Yesterday we climbed into my parents truck with 2 suitcases each, some carry on baggage and…OUR CAT! Yup, we were about to let Nikita take her first flight. And it would be an almost 24 hour affair, but she made it–or more like–we made it 🙂
We’re proud to say that she did really well. She DOES NOT like cars but as soon as we got to the airport she was an angel. She meowed a bit, but she didn’t scratch and try to escape the carrier while we were checking in, buying her ticket (yes, she has to have a “ticket” which cost only about 100 euros, as she flew in cabin with us) eating breakfast, shopping around to finish our last few baht etc. I guess we were expecting the worst so we were pleasantly surprised.
Once we boarded the plane, she was a bit restless, but fortunately those sitting next to us were very accommodating and her meowing and fighting the carrier was only during the first 15 mins and perhaps a bit mid-flight because by then she had been the carrier for about 8 hours.
We felt a bit bad for her as she’s not allow any food or water in case she gets motion sickness, but that’s apparently the only way to travel with cats in the cabin.
If you’re planning to travel with cat in cabin on an airplane here are the tips that worked for us:
- Get your cat used to the carrier–we bought her carrier about 5 months before the flight so she had time to get her used to it.
- Get your cat used to riding in a car/vehicle–we ride on motorbikes so she doesn’t mind motorbikes at all. But because we didn’t get her used to riding in a car, as soon as she gets in one, she becomes a little hellion. I don’t know if it’s because cats easily become claustrophobic or because she was motion sick, but she seriously did some damage to the carrier trying to escape.
- Feliway spray is a life saver–it works! We accidentally forgot to spray and bring it along when we took her to the vet for her last de-worming and tick and flea treatment and she was crazy the whole trip there and back. But when we sprayed her carrier on the way to the airport she was almost 80% calmer!
- Don’t feed your cat 8 hours before the flight–yes, this seems cruel, but we did this and she didn’t get sick, puke, or anything, so this suggestion works. They also say don’t give water, but I felt too bad for her so I let her have some water before the flight.
- You need a leash–most cats don’t like being on a leash but you will need one as there are a couple security checks where you will have to take the cat out of the carrier and carry through the x-ray etc. Without a lease you might find yourself chasing your cat around the airport…cats are darn fast when they want to be!
- Bring a blanket–it get’s cold on almost any airplane so be sure you have something to cover the carrier to help keep your cat warm and it will also help “mute” any meows…
So that was our Jet-setter Kitty adventure. Hope our tips help you if you are planning to travel with your cat in the cabin of an airplane 😉