Travel Tips for Your Cat

When vacation is in full swing and kids are out of school, parents take their much needed vacations from work. People travel to different areas to spend time relaxing with loved ones. What is the only thing that can make traveling even better? Taking your cat along with you! Whether you travel by air, land or sea, keeping your cat safe and healthy is very important. Here are a few tips from ASPCA to ensure yours and your cat’s safety during travel.

By Air

  • Always check with airline how they require transportation of cats.
  • Book flights either early in the morning or late evening to help avoid flying during the hottest or coolest part of the day.
    Note – Some airlines will not fly cats when forecasted temperature are above a certain point.
  • Book direct flights when possible.
  • Tell any airline employee that you come in contact with that you are traveling with a cat.
  • Make sure and place “LIVE ANIMAL” on the crate/carrier as well as arrows to show the up-right position.
  • Make sure your cat is microchipped in case of separation.
  • Carry a current photo of your cat in case of separation.
  • If traveling outside of the United States, make sure to call the Foreign Office to check on health care requirements.
  • All airlines require that a cat be examined by a veterinarian prior to departure (no more than 10 days prior).
  • Have health and rabies certificates handy at all times.


By Land
    • Be sure and use some form of restraint while traveling with a cat in a moving vehicle. Without proper restraint, a sudden stop or accident can cause a cat to become a flying projectile that can injure you, your passengers or themself.
    • Pick a type of restraint that works best with your cat’s size and temperament, as well as the size of the vehicle.
    • Crates should be large enough to allow cats to stand, sit, lie down and turn around. Make sure crates/carriers are secure and can’t slide around.
    • Make sure your cat is familiar with the type of restraint you choose before going on long trips. Start with short drives around your area to get them comfortable.
    • NEVER leave a cat alone in a car!
    • Make sure your cat is microchipped in case of separation.
    • Carry a current photo of your cat in case of separation.
    • Feed a light meal 3-4 hours before departure. Make frequent stops to allow your cat to eat, drink, use the restroom, and stretch their legs.
    • Always travel with vaccine papers, food, bowls, litter box, grooming supplies, medications, kitty first-aid kit, toys, beds/blankets, and any other objects that would make your cat feel safer.
    • Train- Amtrak does not allow any pets except for service dogs. Local and commuter trains have their own policies.


      Bus- Greyhound and other companies do not allow any pets except for service dogs. Local buses have their own policies.


    Call and ask before planning travel.

By Sea
  • Some cruise lines allow pets on-board. Ask about pet policies when booking.
  • May not be suitable for cats that do not handle confined quarters well or for cats that do not do well with decreased physical activity.
  • Make sure that your pet has their very own life preserver (approved for pet use). Look for ones in bright colors and that have a loop/handle along the back (allows for easier pick up out of water).
  • Make sure and have health and rabies certificates on hand at all time.
  • Make sure to bring along food, water, toys, medications, kitty first-aid kit, blankets/beds, etc.
  • Be careful of saltwater. Do NOT allow your cat to drink saltwater. And ALWAYS rinse your cat with fresh water after swimming, to help prevent skin problems.
  • Monitor your cat’s sun exposure. Use sunscreen that is approved for pet use.
  • Although it is rare, some cats might become sea-sick during your voyage. Ask your veterinarian to prescribe a medication that you can have on hand.


Resources for International Pet Travel

If you are exporting to a foreign country, we encourage you to look at the following links for your proposed country to see what is required and bring information to the veterinary visit. If your pet is in need of a Health Certificate please call us to make an appointment.

What do I need to know? The following are some helpful links for determining what you need to do in order to take your pet to another country.

Summer is the perfect time to spend with family and friends. Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy more time with your furry friends and family!