Safer than Giving Cats Pills: Transporting

jesika jesika · Updated April 15, 2024

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Transporting your cat doesn’t have to be stressful. Whether traveling to a new far-off location, getting a cat from a distant breeder, or relocating to a new state, here’s everything you need to know to safely transport your cat or kitten.

Transporting a Cat Safely

Choose a safe and comfortable mode of transportation to ship your cat. Cats are usually better off in a comfortable, familiar environment, so creating a comfortable environment throughout the journey is helpful.

Finalize the mode of travel at the earliest opportunity. Various factors, such as distance, time, and comfort, can affect your decision. You have the following options for transporting a cat:

By Road

The most convenient way to safely transport a cat is by road. You can take your cat in the car if the traveling distance is driveable. Your cat may feel more comfortable traveling in the car with you by their side. Another option is to travel by train. Amtrak allows cats up to 20 lbs to travel in their coach class. However, your cat should be kept inside its carrier at all times during the journey.  

By Air

Airlines are now more welcoming towards pets than ever. If the distance is long, choosing an airline can be a feasible option for reducing travel time. You can ship your kitten as air cargo or a carry-on. If you wish to keep your cat by your side throughout the journey, you can transport them as a carry-on. Otherwise, you can ship them as air cargo. Bear in mind that either option is likely to be stressful for your cat, but the cargo option is very likely to end up being the worst mode of transport for any animal.

By Sea

Only a limited number of shipping carriers allow cats and other animals to travel by sea. Most ferries don’t allow cats in the passenger cabins and keep them secure in their crates in the car deck. Before choosing a ferry, you should ensure that your cat isn’t prone to motion sickness.

Ship Your Cat Properly by Air

Animals become your family, so taking all necessary precautions to ensure a safe journey for your pets is essential. Here’s a checklist to help you ship a cat safely:

Choose a Suitable Date

Selecting a date that matches your schedule and travel requirements is necessary to avoid last-minute hassles. If you’re planning to travel by air, you can call the airlines and schedule your cat’s travel ahead of time. Live animal transportation should be scheduled during the week for better service and prompt action if anything goes wrong since the airlines are less busy mid-week. 

Carefully Study the Company Guidelines

To select an appropriate transport mode, you should understand the guidelines about pet travel that will help you understand how your cat will travel and what preparations you need to make before the journey. Some airlines and transport companies have strict kennel requirements and documentation processes that must be checked off before the trip. Airlines prohibit the transport of snub-nosed cats such as Exotic Shorthairs, Persian or Burmese cats, as they are more vulnerable to oxygen deprivation at higher altitudes.

Select a Crate

A sturdy carrier is essential whether you are transporting your cat by ground or air. The crate keeps your cat safe during the trip and allows the pet transporters to handle your pet conveniently. You must select an appropriate size crate for your cat that lets your pet move a little while preventing it from sliding during the transition. The kennel should have proper ventilation for airflow and a familiar blanket or towel to ease its fear.

Acquaint the Cat With Its Carrier

To ensure your cat remains comfortable and calm during the journey, you must familiarize your cat with its carrier at least 10-15 days before the date of travel. You can add a layer of absorbent padding in the crate to make it cozy and soft for your cat.  

Get a Health Certificate

Most airlines and shipment services will require a valid health certificate for your cat, valid within ten days before they travel. You can get a health certificate from a veterinarian after they thoroughly examine your animal. If your cat suffers from any diseases or injuries, it must be stated clearly in the health certificate, alongside all vaccination records.

Consult a Veterinarian Before Sedating Your Pet

If you’re worried that your cat may be uncomfortable or stressed during the journey, you may want to use a tranquilizer. But, you must consult your veterinarian before using any sedatives or tranquilizers. The effect of tranquilizers in high altitudes is unpredictable. Your veterinarian can guide you about what is best for your cat.

Prepare All Documents

You should keep all documents ready and organized before the travel. You may be required to sign a live animal checklist confirming that your cat has been given food and water in the past four hours before check-in. Keep other documents, such as health certificates and declarations, ready.

Label the Crate 

The crate should be labeled appropriately with essential instructions such as LIVE ANIMAL and THIS SIDE UP written on all four sides. While tagging and labeling your carrier, be careful not to cover the ventilation outlets. Affix a travel label on the crate displaying pertinent information, including your name, address, contact number, and final destination.

Prepare Your Cat

Start preparing your cat the moment you know it will be traveling. Always clip your cat’s nails to avoid any injuries during the trip. Collar your pet with your name and address mentioned on it. Ensure the collar doesn’t get caught in the crate door, crevices, or other holes. You can also add a permanent ID and a temporary traveling ID to the collar. You can take your cat on car rides in its crate to prepare it for the journey.

Drop Off and Pickup

Most airlines and pet transporters have designated drop-off spots where you can drop your cat off for departure. Try to calm your pet before the journey. While picking up the cat, be on time and avoid delaying the pick up as it may create chaos for the pet transporters.

Why Choose CitizenShipper?

Airline and possibly rail service can be relatively fast over longer distances; however, a cat in a cargo hold cannot get food or water or have any oversight if something goes wrong. Hiring a reliable driver who transports pets for a living is a great alternative.

The ideal solution for transporting a cat that you cannot accompany yourself, safely and at affordable rates, is through CitizenShipper. We offer superior pet shipping services with an extensive network of trusted drivers across the country. You can choose the transporter that suits your budget and matches your expectations. 

Want to ship a cat seamlessly? Get in touch with us today!