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Cats on the plane: requirements and what to do before and after the trip
Cats on the plane: requirements and what to do before and after the trip

Traveling by car is one thing and another, completely different, is traveling by plane. THE cats in the plane they face high altitudes with difficulty and for them this experience can become traumatic. What to do?

If you want take your cat with you on the plane, the first thing to do is to check the conditions under which your furry friend will be forced to travel. Sometimes the animals are put in the hold and this is a great stress for the cat, because quite low temperatures are often reached in these rooms. In other cases, however, the company allows the presence of the animal in the cabin as long as it is inside cat carriers of suitable size.

British Shorthair Silver Tabby Pictures and Features
British Shorthair Silver Tabby Pictures and Features

Requirements to be respected

Before taking cats on the plane, make sure you comply with the following requirements and good advice:

  • have your cat undergo a complete check-up by taking him to the trusted vet to ensure he is in good health for a stressful plane ride
  • consult the regulations and fares of the airline you have chosen to travel with, perhaps by consulting customer assistance directly
  • make sure that the pet carrier is the right size allowed by the airline you are traveling with
  • make sure that the airline is informed of the presence of the animal on board
  • check that for the chosen holiday there are no stopovers in transit countries, because the cat could be subjected to any health checks
  • check that in the country of destination chosen as a travel destination there are no controls or restrictions by consulting the local Embassy, the Consulate or the official website of the International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • make sure that the cat has an identification tag in order, so as to rest assured in case of loss.

Passport for animals

pet passport
pet passport

Cats are also obliged to travel with a passport identification, which is issued by the licensed veterinary health services at the request of the owner. The passport includes all the data necessary to identify the animal: photograph, personal data, vaccinations, medical examinations and any other information on the state of health that may be considered relevant.

As stated in Regulation (EU) 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013, with regard to all movements of cats by plane and other animals within the countries of the European Union, the identification of animals must take place:

  • Through an identification tattoo (if affixed before 3 July 2011)
  • Through an electronic identification system (microchip or transponder whose identification number must be written on the passport)
  • Through individual identification passport. If your pet's passport was issued before December 29, 2014, you will not need to apply for a new one. If, on the other hand, it was released after 29 December 2014, you will receive a new one.

To request and obtain the identification passport of your cat you will have to go to your trusted veterinarian. The basic requirements to be met are:

  • Microchip implantation
  • Valid anti-rabies certification.

The booking of the air ticket

Usually the presence of the cat on the plane must be declared at the time of ticket booking and sometimes the price increases due to the increase given by the presence of the animal.

cat on vacation
cat on vacation

Better in the cabin or in the hold?

Will the cat on the plane go to the cabin or to the hold? What is best for our 4-legged friend? There are tons of airlines that allow their passengers to transport in the cabin animals, as long as they have a weight not exceeding 10 kg, including the pet carrier (although some companies do not accept pets over 6-8 kg). Therefore, animals weighing more than 10kg must travel in the hold, but this is not the case with cats.

It is also recalled that they are not allowed in the hold animals in heat, pregnant animals and puppies under 3 months of age.

What to do and what to avoid

The various rules how to take your cat with you on the plane are different for each airline. The reasons why there is rigid control over the presence of animals on board they are many; there are in fact people with allergies, people who are afraid or others who simply disgust themselves.

Avoid feeding your cat during the flight, as this could induce vomiting. If your pet suffers from car sickness, most likely it also suffers plane sickness and then you can consult the veterinarian who will indicate a appropriate drug which will allow the cat to travel peacefully.

Upon landing

Even the landing can be experienced badly and afterwards there is also customs control if it is a foreign country. Usually pets are not involved, but it should always be brought with you health certificate and the passport of the animal.

Finally, when you arrive at the vacation spot, let your cat out freely. He will need it!