If you’re planning to go out of town by plane and need to take your cat with you, there are a few things you should know ahead of time to make sure your cat stays happy, healthy and relaxed during your travels. Before you head out, visit your knowledgeable vet in D’Iberville, MS to get your cat a checkup, and to get advice straight from the professionals. At D’Iberville Veterinary Hospital, we understand that pets are family, and we can help you plan ahead so everything goes smoothly for you and your cat from start to finish. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Research your airline: Before you book a flight, double check that the airline you’re considering is okay with cats traveling in the cabin of the plane. Never choose an airline that requires your cat to be transported in the cargo hold! Some airlines have specific flights that allow pets and some that do not, or have certain days for pet travel. You’ll also want to have the option to book a non-stop flight, since this will be much less stressful for you and your cat.
- Check for fit: Next, make sure the seat dimensions on the plane will accommodate your cat’s carrier. The airline may also require extra paperwork, such as records of vaccinations and a health certification from your vet in D’Iberville, MS, so ask the airline what type of documentation they need when you call.
- Buy the needed supplies ahead of time: Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase your carrier! You’ll feel more relaxed if you have plenty of time to find one that fits easily under the airline seat and is also comfortable for your cat. You may want to think about a soft-sided travel carrier, rather than a hard-sided plastic variety, as this will more easily conform to the dimensions of the airline seat and won’t get caught on anything. Also, invest in a comfortable, snug-fitting harness, since you’ll have to hold your cat while going through security.
- Acclimate your cat to the carrier: Your cat may understandably be a little cautious about entering and exiting the carrier at first, so place it somewhere your cat can see it, and keep it open at all times. Don’t force your cat to go into the carrier; just let her smell it and get used to its presence. Try placing some tempting treats inside, and don’t shut the door until your cat is comfortable staying inside the carrier.
- Schedule a vet appointment: Before you hit the open tarmac, take your cat to your veterinarian so you can double check that he is in good health. If you already know your cat is nervous about flying, discuss this with your vet in D’Iberville, MS. You may want to consider a light sedative to keep him calm and comfortable.
Remember to pack extra food, paper towels, “potty pads” and any other items your cat relies on for his daily routine, and you’re sure to have a pleasant and uneventful trip with your cat. Get in touch with D’Iberville Veterinary Hospital for more information. Happy trails!