How Much Does it Cost to Fly a Cat by Plane?

Most probably you heading out on holiday or maybe relocating and you want to get an idea of the pricing of flying a cat. Luckily I’ve compiled this article with the costing of each mode of transport such as flying, shipping or even driving so that you can make the wise, more affordable decision.

Plane travels

Travelling by plane is the fastest and most efficient way of travelling. Cats are safe to travel on planes since it doesn’t pose any threat to their health, however, flights are normally very noisy and turbulent at times.

Plane travels are generally more common than any other mode of transportation. The pricing however is dependent on the airline you choose to fly with.

  • Southwest airlines – $95 dollars one way trip
  • American airlines – $125 dollars one-way trip.
  • Jetblue airlines – $125 dollars one way.
  • Alaska airlines – $100 one way trip.
  • United airlines – $125 one way trip.

These prices are for local flights in and around the US. For international flights the price range from $1500-$2000 dollars.

Train rides

Train rides are one of the most relaxing ways to travel. It’s peaceful and also very soothing. Normally trains in the US allow small pets to travel for free with their owners, however Amtrak charges $25 per ride for certain routes only.

Conditions for free rides:

– The cat must not annoy other passengers

– Must not Make noise

– Cannot danger others

– Inconvenience other travellers.


Shipping of cats is a long process and that’s the reason it can be expensive. The fact that it takes longer, the shipping service provider have to feed, care and look after your cat until they reach the destination .

The average shipping fees are:

  • $1,54 dollars per mile when you travel less than 100 miles.
  • $0,45 dollars per mile when you travel less than 1000 miles.

For international shipping, the prices range from $2500 to $3000. This cost usually covers the full care of the cat until they arrive.

Car travels.

Cars are also very commonly used mode of transport. When travelling in a personal car it’s free to travel with your pet but you are required to get some cat gear and accessories to make your travel much easier.

Car travels are much less stressful since you can prepare for it, but it can be a disaster if you aren’t prepared.

When travelling with a cat in a car you must have:

  • Carrier or cage
  • Litter box or tray
  • Leash and collar
  • Harness
  • Window pouch
  • Food, water and snacks
  • Comfortable resting place
  • Toys and fidgets.

Depending on what item you going to buy the amount you can spend varies. An average amount of $100 would be sufficient to buy the important things

Inexpensive ways to travel with your cat.

  • Go for domestic flights, since these flights are much cheaper.
  • Travel in the off-peak seasons, in the US the off-peak season is from November all the way to March.
  • Go for three-star hotels which are more affordable but are still in good condition.
  • Choose self-service, you can provide your own meals for kitty and yourself.
  • Never book into hotels along the coast, there are really expensive.
  • Carry your cats own accessories like litter box and carriers. Hotels normally charge an extra fee for these items.
  • Look for coupons and discounts.
  • Buy kitty accessories online when on sale.
  • Buying cat foods in bulk can be a great saving also.
  • Use public transport instead of a car rental.

The cost of a vet health certificate

Flights and shipping may require a health certificate for your pet. A health certificate basically states that your cat is healthy and fit to travel. It also means that your pet is disease-free and isn’t a risk to other pets and people.

In order for you to get the health certificate, the cat must be examined and must be up to date with vaccinations and treatments. The cost depends entirely on what treatment and vaccines are needed.

The average cost of a vet inspection, treatment and health certificate could range from $50-$300dollars. Another option could be pet shelters and local pet clinics, normally they are more affordable as they cater to lower-income people.

If you intend on flying with your cat, I would recommend using southwest airlines, since they dont require an health certificate for your cat. Instead officials do a spot inspection to make sure your pet is in good health and proper hygiene.

Is travelling safe for my cat?

Like with anything on this earth, there is a lot of risks, travelling is no different, however its completely safe to travel with your cat.

Travelling on its own isn’t a hundred percent safe for humans and for pets as you never know what could happen, however with the upgrade of technology and the smart inventions we can travel much more efficiently.

Cats, however, don’t really prefer travelling but with preparation and enough planning, you could have a good journey. This is the best time ever to travel since technology Is at its best which makes it much safer and reliable than ever.

Is it safe for my cat to travel as cargo in the plan? 

I was shocked to find out that pets actually travel on planes as cargo as if they are lifeless. Many people actually allow their pets to travel as cargo without knowing the dangers.

In June 2016, there are two recorded cases of a specific airline that arrived with pets dead in cargo compartments. The cause was heart-related for both, this made me think about the real honesty of these airlines.

  • Travelling as cargo is very noisy, turbulent and extremely frightening.
  • Temperature is also an issue since heat generated could easily affect the room temperature of the cargo compartment.
  • Your cat also stands a chance of getting dehydrated since you aren’t allowed to feed the cat during the flight. Some airlines, however, may offer water.
  • Your cat could suffer injury, if carrier topples over.
  • Other objects could fall on your cat’s carrier and could harm the cat.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Stress and anxiety.

Personally I feel that this is enough evidence to never allow your cat to travel as cargo. If you want the best and safest option rather travel with your pet in the cabin so that you are able to provide and care for your cat while onboard or let kitty skip the flight.

There are a lot of pet boarding services that are very reliable and safe. You can look into this for more information.

Safety precautions and advice

  • When travelling always do research about the airline or shipping services.
  • Always read reviews, and get all the information.
  • Normally the cheapest option is never what you looking for.
  • Make sure your cat is microchipped along with a collar and leash.
  • Always accompany kitty, to be safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *