Updated January 17, 2017.
When travelling with cats, preparation is important!
Far in advance of your vacation date, begin preparations for travelling with cats, especially if flying to a destination overseas.
Doing your homework upfront will save frustration and tears later, and will prevent injury, illness or perhaps even the death of your furry loved one.
It’s worth taking the time and putting forward your best effort to comprehensively prepare yourself and your traveling cat for the journey ahead, and to be ready in case the unfortunate unforeseen might happen.
Consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible to find out if your cat is fit to fly, to sail overseas or to travel long distances in an automobile.
Check with the destination of your choice for pet health requirements. Required health certifications and proof of vaccines vary by state and country.
Keep the originals of these important documentations in a secure place just as you would your photo identification and passport.
Pack copies of the documents to have on hand in case the originals are lost and leave a set of copies with a family member or a trusted friend in case of emergency.
Know that some countries have long quarantine times for traveling pets, possibly exceeding the time allotted for visiting your chosen destination; you may want to reconsider travelling with cats if this is the case.
Fill all veterinary prescriptions, enough to last the trip and take some extra just in case your trip is extended for some unexpected reason. Pack these along with a copy of your cat’s medical records.
If your cat has a medical problem requiring medication, order a pet medical alert tag to add to your cat’s collar. You can order one of these tags with the help of your veterinarian.
Engrave your veterinarian’s name and contact information on your cat's pet medical alert tag, as well. This tag should be separate from the ID tag worn by your cat.
Likewise, attach a pet medical alert label to your cat’s carrier, including your veterinarian’s name and contact information, along with a copy of your cat’s medical records.
These measures could save your cat’s life in the event of a medical emergency.
Permanent injury and death are widely acknowledged possibilities for traveling cats under the influence of tranquilizers.
Dulled by drugs, cats are unable to compensate for contingencies. They cannot respond appropriately to protect themselves and their ability to survive a life threatening scenario is terribly compromised, often resulting in irrevocable suffering and even death in dire circumstances.
Administering natural remedies to help your cat deal with travel stress is a far safer alternative than prescription tranquilizers, especially for cats who will be flying on an airplane or voyaging via ship.
Natural remedies, such as Bach’s Rescue Remedy, other flower essences or homeopathic medicines recommend by a holistic veterinary practitioner, can calm your cat and help it deal with stress and fear without compromising its senses and instincts.