Finding The Best And Cheapest Way To Ship A Cat

Are you looking for the cheapest way to ship a cat that is good enough too because your pet kitty doesn’t like going around much? Well, that can be a matter of immense trepidation for a lot of cat owners since cats are one such pet that isn’t very travel-loving like the dogs. However, the need for immediate relocation due to any reason might have given you the headache to look for how to ship a cat safely and without spending a fortune for it.

However, the matter isn’t as serious as it may appear and we are here for help as we will break down the entire process into clear steps for you. Let’s begin.


Factors involved in the plan

As we said, cat relocation is a detailed plan and various steps are involved in it. This means that you will have to make a lot of payments since can you ship a cat free-of-cost, obviously no! We are going, to begin with, listing all the possible steps that you might have to take.

cheapest way to ship a cat

Medical charges

Health checkups are mandatory and this might include charges for a lot many documents, certificates, vaccination, microchipping, etc. These costs also vary according to the cat specie that you own.

Transport cost

These are individualistic charges that will depend upon the transportation medium that you will choose. Your cat can flow as a cargo, check-in baggage, personal partner, or other ways and the charges will be put accordingly.

Pet container charges

You will have to buy a pet crate for your cat to ensure a comfortable and safe trip or upgrade the one that you might have. You must check the guidelines laid down for it from relevant authorities.

Pet passport

This is required for international transportation and adds up to your cheapest way to ship a cat plan. It’s not necessary for all the places but some countries do have it as a mandatory requirement.

Custom clearance

This is a case with many airport authorities and might include several check-ups of the cat. You may have to pay the charges for this too as per the taxes, tariffs, and inspection rates.

Additional charges

A lot of other documents are involved in the process that will cost you more money. These are:

  • Flight arrangements
  • Endorsement papers from the relevant authority
  • Import permits
  • Kennel reservations, optional
  • Quarantine charges
  • Entrance tax
  • Any specific VAT

If you think can you ship a cat without any hassle, well, that is not entirely smooth. These listed factors will also serve as the components of your plan as well as cost estimation.

Prepping the cat for the journey

Now, you need to ready up your cat for the travel physically that will also ensure their behavioral stability. Any medium transporting your cat will require you to hand over a fit cat with necessary permits.

cheapest way to ship a cat

Visit the vet

This is the first and major step to carry out to ensure the safety of both your pet and the other animals. The pet must be healthy before and during the travel to avoid any aggregated circumstances.

Get the medical documents ready

A clearance from the vet is also an essential document required by the travel authorities. This may include the vaccination certificate, allowance order for sedation, general health declaration, etc. Also, check the destination airport rules regarding the pet movement.

Other documents

There are certain other documents required for cat travel that take time to be ready and have been mentioned above. These are much urgent certifications to ignore while calculating cat shipping cost.

Choosing shipping container

You need to choose the perfect pet container as comfort and safety are going to be the cat’s best partners during the journey. Make sure to have these standards related to the container right:

  • Construction: Solid material, rigid top, proper ventilation, and nicely operating hardware parts must be checked.
  • Size: The container must be able to accommodate the cat in all the natural positions without any discomfort.

Other than these two things, a door latch, detachable wheels, food dishes, and bedding must be ensured with the cat carrier. Labeling is extremely important and the stickers like ‘LIVE ANIMAL’ and ‘THIS SIDE UP’ must be out correctly. Affix a photo and name of the pet too on the crate.

Cargo traveling also requires these containers to be approved by the IATA.

Sedate only in special cases

Sedation can have negative and unpredictable impacts on the cat in high-altitude travels. Let your vet approve it first and also check with the transporting authority if they allow it or not.

Transport options for your cat

The process of choosing the cheapest way to ship a cat becomes even easier when you have the various options for transportation medium laid out clearly in front of you.

Ship via air

This may seem like the best option for international or long-distance traveling for your cat. Certain airline companies offer pet travel services and you may check with your airlines if they do so too. You may find other airlines with these services and make a booking with them this time for both of you if you want to be the supervisor of your pet all the time.

Carefully check the rules and permits of the aviation company regarding the pet and see if they let the cat travel as cabin baggage or the cargo. Be quick in making such bookings as the seats are usually very limited.

Ship via land

If you are taking your vehicle for inter-state travel, that is definitely the cheapest way out. Your cat might still not be very happy about it and you can make the journey easier for them with occasional stops, allowing fresh air, their favorite toys, arranging a pet-friendly hotel for the layover, etc. This transport mode is offered by some pet moving agencies too.

Watch this video.

Ship via rail

This can also be a great and cheap option to move your cat around with you as some of the railways do allow small pets onboard. Again, you can either take them with you in the cabin or have to let them travel as the boarded baggage.

You may search for these services in your region and look up at the costs offered to make the final estimation of the cat shipping cost for you. By comparing the prices and services offered, you will get the cheapest way out of the home region for your cat.

Pet-travel companies

As the name only suggests, these companies are specialists in pet relocation for all types of travel. They are highly professional in this job as they ensure full safety and comfort for the pet during the travel too. There are certain factors that you must look for before choosing any such transport service.

  • The company must have the proper license for traveling the regulated animals by the concerned authority.
  • Check for their reviews and assess their experience in the industry. Understand that they must have exclusive experience for particular pets as they must know how to deal with your pet.
  • Once booked the travel, hand over all the important medical documents of the cat, detailed guide on your pet care, and contact info to the agency for any emergency.
  • You must also check if they provide any insurance cover for the pets in possession of any mishap that might happen during the travel. These insurances usually don’t include natural death or pre-medical conditions.


This was all about curating a plan that turns out to be the cheapest way to ship a cat for you. The resources available to you and your personal preferences will play a decisive role in estimating the final cat shipping cost.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.