Traveling with cats is difficult for all cat parents, however, there are some parents who have two cats. This makes traveling quite daunting as it leads to many challenges. One of which is carriers and the possibility for both to travel together.
It’s possible to let two average-sized cats or kittens share one carrier when traveling. If you intend on putting two cats in one carrier, you must get a good quality spacious carrier, both cats must be civil towards each other and the cats must not be in the carrier for more than 2-4 hours.
It’s important to create a comfortable and balanced environment for both cats when traveling. Depending on your mode of transportation, you would want to plan accordingly.
If you decide on traveling with your personal vehicle, then you will have more control of the experience. But if you fly then you will be limited and have to follow certain criteria for a successful journey.
Either way preparation and acclimation are key when traveling so make sure you start the transition process early.
Traveling By Plane.
Flying with two cats may seem like the easier option because it’s the fastest, but it can also be the most stressful for these little furballs. Two cats mean double the stress and anxiety as well as double the chances of things going wrong.
So is there a way out? There is! Planing. Preparation is of utmost importance when traveling. In actual fact, the journey begins long before you actually leave home for the trip. Below I’ve included a simple list of guidelines for you to use when flying.
1. Choosing An Airline.
When traveling by plane, Airlines don’t necessarily allow two cats in one carrier, luckily Southwest and American airlines are exceptions. However, you have to meet the requirements of the live animal regulations (LAR).
This regulation permits pets of average weight and age to share an enclosure. Below is a summary with the necessary information to help you choose an airline.
|Southwest Airlines||Two cats per cage, below 20 pounds combined weight. Both cats must be the same species.||Cats must be at least 8 weeks.|
6 Pets per flight.
A pet may not share a carrier with a trained service animal.
|$95 dollars per cat|
|American Airlines||Two cats per cage with a combined weight limit of 20 pounds.||Burmese, Persian, Himalayan, and Exotic Shorthair are not allowed.|
5 Pets per flight.
Restriction of pets flying in certain weather conditions.
|$125 dollars per cat|
2. Carrier Requirements.
Airlines are very strict when it comes to flying with pets especially when it comes to the types of carriers and sizes.
The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the Customer and be stowed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
They also require a carrier that is well-ventilated, leak-proof, and escape-proof. Southwest airlines also have the option to buy its very own carrier for a fee of $58.
They may be more requirements that depend on the chosen airline and their pet policy. Make sure you find out all the necessary information before the flight.
3. Cabin Or Cargo Travel.
Cabin travel means that your pet will travel with you, probably under your seat. Cargo travel means that your pet is going to travel in the cargo hold.
Cabin travels are most common since it gives owners the ability to monitor, protect and regulate their pet’s behavior throughout the flight.
It’s also a safer option in a more controlled environment and is the obvious choice for pet parents.
In some cases, however, when pets are too big for cabin travel the only other option is the cargo hold. Or when traveling internationally, pets are not allowed to travel in-cabin on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight.
Cargo travel is unsafe at times depending on the handling of the airline’s teams.
Even though most pets are fine traveling in the cargo holds, some pets suffer injury and are even killed throughout the flight.
The cargo hold isn’t very safe, after all the place is not temperature regulated and may have poor ventilation. Also, many cases of airline negligence resulted in missing pets.
4. Unfortunate events.
When flying with pets, cats in specific things are bound to go wrong. Therefore you need to plan for every possibility of something happening.
From their meals to relieving themselves to even dealing with a sick or destructive cat. These airlines will not make special preferences or help in any way possible.
If for some reason you miss your flight because your pet needs to relieve itself, these airlines will not be responsible and won’t delay the flight. If the pet becomes ill during the flight, oxygen or other first aid procedures will not be administered.
As ruthless as it may seem, your pet’s best chance of a smooth flight is solely unto you. Airlines won’t help.
5. Identification Tags.
Every year many pets go missing when flying. To help prevent such situations make sure both cats are probably tagged with the necessary information.
Microchips are also a great way to track their whereabouts in case they get lost. This procedure must be done by a medical professional and must be done in advance.
6. Health Certificates.
If you are taking your pets across state or international borders, a health certificate as well as other documentation may be required.
The health certificate must be signed by an accredited veterinarian after examining your pet and determining that it is free of infectious diseases and satisfies all import requirements of the receiving state, territory, or country.
7. Both Cats Must Be the Same Species.
This requirement is for certain airlines. They only accept two cats to travel together in the same carrier if they are the same breed.
Please check with your chosen airlines to make sure your cats are allowed.
Traveling By Car.
Traveling by car is the most common way of traveling. Most cat parents choose to travel by car to ensure they have more control of the journey so they can make adjustments along the way.
Traveling with your cats in your personal vehicle gives you the ability to make regular stops, for bathroom breaks, meal times, and exercise.
Below are some guidelines to consider to plan for car travel.
1. Car Acclimation.
This process must start in advance to provide enough time for both cats to get used to the surrounding of the vehicle as well as to get a feel of traveling.
You can start with short-distance rides and gradually increase the travel time and distances you travel. This gives you an idea of how your cats will react.
Some cats will acclimate well and will get through the journey, while some won’t make it and will probably need a calming aid or sedative.
2. Both Cats Must Be Compatible.
While cats can be very cuddly and cute don’t let them fool you as they are very territorial and defensive creatures, especially against their own kind.
For a cat to share its surroundings, space, or belongings with another feline it must be compatible and civil around each other.
Mostly cats that are friendly and gentle do well with sharing, but for the few that are high-energy and aggressive, this will be a problem.
Never travel with a cat that isn’t restrained. Make sure both cats are in the carrier and the carrier is properly restrained using pet seat belts.
This will make sure that they remain safe, with any sudden maneuver. A cat that travels free is at risk for getting injured or other fatal incidents.
Since you never know how your cat will react when traveling they can become stressed and act weirdly. Having the restraint creates a layer of protection.
4. The right Carrier.
With two cats in one carrier you want to make sure that both cats are comfortable and at ease. The type of carrier that you choose must be big with enough space to fit two cats.
The cats must not be crammed, if not they will most likely behave in an unpleasant manner.
Every carrier has its own specifications and weight limits. Normally carriers can hold pets that are around 10-25 pounds of body weight. When carrying two cats in the same carrier you want a carrier that can withstand the greater weight.
The larger carriers that are designed for two pets can be used since its adapted and well-equipped for heavier weight. These carriers are able to hold weights of around 20-25 pounds.
Ultimately, you have the control to either make them travel together in the same carrier or provide each their own.
With this mode of transportation, I would suggest you get two carriers or a double carrier to make each cat comfortable having their own space.
5. No strangers
Never allow two cats who are strangers to each other to share the same carrier. Both cats must be used to and fond of each other. Even if the cats are of the same breed, they sometimes can become extremely defensive if they are put together in close proximity.
6. Travel time/duration.
Two cats in one carrier can be a bit cramped if you have them inside for too long. If you intend on traveling long distances with two cats in the same carrier it is not a good idea at all.
The prolonged stay within the carrier can leave both the cats agitated and restless. They may take out their frustration on each other since they are being exposed to each other in close proximity for an extended period of time.
7. Bathroom Breaks.
The benefit of personal traveling is the ability to stop for bathroom/snack breaks whenever you want to. If you traveling long-distance make sure you take advantage and have regular stops for your well-being as well as your felines.
Provided that they are properly leashed, you can take them out for a few minutes to stretch and to relieve themselves. You can also create meal times according to their normal routine.
1. Carrier– The carrier must allow for enough space for them to move inside and fit comfortably. The carrier must also be able to carry the weight of both cats.
2. Harness/Leash– When traveling, a leash is very important. In this case, you need two leashes that are escape-proof and strong.
3. Water/Food– Cats love their food and when traveling you should remember to keep with their normal meal times. You should carry enough food and a lot of water for the full duration of the ride.
4. Disposable Litterbox– Messy situations are bound to happen if you don’t prepare for them. Get those disposable litterboxes for easy travel and relief. Make sure they are used to using these disposable boxes if not they will refrain from using them.
However, if you can, it’s advised that you carry along their own litterbox to make sure they are comfortable and free to use it whenever they need to.
5. Toys– As insignificant as it seems, tag along all their favorite toys to keep them entertained along the way. This provides great entertainment and will keep them occupied throughout the journey.
6. Cleaning Supplies– Cleaning supplies are very important when traveling. Happy accidents are bound to happen. I advise you carry wipes, tissues, disposable bags, and odor-eliminator sprays that are feline-friendly.
7. Medication– If your cat is on any medication/antibiotics or vitamins/supplements. Make sure you carry them along. For anxious cats get a sedative, anti-anxiety medication, or pheromone spray to keep them at ease for the ride.
8. Medical Information– Some cats are prone to several health issues and they can pick up any sort of infection or tummy issue along the way. Having their medical records on hand in case of an emergency will allow the vet to have full access to their medical history.
9. Portable Bowls– These bowls are great when traveling to prevent spillage and mess.
10. Patience– Make sure to pack some patience and love as well as two of everything mentioned above. This journey will be nerve-wracking for them, your assurance will get them through.
Requirements of Traveling With Two Cats.
Both cats must be carrier trained
Both cats must be comfortable and at ease inside the carrier. It’s unlikely that a cat that is unfamiliar with being inside a carrier will be okay. You must allow some time to fully introduce the carrier to their lifestyle and daily routine.
You want both cats to be used to the carrier, since if one cat is used to the carrier and the other is not, it could have adverse effects on the accompanying cat. This is required to keep the peace within the carrier when sharing carriers.
Cats must be potty trained.
It’s ideal that both cats are potty trained since it will make things much easier. It’s not okay to put a trained cat with an untrained cat since some cats are very fussy and they could get a little angry and aggressive at the sight of another feline’s waste. Most of the time kittens commonly share carriers, but in this case, you can opt to use pet diapers which will greatly help for the duration of the time, while sharing the carrier.
Traveling exposes pets to different environments and threats that may pop up. Training them to walk on a leash will add a layer of protection for them knowing that they are safe.
Owners love to carry their pets but in this case, two cats may seem difficult to do so. So having them properly leashed and trained will be beneficial.
Best Cat Carriers for Two Cats.
When placing two cats in one carrier, you must make sure that both cats are comfortable and aren’t crammed within the carrier. You need a good-sized carrier that can fit both cats with enough space and room for involuntary movement.
Both cats must be able to sit, stand up and turn around. Preferably both cats must be of average size at most. The carrier must also be well suited and should withstand the weight of the felines in order to obtain a good experience.
Below are a few examples of cat carriers that fit this criteria and dimension in order to allow both cats together in the same carrier.
1. MASKEYON Airline Approved Pet Carrier.
The Maskeyon carrier is an approved TSA carrier accepted by all airlines. This carrier is collapsible on either side which gives more space and room when needed. The easy-to-enter and exit features are surrounded by a firm mesh covering with a strong structure and padded mat for extra comfort.
- Can carry pets of up to 20 pounds.
- Detachable mat for easy cleaning.
- Have several pockets for cat accessories and storage.
- Collapsible feature to fit in restricted areas like in plane cabins.
- Shoulder strap for easy carrying.
- Good ventilation from mesh design.
2. Amazon Basics Soft Padded Carrier.
This carrier ticks all the right boxes in design, strength, and space. It also comes fully packed with features that allow for an enjoyable experience. The soft padded carrier comes in medium, large, and extra-large perfect for two cats of average size.
Its sheer design fitted with mesh sides allows for proper ventilation along with metal frames that aid in support and strength.
Carrier dimensions are 19,5 / 10.5 / 11,5 inches allowing it to facilitate two cats with ease. The carrier also comes with a 1-year limited warranty. Check the latest prices on Amazon.
3. Portable ONE FOR PETS 2-in-1 double pet shelter
This soft padded meshed style carrier is a two-in-one carrier that is joint but can also adjust to form one large carrier. This simple design incorporates ultra-streamlined styling with a modern and unique twist.
- Perfect for car travel with safety straps for both cats.
- Made with polyester for extra strength
- Foldable which is space efficient, best for traveling and outdoors.
- Can be used in three ways.
- Use as two connected carriers but still divided to give each cat its own privacy
- Can be used as one big carrier, since the zip can be adjusted to provide a free-flow open space
- Both carriers can be divided and totally separated to form two single carriers
- Dimensions are 20”/ 20” / 39” providing enough room for two average-sized cats or three smaller felines.
- This carrier comes with a two-year manufacturing warranty which covers any defects and abnormalities.