Flying With Your Cat: 4 Tips for Success
Whether it’s visiting a family member in another region or taking a week-long vacation in Boracay or Baguio, you probably can’t imagine leaving your cat at home alone (or with a sitter). Pets are part of the family, and you would want to bring them everywhere you go.
Fortunately, it’s now possible to bring your cat on a plane. The idea sounds fun, but it requires a lot of planning to ensure you and your cat enjoy a hassle-free and fun trip.
If you plan on boarding a flight with your feline friend soon, use this article as your guide. We’ll provide essential tips, so your first flight together will be one for the books!
Can You Fly with Your Cat on a Plane?
Yes, your feline friend can ride a plane. But before you pack their valuables and head to the airport with them, you must do your homework first.
Pet Health Certificate
First, a health certificate is usually required for domestic travel, secured within ten days of travel. The heal th certificate should indicate that your cat is more than eight weeks old, is up-to-date with their vaccinations, and is free from any signs of infectious diseases.
Does the Airline Matter?
The answer to this is — yes, it does! Each airline has a different pet travel policy. Some airlines will allow cats onboard with their humans, while others restrict how many pets can travel on a flight and will require pets to fly as cargo.
For example, Philippine Airlines allow pets to be considered as checked baggage, while Cebu Pacific doesn’t and will only allow pets to be flown as cargo. AirAsia, on the other hand, doesn’t allow any pets on their flight.
Airlines also have different dimensions for weight limits and pet carriers, so you need to make sure that your baggage meets the requirements. In most cases, airlines will require you to place your cat inside a carrier where they can sit and lie down comfortably and put the carrier in front of your seat throughout the flight.
4 Tips for Flying with Your Cat
Getting from one location to another with your cat should be comfortable as possible. But because your feline friend isn’t used to traveling by plane, you need to follow some strategies to prepare them for your upcoming adventure.
We’ve listed four tips from vets to make the experience seamless for you and your cat:
Choose the right carrier
Airlines will either require you to place your cat inside a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier. But if you’re given the option to choose, we suggest using a soft-sided carrier as it’s more forgiving and allows your cat to have more room to move and get cozy.
If you still don’t have a soft-sided carrier, we recommend the New Denim Fun Lightweight Pet Backpack, as it’s roomy but lightweight. It also comes with several pockets, so you can bring all of your cat’s essentials with ease!
Make the carrier a happy place
Your cat will spend most of their travel time inside their carrier, so ensure the space inside is comfortable. It’s best if you throw in items that are from home, like your cat’s favorite toy or your old t-shirt they can snuggle up to. You can also use a feline pheromone spray to make your cat feel calmer and more relaxed when inside the carrier.
If you’re going to buy a carrier for the trip, do it weeks before, so you can introduce it to your cat. Take a look at this article about how to get pets accustomed to their carriers for easy-to-follow tips. It’s important to introduce the carrier early to prevent your cat from being stressed once they’re inside.
Pack your cat’s essentials
Always prepare for accidents or emergencies, especially when taking your cat on the plane for the first time. Pack their leash, harness, collapsible bowl, food, wipes, and treats, too.
Don’t forget to label the carrier with your full name, phone number, and destination address. This way, people can easily contact you if the carrier gets lost.
Talk to your vet about medication
Flying can cause stress and anxiety to humans — so can you imagine what it would do to cats? It’s advisable to see your vet weeks or days before your trip and ask for sedatives to help your cat reduce anxiety and stress when traveling by air.
aking your cat on a plane is fun, but it can also carry health risks, so ensure to talk to a professional beforehand to ensure that they’re safe throughout the flight.
Let Ibiyaya Make Air Travel Memorable for Your Cat
Choosing a high-quality carrier is key to making your cat’s first plane ride smooth, comfortable, and fun. Invest in any one of Ibiyaya’s airline-approved carriers and have peace of mind knowing that your cat will have as much fun as you do on your upcoming trip!