If you’re planning on bringing your feline companion on an airplane trip, their incessant meowing can quickly become an annoyance to you and other passengers. But with some preparation and training, you can help minimize your cat’s meows during the flight.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Bring items like toys and treats that comfort your cat. Acclimate them to their carrier ahead of time. Ask your vet about anti-anxiety medication. Play calming music and don’t encourage meowing.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your cat quiet and content while flying the friendly skies.
Choose the Right Airline Carrier
When it comes to traveling with your cat on a plane, choosing the right airline carrier is crucial. Here are a few tips to help you select the best one:
Ensure the airline allows cats in-cabin
Not all airlines allow cats to travel in-cabin, so it’s important to check their pet policies beforehand. Some airlines may only allow cats to travel in the cargo hold, which can be stressful and potentially dangerous for your furry friend.
Look for airlines that specifically allow cats in-cabin, as this will ensure a more comfortable and secure journey for your pet.
Pick a direct flight to minimize overall travel time
When traveling with a cat, it’s best to choose a direct flight whenever possible. This will help minimize the overall travel time and reduce the chances of your cat becoming stressed or anxious during layovers or multiple boarding processes.
Direct flights also eliminate the risk of your cat getting lost during transfers, giving you peace of mind throughout the journey.
Book a window seat so your cat can look outside
Booking a window seat is a great way to keep your cat entertained and calm during the flight. Cats are naturally curious creatures, and being able to look outside and observe the surroundings can help distract them from the unfamiliar environment of the plane.
Additionally, the window seat provides a sense of security for your cat, as they can lean against the window and feel more protected.
Remember to check the specific pet policies of each airline you consider, as they may have additional requirements or restrictions. It’s also a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before the trip to ensure your cat is healthy and fit for travel.
By choosing the right airline carrier, you can make the journey much more enjoyable for both you and your feline companion.
Prepare the Cat Carrier
When it comes to traveling with your cat on a plane, it’s important to prepare the cat carrier properly to ensure your cat’s comfort and safety. Here are some essential tips to help you with that:
Get a sturdy, escape-proof carrier
Investing in a high-quality cat carrier is crucial. Look for one that is sturdy and escape-proof, with secure locks and a well-ventilated design. This will prevent your cat from escaping or getting injured during the journey.
Line it with familiar bedding and toys
Make the carrier a cozy and inviting space for your cat by lining it with familiar bedding and toys. The familiar scent will help your cat feel more secure and reduce anxiety during the flight. Additionally, including a soft blanket or towel can provide extra comfort.
Spray with pheromones like Feliway
Feliway is a synthetic pheromone spray that mimics the natural facial pheromones of cats. It can help create a calming environment for your cat by reducing stress and anxiety. Spraying the carrier with Feliway before the journey can make the experience more pleasant for your feline friend.
Let your cat get used to the carrier at home first
Before the trip, it’s a good idea to let your cat get accustomed to the carrier in a familiar environment. Leave the carrier open in your home and encourage your cat to explore it at their own pace. You can also place treats or toys inside the carrier to make it more appealing.
This will help your cat associate the carrier with positive experiences and make them more comfortable during the flight.
Keep Your Cat Calm Before the Flight
Traveling with a cat can be a challenging experience, especially when they start meowing on a plane. To ensure a smooth journey for both you and your furry friend, it’s important to keep your cat calm before the flight. Here are some tips to help you achieve just that:
Make sure your cat’s ID and health records are up to date
Prior to traveling, it’s crucial to make sure your cat’s identification and health records are up to date. This includes ensuring that your cat’s microchip is registered with your current contact information.
In case your cat gets lost during the journey, having accurate identification details will increase the chances of a safe return. Additionally, make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date and bring a copy of their health records with you, just in case it’s needed.
Ask your vet about anti-anxiety medication if needed
If your cat tends to get anxious or stressed during travel, it’s worth discussing with your vet the possibility of using anti-anxiety medication. Your vet can prescribe medication that will help keep your cat calm during the flight.
It’s important to follow the dosage instructions provided by your vet and administer the medication at the appropriate time before the flight.
Limit food before travel to prevent accidents
To avoid any accidents during the flight, it’s recommended to limit your cat’s food intake before travel. Feeding your cat a smaller meal or delaying their feeding time can help prevent any digestive issues or accidents while onboard.
However, it’s important to make sure your cat stays hydrated, so provide them with access to fresh water throughout the journey.
Play calming music and keep goodbyes brief before departing
Creating a calm and soothing environment before departing can greatly help in keeping your cat calm during the flight. Playing calming music in the background, such as classical music or specifically designed pet relaxation music, can have a soothing effect on your cat.
Additionally, it’s best to keep goodbyes brief and avoid any prolonged emotional farewells, as this can potentially increase your cat’s stress levels.
By following these tips, you can help ensure a calm and stress-free journey for your cat during air travel. Remember, keeping your cat calm before the flight is essential for their well-being and the comfort of those around you.
Manage Meowing During the Flight
Traveling with a meowing cat can be a challenge, especially on a plane where noise levels need to be kept to a minimum. To ensure a peaceful and stress-free journey for both you and your feline friend, here are some tips to manage meowing during the flight:
Give your cat safe chew toys or treats for distraction
Distraction is key when it comes to managing your cat’s meowing during a flight. Providing your cat with safe chew toys or treats can help keep them occupied and focused on something other than meowing.
Make sure to choose toys that are appropriate for travel, such as small, quiet toys that won’t disturb other passengers.
Have catnip on hand to induce relaxation
Catnip is a natural herb that can have a calming effect on cats. Bringing some catnip along for the journey can help induce relaxation and reduce the likelihood of excessive meowing. You can sprinkle a small amount of catnip on your cat’s bedding or inside a toy to help them feel more at ease during the flight.
Discourage meowing by ignoring, not rewarding
It’s important not to inadvertently reinforce your cat’s meowing behavior by giving them attention or rewards whenever they start meowing. Instead, try to ignore the meowing and only provide attention or treats when your cat is calm and quiet.
This will help teach them that meowing does not lead to positive outcomes and may discourage the behavior over time.
Stay calm and pet your cat reassuringly
Cats can sense when their owners are stressed or anxious, which can further contribute to their own anxiety and meowing. It’s important to stay calm and composed during the flight, as your cat will pick up on your energy.
Petting your cat reassuringly can provide them with comfort and security, helping to reduce their meowing and promote a sense of relaxation.
Remember, each cat is unique and may respond differently to these strategies. It’s important to observe your cat’s behavior and adjust your approach accordingly. If your cat’s meowing persists or becomes excessive, it may be worth consulting with a veterinarian for further guidance.
Prepare for Arrival & Post-Flight
Have kitty food, litter box, etc. ready at your destination
When traveling with your cat, it’s important to plan ahead for their needs once you arrive at your destination. Make sure to pack enough kitty food, treats, and any necessary medications for the duration of your trip.
Additionally, have a portable litter box and litter ready so your cat can have a familiar and comfortable place to do their business. This will help reduce stress and prevent accidents during your stay.
If you are unsure about the availability of your cat’s preferred brand of food or litter at your destination, consider researching local pet stores or contacting your accommodation in advance to see if they can provide these items for you.
Remember, keeping your cat’s routine as consistent as possible will help them feel more at ease in a new environment.
Let your cat decompress in a safe room after arrival
After a long and potentially stressful flight, your cat will need some time to decompress and adjust to their new surroundings. Set up a designated safe room where your cat can retreat to and feel secure.
This room should be quiet, free from any potential hazards, and contain familiar items such as their bed, toys, and scratching post.
Allow your cat to explore the room at their own pace, and avoid overwhelming them with too much attention or new stimuli. Provide hiding spots, such as cardboard boxes or a cat tree, where they can retreat if they feel anxious.
Gradually introduce them to the rest of the house once they have had time to settle in and feel more comfortable.
Give rewards and praise for good flight behavior
During the flight, it’s important to reward and praise your cat for good behavior. This can help reinforce positive associations with the travel experience. Consider bringing along their favorite treats or toys to use as rewards for calm behavior.
If your cat meows excessively during the flight, try to remain patient and avoid scolding them. Instead, redirect their attention with a comforting voice, gentle petting, or a favorite toy. Remember, cats may meow on a plane due to stress or discomfort, so it’s essential to create a soothing and supportive environment for them.
By following these tips, you can help keep your cat calm and comfortable during air travel, making the journey more enjoyable for both of you.
Bringing your beloved cat on an airplane trip can be daunting, but with preparation and training, you can minimize stressful meowing episodes. By acclimating your cat to their carrier, utilizing anti-anxiety aids, and keeping them comfortable during the flight, you can help ensure a quiet, peaceful journey for all.
With the proper strategies, you can confidently bring your feline friend along on your next airplane adventure.