Taking your cat with you on a flight might not be as nightmarish as you may think. Just any other ordinary plane traveling experience, PREPARATION is the key to land with flying colors. A flying experience is as similar to napping.
You just need to know how to prepare for the flight so that your pet takes it as a free from any danger, unsurprising and untroubled experience. So, it’s not a matter of “cat” but a matter of “human”. It’s up to you to get to the destination joyful and contented.
First and foremost, do not introduce a cat to a traveler’s lifestyle by taking it on a long-haul flight. Start to a flight to a CLOSER DESTINATION. You will then take off with a cat that is knowledgeable about flying. If you decide to take your cat with you in the cabin, you’ll compulsorily have to buy an airline-approved airplane pet carrier. The best ones a fitted with plenty air outlets, are easy to handle and are both comfortable and roomy for your cat. You may be tempted to buy a designer’s crate.
However, before you do that think of what your CAT’S NEEDS are, otherwise it will need it just like a fish needs a bicycle. But, if the crate is able to satisfy all her needs than it will certainly come in handy.
Still, if you decide that your cat will fly in CARGO, you’ll certainly need to purchase a firm and well-made crate that has a very good door-lock and is well ventilated. The crate will have to be carrier-approve and comply to IATA regulations. The crate also needs to be large enough so that your pet will be able to stand up and move around the crate freely. Don’t forget to buy it a few weeks before leaving and to let the cat become accustomed to its temporary shelter.
Put a toy inside the crate but refrain from placing any food inside it because it is not advisable for cats to eat while traveling by plane. Do let some water especially if you’re taking a long flight. Nevertheless, it is better for cats if they travel in the cabin. Anyway, whichever means of travel you choose for your tabby, it is imperative that you place the appropriate nametags alongside with corresponding copies of documents.
You’ll need to have your name and address clearly and visibly recorded on the crate, place some stickers that indicate the upper part of the crate and put labels that read LIVE ANIMALS. Overall, if a crate shelters more than one cat or if your tabby is too outspoken, you’d better arrange for them to travel in cargo.
However, do not avoid letting the airline know that you’re planning to travel with your cat when you book the airplane ticket. Opt for a carrier that allows cats decide where you want your cat to travel, i.e. in the cabin or in cargo. Remember that there are carriers which DO NOT PERMIT cats or other pets to fly in cargo at certain times of the year. Furthermore, you should also obtain a locator number for your cat which is, by all means, related to your seat number. For more details on what you should do before setting off to the airport and how to have your cat ready for take, do feel free to browse our two articles Things You Should Ask Yourself When Travelling With Pets and Before Taking Your Pet On the Airplane.
Once you get at the airport, the airport staff will let you know where to take your cat for transportation. If you opted for the CABIN, you will be the one carrying it through gate security. You’ll have to take it out of the crate, hold it in your arms so go through the metal detector and allow its bag being X-rayed. You’ll find more details on all these procedures in our article How to Check-in Pets in The United States.