Flying With Older Cats

How to Travel Safely With Older Cats

Elderly cat flying in cabin or cargo

Planning pet transport for young, healthy cats can be stressful enough, and arranging a move for an older pet can be particularly overwhelming.

That doesn’t mean senior cats can’t travel safely, but preparing them for an international or cross country relocation simply requires a little extra time and effort. Read on for a few tips from our expert team of Relocation Specialists as you start to plan your cat’s safe move.

Special Considerations for Flying With Senior Cats

Note: Every pet move is a little different, so let these tips serve as general guidelines and contact a PetRelocation Specialist to learn more about your specific relocation options. We'd be happy to help!

Vet Visits

First and foremost, check in with your veterinarian before starting plans to relocate your senior cat. Requesting a geriatric exam to uncover any underlying issues and taking the time to ask questions are essential steps, as no one is more qualified than you and your trusted vet when it comes to assessing your cat's well-being. 

Travel Crate

As with any pet relocation, it’s strongly advised to spend some time crate training your cat in the weeks before your move, especially if they only associate the kennel with stressful experiences (for example, going to the vet). When cats feel comfortable in their crate and see it as a safe space, they are likely to feel more calm during the trip, so try to help them get used to it as much as possible. Here are a few cat crate training tips to help you on your way. 

Water and Food

Hydration is highly important for all pets, so be sure to offer plenty of water before and after the flight and make sure water cups are securely affixed to the inside of the crate and filled at check-in. As for food, older cats sometimes have more sensitive stomachs, so we recommend offering food mindfully (small amounts at least 2-3 hours before departure).

Pet Friendly Airline

Not all airlines offer the same level of care when it comes to transporting pets, so research your options and choose a carrier with an established pet safe program. Your PetRelocation Specialist will advise you further on this matter to make sure your cat is always kept in a temperature controlled environment and properly cared for.

Staying Calm

Pets, even cats, tend to be in tune with your emotions (especially older cats who you have a strong bond with), so for their sake do your best to stay calm and positive during your move. We know it’s easier said than done, but exercise, taking a moment to stop and breathe, and discussing any concerns you have with your Relocation Specialist can all help.

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