Traveling with a cat overseas? Domestic cats are generally docile so traveling with your cat should be relatively painless. Emphasis on relatively if you do plan and prepare well. Here are some of our top tips on how to travel with a cat overseas:
1. Confirm your destination country's pet immigration policies for cats
Before the trip, do some research about your destination country's pet immigration policies for cats. Most may require a "pet passport" or a pet importation permit. Some breeds may be on an exclusion list. Allot time to process and secure necessary certificates (e.g. vaccines, blood tests, etc.) as well as possible quarantine time at your country of destination.
2. Find an airline (or ship if it's a cruise) that allows pet cat passengers
This should be obvious and probably narrowed down based on your research about pet immigration policies in various countries. The night prior to your flight or cruise, confirm your and your cat's seats travel with te airline, ship or travel agency. Check-in staff on the ground may not always be familiar with passengers carrying cats onboard so best to give a heads-up.
3. Confirm your overseas accommodation allows a cat to stay
Again, this would largely depend on where you're going. Select hotels accept cats up to a certain weight (I know this from one hilarious story of an overweight cat going on a diet weeks before his trip). Be prepared for any additional fees. Some Airbnb listings can be pet-friendly as well.
4. Ditch the cage, opt for a soft cat carrier
A soft carrier is more handy to carry around than the usual cage. Because it's soft and compact, it could make you cat feel more comfortable during the trip compared to hard-shelled cages. Amazon is your go-to with airline-approved versions such as this one from Pawfect Pet.
5. Prepare cat food and treat rations
Regardless if it's a short or long journey, prepare some food and treats for your cat. If there is a change in time zone during the journey, plot the corresponding feeding schedule based on your home country's time.
6. Bring a cat harness/lead
While "walking" a cat is almost impossible, a cat harness is for safekeeping if and when you do bring your cat out for some sightseeing. It's more mobile than a cat carrier plus you'll be spreading more joy to strangers with a cat out of the bag.
In case you can't bring your cat with you...
You can also consider a cat hotel to take care of your cat. If you're feeling adventurous, our team of professional cat caregivers in Singapore also compiled a guidebook on how to leave a cat alone while you're on vacation. Check it out below: