How to Take Two Cats on a Plane – Step by Step Guide
How to Take Two Cats on a Plane – Step by Step Guide

Traveling with your beloved feline companions can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Whether it’s a short domestic flight or an international journey, ensuring your cats’ safety and comfort is a top priority. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of taking two cats on a plane. From preparation to arrival, we’ve got you covered.

Preparing Your Cats for Air Travel

Before embarking on your journey, it’s essential to prepare your cats physically and mentally for the flight.

Veterinary Checkup: Schedule a vet visit to ensure your cats are in good health and up-to-date on vaccinations. Obtain a copy of their health certificates. This not only ensures their well-being but is often a requirement for flying with pets.

Microchipping: If your cats aren’t already microchipped, consider getting this done. It can be a lifesaver in case they get lost during the journey. Make sure your contact information in the microchip database is up to date.

Acclimate to Carriers: Familiarize your cats with their travel carriers well in advance. Leave the carriers open at home, place their favorite toys and blankets inside, and reward them for entering voluntarily. This gradual acclimatization reduces anxiety on the travel day.

Training and Desensitization: Train your cats to be comfortable with the sights and sounds of an airport and an airplane. This can be achieved by playing airport or airplane sounds at home and rewarding them for remaining calm. If possible, visit the airport with your cats in the carrier before the travel day.

Packing Essentials: Pack essential items such as food, water, medications, and comfort items like blankets and toys. Ensure you have enough of these items to last the entire journey, including potential delays.

Choosing the Right Carrier

Selecting the appropriate carrier for your cats is crucial for their safety and comfort during the flight.

Size Matters: The carrier should be spacious enough for your cats to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Measure your cats beforehand to ensure the carrier size is suitable.

Quality and Durability: Invest in a high-quality, sturdy carrier that meets airline regulations. Make sure it’s well-ventilated and secure. Check with the airline for specific carrier requirements, as they can vary.

Labeling and Identification: Label the carrier with your contact information and attach a photo of your cats. This will help in case the carrier gets separated from you. Inside the carrier, include a laminated sheet with your cats’ names, your contact information, and any special care instructions.

Comfort Features: Add familiar bedding and toys to make your cats feel more at ease during the journey. Familiar scents can provide comfort in a new and potentially stressful environment.

In-Cabin vs. Cargo Hold: Discuss with your veterinarian or airline which option is best for your cats. Smaller cats are often allowed in the cabin, but larger cats may need to travel in the cargo hold. Make this decision based on what’s best for your cats’ size and temperament.

Booking Your Flights

When booking flights with two cats in tow, there are important considerations to keep in mind.

Pet-Friendly Airlines: Research airlines that have a good track record of accommodating pets and read their pet policies carefully. Some airlines are more pet-friendly than others, and their policies can vary widely.

Direct Flights: Whenever possible, choose direct flights to minimize stress on your cats. Layovers can be particularly stressful for them, and they increase the risk of delays or missed connections.

In-Cabin or Cargo Hold: Decide whether you want your cats in the cabin with you or in the cargo hold. This choice may depend on the airline, the size of your cats, and your destination.

Booking Early: As soon as your travel plans are confirmed, book your cats’ flights. Airlines often have limited spots available for pets, so early booking is essential.

Review Pet Policies: Carefully review the airline’s specific pet policies. This includes requirements for carriers, health certificates, and any fees associated with pet travel.

Traveling with Cats: At the Airport

Navigating the airport with your cats can be a complex task. Here’s what you need to know.

Check-in Procedures: Arrive early to allow ample time for check-in. Follow the airline’s specific instructions for traveling with pets. These instructions may include documentation checks, security screenings, and carrier inspections.

Security Screening: Prepare for security checks, where you’ll need to remove your cats from their carriers. Use a secure harness and leash during this process to ensure they don’t escape. Keep calm and provide reassurance to your cats.

Boarding: Board the plane last to reduce the time your cats spend in their carriers. Ensure their carriers are stowed securely in the cabin or cargo hold, following airline regulations.

In-Flight Care: During the flight, keep an eye on your cats for signs of distress and provide them with food, water, and comfort as needed. Ensure they have access to their litter box, especially during longer flights. This might require a trip to the airplane lavatory designated for pet use.

Cabin vs. Cargo: If your cats are traveling in the cargo hold, stay informed about the cargo hold conditions. Ensure it’s adequately pressurized and temperature-controlled to keep your cats comfortable.

Landing and Beyond

Upon arrival, your journey isn’t quite over.

Arrival Procedures: Deplane carefully and retrieve your cats promptly. Ensure they have access to their litter box, and offer them some familiar comforts. Allow them to acclimate to the new environment at their own pace, whether it’s a hotel room or a new home.

Settling In: Once you reach your destination, give your cats time to acclimate to their new surroundings. Maintain routines to minimize stress. Offer plenty of love and attention to help them feel secure and at ease in their new location.

Health Check: After the flight, schedule another vet visit to make sure your cats are still in good health. Stress from travel can sometimes affect their well-being.

Exploration: Allow your cats to explore their new surroundings at their own pace. Keep them indoors for a few days to prevent them from wandering and getting lost in an unfamiliar area.

Routine and Familiarity: Stick to your cats’ routine as closely as possible. Maintain their feeding and playtime schedule to provide them with a sense of normalcy.

Conclusion: Taking two cats on a plane requires careful planning and preparation, but it’s certainly achievable. By following these steps and being attentive to your cats‘ needs throughout the journey, you can ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience for your feline companions.

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