How Can I Calm My Cat Down On A Plane? 7 Small, Effective Steps to Keep Your Cat Safe & Happy
Worried that your cat will fall sick or feel too unsettled during the plane ride? You can do a few things to calm your cat down on a plane. This includes taking serious care of your pet’s emotional and physical needs.
According to studies, it’s not always necessary to sedate your cat during a flight. Vets will recommend certain calming practices instead because your cat may do better on a plane than you expect.
Having said that, I would also recommend consulting with a vet first about the best possible option for your cat. And I would recommend you do these things if you want to calm your cat down on a plane.
How Can I Calm My Cat Down On A Plane? 7 Things You Didn’t Know!
1. Buy A Comfortable Carrier
A carrier is like a home for your cat, be it indoors or outdoors. So make sure you buy a comfortable and spacious carrier for the trip. Always buy a new carrier apart from the one you generally use to take your cat to the vet. You want your cat to feel safe and the pet’s clinic is what your cat already associates her old carrier with.
So a new carrier for plane travel is a good idea. Your cat will feel calmer entering the second carrier having no negative feelings associated with the shiny new toy!
Besides that, contact the airline and ask about the type of carrier they allow on the plane. Some airline standards give out specific size dimensions and materials for cat carriers for safety reasons.
2. Train Your Cat to Feel Comfortable in the Carrier
Don’t just put your cat in the carrier before leaving for the airport. This will most likely scare her or make her even more anxious. Make sure you purchase the carrier at least a week before you leave. Or several weeks if your cat is sensitive.
Keep the door of the carrier open at all times. Maybe even remove the door of the carrier so that your cat doesn’t know it’s a carrier. It looks more like a welcoming place to sleep in for your cat.
Do your daily activities with your cat inside and around the carrier so that he or she can associate positive feelings with it. Such as giving your cat treats, petting, grooming, and even placing a small blanket inside for your cat to sleep in.
You can also start by taking your cat in the carrier to the park or for a short walk around the block.
Another important benefit of allowing your cat to play around and sleep inside the carrier weeks before stepping on a plane is that cats release pheromones when they rub themselves against furniture or your legs.
The pheromones indicate that the cat feels safe and positive around you. When they do the same with the new carrier, getting them in and out won’t make them stressed. So it’s highly likely they’ll remain calm and feel safe on a plane as long as they are in that carrier.
If your cat is not willing to rub against the walls of the carrier, you can also purchase synthetic pheromones from a pet’s clinic. Spraying pheromones might help your cat reduce stress and feel more at ease while flying. They are completely safe, according to this report.
4. Keep Blankets Handy
At the airport, you can take your cat out after settling down in a relatively emptier space. At such a point, also during security checks, you can keep your cat on a soft blanket your cat is familiar with.
The blanket can also be used to cover the cat to reduce noise and dampen chaos and activity that is expected in an airport.
5. Training Your Cat to Walk on A Leash
You can train your cat to walk on a leash. It’s not difficult but it is a long process so you have to be very patient and positive.
Leash training can be very effective when traveling with your pet. But it’s also a great skill that your cat will enjoy as well as you.
With a leash, you can let your cat out at the airport without the risk of your cat running away in confusion.
6. Find A Pet-Friendly Airline
Lots of airlines offer special cargo for pets so your cat does not have to fly in the cabin with you. This is especially helpful during long flights. Where you will be seated, there won’t be enough room for your cat to sit and stand comfortably.
In the cargo, however, you can also keep a litter box and train your cat to use a litter box at home beforehand. And your cat will be able to relax and move around more freely without feeling cramped. This is a less stressful environment for your cat than the cabin.
Lots of pet-friendly airlines recommend larger carriers with access to litter trays for your pets to feel comfortable inside of.
7. Invest in A Pet Stroller
If you have a lot of walking to do, holding the carrier in your one hand while the carrier sways back and forth may cause nausea for your cat. The best and smoothest ride for your cat, especially when there is a lot of walking involved at the airport, before or after the flight, is to buy a pet stroller.
Then your cat can comfortably sit inside the stroller and you can push your cat around without bumps or swaying. If the pet stroller has a transparent window or zip that allows your pet to look outside without escaping – because all cats are sneaky escape artists, right? – your cat will be more at ease because they can look at you as you push them forward.
One thing to keep in mind before traveling with a cat is to do the bookings beforehand. Do not just book a ticket for yourself and assume that the airline will allow you to travel with your cat. You must do bookings for your cat beforehand as well.
Buy all the important things you need for your cat. Such as blankets, leash, second carrier, treats, water bowl, food bowl, and foldable litter tray. Staying prepared is an important step to keeping your cat calm on a flight because they trust you to take care of them.