Winter is coming! Many of us would like to escape the dreaded cold and dark nights to warmer weather.
However, nowadays, travelling can be more stressful than ever before. There is covid testing, passenger locator forms and reading into every kind of legislature possible in accordance with your chosen destination, to ensure that you are not missing a step, to be able to enter another country. If you also want to take your family pet with you, there is an even bigger list of concerns you need to consider, along with filling out your forms for yourself. Let’s talk about how to make life easier for you, and your furry friend.
Firstly, the paperwork. Yes, they require paperwork as well! Make sure you have arranged all the appropriate vaccinations and documents needed for the destination you intend to visit. Do your research, as every destination and airline have different requirements. Just like us, if your pets do not have their paperwork in order, they will not be allowed to enter and there will be some very upset travellers, both of the 2 & 4 legged kinds!
Secondly, double-check whether the carrier bag you have is appropriate for the flight and whether or not you will need to buy a seat for your pet or if they will have to go in the hold of the plane. This is very important, and you will need to prepare the carrier with familiar bits from home, to ensure they are as relaxed & comfortable as possible, during transit.
Speaking of bringing familiar bits, of course, it is a great idea to have toys or a blanket they love, or their favourite pillow in their carrier bag, to alleviate some of the stress of travelling. You do not want to overload the carrier bag though, as the reality is, they will no doubt want to move around in their confined space. Never forget how stressful it is to move a cat from its comfort zone. The last thing you want to do is clutter their space.
It may be a good idea to avoid feeding the last meal before the flight, in case your fur baby gets anxious and ends up having a mishap! We would never suggest letting them starve of course, but missing one meal at the usual time, will not do any harm and this may well be a better solution for all concerned. Having said that, always ensure they have water available and if possible, bring some wet food for them to eat, just in case they seem dehydrated, as this is very common in pets during long travels.
Finally, don’t forget to do your research before you travel. Though we may love our pets and treat them as one of our own, not every establishment is pet friendly. Do your due diligence and ensure that the hotel, restaurants, lounges, etc, are happy to have your pet staying in their place of business.
Simply put, our furry companions need to feel as comfortable as we do during a most sought-after holiday. The main thing is to do your research ahead of time to ensure a smooth trip. With all this information in mind, if you decide it is better to leave your beloved pet behind, there are plenty of options for leaving them at a cat hotel, with a cat sitter, or with a family friend. You will undoubtedly miss them as much as they will miss you, but it may be the case that travelling does not agree with them, would be far too stressful, and/or they are not allowed to travel with you to your destination. Whatever you opt for, we wish you all a safe & happy time, wherever you travel this winter.