Before you go
Ask yourself: will my cat be comfortable and happy on this trip? Some animals
simply prefer to stay at home and a "homesick", possibly motion-sick pet will
ruin everyone’s trip. In such a case it’s probably wiser to leave your pet with
a friend, relative or hire a "petsitter". If that is not possible, you might
consider boarding him or her at a clean, well-run cattery.
If you do decide to take your pet along, you must take as much care with the
preparation of your pet’s trip as your own. If you plan to travel by plane, bus,
train or boat, find out if your pet will be welcome and, what kind of
reservations and transport arrangements must be made. If you’ll be staying at
hotels, motels or campgrounds, you must check if animals are allowed or if
kennel facilities are available. If you’re staying with friends or family, make
sure your pet is also invited.
Traveling by plane
Traveling by car
- Contact the airline you wish to fly well in advance – each has its own
regulations and reservations for your pet will be necessary.
- Be sure to ask about the airline’s rules for pet crates or carriers.
- Try to book a direct flight or one with a minimum of stops.
- The airline may allow your pet in the passenger cabin if your crate or carrier
can fit under the seat in front of you. If your pet must travel in the cargo
hold, be at the airport early, place him in his travel crate yourself and pick
him up promptly when you land.
- Establish that your pet will be in a pressurized area of the plane – cargo holds
can get very hot or very cold without environmental controls.
Traveling by bus, train or boat
- If your pet is not used to being in a car, take him or her for a few short rides
before your trip. Your cat will probably be safer and more comfortable in a
- Give the main meal at the end of the day. Dry food is more convenient but if
your pet needs canned food, dispose of any unused portions if they cannot be
- It is not recommended to leave your cat in a parked car for a prolonged period
of time. If you must leave your pet in a parked car, put the cat in the carrier,
lock all doors and open windows enough to provide good ventilation. Remember, on
hot days, the temperature in a parked car can rise to dangerous levels in just
minutes and your pet could die of heat stroke.
- Not all bus lines allow you to travel with your pet, so phone ahead for
- Amtrak does not permit pets to travel in passenger cars, but they may travel in
cages as checked luggage.
- Some cruise ships do welcome pets. Check with the cruise line or ask your travel
Wherever you go
- Ensure your pet ALWAYS wears a collar with complete identification and a license
tag. Microchipping with HomeAgain® is the way to ensure you will
retrieve your animal should it be lost.
- Pack his or her favorite food, toys and dishes, a cooler of water, a litter box
and a leash.
- Have your pet examined and vaccinated, if necessary, by your veterinarian before
a long trip.
- If your pet must travel in a crate or carrier, be sure it is strong, large
enough for him or her to stand up and turn around, has a place for food and
water, and a litter box, is well ventilated, has a leak-proof bottom and closes
- Contact the consulate or embassy of your destination or ask your travel agent
for advice if you are planning a trip abroad with your pet, as health and
vaccination regulations vary greatly.
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