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Can a Cat Go to the Bathroom on a Plane? Pre-Flight Tips

When planning an extended trip away from home that involves flying with your cat, there are a few key things to remember. Successfully flying with your cat starts long before the day you leave. Why? Because you must plan and prepare ahead of time to make the experience as good as possible for both you and your beloved feline!

If you’re wondering if your cat can go to the bathroom when on a plane, you should know that your cat can indeed do his business while on a plane. You simply have to add an absorbent pee pad to his carrier so he can relieve himself when needed.

If your cat will be kept under your seat in the cabin of the plane, be sure to pack a pair or two of disposable gloves you can wear to clean up the mess when he’s done. Otherwise, if he’s traveling in the cargo section of the plane, he’ll have to put up with a soiled pad until you’re reunited with your pet.

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Things to Do Pre-Flight to Ensure All Goes Well With the Trip

To ensure your cat is as comfortable as possible when flying, there are a few things you can do. We’ve put together a few key things to do pre-flight so that the trip goes as planned.

Get a Good Airline-Approved Carrier

If you already have a cat carrier, get it out and clean it up a bit if it’s been put away for a long time. If you must buy a new carrier, make sure the size you buy is in accordance with the airline you’ll be using.

A good airline-approved cat carrier will have plenty of ventilation which allows for optimal airflow for your cat. It should also include a collapsible bowl for water, a safety buckle to prevent escape, a shoulder strap for your convenience, and zippered openings for easy access. If you own an older carrier that doesn’t have these basic features, buy a new one that you know will make things easier for both you and your cat.

cat in cat carrier
Image Credit: SpeedKingz, Shutterstock

Put the Carrier Out for Your Cat to Use at Home

Well before your flight, put the carrier out in your home with your cat’s favorite snuggle items inside and a few treats so he feels safe and comfortable spending time inside it.

The goal is to make your cat positively look at his carrier. This will help reduce the chances of your cat howling through the entire flight which will surely upset you as well as those seated near you! So, it’s a good idea to introduce your cat to the carrier at least 2 weeks before your flight.

Visit Your Vet

Most airlines require a valid health certificate for travel that’s been filled out by a veterinarian. Schedule an appointment with your vet a week or so before your travel date for a checkup. While you’re at the vet, ask for a copy of your cat’s vaccination proof that you may need to show the airline upon checking in.

cat and vet
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

Get Your Cat Microchipped

If your cat is not microchipped, now’s a good time to do it. When your cat is implanted with a microchip, it can drastically improve your chances of getting him back if he becomes lost. Your vet can implant the microchip during the health check.

Do Some Harness Training

Because your cat carrier has to pass through the security screening X-ray, your cat needs to be taken out of the carrier. Buy a cat harness well before your trip that fits your cat snugly so he can’t escape when removed from the carrier.

If your cat isn’t used to a harness, put it on him at home so he can get used to wearing it. Do this daily for at least a week before your trip so your cat doesn’t freak out on the day of your flight over wearing a harness he’s not used to.

bengal cat walking on a leash, exercise
Image Credit: Amerigo_images, Shutterstock

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Now that you know your cat can relieve himself while traveling on a plane, you should feel more at ease about your upcoming trip. Before taking to the skies with your feline companion, go through the to-do list above to ensure you have all your bases covered.

While airline travel isn’t ideal for a cat, sometimes it’s the best way to go if you must travel a long distance. Just do whatever it takes to make the trip as comfortable as possible for your kitty and work out all the kinks before taking off.

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Featured Image Credit: Photo Spirit, Shutterstock