Cat Travel Cage
What is the best kind of cat travel cage? I am thinking here of flight travel. For traveling in a car there are a myriad of cat and pet cages or carrying devices, all of which will be fine. But when we fly with a cat we are using a third party (an outside agency, the airline) and they are bound to have rules generally in addition to rules about cat travel cages and cat travel. Also as a cat travelling on a plane is usually going to be travelling for considerably longer than the usual car journey, extra provisions need to be in place. There is also the fact that cat might be in the hold so cannot be monitored directly. And it is oh so stressful………..
A seasoned traveller at Geneva airport doing what humans do, snoozing while waiting for that damned delayed flight! – photo by ECOgarden
This is what I would do in preparation:
- Telephone the airline and find out exactly what their requirements are regarding pet carriers, cat cages. Different airlines may have different size requirements. And if the cat travel cage is the wrong size it won’t get on the plane and that is the end of the journey — chaos follows.
- Pets need a ticket, so that has got to be bought and as mentioned if we travel with more than one cat or pet it may be necessary to leave one in the aircraft’s baggage hold area. That will probably affect the ticket price (i.e. the cat in the cabin will have a more expensive ticket!)
- The phone call to the airline (or brochure) should include details of the airline’s pet age restrictions and companion animal health code. These will probably include [this is not a comprehensive list] — (a) a minimum age requirement of 8 weeks and weaned (b) no more than 2 kittens 8 weeks to 6 months of age and weighing 20 lbs or less may be transported in the same kennel (c) a vaccination certificate for all adult cats (d) a veterinarian’s health certificate dated within 10 days for domestic flights and 2 weeks for international flights (e) the airline may require a vet’s note to say that the cat can withstand temperatures within a certain range. Clearly, regulations and rules will vary from country to country as well as airline to airline.
- The cat travel cage should have sufficient space to stand and turn inside the cage (subject to size requirements if travelling in the cabin).
- The cage should be strong enough to prevent crushing and the floor should be water tight to prevent urine leakage (absorbing base would be useful)
- The cat travel cage should be well ventilated (goes without saying really).
- The cage should have a stable water provider unit or tray that ideally can be topped up from outside the cage.
- Ideally the cat should be familiar with the cage before travelling as it may help reduce stress.
- The cage should be identified clearly with the person’s and cat’s details and particulars.
- Tranquillizing cats before flights should be done with a vet’s approval only.
- The cat should be fed and watered before travel and I’d make sure she had gone to the toilet before travel too and I mean No.1s and No 2s). I know my cat’s habits so can tell when she will go to the toilet (more or less).
- It might be that our cat can get out of the carrier (if in the cabin) in which case a leash is a must I would have thought, which means leash training too (gets complicated doesn’t it! – see cat on a leash)
- Clearly insurance needs to be looked at especially if our cat is valuable financially (all companion cats are valuable emotionally or should be).
- It is probably wise to have our cat checked over by a vet before flying, just in case.
- Foreign countries may require quarantine (i.e. a country that is rabies free from a country where there is rabies). This should be checked out but perhaps the vet’s certificate will cover this.
- The flight time should be minimized, ideally, with direct flights. The thought of getting a connecting flight with my cat would give me nightmares!
That’s about all I can think of………