Air Travel Tips and Advice For Nervous Cats
My cats are very nervous, stressed and afraid when transported and I know they shouldn't be sedated during the flight.
They are also too big to travel in the passenger cabin. I don't know what the best option is. I am afraid it will be too stressful (long flight plus connecting flight) to move them with me.
What should I do?
Thanks for your questions—you're not alone in having concerns like these! Many people think it's impossible to move a pet (especially a nervous cat), but there are ways to minimize stress.
- First, if you decide to go forward with the move, you'll want to help your cats get used to their travel crates as much as possible. Once they can see the crate as a safe and comfortable place to be, they will be much calmer travelers. Here is an overview of our tips for how to crate train a cat.
- Second, choose a pet friendly airline. This is an extremely important part of minimizing the risks of pet travel, and we often KLM and Lufthansa for European trips due to their pet policies and good safety records.
- Though you're right that sedation is strongly discouraged, some pet owners have tried natural remedies (herbal sprays, etc.) and found some success.
- Additionally, talk to your vet, educate yourself as much as possible, and consider hiring professional assistance for your move. All of these things will help to put you into a calmer frame of mind, which will in turn help your cats to feel less anxious.
A final word: we have helped thousands of pets move safely and, again and again, we hear from our clients that the transition is much smoother than they expected it to be. Hopefully this (and the information above) helps you to start off in the right direction.
Please let us know if you have further questions or if you'd like some help with your move, and good luck with everything!
Pet Travel Question Details:
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Domestic
From: Mexico City, Mexico
To: Budapest, Hungary
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been updated with new information.