Can I Take My Cat in a Plane Cabin as Hand Luggage?

Can I take my cat in a plane cabin as hand luggage?

Is that allowed: can I take my cat in a plane cabin as hand luggage? As a real cats owner, you naturally want to take your cat everywhere. Usually, you can reach the places by car but what if you go by plane? Many other people and I like to travel with their cat. When I go on vacation, I love to go by plane. Are you allowed to carry your cat as hand luggage? That would, of course, be very nice and easy. I have investigated whether it is possible and what you should all think about it.

Can I take my cat in a plane cabin as hand luggage? Cats, who weigh a maximum of 10 kg, including a suitable transport bag, may be taken with you into the passenger cabin. However, the travel bag of your cat must fit under the airplane seat. Ask the airline company about the exact dimensions of the space under the airline seat. Check which types of carriers are allowed. You will need a vaccination document for your cat and a health certificate.

In the rest of the post, you can read the best way to take your cat in a plane cabin as hand luggage is. You can also read which points require more attention, like tips for traveling with a cat. Plus, what is the best way to take your cat as hand luggage?

Take Cat in Plane Cabin as Hand Luggage

Taking a cat or kitten as hand luggage in an airplane may seem like a simple idea, but logistics can increase. You may have to deal with extra costs and maybe even documentation requirements and other rules, which may vary depending on the airline. If you do some research and preparation, you and your cat can fly safely and comfortably. The rules are the same as when you fly with your dog. However, you have to talk to your vet and the airline beforehand for both travelings with a dog and cat.

It is allowed to take your cat as hand luggage. Some airlines are allowing cats to take them with you in the cabin. There are often only a limited number of pets allowed in the cabin. A cat traveling in a cabin must carry in an approved hard-sided ( maximum 44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm) or soft-sided travel bag ( maximum 46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm). Your cat may often weigh no more than 6 kilos. The travel bag must not be too heavy. The maximum allowed weight of the travel bag (including a cat) is usually 10 kilos. The travel bag with your cat must fit under the seat, and it is not allowed to take your cat out of the travel bag during the flight.

All airlines have different rules about transporting cats on the plane.
Often you can indicate when you book your ticket that you want to travel with a cat. However, sometimes you have to contact the airline by telephone after you have booked. The prices vary per airline, and often it is cheaper to take your cat in the cabin. The costs for transport in the aircraft hold are usually higher. Always check all the conditions on the website of your airline.

Some states require vaccination of cats for rabies, so it is a good idea to check with state and local health authorities at your final destination.

Can I Take My Cat in a Plane Cabin as Hand Luggage?

Related questions

It is now clear that a cat can fly as hand luggage, but of course, more points come with it. Think, for example, of a passport for your cat or extra costs for hand luggage. Below I answer three frequent questions about flying with a cat as hand luggage.

What Is the Price to Take a Cat as Hand Luggage?

The price to take your cat as hand luggage is very different. Each airline company charges a different price. I have compared the costs of different airlines. Most of the major airlines are still accepting one cat per passenger. On average, the cost varies between €30 and €150. If you want to know the exact price, I advise you to look at your airline company’s site or contact them by telephone.

Do I Have to Buy a Separate Ticket for My Cat?

With many airlines, you can find the rules of taking a cat under the heading of special baggage. Often but not always, you can indicate during your booking that you are traveling with a cat. However, sometimes you have to contact the airline by telephone after the booking process. If you want to know how it works before your booking, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the airline company. My experience is that the reservation of a pet is not indicating during booking.

Which Documents Do I Need?

To know which documents are required and which rules apply to the transportation of your cat, I advise you to consult the embassies of the country of departure and the state of destination.
Your cat may not travel without a passport. A passport from your cat is required. The passport is also called ‘the passport for companion animals.’ This passport can obtain through a qualified veterinarian.

Your cat must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before departure and must have a microchip. This information will also appear in the passport. Also, the veterinarian must issue a health certificate. Depending on the country of departure and the destination, sometimes more data or documents are required. Always consult the embassies or contact the airline company.

Overview of documents

In short, you need these documents:
– Passport
– Rabies vaccination and proof of this
– A document that your cat has a chip. You must make sure your cat fits with a microchip
– Health certificate from the veterinarian

Depending on where you are going, you sometimes also need an Acclimation Certificate. This document features regulations about hot and cold weather extremes. The weather extremes can harm pets who are not accustomed to the extreme hot or cold. Call your airline if you need this type of document.

Take Cat in Plane Cabin as Hand Luggage

Which Steps Are Most Important for Departure?

It is essential to make some preparations before departure and to prepare your cat for the flight. No matter how you travel with your cat, it is essential to prepare your cat well for the flight. The preparations save much stress for your cat and yourself. The following points are essential preparations.

  • Let your cat get accustomed to the kennel/travel bag from 5 days before the flight.
  • Give your cat a light meal and water at least 2 hours before departure and let your cat urinate shortly before departure. Your cat will not receive food or water during the flight because you can not open the travel bag/kennel during the flight.
  • You can only give your cat a sedative in consultation with a veterinarian. Talking to your vet is recommended because not every cat can take all kinds of narcotics. Such a sedative can also work in a contradictory way. Also, nobody likes to travel with a sick cat. The blood pressure may become too low due to the combination with the flying height, and this can be life-threatening. If the substance is worked out during the flight, your cat can also panic because it does not know where it is. Also, nobody likes to travel with a sick cat.

On the airport

  • Do not stand in line at the airport for check-in. Depending on the airline you fly with, you usually have to go to the ticket desk first and pay for the ticket for flying with a cat. Then you have to return to the check-in desk with the proof of payment. If you are with two persons, let your fellow traveler join the check-in row while you go to the ticket desk with your cat.
  • Let your cat do his needs. Does your cat meow at the airport a lot? Then let your cat out of the travel bag to be able to look around. This way, your cat can relax a bit, and you can give it some loving attention.

Checking in for pets may take some time. It is recommended to arrive at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled departure time. Make sure you have all the papers with you, and you can show them when necessary. It is better to have one form too much than missing one form.

At Which Destinations Is My Cat Not Allowed?

Unfortunately, you can not take your cat with you to some destinations. That is not because of the country’s rules but because of the regulations at the airport. Transavia, for example, does not transport domestic animals to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates, and Chambéry. It is complicated for the other airlines, airports, and countries to find out which destinations cats are not welcome. Unfortunately, too little attention is paying to this. Like a real cat lover, you can not easily find this information on the internet.

Take Cat in Plane Cabin as Hand Luggage


It’s allowed to take your cat in a plane cabin as hand luggage.  The weight of your cat, including the bag, may be up to 10 kg by many companies. The travel bag of your cat must fit under the airplane seat. You will need a passport. Also, do not forget the vaccination document for your cat and a health certificate.

If you like this post, you might also like similar blog posts. In the cat life section, there are more posts about the life of a cat.

Hopefully, you have learned something about taking your cat in a plane cabin as hand luggage. Also, when you know someone who likes to know more about taking a cat in a plane cabin as hand luggage, then feel free to share this post.


By Marleen

Marleen is a truly madly deeply cat lover and founder of That Is for My Cat. She wants to share her knowledge about cats with other people who like to know more about cats.