How To Survive Flying With A Cat

This dilemma has stayed in the unknown category until most recently. On my trip from Boston to San Francisco I was able to bring my cat, Figaro. Now needless to say, he did not enjoy this trip. I was scared $%**less. But, after all of the anxiety and worry we went through, he survived. I was able to take him to the vet before the trip in hopes of receiving an anti-anxiety medication. I walked away without one, but now have more knowledge on the subject.

flying with a cat

Cat Preparations

Preparing for the trip is probably the most stressful. Unless you are super chill and do not give a flying f*** if your cat is happy or not. But because I am a worry wart when it comes to my fur babies and family, I invested in every product possible beforehand. This included pheromone spray, calming treats, blankets, a harness, leash and collar, puppy pads, and cat wipes.

I did not give Figaro breakfast the morning of the flight and made sure he used the litter box before leaving as well. I actually locked him in my bathroom, where his box is, until he did his business. The flight was at 10am, and we left at 6:30am. I gave him a calming treat and sprayed the pheromone spray inside his carrier.

Figaro had the most stress on the drive to the airport, in my opinion. He was howling and clearly did not like the movement of the car. I was able to let his head peak out for a bit which calmed he down A LOT.

Inside The Airport + Security

I let Figaro out (with his leash on) in the restroom so he could stretch for a moment. Figaro was so stressed he wouldn’t eat or drink. I also set up a mini-litter box in case he had to go. He didn’t want this either. When we reached security, I informed them that I had a cat, and after he made a joke about cat scans, proceeded to help me with Figaro. He seemed TERRIFIED and basically froze, but didn’t try to get away from me. I gave him plenty of kisses too. Security then swiped my hands and then I was able to put Figaro bag in his carrier. At that point, he was more than happy to go back in.

During The Flight

Figaro stayed under the seat in front of me, in his carrier for the entirety of the trip. I would check on him about every hour and gives him pets. I heard one meow when we were taking off, but that’s about it. Hoping that the general quietness of the plane was more peaceful than the hectic airport. Want to learn how to survive a long flight while staying busy? Check out this post here.

After The Flight

I was honestly so happy that he was alive. I was terrified he would be panting too much, become dehydrated, and pass out or worse. So the fact that he was meowing at me, and breathing was a dream come true. This may have been an overreaction, but it was my first time flying with a pet. I let him out again in the handicapped bathroom and tapped his mouth with a bit of water. He was desperate for a calming environment at that point.

Once we got home, he drank plenty of water and ate. It took him an hour or two to adjust fully but he calmed right down and was very thankful to be out of there. I have never seen him to needy and friendly. Overall, the experience wasn’t horrible and I’m so glad I know what to expect now. My worried-ness and over thinking caused the situation to be bigger than it was. But once we were on the flight, I didn’t worry as much. I’m sure I will fly with him again.

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Autumn Whewell

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