shipping cats by air

Shipping Cats By Air

Shipping cats by air it actually not that uncommon.  In today’s modern world there are a lot more options available to people who need this service.  The process for shipping cats by air is safer and easier than most people think.

Yes, you can ship your cat by air.  Whether you are travelling with your pet or shipping a cat to new home airlines have made it increasingly easy to ship pets by air. Each airline has a different set of rules when it comes to shipping the cat.  There are also professional companies that can help you with the shipping arrangements.  If you are crossing international borders you will need to make sure that all of your customs paperwork is prepared.

Quick Over View of the Basic Steps

The more time you have to plan and get everything in place the better off you will be.  It’s not a difficult process but good planning will help.

  • Medical.  You will need to research the import rules for the country you live in.  This will likely include vaccinations, rabies and potentially a vet check.
  • Shipping Airline.  You will need to check with the airline that you are travelling with or, that you are shipping with.  Each airline has its own guidelines and policies when it comes to cat transport in the air.
  • Professional Pet Relocation.  There are a number of companies that can help you transport your cat.
  • Should I sedate my Cat?
  • Choosing a travel cat carrier for your cat

All animals, upon landing in any country/region, may be inspected by government veterinary officials. Please note that veterinary inspection fees may be charged. Local veterinary health certificates obtained from animal clinics are not sufficient to clear government veterinary inspections. To obtain these additional documents, such as government approved health certificates, please contact the consulate or embassy of the country/region to which you are travelling.

If You are Shipping Your Cat in Canada


Air Canada

Each Airline is a little different, but generally the same. Air Canada will allow 2-4 pets on each flight inside the cabin. So if you are thinking of taking your pet on your flight you should book early and let them know you are bringing a pet. Once the maximum number of pets are on board that’s it. When you book tell them the dimensions of your pets travel carrier, the weight and the breed information. You will also want to give yourself extra time at the airport, and make sure to checkin early.

If your pet will be inside the cabin on a Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft, the pet carrier cannot exceed 8.25″ x 15″ x 17″ (21cm x 38cm x 43 cm). Carriers with soft sides are recommended, and they need to be well ventilated. Your pet cannot exit the carrier during the flight, it needs to be comfortable inside the carrier.

  1. Pets in the Cabin
    • Air Canada and Jazz flights allow small cats and dogs inside the cabin. The weight of the pet and the carrier must be under 22 pounds or 10 kgs. That is why it is a good idea to get a soft-sided carrier, they weigh less. It is important to remember that your pet counts as one carry-on and must go under the seat. so make sure to plan accordingly.
  2. Pets in Checked Baggage
    • Air Canada allows cats and dogs over 12 weeks old to travel in the hold on some flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada Express, Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian or Exploits Valley Air. Pets travelling in the hold should not exceed 100 lbs (45 kg). Each passenger is permitted to travel with up to 2 pets, charged separately. If you’re planning on bringing Fido and a friend, they must be used to cohabitation and weigh less than 31 lbs (14 kg) combined. Pet fees for 1-way travel within Canada range between $105-120.75; and 1-way international flights range between $270-318.60. When temperatures in the hold are too low, Air Canada may refuse animals to travel in the hold.
    • Dogs and cats that are over 12 weeks old are allowed to travel in the hold on some flights. These pets cannot exceed 100 pounds or 45 kgs, and you are allowed to have 2 pets per traveller in the hold. Each pet will cost you a fee.
  3. Pets in Cargo
    • If you need to send your pet somewhere alone, or they do not meet the size restrictions for travelling in the hold, you can email Air Canada Cargo at to arrange safe transport of your pet as cargo. For pets travelling in the hold, carriers must not exceed 115″ (292 cm). They must be hard-sided, leak-proof, and big enough to allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Carrier Guidelines

For pets traveling in the cabin on Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft, the pet carrier cannot exceed 8.25″ x 15″ x 17″ (21cm x 38cm x 43 cm). In their cabins equipped with lie-flat beds, only small or miniature dogs and cats are allowed. Soft-sided carriers are recommended, and they must not exceed the dimensions of 11″ x 8″ x 16″ (28 cm x 21 cm x 41 cm). They must be soft-sided, leak-proof, and well ventilated. During the flight, your pet must remain inside the carrier and be able to turn around and lie down comfortably within it. For pets traveling in the hold, carriers must not exceed 115″ (292 cm). They must be hard-sided, leak-proof, and big enough to allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Ok, so either you are moving or you are purchasing a cat and need to transport that cat by air.

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

Air Canada – On domestic flights, pet fees for 1-way travel range between $50-59. On international flights, pet fees for 1-way travel range between $100-118.

How do you Ship a Cat by Air?


AC Animals is Air Canada Cargo’s designated shipping solution for live animals. We understand that while air travel can be stressful to passengers, it can be extremely difficult for animals. That’s why your animal’s safety and comfort are our top priorities.

With specially-trained staff to care for the animals, designated holding facilities (at select stations) and dedicated transport vehicles, we help to make your animal’s journey a little easier.

The AC Animals Solution

The AC Animals solution offers the following benefits for you and your animal:

  • Priority1 service
  • Specially-trained staff to care for your pet or animals
  • Designated holding facilities at select stations for your animal’s comfort
  • Dedicated transport vehicles for safety and comfort
  • Designated agents for bookings and questions about live shipments
  • Bonded kennel facility in Toronto for comfort stops when in transit
  • Easy new pricing for the transport of dogs and cats within Canada and between Canada and the US.
  • Veterinary consultant services

Can you ship a Cat in the Mail?

Which Airlines Ship Cats as Cargo?

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