Air travel is simply too stressful for most animals, including cats, especially if they are placed in the plane’s cargo hold. Even if cats fly in the cabin, their stress levels can still shoot up, much like the stress levels of human passengers.
Knowing how to keep a cat from meowing on a plane can help make air travel less stressful for both the animal and its owner.
To keep a cat from meowing on a plane, it should be accustomed to being in a pet carrier. It should be allowed to feel safe and protected with the help of its owner’s scent and soothing and relaxing voice. In some instances, a cat can be kept from meowing on a plane with the use of sedatives.
Going from point A to point B on a plane is already stressful for all the passengers. The experience can easily end up even more stressful if a cat that’s meowing incessantly is present.
If you are about to travel by air with your cat anytime soon, continue reading. Below, you will come across some of the best ways to keep your pawed pal from meowing and making all sorts of noises on a plane. Follow the tips below if you don’t want to stress out you and your cat and the rest of the passengers on the flight.
Put Cat into Pet Carrier Daily
When it comes to keeping your cat from acting up on a plane, it’s a must that you prepare your meowing pal for the experience.
Because your cat will spend the entire time it will take to get from one airport to the next inside a pet carrier, it’s a good idea to allow it to get accustomed to the interiors of one.
This is why you should let your cat spend a few minutes inside a pet carrier each day. Placing its favorite toy or treat in the pet carrier will make being in the confines of it less stressful.
Here’s a wonderful suggestion: Every now and again, take your cat in its pet carrier to pet-friendly establishments — cafés, restaurants, department stores, supermarkets, etc.
This will allow your cat to realize that being in a pet carrier can be fun and exciting because it gets to go places with you.
Give the Veterinarian a Visit
About one to two weeks before you and your cat board a plane, place your cat in a pet carrier and head to your trusted vet to have it checked, and it’s for a couple of important reasons.
First, it’s to make sure that your cat is healthy to travel by air. Besides, most airlines require passengers flying with their pets to provide a certificate of good health issued by their pets’ respective vets.
Second, it’s to see if there is a relaxing medication that your cat can take safely before and during traveling by air.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), however, it’s not a good idea to sedate cats during air travel because it may increase their risk of heart and respiratory issues.
Place the Carrier on a Luggage Cart
Your cat’s travel-related stress begins the moment you leave your home. Do your best to keep the pet carrier that your four-legged friend is in from rocking unnecessarily to keep its stress levels to a minimum.
At the airport, it’s a good idea to place the pet carrier on your luggage cart — holding it in your hand as you walk will only agitate your cat. Allowing the pet carrier to face you is a great way to let your cat know that you are around and there’s no need for it to worry and feel anxious.
If you have a collapsible pet stroller, use it. Placing your nervous cat in it allows it to get accustomed to the presence of a lot of people, thus keeping it from being shocked once the two of you are in the cabin.
Count on a Used Article of Clothing
It’s true that the sense of smell of cats is not as phenomenal as the sense of smell of dogs.
Despite this, felines still rely on their tiny noses to gather pieces of information around them, including details about their owners. And taking a whiff of the scent of their owners allows cats to feel safe and comfortable.
Because of this, consider placing a used article of clothing of yours in the pet carrier together with your cat. It can be anything from your baseball cap to your scarf.
The goal is to let your cat know that you are around and ready to come to its rescue at any given time.
But be warned: your cat may pee on your used article of clothing to mark it as its own and, in some instances, as a result of stress. This is why put an item in the pet carrier that you can easily clean with soap and water in the airport bathroom.
Put the Carrier on Your Lap
During take-off, it’s a must that you place the pet carrier with your cat in it under the seat in front of you instead of on your lap — it’s for the utmost safety of the two of you.
Because of the noises and sensations associated with take-off, it’s not unlikely for your cat to get startled and meow.
Worry not because once the plane reaches its cruising altitude, you may place the pet carrier on your lap and comfort your cat. You may talk to it using a soft and reassuring voice while placing your fingers inside.
Let your cat rub its face against your fingers — it will allow the cat to leave its scent on your fingers, thus allowing it to realize that there is no need for it to worry excessively.
It’s for the same reason why cats are fond of rubbing their faces and the rest of their bodies against pieces of furniture where they live.
Keep Calm at All Times
According to a Nottingham Trent University study, cats can tell if their owners are stressed out or anxious. And if your cat senses that you are experiencing stress and anxiety, it can become stressed and anxious, too.
This is why you should try to remain as calm as possible when flying with your cat. Otherwise, your pet will be on the same emotional plane as you. It can also create a vicious circle — air travel can leave you stressed, your stress can cause your cat to be stressed, too, and it can make you even more stressed.
Before interacting with your cat 30,000 to 40,000 feet high in the air, take slow, deep breaths first for a few minutes to lower your stress and anxiety levels, thus making it easier for your cat to stay less stressed and anxious.
Just Before You Take Your Cat on a Plane
You can take a cat with you on a plane no matter if you are moving, going on a vacation or need it for emotional support.
However, you will have to shell out money for it to fly in the cabin. Also, you will have to place your cat in a pet carrier that’s small enough to fit under the plane seat in front of yours.
It can be both nerve-racking and embarrassing for your cat to make loud noises on a plane, making flying an even more stressful experience for you and the rest of the passengers.
Fortunately, if you are willing to pay to have your cat fly in the cabin and prepare it for the trip several days in advance, you can keep the chances of causing the heads of some furious passengers to turn toward your direction. Follow the tips mentioned above, and you and your cat can enjoy a plane ride with as little trouble as possible.
Can I take two cats on a plane?
It’s possible to take two cats on a plane provided that both of them will fit in a single pet carrier, which will count as the passenger’s carry-on bag. However, the pet carrier should be large enough to accommodate the two cats but small enough to fit under the seat in front of the owner’s seat.
How much does it cost to fly with my cat?
Not too long ago, emotional support animals were allowed to fly in the cabin free of charge. However, these days, only fully-trained service dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin for free. Bringing a small animal in a pet carrier that can fit under the seat costs anywhere from $99 to $125.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of The Pet Rescue.