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A Purrfect Voyage: Essential Tips for Traveling with Cats on Ferry

  • 11 min read

Being a cat owner you know that your feline friend is more than just a pet – they are part of the family. So, when it comes to travel, it’s only natural to want to bring them along. One increasingly popular mode of travel with pets is by ferry. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll sail through the ins and outs of traveling with cats on ferry. We’ll cover everything from the initial planning stage to the voyage, ensuring you and your feline friend have a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Can I Travel by Ferry with My Cat?

Absolutely! Many ferry companies are increasingly accommodating of our feline friends. That said, rules can vary significantly from ferry service to ferry, so you must do your homework before you book your tickets.

Preparing for Your Journey with Furry Friends

Understanding the Ferry’s Pet Policies

Ahoy, future sea-faring feline enthusiast! Before you hoist anchor and set sail, there’s a little recon work you need to do: dig into the specifics of the ‘furry passenger’ policies of the ferry company you’re planning to travel with. This is super important, because let’s face it, ferry companies are as diverse as our adorable four-legged pals!

Some ferry companies are all about pets joining their owners in the cabin, creating a cozy little home-away-from-home on the seas. It’s like your cat’s own little cruise! On the other hand, some companies might ask for pets to stay in their carriers and chill in a designated ‘pet zone’. It’s a bit like a backstage pass for your kitty, giving them a behind-the-scenes view of sea travel.

So make sure you know the score before you set sail. By planning ahead and knowing what to expect, you can make the voyage smooth sailing for both you and your kitty. Safe travels, shipmates!

Ensuring Your Cat’s Comfort in a Kennel

Even if your whiskered buddy gets to stay with you in your cabin, chances are they’ll need to spend some of their seafaring adventure in a kennel. So, how about turning this necessity into a VIP lounge for your feline friend?

Grab a comfy, roomy kennel that’s as breezy as the ocean wind for the journey. Remember, your cat will need ample space to stretch, because who doesn’t love a good stretch, right? Plus, cats are royalty, so space is a must!

But we’re not done yet! Adding a cherished blanket or toy is the cherry on top. It’s like bringing a piece of home on the voyage. It makes the kennel more inviting and gives your feline friend some comfort amidst the new and exciting environment.

So, turn that kennel into a cozy retreat for your cat. After all, every adventure needs a cozy home base, doesn’t it?

Acclimatizing Your Cat Prior to Travel

Some cats take naturally to travel, while others may need a bit more time to adjust. Practicing short trips with your cat can be helpful before embarking on a longer journey. Also, consider harness training your cat to help them feel more secure during the trip. If your cat experiences motion sickness, speak with your vet about potential remedies.

Cat standing near a ferry
Source: The Dog People

Keeping Vaccinations and Health Certificates Up to Date

Before you start packing those kitty treats and life jackets, there’s a must-do item on your pre-travel checklist: vaccinations! It’s super important to ensure your furry mate’s vaccinations are as current as the ocean tide. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a health certificate from your vet. This piece of paper is your cat’s VIP pass, showing they’re in shipshape and ready for the voyage. It’s like a seal of approval saying, “Yup, I’m ready to sail!”

And hey, each ferry company is unique just like our feline friends, so they might have their own set of rules when it comes to health certificates. So, it’s worth a quick call or visit to their website to make sure you have all your bases covered. After all, it’s all about making the journey as smooth as sailing on calm waters. Ready to embark on this seafaring adventure with your kitty? Let’s do it!

Travel Tips for the Journey

Booking a Pet-Friendly Cabin

Embarking on a long journey, you ask? That’s where booking a pet-friendly cabin comes into play, my friend! Think about it as your cat’s own mini suite aboard the ship. It’s a space where they can stretch their legs, roll, and enjoy the trip in a cozy and familiar environment.

Imagine this, your kitty catching some Z’s in a warm corner or watching the world go by through the porthole, all while you’re just a paw’s reach away! Now, doesn’t that sound like the purr-fect setting for a sea voyage?

So when you’re planning that epic journey with your whiskered companion, consider booking a cabin that’s a little slice of home. It’s a game-changer, I tell you! Your feline friend will appreciate the freedom and comfort, and who knows, they might just become the most well-traveled cat on the high seas!

Monitoring Your Cat’s Behavior

While onboard, keeping a close eye on your cat’s behavior is essential. Signs of stress can include changes in appetite or bathroom habits, excessive grooming, or unusual vocalizations. If your cat seems unusually anxious or upset, it may be worth consulting with a vet. Also, 

cat sitting on a ferry - traveling with cats on ferry tips
Source: MATCHA

What to Avoid When Traveling with Cats on Ferry

Forgetting to Research about Pet Policies

Different ferry companies have different pet policies, and it’s essential to understand these before you book your tickets. Some companies may not allow pets in cabins, while others might require specific types of carriers or kennels.

Leaving Essential Items at Home

Remember to pack your cat’s necessary items, including food, water, a leash, a litter box, and any essential medications. Familiar things, like their favorite toys or blanket, can also help to keep your cat calm during the journey.

Ignoring Your Cat’s Needs and Comfort

Traveling can be stressful for cats, mainly if they’re not used to it. It’s essential to pay close attention to your cat’s behavior and comfort levels throughout the journey. Make sure they have a comfortable space to rest and that they’re eating and drinking as usual. If your cat seems particularly stressed or anxious, it may be worth seeking advice from a vet.

Post-Journey Tips

Once you’ve reached your destination, giving your cat time to adjust to their new surroundings is important. Let them explore their new environment at their own pace and provide plenty of love and reassurance. If your cat has traveled in a kennel for an extended period, they’ll likely appreciate some time to stretch and play.


Traveling with cats on a ferry can be an incredible adventure. Still, it does require a bit of planning and preparation. By researching, paying attention to your cat’s needs, and taking steps to ensure their comfort and safety, you and your feline friend can have a smooth and enjoyable journey.

For more advice on traveling with cats, consider checking out ZooPlus, which offers a comprehensive guide on traveling by ship with cats, and Cobble Hill Animal Hospital which provides valuable tips on ferry travel with pets.

Remember, every journey you take with your cat is a chance to create unforgettable memories. So, prepare well, stay patient, and board the ship! Safe and happy travels!
Also, don’t forget to check out our additional resources at PurrfectJourney for more advice and guidance on all things related to traveling with your beloved feline companion.


Q: Can I travel with my cat on a ferry? 

A: Absolutely! Many ferry companies are increasingly accommodating of our feline friends. However, rules can vary significantly from one ferry service to another, so it’s essential to do your homework before you book your tickets.

Q: What should I bring for my cat on a ferry ride?

A: Essential items include a comfortable, well-ventilated kennel, food, water, a leash, a litter box, and any necessary medications. Familiar items, like their favorite toys or blanket, can also help to keep your cat calm during the journey.

Q: How can I prepare my cat for a ferry journey?

A: It can be helpful to practice short trips with your cat before you board the ferry for a long journey. Also, consider harness training your cat to help them feel more secure during the journey. If your cat experiences motion sickness, speak with your vet about potential remedies.

Q: What should I avoid when traveling with my cat on a ferry?

A: Avoid forgetting to research the specific pet policies of your ferry company, leaving essential items at home, and ignoring your cat’s comfort and needs during the journey.

Q: Can my cat stay on a ferry with me in my cabin? 

A: Some ferry companies allow pets to stay with their owners in their cabins, while others may require pets to remain in their carriers in a designated pet area. Be sure to check with your ferry company about their specific policies.

Q: Can I bring my cat on a ferry trip?

A: Yes, many ferries allow passengers to travel with their cats. However, it’s important to check with the ferry company beforehand to confirm their pet policy.

Q: What is a pet passport and does my cat need one for the ferry?

A: A pet passport is a document that contains information about your pet’s identity and vaccination history. If you’re traveling with your cat to certain countries, a pet passport might be required. It’s best to check the specific requirements of the destination and the ferry company’s policies.

Q: Are there pet-friendly areas on ferries for my cat?

A: Many ferries have designated pet-friendly areas where you can take your cat during the journey. These areas are designed to provide a comfortable and safe space for pets and their owners.

Q: Can I leave my cat in the car while on the ferry?

A: It’s usually not recommended to leave your cat unattended in the car during the ferry trip, as temperatures inside the vehicle can fluctuate significantly. It’s best to explore other options such as pet-friendly cabins or designated pet areas on the ferry.

Q: Are there specific regulations for traveling with cats on ferries?

A: Yes, there are often regulations and guidelines in place for traveling with pets on ferries, including requirements for pet carriers, vaccination records, and behavior guidelines for pets while on board.

Q: Can my cat travel in the cabin with me?

A: Some ferries offer pet-friendly cabins where you can stay with your cat during the journey. It’s essential to inquire about the availability of pet-friendly accommodations when making your ferry reservation.

Q: What should I do to prepare my cat for the ferry trip?

A: It’s important to ensure that your cat is comfortable with their pet carrier, has updated vaccinations, and is familiar with traveling in a vehicle. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian for any specific recommendations for your cat’s journey.

Q: Is there a pet travel scheme that applies to ferry travel with cats?

A: Some ferry companies participate in pet travel schemes or programs that facilitate traveling with pets. These schemes often require specific documentation and compliance with pet travel regulations.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the types of pets allowed on ferries?

A: While most ferries allow passengers to travel with cats and dogs, it’s essential to check with the ferry company regarding any restrictions on pet breeds, sizes, or species, such as ferrets, when planning your trip.

Q: What should I do if my cat gets anxious during the ferry trip?

A: If your cat experiences anxiety while on the ferry, it’s helpful to stay with them in a calm and quiet environment, provide familiar items such as their favorite blanket or toy, and offer reassurance and comfort to help alleviate their distress.

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Anum Basit

Anum Basit

Anum Basit is the founder of PurrfectJourney, a cat travel blog that provides expert insights and advice for cat owners who love to travel. As a lifelong cat lover, Anum has gained extensive knowledge and experience in the field of cat travel. She understands the unique challenges that cat owners face when traveling with their feline companions and is committed to providing informative and engaging content that helps them navigate these challenges with ease. Anum's passion for cat travel has inspired her to create a platform where cat owners can find valuable information and resources for traveling with their furry friends. Follow her on PurrfectJourney for the latest insights and tips on cat travel!