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Travelling Abroad With Your Cat

Whether you’re planning to take your cat on a short trip in the car, or you’re about to embark on an international journey by plane, check out our tips to help things go smoothly.

With a few exceptions, cats don’t usually enjoy travelling – they feel more secure in familiar surroundings. Unless you keep their carrier out at all times, cats often recognise its appearance as a sign that they’re going to be taken to the vet or to the boarding cattery and go into hiding.

Occasionally, travelling with your cat is unavoidable. With some careful preparation, you can make it easier and safer for your cat. One of the most useful things you can do is to get your cat used to going in their carrier.

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Read more about car travel with cats 

You can find more information about international travel with pets here and you can also check the requirements of individual countries regarding pet travel, by looking on their own government pages. If you need to take your cat on an aircraft, enlist the services of a reputable pet travel company, who will be experienced in managing international pet travel. Check the airline’s requirements for travel crate size and specifications. You may be able to fit a litter tray into your cat’s crate.

Most airlines won’t allow pets in the cabin and some flights can’t take animals, so it’s possible that your cat won’t be able to travel on the same flight as you do. Consider the likely weather and temperature at both ends of the journey when you plan to travel. Extreme temperatures place undue stress on animals who are waiting to be unloaded onto or from aircraft.

If possible, choose a direct flight for your cat, to minimise disruption and time spent in transit. If your cat isn’t happy when travelling, it may be tempting to give them a sedative. These can have some disadvantages, though, so it’s important to discuss this matter with your own vet well in advance of travelling. If you do agree to use a sedative, it’s advisable to give a test dose at home, well before travelling, to check how your cat responds to it. Travelling with pets can be challenging, but good planning and preparation can make all the difference to your cat.

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