Thinking about flying with your cat? Then you must be wondering how old does a cat have to be to fly. Well, in this article, I am going to answer exactly that in details.
The minimum age for a cat to fly varies from airline to airline. However, speaking generally, a cat needs to be at least 8 weeks old for domestic flights.
In case of international flights, the age requirement can be 15 weeks minimum.
This is just a generalized answer. You need to ask your airline for the exact answer to this question.
What’s The Problem Traveling With Under Aged Cats?
There is a severe health risk if you fly with under aged or too young cats. When a cat is too young, her lungs don’t get fully developed yet.
As a result, when a plan is in high altitude, the cat can have trouble taking oxygen. This can get really serious if the plane is going to fly for hours.
That’s why it is never recommended to fly with cats that are too young. In fact, most airlines will not allow cats that are under 8 weeks old.
Even if your cat passes the 8 week old mark, I’ll recommend to consult with a vet before deciding to fly with your cat.
A cat can have many underlying issues. You do not want to fly with your cat if she is physically unsuitable for flying. That’s why getting the approval of a vet will be the safest route to go for.
Pet Age Limitation Of Some Of The Major Airlines
Southwest airlines is very harsh when it comes to carrying pets in their planes. They don’t allow any pet in any of their international flights, no matter what the age is. However, you can take your cat in a domestic flight, but the minimum age should be 8 weeks.
Also, if your cat is found doing any of the following disruptive behaviors, then she will not be approved for traveling:
- Barking, scratching or whining too much
- Peeing/pooping outside the litter box
- Lunging, trying to bite others or growling
American airlines is comparatively more flexible when it comes to traveling with pets. Your cat needs to be at least 8 weeks old for flying in a domestic flight. However, no information is given on the age requirement in case of international flights. You can contact them in their official site and ask directly.
There are some other restrictions when flying with cats in American airlines:
- No brachycephalic cats are accepted in their airlines. It includes Persian, Exotic shorthair cats, Burmese and Himalayan cats.
For domestic flights, the cat needs to be at least 8 weeks old for flying in United Airlines. However, if the cat weighs less than 2 pounds, then the minimum age requirement is 10 weeks.
The age requirement for international flights vary according to which country you are traveling. So, if you want to fly with your cat to another country, the best thing to do will be contact them in their official site.
Delta airlines can be a bit tough when traveling with pets. According to their rules and regulations, cats that are at least 10 weeks old are eligible for flying in domestic flights. Also, the cat needs to be fully weaned.
If you want to travel in international flights with your cat, then the minimum age requirement is 16 weeks. For European travel, the age requirement gets a bit reduced, 15 weeks.
For learning more about pet travel regulations on Delta Airlines, click here.
So To Sum Up…
The minimum age requirement for cats to fly in domestic flights range from 8 weeks to 10 weeks in different airlines.
However, when it comes to international flights, the rules get stricter. Most of the international flights only allow cats that are at least 15-16 weeks old. Also in both cases, the cat needs to be completely weaned. Even some airlines don’t approve cat at all for their international flights.
So before making any decision final, contact with your airline and ask about their regulations when it comes to traveling with pets. Also, you’ll must need a cat carrier that is approved for air travel. This is a must for traveling with pets by air. I find this one to be the best carrier for air traveling. It is approved by most of the major airlines in the USA. Also, your cat will pass a comfortable time inside this carrier.