Cat Preparation for a Flight Trip

My cat,Tora, did not enjoy the airplane trip from Oregon to Florida that we took several years ago. The airline regulations were different back then: the only option we had for Tora was for him to be in the cargo area with other animals.  After about 8 hours of travel time, including the layover, my husband and I anxiously waited for Tora to come out of the animal receiving area at the Fort Lauderdale airport. Then two animals showed up on the counter.  A puppy in a crate and Tora in our carrier.  There was another young couple next to us waiting for the puppy. We immediately noticed a very strong poop smell.  My husband who loves Tora dearly and blindly, said to the couple: “Excuse me, I think your puppy must have had poops during the flight.”  The woman said, “Oh, yea?  Poor thing.”  We picked up Tora and headed out to a cab.  Well, in fact, that disgusting smell of poops was coming from our beloved Tora!!  He had experienced a rough time on the airplane. He must have rolled over onto a soft and fresh poop dollop. We apologized to the cab driver a million times for the smell and gave him a big tip for being very professional about it.

I’ve learned from my experience.  Here are some tips to prepare your cats for a flight trip.

1) DO NOT FEED your cat after midnight before a trip. Do not feel badly for not giving your cat any food. Trust me, your cat will thank you later.

2) Let your cat become familiar with a carrier for a few weeks before a trip.  Do whatever it takes to encourage your cat to get into the carrier and feel comfortable. Put your cat’s favorite blanket in it, feed your cat in it, give a treat in it, play around the carrier, etc.

3)  Watch your attitude. If you’re nervous about flying, your cat will surely pick up on your nervousness and become confused and nervous, too, by not knowing what’s happening to you.  That’s even scarier than knowing what’s going to happen!  Talk to your cat about an upcoming trip. Give your cat a feeling of security and comfort by keeping your voice calm and relaxed, and tell your cat a pleasantly positive experience about a flight.

6)  On the day of the trip, keep your feelings centered, relax, and casual about everything.  Even when your flight is delayed, don’t get frustrated. Cats are very sensitive to your energy. Stay calm and be flexible.

7)  Use flower essences to calm your cat before, during, and after the trip.

Enjoy flying!!

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