How to transport a cat in an airplane, train or other form of transport? Cats are stay—at-home and do not like to travel. But almost every owner sometimes has to transport their pets. A trip to the vet, to friends on vacation or to a new house when moving — all this is stress for the animal. Even a small kitten gets used to the house quickly enough. Any new situation seems unusual and dangerous to him. He suddenly finds himself among many new smells, sounds, unfamiliar people and animals. Calm behavior on the trip does not mean that everything is fine. The pet cannot run away or defend itself, as instinct suggests. Most likely, your pet froze in fear.
Even on short trips, it is advisable to make sure that the cat feels confident. During a long journey, this is necessary. Otherwise, prolonged stress will lead to exhaustion of the cat’s body, the development of neuroses and serious diseases.
Proper preparation for the journey will make life easier for the pet and the owners.
HOW TO PREPARE A CAT FOR A TRIP
To make it easier for the kitten to endure the trip, prepare for it in advance. Give him time to study the carrier. Put a treat or a favorite toy there, lay a soft cloth on the bottom. Leave the carrier open in an accessible place: let the pet perceive it as a new house. When he gets used to it a little, lock him inside, gradually increasing the time from a few seconds to several minutes. Try lifting the carrier and walking around the apartment with it. Do not forget to praise or treat your pet when you release it.
Gradually increase the route of «walks»: go out to the entrance, into the yard, try to ride in a car or public transport. The cat will get acquainted with the outside world, but will feel safe in a familiar carrier.
The cat should not be led on a leash with a collar: this can lead to injury. Buy a special cat harness. It is important that it fits the size. Get used to the harness gradually. First put it on the cat without zipping it up. Distract attention with a treat or a toy. Then start to fasten the harness, leave the pet in it for a few minutes. When he gets used to it, try to fasten the leash. In the first walks around the house and on the street, let the kitten choose where to go. After each exercise, be sure to encourage your pet. If he’s nervous, wait until he calms down. Otherwise, the kitten will decide that you are rewarding for your concern.
Adaptation is a long process. Start preparing a few weeks before the trip.
WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU
- When traveling, you can not do without carrying. It provides safety and convenience of transportation. Choose a quality product: strong, spacious enough, with a reliable door. Put a familiar litter and a favorite toy inside: the pet will feel calmer with them. For warm weather, it is better to choose a well-ventilated carrier. In cold weather — to insulate it.
- Spread an absorbent diaper and take spare ones: the cat may urinate or overturn a bowl of water.
- A collar with contact information. In nature, a small LED flashlight will not hurt: with it you will not lose sight of the kitten. Attach the address tag to the carrier as well. Take a picture of your pet: this will make it easier to search if he gets lost.
- The harness and leash will come in handy if you need to get the animal out of the carrier.
- Be sure to bring bowls for food and water and a means for washing them.
- It is worth taking water with you: you will not have to search for it, and the pet will not have an upset stomach from unusual water.
- On a long trip, you will need a tray and the usual filler, bags for waste.
- A small blanket will be useful for protection from drafts. If the kitten is nervous, cover the carrier. Make sure that the blanket does not interfere with air access and does not cause overheating.
- Assemble the first aid kit. If you are going to nature, be sure to put an antiseptic and dressing material. Do not use sedatives without consulting a veterinarian. It is advisable that the doctor pick up medicines for poisoning and allergies.
- Documents: it is necessary to issue a veterinary passport and get vaccinations. To travel by transport, the kitten will need a special ticket.
- Wet wipes and a roller for clothes. They will help to avoid trouble if your pet gets something dirty.
WHAT TO FEED YOUR PET ON THE ROAD
Even cats accustomed to traveling often refuse to eat on the road. Do not force your pet: for short trips, this is normal. Feed him about six hours before departure. In transport, animals are often seasick and can vomit. On a long journey, take the usual dry food, which will provide full nutrition.
In a stressful situation, a kitten is able not to drink all day. Try to get him drunk. Especially if you travel by plane or in the warmer months. Heat and dry air lead to dehydration, it is dangerous for feline health. In a new place, mix water with «homemade». A sudden switch to unusual water sometimes causes digestive upset.
What documents are needed to transport a pet
- A veterinary passport with the data of the animal and the owner, a note about vaccinations and treatment against parasites. It is issued in any veterinary clinic. Kittens are usually given a passport at the first vaccination. Make sure that you make a note of the injected drug and the date of vaccination. It also includes data on surgical interventions, features of color and body structure, and chipping. To travel abroad, issue an international passport in English. If you have lost a pet document, it is better to make a new one. The clinic retains information about the procedures performed, but it will not be possible to restore the stickers from the vaccine ampoules.
Keep in mind that the execution of the document takes time: take care of it in advance.
- Some countries, in addition to the veterinary passport, request other documents: import permits from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, certificates of veterinary examination, a test for the determination of antibodies to rabies, a test for various diseases of infections, etc. To obtain them, the cat must be in a satisfactory state of health. All vaccinations and procedures were done on time and entered in the passport. The examination is carried out no earlier than 30 days after the last vaccination. The certificate contains information about the owner, the quarantine of the cat and the approximate route of the trip. Therefore, for each new trip you will have to design them in a new way. Passing a veterinary examination is not just a formality. This helps to be sure that your pet will survive the trip without harm to health.
WHAT VACCINATIONS MAY BE NEEDED
Mandatory vaccination is against rabies. It protects your pet from a deadly disease. In addition, it is impossible to enter an airplane with an animal or cross the border of any country without it. Be sure to get vaccinated no later than 30 days before departure. During this period, the formation of antibodies occurs. In some countries, an additional antibody test result will be required.
Viral rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia and calcivirosis are fatal for cats. Sometimes the infection even gets into the apartment — on the shoes of the owners. When traveling, the risk of infection increases. It is advisable to protect your pet by getting vaccinated. In some countries, these vaccinations are mandatory for entry.
After vaccination, you will have to endure quarantine: from 15 to 31 days. According to the rules of some countries, entry is allowed after quarantine for 90 days from the date of receiving a negative test for rabies antibodies.
Specify the list of vaccinations required for entry in the rules of the country you are going to. This will help to avoid unpleasant surprises at the border.
DO I NEED TO CHIP AN ANIMAL
Each country independently decides whether it is necessary to chip cats for domestic trips or not, there are no clear international requirements for chipping for domestic trips. But without this, you will not be able to travel abroad.
Be sure to ask the veterinarian if the information about the kitten has been entered into the international animal search system. There are a large number of search engines, both national and international. The most famous of them are Animalface (Russia and CIS countries), Petmaxx, EuroPetNet and others. If your pet’s chip cannot be checked at the border, you will not be allowed to enter the country with it.
Vaccination against rabies should be carried out after chipping or simultaneously with it. If the cat was vaccinated earlier, the procedure will have to be repeated.
TRAVELING IN TRANSPORT
Before traveling, carefully study the rules of travel with an animal from the selected carrier and the requirements for entering the destination country with it. If you find out about them at the train station, at the airport or at the border, you will not be able to arrange something on the spot.
- It is better to carry a cat in hand luggage on an airplane. Next to you, she will feel calmer. But for the transportation of animals in the cabin there is a weight limit: up to 8-10 kg together with the carrier. A kitten will fit into these requirements, but there are difficulties with adult animals of large breeds. Too heavy a cat will fly in the luggage compartment. If possible, choose a direct flight. Passing the inspection during the transplant is an additional stress for your pet. A ticket for him is issued through the carrier’s contact center.
Arrive at the airport in advance: passing veterinary control sometimes takes several hours. In the country of arrival, you will have to pass the control again. Do not take the kitten out of the carrier without a harness. Even a pet accustomed to traveling can get scared and break out of your hands.
- To travel by train, you will also have to take a ticket for a kitten. Be sure to check with the contact center the requirements for transportation: they will not let you into any carriage with an animal. This should also be clarified in advance.
Traveling by rail will take longer than a flight. Provide your pet with everything necessary for a long journey. Be sure to fasten the harness, releasing the animal to warm up.
- It’s easiest to transport a kitten in a car. There is no need to pass checks if you do not cross the border. In addition, it is easier to get used to the car in advance by making small trips. Do not leave your pet unattended: talk to him periodically, praise him for good behavior. The kitten must stay in the carrier all the way: free movement around the cabin is dangerous for him and other passengers. Make sure that the carrier is well ventilated, does not heat up in the sun and does not stand in a draft. Even for trips in your car, you need to get vaccinated, undergo an examination. Outside the home, the risk of catching an infection is high. Ask the veterinarian to pick up remedies for motion sickness: this happens often with cats.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CARRIER
Do not skimp on carrying: good quality will ensure the comfort and safety of your pet and the convenience of its transportation. Make sure that the door closes securely so that the pet does not get out. A rigid plastic carrier is necessary if the animal has to be put in the luggage compartment. In other cases, a textile with a rigid frame is suitable. It will be more convenient for the kitten in it. The size depends on the parameters of the pet. If he lies down freely, sits down and turns 360 degrees — everything is fine, it’s convenient to be inside. Do not forget about yourself: handles or straps will ensure comfortable movement of the carrier.
Before the trip, find out all the requirements for the transportation of fluffy passengers, carefully monitor the health and well-being of the pet. Then the trip will be comfortable and safe.