Sedating cats on airplanes

Prepare well in advance: For cats that will travel in the cabin, buy an airline-approved airplane pet carrier. For cats that will travel in cargo, buy a sturdy, airline-approved cargo crate with a good door latch.

Learning how to travel with your cat on an airplane helps you to create a safe, predictable, and calm passage for your kitty when the fur flies.

Include a toy, but avoid food, because cats generally should not eat on airplane trips.

(If your cat must travel in cargo on longer flights, including water may be advisable.) Keep the carrier open in the house and put enticing cat toys (not treats) in it to make your cat happy to enter it, but never use this carrier as a day crate.

If your cat is flying in cabin, you will carry him through gate security.

Most importantly, when booking, get a locator number for your cat that is associated with your seat number.

If an itinerant lifestyle with your cat is part of your plan, take a short flight to a nearby destination as a starter flight.

You must remove him from his carrier and carry him through the metal detectors, allowing his bag to go through the X-ray machine.

NEVER allow your cat to pass through the X-ray machine — it is not permitted and is highly dangerous.

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