How to Get Your Jet-Setting Kitty Ready for Its Next Flight


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This is a guest post by Emily Cline.

Felt sad about leaving your cat with a sitter on your last vacation? Then take them with you!  You can bring your cat on your next flight as an ESA or as a carry-on.  Cats are often excellent fliers as they are quiet and don’t mind being in their carrier.  If your cat is social and an ESA ( learn more about the Delta Airlines Emotional Support Animal policy), you can keep them on your lap. Make sure your cat is ready for its flight with these tips!

Find the Right Carrier

It’s essential that your cat is comfortable during your flight.  If your cat is going to be in a carrier, it should be big enough that your kitty can turn all the way around.  Airlines must approve your cat’s carrier, and your cat will need to stay in the carrier the whole time.  Your cat will feel more relaxed if it already to spends time in the carrier.  Your flight should not be the first time! Try keeping your kitty in the carrier while you go on car trips, starting with short drives then working your way up to longer trips.  If your cat is an ESA, you do not need to keep them in a carrier, read more about traveling with an emotional support animal.

Exercise Your Cat

Give your cat attention and playtime before heading off on your flight.  Your cat will feel more relaxed after burning a little energy.  Animals can get nervous on flights and feel cramped if they haven’t gotten to stretch their legs beforehand.

Don’t Give Food and Water Right Before the Flight

As a rule of thumb, avoid giving your cat food or water a couple of hours before the flight. Most airlines do not allow pets on flights longer than eight hours.  If your cat’s bladder is full, eight hours can seem like an eternity.  Most airports do have pet relief stations, but they cater towards dogs, not cats.

Calming Aid

If your cat is nervous when traveling, consider giving them a natural sedative like CBD oil.  CBD oil can help keep your pet relaxed and less stressed.  Flying can be scary especially if it’s your cat’s first time, CBD oil can help! You can talk with your vet about CBD oil.

Cats make excellent travel companions. Many are small enough to travel as a carry-on or as an emotional support animal.  When taking your cat on a flight, it’s important to prepare ahead of time so the process can be as smooth as possible.  Give your kitty extra attention and playtime before starting your journey and avoid feeding a couple of hours before you board, so they don’t need to use the bathroom.  If your cat is nervous, you can give them a natural calming aid like CBD oil.

Common Questions on Preparing your Cat for Flight

Are Cats allowed on planes?

Is it okay to give my cat water before my flight?

Can I give my cat CBD oil before flying?

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4 thoughts on “How to Get Your Jet-Setting Kitty Ready for Its Next Flight

  1. Wished I read this before flying my cat the first time. I was so nervous & anxious for her. But my cat did great, she slept most of the flight. The taking off was a little too much, however once in the air it was smooth sailing.


  2. I flew with two cats when I moved cross-country. Something I will add is that TSA will have no clue what to do, and might ask you to do something stupid, like take your cat out of the carrier and set it aside.
    You have to take your cat out of the carrier (or I did) to send the carrier through the x-ray thing, then tell TSA that you need to put the cat back in before they pat you down or check your fingers for gunpowder residue (or whatever it is they’re checking for).
    Because there is the potential that TSA will go “hurr hurr, set your cat down” and you have to calmly explain that it needs to go back in the carrier ASAP to prevent the cat from bolting away.
    I travel a lot, and TSA is usually polite and very helpful, but I was very surprised by the person who thought I could just set an already frightened cat down on a table…


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