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How Can I Prepare to Take My Cat to the Airport?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, offers advice for bringing cats through the airport.

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, offers advice for bringing cats through the airport.

Q.  How should I prepare to take my cat through airport security?

A: Good question. As the summer travel season begins, many people will want to know safety tips for cat travel by air.

First, if you can leave your cat at home, do so. She will probably be happier and you will not have to go through the fuss of airport travel. If you have definitely decided to bring her, and she is flying with you in the cabin (recommended) here are some guidelines for bringing cats through airport security.

1. Call your airline first for all instructions.

2. Ask your vet if she recommends a mild sedative for your cat.

3. Buy a harness and leash and have both on her as you place her in the carrier at home. You want your cat secured because you will be taking her out of the carrier at security.

4. You must remove her from the cat carrier before it goes through X-ray. Do not wait for an official; I suggest you get your cat out of the carrier as soon as you reach the moving belt for carry-on items. This is where the harness and leash come in. Hold her tightly and securely as you walk through the metal detector.

5. Give her lost of praise and treats as you put her back in the cat carrier and try to find a quiet spot until it is time to board. Make sure the cat carrier is secure. We have all heard sad stories of poor cats who escape from their carriers in airports.

6. Enjoy your journey. Cats are very susceptible to our moods — if you relax and remain calm, chances are she will too.

As always I welcome your stories and comments.

Cat Calls BookGood News! My new book, “Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter” with CAT FANCY editor Susan Logan is now available in stores and online. Please click here for more information.

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