All of the requirements for flying with a cat may seem overwhelming at first, but being prepared can help calm many of those concerns.
In this collaborative post with Cindy Aldridge, we will be covering a few of the essential things to remember when you are flying with cats and dream of living a nomadic, remote work lifestyle, full of adventure with your favorite fur child along for the ride!
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Select a Prime Feline Destination
Choosing a home base as a digital nomad can be complicated. Priorities might include affordability, available amenities, convenience, job opportunities, and countless other factors. For cat parents, though, a locale with pet-friendly vibes is a must.
When researching digital nomad hotspots, search for veterinary clinics, pet stores, and groomers. Moving somewhere with no local vet office isn’t ideal when you’re bringing a cat (or multiple) with you. If a vet clinic is available, do they have service reviews? What do others have to say about the quality of their care?
If you enjoy having your feline with you as you go about town, do they have cat-friendly businesses in the area? Are there any city or town restrictions that would prevent you from being able to take your cat with you?
Since picking the right location is such a big deal, it’s important to find out all you can ahead of time so you don’t wind up living a nomadic nightmare instead of a sweet dream!
Prepare for Travel With Your Pet
Getting to your new location is the next hurdle when traveling involves carting a furry friend along. Airlines typically require documentation for pets, specifically an inspection form from the veterinarian, but international destinations may have additional rules. It’s important to check with your destination country beforehand to find out what those requirements are!
You may also want to practice for your upcoming trip by acclimating your cat to their carrier. Brief car trips can simulate the drive to the airport and inform your flight planning, such as purchasing medication for your cat to fly more comfortably. The more you know ahead of time, the more stress you can avoid on the big day.
Though flying is normally safe for felines, Reader’s Digest’s experts point out that cats can become nauseous or nervous on planes and some may need a dose of something to relax them.
Cat adventuring expert, Emily, from Kitty Cat Go, also recommends several ways to calm your kitty’s nerves which can help with nervous tummies, if that’s an issue with your baby. The moral of the story: Flying with a cat doesn’t have to be a nightmare experience for you or your feline.
What are the best airline-approved cat carriers?
If you are planning to fly with your pet in-cabin, keep in mind there are some strict guidelines for what kind of carrier you can use and what the size limitations are. It is not uncommon for airlines to have specific requirements so please check with your chosen airline ahead of time what their guidelines are before buying your carrier or booking your flight.
A quick phone call or a search on their website for “pet travel requirements” should give you a much better idea of what to expect. Again, planning ahead makes flying with a cat far less traumatic for you both!
In general, size requirements for in-cabin carriers are as follows:
- Hard-sided pet kennels: 17.5 inches long, 12 inches wide, 7.5 inches high
- Soft-sided pet kennels: 18 inches long, 11 inches wide, 11 inches high
Here are a few of the most highly recommended, airline-friendly cat carriers for jet-setters around the globe…
🐾 Best for versatility: Sleepypod Air
🐾 Best budget-friendly: Sherpa Original Deluxe
🐾 Best for convenience: Snoozer Roll-Around 4-in-1 carrier
🐾 Best expandable for extra comfort: Mr. Peanuts Soft-Sided Pet Carrier
🐾 Best backpack for small pets: Mr. Peanut’s Monterey Series Convertible Backpack
Search in Advance for Cat-Friendly Rentals
A pet-friendly rental is another must-have for diving into digital nomad life. Unfortunately, most rentals that permit pets charge extra fees for them. Apartment Guide confirms that most rentals charge a pet deposit equal to anywhere from 40 to 85 percent of the rent.
Some rentals may charge monthly pet fees, nonrefundable cleaning fees, or even one-time flat-rate pet fees. Inquire in advance about possible fees—and save up if possible to cover up-front costs.
Once you’re settled in, keeping your pet happy indoors may be the key to keeping them safe. For digital nomads who move often, keeping tabs on your feline is tough when they spend time outside.
Invest in fun new toys to challenge your cat’s brain and body so they don’t become restless—or destructive—at home. Nobody wants to lose their pet deposit because little Charlie was a bad boy and clawed up the doors, floors, and more! Yikes!
Scope Out Kitty Essentials
Relocating may pose some logistical issues for pet parents. Especially if your move is international, it might be challenging to find essentials like your cat’s favorite treats or kitty litter.
Check out pet supply shops at your destination, or explore online stores that ship internationally. Pet supplies are often available through Amazon, but many smaller stores will work with customers to ship packages overseas.
Another option is to try new snacks and dry food before moving; the more variety your cat can tolerate, the better the odds they’ll have a full, happy belly no matter where you travel.
Just remember, when changing your cat’s diet, go slow! Sudden changes in their food, especially dry, can cause a very upset stomach.
By adding small amounts of the new food into their old food over time, you lessen the risk of digestive distress. Gradually add more of the new and less of the old until the transition is complete over a 7-14 day window. If you see signs of gas, constipation/diarrhea, or other discomforts – pay attention. You may need to go slower or reassess whether the new food is a good fit for your feline.
In general, most cats tolerate a change in treats or canned food fairly well. However, each cat is an individual and may need extra care with these too.
Have a Professional Backup Plan
The beauty of becoming a digital nomad is the ability to work from anywhere. Yet job security can be a nerve-wracking subject. Whether you’re searching for your first remote job or need a supplementary gig, securing enough work to pay the bills is the first step in living the digital nomad life.
Though WeWorkRemotely suggests landing a remote gig with no experience is doable, a DIY mindset and some hard work may be necessary. Wannabe nomads can also start freelancing, which offers flexibility and avoids tying your ability to earn an income to one company.
Are you naturally talented in a certain skill? You’d be surprised how much your gift is needed. Sites like Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, Remote.co, Flexjobs, Working Nomads, and many more, offer you the perfect opportunity to make your dream a reality.
Dust Off Your Resume
As unconventional as the digital nomad lifestyle may be, it’s catching on, and the job market seems to be keeping up. Therefore, keeping your resume up to date with recent freelance and remote job experience is crucial.
Keep a professional-looking resume on hand for job applications and client reference; try this tool to customize a resume template to suit your needs.
The titles “digital nomad” and “cat parent” can go together, even if it takes some extra preparation to make it work. From convincing your cat to try new things (like riding in a carrier) to cleaning up your resume for a job hunt, checking off these to-do items can help you prepare for a new lifestyle you’ll both enjoy.
In this life, it’s vitally important for us to have dreams, goals, and a vision for the future. Without them, each day can seem to blend together into one mindless task of monotony.
If you are dreaming today of working your way into a much less restrictive schedule and workflow, take heart, it is possible. It will take dedication, persistence, and a commitment to your goals, but you can get there.
Best of all, because of modern travel, you can fly with your cat into the very land your dreams are made of. Whether it’s a bustling city, a mountaintop retreat, or a tropical island, just imagine how it’ll feel to be living your remote-work vision with your favorite feline by your side!
In the meantime, maybe take a quick vacation with your cat to inspire you all the more for your future! Even a 24-hour change of scenery in a neighboring town can do the heart good!
Enjoy this post? Take a look at Cindy’s other great post, “Downsizing Your Home With Pets: 4 Helpful Tips for a Smooth Transition.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
- Are you a remote worker or hope to be one day?
- Have you ever taken your cat on a flight? How did it go?
- Is there anything important I missed? Share!
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Until next time, furiends…
Love & Healing Purrs,