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How to Travel With Your Cat on Planes, Boats and Trains Safely

Many owners do not fly with their cats because they feel that pressure changes, crowded conditions, and loud noises are too stressful for them. Some airlines do not allow pets to ride in the cabin of the airplane, and so they transport them in the cargo hold.

This can be deadly. Cargo holds are loud and not pressurized, and they are subject to drastic temperature changes. Some pets have died from frostbite and heatstroke while riding in them.

Your cat could escape his carrier, and getting lost under these conditions could cause him to suffer psychological trauma. Because of these dangers, many owners refuse to fly on an airline that does not allow pets to travel in the cabin.

Before you buy your place ticket, ask the airline about its pet policy. If someone tells you that it is okay for your cat to ride inside the airplane cabin with you, make sure that you get the agreement in writing. You do not want any last minute surprises at the airport.

Before traveling, buy a sturdy, non collapsible, locking carrier. Your cat should wear his collar and ID tag at all times, and the carrier should be clearly labeled with your name, address and a phone number where you can be reached while on vacation. Some airlines may require proof of vaccination before they allow your pet to fly. Find out what papers, if any, your cat will need to travel with you.

Trains, buses, and cruise ships all have different rules and policies regarding pets. Before finalizing your travel arrangements, find out if your pet will be allowed to travel with you and under what circumstances.

So, in this case, should you leave your cat at home? Depending on your cat's temperament and age, it might be less stressful for him to stay at home. If you are only going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave him home alone. However, your cat will become bored and lonely without human companions.

If you are going to be gone longer than two days, ask a friend or neighbor to visit periodically and check on the cat. She can play with him, replenish the food and water supply, and tend to the litter box.

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