Can I buy a seat for my cats on an airplane

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White cat in suitcase
White Cat In Suitcase

Does your cat travel or are you interested in flying with your cats? Pedigreed kitties do it all the time to reach cat shows. Here's how!

Travel Tips for Flying With Cats

Be sure to call airlines ahead of time to find out the latest pet requirements. You will need a health certificate, including proof of vaccination from your veterinarian. Small pets that fit into carriers sized to slide under the seat can travel as carry-on luggage. There is an added charge and a limit to the numbers that can be in the cabin at one time, however. It's usually a first-come, first-serve deal, so make this request early.

You'll also need to prepare your kitty in advance for the trip to be sure it's comfortable for the length of the flight inside a crate. Start crate training a few weeks in advance. Be sure all your contact information is on the carrier and the pet. It's best if the cat doesn't get upset about confinement. And don't use tranquilizers, because that can cause problems at high altitudes with slowed heart rate and respiration.

brown tabby cat lying on white surface
brown tabby cat lying on white surface
orange tabby cat on gray surface
orange tabby cat on gray surface
brown tabby cat on bed
brown tabby cat on bed

Some carriers such as Southwest and Jet Blue only accept pets as a carry-on, but others will also take pets as “extra baggage” or cargo during certain times of the year. If you cannot take your cat as a carry-on, be sure to insist on extra baggage so that the cat is in the pressurized temperature-controlled part of the plane. Different airlines have different policies, and the American Kennel Club has some links to great travel tips, even though it's geared toward dogs.

Airline Programs

United Airlines has a special program called PetSafe for same-day airport-to-airport cargo transport designed for pets—but remember, cargo means in the belly of the plane. Travelers can also “earn miles” with their PetPass program, a frequent flier program for animals. Pet Air specializes in pet transport, also in the belly of the plane.

JetBlue allows pets to earn frequent flier points as well. For each leg of the trip, you earn 300 TrueBlue points each way when traveling with your pet. The airline allows a max of four pets per flight. The furry traveler must weigh 20 pounds or less with its carrier.

Pet Airways offers air travel specifically for pets (not people) but only flies to certain destinations. Check for airline pet travel information to find the latest requirements and options for your pet travels using commercial carriers. Airlines change policies frequently so the special programs may no longer be in effect or new ones may have been created.