How Do Cats Go to the Bathroom on a Plane?

A cat in a carrying case on the tarmac waiting to get on the plane

If you're planning to travel with your cat on a plane, you might be wondering how they'll go to the bathroom during the flight. While it's not the most glamorous topic, it's an important consideration for your furry friend's comfort and well-being.

Firstly, it's worth noting that not all airlines allow pets in the cabin, so you'll need to check with the airline you're flying with to see if it's an option. American Airlines, for example, does allow cats in the cabin, but there are some requirements you'll need to meet before you can bring your furry friend on board. You'll typically need to have a pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you, and your cat will need to remain in the carrier throughout the flight.

When it comes to bathroom breaks, you won't be able to let your cat out of their carrier to roam the plane. Instead, you'll need to provide them with a portable litter box. Some airlines require that you use an absorbent pad in the litter box to prevent spills, so it's worth checking with your airline to see if this is the case. Additionally, you may be able to bring cat litter on the plane, but again, it's worth checking with your airline first to see if it's allowed.

How Long Can Cats Hold Their Pee While Traveling?

Cats, like humans, have a natural urge to go to the bathroom, and holding it in for too long can be uncomfortable and even painful. When the cat is in the plane, it's important to ensure that your cat has access to a litter box to relieve themselves as needed.

The amount of time that a cat can hold their pee while traveling on a plane can vary depending on several factors, including their age, size, and overall health. Generally, cats can hold their bladder for several hours, but it's important to provide them with regular opportunities to use the litter box, especially on longer flights.

Can I Take Cat Litter On a Plane?

If your cat is traveling in the cabin with you, you may be able to take them to the airplane bathroom to use the litter box, provided that it's not occupied and you can safely maneuver your cat and their carrier in the confined space. Alternatively, you can use a portable litter box in your seat area, although this may not be possible during takeoff and landing when the seat belt sign is on.

If your cat is traveling in the cargo hold, it's important to ensure that they have access to a litter box and absorbent materials in their carrier. You can work with the airline to arrange for a designated bathroom break for your cat during a layover, if possible.

Does Feeding and Watering My Cat on the Plane Make them Need to Go to the Bathroom Sooner?

In terms of cat food and water, it's best to avoid feeding your cat right before the flight to prevent an upset stomach. Instead, you can offer them water during the flight, either by using a water dispenser attached to their carrier or by offering them water in a small dish that can fit in the carrier. It's also worth noting that some airlines may require a health certificate for your cat before they can fly.

When going through security screening, you'll need to remove your cat from their carrier and place the carrier through the metal detector. Your cat will typically go through a separate screening process in a carrier, either through the X-ray machine or a handheld scanner. It's a good idea to get your cat used to their carrier before the flight by taking them on car rides or short trips in the carrier.

In summary, while it might seem daunting to fly with your cat, it's definitely doable with some preparation. Make sure you have a suitable pet carrier, a portable litter box with absorbent pads, and water for your furry friend. And don't forget to check with your airline beforehand to ensure that you meet all their requirements for traveling with pets.

Looking to ship your pet? See how PetRelocation can help you today!


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Ask the Experts




Back to top