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Taking your cat with you on a flight is difficult enough, especially if you are a single owner, but carrying two cats is a mission. How do you go about transporting them?
This can be a rather daunting endeavor. When flying you want to have a relaxed and stress free experience for both you and your cats. In this article we provide information and tips on Flying With Two Cats On a Plane.
Make Sure They Get Along
An important element to consider are your cat’s temperaments. Some household cats do not get along when in a confined space, while others are quite comfortable sharing a small space.
You may not find any signs of aggressive behavior until later. Your cats may become annoyed with each other or find themselves in need of more personal space even if they have a close bond. Purchasing a large carrier will help decrease the chance of tension between your cats
However, if they still show signs of aggression or irritation, it is best to consider traveling with them in separate carriers.
Take Them to a Vet
Before making travel plans it is best to take them to your local vet. Have them check your cats for tics, fleas, skin problems, and other sickness or diseases. Some illnesses can be contagious and dangerous towards other animals and even people, so taking the time to see the vet is crucial.
You will also want to make sure your cats’ heart and lungs are strong enough for changes in air pressure. If they are too weak to undertake the stress, it is best to let them travel some other way instead.
Some airlines require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection before letting your cats go on a flight. Some also require you to vaccinate your cats before taking them along on a flight. Even if the current airline or country doesn’t require their medical records, it may still be a good idea to bring along these documents and vaccination tags just in case there is a bad turn of events.
Every airline has its own rules on pet travel. It’s important to research the rules of your airline of choice. Most will allow you to bring your cats with you, however, rather be safe and check with the airline and its rules regarding pets.
Some airlines do not allow cats to travel in the same carrier, others however will allow it providing that there is sufficient airflow. If you have two of them in a carrier, they must be able to lie down and turn in positions natural for them and be able to stand while not exceeding the maximum size. Weight limitations should also never reach over 100lbs (45kg), of which the weight of your carrier and pet is combined according to most U.S. airlines.
The material your carrier is made of is also important to take into consideration. Plastic, metal, wooden and collapsible carriers with waterproof bottoms are accepted, as well as ones with casted or welded doors. Your cats must not be able to stick their heads out through the bars, as they could end up hurt.
Make sure you have prepared your carrier before the flight. Airlines will require you to keep your cats inside the carrier at all times. This means that your cat will have to use the bathroom inside the carrier, so be prepared to deal with that during the flight. Airlines will require you to use water-absorbent material to prevent any leakage.
If you choose to put your cats in the same carrier, they have to be around the same size and weight. They should weigh no more than 20lbs (9.07kg) each.
They must also be the same breed of cat. Some airlines also do not allow exotic cats, so check with your airline regarding cat breeds.
And lastly, if your cats are still kittens, do not travel with them until they are at least 8 weeks old. The effects of the flight will be too strenuous on the newly born kittens and could even be fatal.
If you have any questions about your particular choice of airline, don’t hesitate to get a hold of them and ask questions regarding their flight rules around pets.
Choosing the Right Carrier
Now that you have sorted out your flight and have done your research, you’ll want to have a carrier perfect for transporting your pet cats.
First, decide whether or not they are traveling in the same carrier. Try doing a few tests at home with your carrier to see how they get along when inside for long periods of time. If your cats get along well enough to remain peaceful throughout your flight, you can transport them in the same carrier.
When buying a carrier for your cats to share, make sure to measure their width and height. You will want a carry-on that will allow for maximum movement, while also making sure that it will fit under the seat in front of you.
While it’s perfectly fine to transport your cats in the same carrier, it is always recommended that you consider purchasing separate carriers to give them plenty of breathing room and to prevent any unforeseen conflict that could arise from the stress of the flight.
If you choose to bring your cats in separate carriers, consider purchasing the seat next to you, as there may not be enough space under the seat for two carriers.
Some carriers have a divider in the middle. If you would prefer to only bring one carrier on your flight, then considering this as an option would be a benefit.
When choosing a carrier, always be sure to find one with adequate ventilation. If it does not, your airline may refuse to allow your cat to travel at all.
Keep Them Comfortable
When flying with your two cats, you will want to keep them comfortable, especially if it’s a long flight. Keeping them comfortable will help them from getting stressed and irritated during your flight.
Bring along their favorite blanket to lie on inside their carrier to give them something familiar to relax on. Bringing a favorite toy can also help them feel more comfortable. However, always make sure their toys are made of materials that will be allowed on the flight, such as soft toys.
Training Your Cats for the Flight
If your cats are not used to sleeping or traveling in carriers, they may be uncomfortable and jumpy when it’s time to travel. By preparing them for carrier travel, you can help your cats remain calm and comfortable.
The first step will be introducing them to the carrier. By placing their bedding, toys, or treats inside, you can encourage them to step in to explore and smell it. Try to prompt them into sleeping inside the carrier using their bedding.
If your cats seem to be comfortable inside the carrier, try to close the door and observe their reactions. If they start meowing and demanding to be let out try giving them treats to quiet them. As they grow more comfortable, start to pick up the carrier and move it around the house to get them used to the sensation.
Once you feel like they are calm and ready, take them for a drive to get them used to the sensation of traveling. If your cats share a carrier, observe their behavior towards each other and whether or not they become aggressive.
If you are satisfied with their behavior and have made any necessary travel adjustments, you are ready to bring your cats on a flight.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Which Airlines Allow Two Cats in a Carry-On
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines will allow two adult cats per carry-on. Airlines such as Hawaiian Air, Frontiers Airline, and Delta will only permit two kittens per carry-on. When choosing your airline, be sure to check each of their rules regarding the weight and age of your cats.
Can Cats Handle Long Flights?
Depending on your cat, they can stay in their carrier for up to eight or so hours without problems. However, if your cat is energetic or easily stressed, they may not handle long flights very well.
If your cat doesn’t travel well, consult a vet for an effective way to travel with them. During a flight, a comfortable carrier and an occasional scratch through the bars may help them to calm down.
Is Flying Stressful For Cats?
While there are some exceptions to the rule, flying can be very stressful and even traumatic for your cats. It will very likely increase their anxiety, especially if they are in a confined space for long periods. Be sure to take the necessary steps to keep your cat as calm as possible.
Should I Sedate Them?
Do not sedate your cats when flying. Sedating during a flight can risk heart and lung problems which could end up being fatal to your cats. If your cats are struggling with stress, try to find an alternative way to calm them down.
How Much Does it Cost to Fly With Two Cats?
Depending on the airline, tickets for your cats can cost up to $125 or more at the time of this writing. Every airline has a unique price range, so be sure to check the prices of your airline.
Following the steps for flying with two cats on a plane as outlined in this post will help make for a stress-free flight with your beloved companions – something both you and they deserve. Enjoy your flight.