How to Keep a Cat Calm on a Plane


Specialists in pet travel into and out of the UK.
Get an Export Quote Get an Import Quote

grey cat sleeping on a white pillow

Flying with a cat is not quite as popular as flying with a dog as cats are naturally more solitary, independent creatures that don’t take well to a change in their routine.

However, if you want to bring your cat along for the holiday fun or to relocate overseas with them, there are some things you can do to keep them happy.

In this guide, we offer actionable tips for how to keep your cat calm whilst flying.


Choose the right travel crate

Your cat will need to remain in their travel crate for the duration of the journey, so it is super important to get it right so they can have a comfortable flight!

Their carrier will need to stick to the IATA regulations which means they must be able to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably. Take the time to measure your cat for their crate, and if you are struggling then reach out for a helping hand.

Make sure to choose a sturdy crate to help them to feel safe.


Let them get used to the crate

One of our top tips for flying with a cat is to let them explore their carrier.

In the weeks leading up to travel, leave the crate out in the house for your cat to get used to it. This will allow the crate to start smelling like home and will become familiar to your pet.

It’s no secret that cats love small, cosy spaces – which you will be aware of if you’ve ever left a cardboard box laying about and wondered why your cat insists on sleeping in it! Soon enough, your cat will actually enjoy spending time in its travel carrier which will make things much easier on the day of travel.


Place a towel or t-shirt in the crate

When flying with a cat, they are not allowed to take any toys with them for the journey as this can be a choking hazard.

However, you can still bring some home comforts to settle their nerves. They are allowed to take a towel or t-shirt with them, and being able to smell your scent will definitely bring them some peace in an unfamiliar environment.

You can also try a calming, vet-approved calming spray on their bedding to further settle them.


Time their dinner well

Don’t feed your cat for at least 6 hours before flying, and then make it a light meal! While this may seem counter-productive, if your cat travels with a full belly they will be uncomfortable, over-energised and will likely need the toilet.


Give your cat some play time before flying

Just as a dog would benefit from a long walk before boarding a plane, one of our top tips for flying with a cat is to give them some physical and mental exercise before they travel.

Let them run around the garden for a while, or let them play with their favourite toys. This will help to tire them out and prevent them from being restless and irritable during the journey.


Now you know how to keep a cat calm on a plane, you can start prepping for a smooth journey and plan for a great trip.

If you would like any further support when flying with a cat, please get in touch with our team who will be happy to help!

Photo by Kasya Shahovskaya on Unsplash