Middlebrook Animal Clinic

9229 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37931



If going by plane...


Don't get caught by the travel gustapos! Contact your airline far enough ahead to find out about their rules and regulations.

According to federal guidelines, all pets traveling by plane must be at least 8 weeks old and must also be weaned for at least 5 days. Also a health certificate that was completed within the last 10 days must accompany the pet. Make sure your vet is certified to complete such a form because not all vets are! You will also need a valid rabies vaccination certificate for the pet, and this certificate will need to travel with them.

Give thought to the weather as your pet will be briefly exposed to the weather outside during boarding. When temperatures are hot, it is best to fly in the early morning or the evening. If it is cold, traveling during the day is best. If you can swing it, try to get a nonstop flight and avoid plane changes.

You will need to make ample time for letting your pet stretch their legs out and take a potty break. Keep in mind that many cats tend to be quite "keyed up" during travel. This could mean that your kitty may try to bolt if you remove them from their carrier. Also, since many cats need to feel relaxed or secure to use the bathroom, most won't "use it" even if given the opportunity. It is NOT recommended that you include a litterbox within the carrier. Litter is just likely to spill all over the place and it will take up room within the carrier further cramping your kitty's space. Many airports now have designated areas to walk your pet. Most of these locations are primarily designed to service dogs. If your cat is trained to walk on a harness and leash, certainly you may give it a try. Keep in mind that it may be difficult to get them back into the carrier. Call the airport you will be using to find out the specifics of what is available.

On another note, don't be surprised if your pet is not hungry while in transit. In fact, it is best that they travel on an empty stomach to avoid vomiting. No one likes to have to sit in their own accidents! If your pet is prone to nausea, please see our page on Motion Sickness.