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The 10 Essentials for Traveling With Cats on a Plane

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Traveling with cats can be stressful. We do it pretty regularly, and with multiple cats sometimes, so we've become the unofficially official cat traveling pros! We are off to sunny Orlando Florida this Saturday for a whole week with FOUR cats so we thought it would be a perfect time to share what we've learned on our cat travels!

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Learn from our mistakes, take our advice, and you'll have a stress-free trip with your cats!

1. Prodigen Pet Carrier Airline Approved Pet Carrier We've used a bunch of carriers over the years and this one is our tride and true. Its big enough for those larger cats and still fits under the seat nicely. It has a nice little zipper where you can pop in and reward your cat during those turbulent times and it even comes with a comfy bad! Make sure to check with your favorite airlines restrictions to make sure it fits the requirements!

2. Ruff 'n Ruffus Pop Up Octagon Crate These are life savers. Let me repeat that, THESE ARE LIFE SAVERS. We don't go the airport without them. Why? Cats have to potty. Its a fact of life. And you don't want to be stuck in an airport with a cat that needs to go #2 20 minutes before you get on a 3 hour plane ride. Trust us - you don't. So what we do is pop this sucker up, put a disposable litter box inside (see #3). Cat can potty when there's trash cans at the ready and you don't have to worry about Sally can doing her business in the middle of a flight and simultaneously making 100 enemies all at the same time.

3. Nature's Miracle Disposable Litter Box with Litter Never. And I repeat NEVER get onto a plane with an open container of litter. No matter how "well" you sealed it or think you sealed it. It WILL open up in the middle of walking down the planes aisle and spill all over the plane. A kind man WILL try to catch the falling litter in his hands and you WILL be mortified (like I said before, learn from our mistakes) (also, true story...unfortunately). Get two of these bad boys and you can potty all your cats before boarding the plane. Throw it away before getting on the plane and then crack open the fresh one once you land! We always give the cats a chance to potty when they get off the plane. We'll just pop up the carriers and while we're getting our rental cars figured out, the cats are all pottied and ready for the car ride! On our way to the hotel, we always just stop by a Petsmart and grab some more for the way home and a big case of litter for the week!

4. Yeowww! Catnip The entire traveling experience, especially airport travel, can be a whirlwind of craziness for your cats! We always want them to be comfortable and happy on our trips so we always put some catnip toys in their carriers with them to calm them down and to give them something to play with! Our favorite catnip is Yeowww! Catnip!

5. Sterilite Lid Clip Boxes We use these for the hotels and when we travel to and from the events we go to with the cats. We'll just swing by Petsmart and grab a big tub of litter for the week and these can be easily transported to and from the events! Perfect litter box size and has a handy lid to keep everything in. We USED to use these on the plane until a certain incident happened (see #3 for the tragic story). They're still useful though so we pack them in our check in bags! They don't take up much room because you can stack them!

6. Harness and Leash We like to let our cats explore the airport a little. It's fun to show off some of their tricks in public and they like to explore new places. People LOVE to see them do their tricks and the cats like to get some treaties before getting on the plane. They'll be cooped up in their carries for the entire plane ride so let them stretch their legs as much as you can, when you can! We use the Surfer Cat harness. They come in a regular size that can be adjusted to fit small kittens and an XL size that can fit the largest Maine Coon Cat! They come in a rainbow of colors and patterns and are one of the most escape-resistant harnesses we've found! Just remember, never leave your cat alone tethered on a leash. Bad things can happen.

7. Litter Scoop Do not forget the litter scoop! You can always pick one up when you're at your destination but we like to keep one in the travel cat bag so we can scoop any messes when its potty time before the plane ride. The whole thing gets trashed before we hop on the plane but we like to catch the messes fast so we don't stink up the airport - ha!

8. Travel Dust Pan and Brush When the cats are pottying at the airport or at the hotel (we keep their litter boxes in the pop ups at the hotel too for easy cleanup)- they tend to smack and kick the litter out into their litter box. This little guy makes for speedy cleanup so we don't have to shake the pop ups into the trash can or shake them outside. This way we can just sweep it up and toss it out!

9. DaBird Wand Toys Toys are always a must when traveling! Wherever you're going, its always a good idea to bring toys to distract your cat if they're getting into a scared or nervous mindset. Redirect them to a toy before they get nervous and BAM - they'll instantly love the situation.

10. Pet Stroller Yes, we might look crazy, especially when we have 4 people with 4 strollers rolling through the airport with our cats. We always get the weird looks. We might look psychotic but man does it make things easier!!! We went on I believe one trip without them and as soon as we got off the plane we ran to Petsmart to get them. They are a must. In the airport, you have too many bags and luggage to have to worry about a cat on your shoulder. We just pop them in their carriers and pop the carriers into the stroller. WABAMB - instant life saver! Plus, the airlines will take your stroller at no extra charge. Yes, we've had some get broken in transit, but the airlines almost always replace them. Its worth it to be able to transport your cats easier!


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