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Travelling abroad with your cat

Travelling abroad with your cat

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Whether you're moving abroad and need to prepare your pet for a long-haul flight or are taking a long holiday and can't bear to leave your furry friend at home, the time may arise when your cat has to travel.

Your moggie probably won't be the most keen traveller as cats tend to prefer to stay in their own territory, so if you are going overseas with your pet it's important to ensure that the experience is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

A number of airlines now accommodate pet travel, but take some time to choose a carrier and familiarise yourself with their regulations and policies.

Some airlines may allow your pet to travel in the cabin with you but in general pets are required to travel in a special heated and pressurised part of the hold in a carrier or crate.

Therefore, when preparing your four-legged friend for the journey it's a good idea to invest in a well-ventilated and spacious transport crate and to have a couple of trial runs at home in advance of your departure.

"We also believe it is very important to acclimatise pets to their kennel well in advance of the travel day to help reduce stress," said Dr Karen Johnson, vice president and client advocate for Banfield Pet Hospital.

"We recommend pet owners begin by putting the carrier in a common area in the house and gradually begin giving treats and feeding their pet inside the crate so they associate it as being a safe and positive place."

In general cats travel best on an empty stomach as feeding your pet just before a trip can make your moggie unwell. However, make sure that you pack your pet's own cat food to take away with you, so that when you arrive at your destination they don't get an upset stomach from a sudden change in diet.