Travel Certificates for Cats from Upper West Side Veterinarians
Planning Ahead Is Key to a Safe Trip with Your Cat
If you plan to bring your cat along on any international or domestic flight, you may need certain verification documents that your cat is healthy and safe for travel. Depending on the destination, your cat may need an exam prior to your trip and/or specific vaccinations. At Manhattan Cat Specialists on the Upper West Side, we can assist with examining your cat and providing you with the proper documents so you both can enjoy a relaxing vacation.
Our veterinarians all carry Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) accreditation. APHIS is one of the federal agencies that governs rules regarding traveling with cats. When you apply for a travel certificate with us, one of our accredited veterinarians will certify your cat’s health status, conduct tests, and record the test results. This health certificate will also include the precise degree of minimum and maximum temperature your cat can acclimate to.
If you plan to export or travel with your cat to another country, that country may enforce specific health requirements for any animal’s entry such as quarantine periods and additional documentation. We recommend contacting that county’s consulate or embassy to get the most current information regarding the specific documents and requirements that will enable your cat to enter with you. Your cat’s completed and signed international travel certificate must also be endorsed by a Veterinary Services area office in order to be fully validated by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Flying with Felines
While all airlines have their own specific regulations for traveling with your cat, we’ve compiled some basic suggestions for safe and comfortable travel.
First, above anything else, it is important to check with your airline to see what travel documents they require, such as vaccination records and/or travel certificates. During this time, your airline will also be able to tell you how much it will cost to bring your cat with you in the cabin or place your cat in cargo.
Second, we urge you to consider direct flights over those with layovers. Direct flights reduce the amount of travel time and stress on the cat. It also helps prevent your cat or their carrier from being lost during a plane change.
It is also recommended that you avoid putting your cat in such a large carrier that it must travel with all the other cargo and luggage. Due to this, we recommend confirming with your airline that your cat can travel in a carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. To ensure that your carrier is the proper dimensions for the flight, we recommend using soft-sided ones because they are easier to stow underneath the seat without compromising your cat’s comfort. You also want to label your cat’s carrier with your name, contact information, final destination, and the cat’s name in case it is lost or there is an emergency.
If your cat requires any medication, we suggest that you secure the amount needed for the duration of your trip ahead of time. This will prevent any difficulties acquiring the medication in a foreign country or different city.
If you predict your cat will not handle being transported well, it is important to talk to your doctor about tranquilizing and sedation options. You can also discuss whether your cat will react well to over-the-counter pheromone calming collars or sprays, such as those made by Feliway or Thundershirts.
Before your flight, it is important that you make sure your cat has been fed. However, your cat should have constant access to water for the duration of the flight. This is especially important if you have a geriatric cat or one who suffers from marginal kidney function.
Keeping Your Cat Safe at Your Destination
In addition to preparing your cat for the flight, it also important that you secure feline friendly accommodations. Before your book where you’re staying, it is important to check whether they allow cats. Next, you need to make sure that you pack all necessary materials, including food, water bowls, and a litter box.
When you leave your hotel room, we suggest leaving your cat in its carrier or inside the bathroom to avoid it damaging any of the hotel furniture or escaping. Only allow your room to be cleaned while you are present and put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door whenever you leave to prevent your cat from running out the door when housekeeping opens it. It is also important to get your cat microchipped prior to your trip in case he or she does get lost during your travels.
For more information on how to safely travel with your feline companion, call (917) 242-4235.
We provide the latest in medicine with an emphasis on sound laboratory and imaging diagnostics, pain minimizing, and discomfort alleviation.
Extensive Feline Exams
We recommend that every feline get examined twice a year, not just when health problems arise. We want your cat's health to be top of mind year long.
Custom Health Plans
Our doctors develop tailored health plans for every stage of your cat's 9 lives.
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