If your holiday plans call for air travel, and you can’t bear to leave your cats behind, consider these tips from TRIPSforPETS.com before you board a plane. With careful planning and a few precautions, you and your cats can safely fly during the holidays.
The travel agents at TRIPSforPETS.com recommend that you consult your vet before bringing your cat along on a trip. If your veterinarian gives your cat the green light for air travel, follow these steps to ensure the journey is as stress-free as possible for both of you.
- Research airline policies about flying with pets. Whenever possible, try to book a flight that allows you to bring your cat in the cabin with you.
- Book a direct flight, and always travel on the same flight as your pet.
- When you board the plane, notify the flight crew that your cat is traveling with you.
- Make sure your cat is outfitted with identification that includes your permanent address and the contact information of your travel destination.
- Write your contact information on a label affixed to the outside of your cat’s carrier.
- Make sure your cat’s nails have been clipped so they won’t catch in the carrier’s door, holes or other crevices.
- In the weeks leading up to your trip, allow your cat to become accustomed to the carrier.
- Do not give your cat tranquilizers before the trip unless they are prescribed by your veterinarian.
- Avoid giving your cat food or water for 4 to 6 hours before your flight.
- If possible, try not to fly with your cat during the busiest travel times.
- When you arrive at your destination, open the carrier as soon as you are in a safe place, and examine your cat. If anything seems wrong, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.