a pet that has been tranquilized and placed in the cargo holding area. We recommend that you use an all-natural pet calmer that will assist in relaxing your pet without interfering with its breathing when administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Do you have the right crate?

You and the airlines must adhere to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements on the size of the crate for your pet. Crates must be strong, well-ventilated and spacious enough to allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down without difficulty or discomfort. When your pet is standing or sitting, the top of their head or the tips of their ears (if their ears stand straight) must not come into contact with the top of the container. Measure your pet before purchasing a crate to ensure that you are obtaining the proper size pet crate for your animal.

It must be made of sturdy plastic or wood (if your airline will accept it), have a waterproof bottom, a metal door, and ventilation on three sides for domestic flights and all four sides for international flights.

Petmate cargo containers that are compatible with IATA regulations are available in seven different sizes in the Pet Travel Store.

Remember to double-check with the airline if you’re in question, because the USDA has assigned the airline complete responsibility for accepting the right crate. In order to prevent ventilation apertures from being obstructed by adjacent kennels or freight, spacers must be given in each crate.

How do you acclimate your pet to its crate?

Allow your pet to become familiar with its box as much as possible before to the journey. Begin by cleaning only the bottom part of the kennel. Encourage your dog or cat to go into their crate after a good walk, when he or she is weary, or after playing with him or her. Allow them to take their time walking inside the container. Continue to accompany them until they have settled down. In order for your pet to spend more time in the crate, place familiar bedding, an old sock, or other familiar object inside the cage.

Continue to work with your pet on a daily basis until it is comfortable in its crate.

Take a vehicle excursion to the dog park or just around the block to get some exercise.

It is critical for your dog or cat to be as comfortable as possible throughout the journey, and getting your pet used to the crate is a key step in doing this.

  • Your name and address should be clearly shown
  • Make use of arrows or other indicators (such as Live Animal Stickers) to indicate the top of the kennel’s structure. Make sure to provide food and water bowls (both empty), which should be secured within the kennel but accessible from the outside
  • In the Shipper’s Declaration, include a feeding and water schedule, as well as a sufficient quantity of the appropriate food in a bag fastened to the exterior of the kennel. Limit the number of dogs or cats to one adult at a time (some airlines allow two pups or kittens that are fewer than six months old and weigh less than 20 pounds apiece)
  • Pet cushions for the confinement crate
  • Attach your pet’s collar and identification tag to the top of the crate in a plastic bag
  • Clearly mark the cage with your pet’s name or a sticker that is affixed to the crate
  • Please include a close-up photograph of your pet. Avoid packing any toys or goodies in the crate since airlines will not allow any unattended items to be carried on board with them. Everything that has been covered here may be found in ourcrate accessory kits.

Your name and address must be shown on the kennel, and you must provide the telephone number of someone at the destination who can be contacted if something happens to your pet as well. In particular, if you are shipping your animal unaccompanied through the cargo system, you should make sure that someone is there at the airport to claim your pet upon arrival. A pet travel service may be of assistance in handling an unaccompanied cargo since these services handle pick-up and delivery and may provide information on quarantine regulations for overseas travel.

If you have any questions, you should contact your airline directly.

Have you made advance arrangements for your pet?

When you book your flight, phone the airline’s reservations number (both for in-cabin and checked luggage) and inform them that you will be traveling with an animal. In many circumstances, you will be unable to reserve a reservation for your pet online. Make sure to clarify with the airline that you will be carrying your pet at least 24 to 48 hours before your flight. To find out how long in advance they ask you to check-in your pet if you are traveling your pet as cargo, contact their cargo department.

In order to be as compassionate as possible, airlines reserve the right to refuse to handle an animal for a variety of reasons, including disease, behavior, or inadequate kenneling of the animal, as well as high temperatures at the animal’s origin, stopover, or destination airports.

Traveling outside the United States?

Find out whether there are quarantine or other health regulations in your destination country or Hawaii before you go there. Conforming to such standards is crucial, and in certain cases, attention should be paid to them as far in advance as 6 months before departure.

Pet import rules should be researched well in advance of your trip. In the Pet Travel Store, you may find additional instructions and paperwork that are necessary for foreign pet travel.


Animals are accepted in society. No airline will guarantee acceptance of an animal that has not been viewed by them because they care about your pet. This is done to ensure the safety of both your pet and the airline. Because an airline cannot carry an animal that is aggressive or dangerous, significant considerations for admission of animals include the animal’s health and disposition after it has been accepted. A health certificate will assist in reducing the number of questions. Additionally, an airline must ensure that all paperwork is in place and that the pet cage or pet carrier complies with all regulations.

Do not feed your pet for at least 4 hours before your travel, and feed them less than they would typically get.

As part of the airline check-in process, you must attest that your pet has had food and drink since the last time you checked in with them.

Freeze the water in the water bowl the night before travel to minimize spilling during handling and transportation.

Arrival and Check-In

It is best to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare in order to avoid a rush hour. In most cases, check-in will take place at the passenger terminal whether your animal is traveling in the cabin, as excess baggage, or via a special accelerated delivery service. Please note that if you are shipping your pet through the cargo system, you will be required to go to the air freight terminal, which is situated in a separate section of the airport. Make sure to verify with your airline to find out what time the acceptance deadline for your journey is.

At the end of the day, airlines must ensure that facilities are available to accommodate your pet at both the transfer and ultimate destination airports.

Transfer of animals between airlines

The likelihood of one airline checking an animal through from its own system to a finaldestination served by another airline is low when pets travel as accompanying luggage or as air cargo. As a result, we do not suggest that you switch airline carriers while on a flight stopover. This may necessitate you claiming and rechecking your pet in the layover nation, resulting in your pet becoming subject to the restrictions of the layover country. When your pet is transported as cargo by flight, an interlinetransfer is not feasible unless the airlines involved have entered into a formal agreement with one another.

This is why it is critical that your pet travels with you on the same airline for the entire journey. Each airline is concerned about and accountable for the animals it admits, and as a result, airline officials will need to inspect your pet when you arrive at the airport.

Helpful Tips
  • It is a good idea to bring a leash along with you on your vacation so that you may walk your pet before checking in and after you have checked in. (Always keep the leash away from the animal, whether it is within the crate or tied to the outside.) It is not permitted to remove your pet from its crate while in the airport. In accordance with airport laws and as a courtesy to other passengers, you should only let your pet out once you have exited the terminal building
  • You should properly label the crate with your pet’s name
  • And you should keep your pet on a leash at all times.
Need More Information?

About this page, you can find up-to-date and factual information on traveling with your pet by air, sea, or land. More information may be found at Information on Traveling with Pets

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