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Can Cats Travel on Trains?

  • 8 min read

How to travel with your cat on Amtrak?

Pets are part of the daily life of many people. It is estimated that more than 30% of French households have at least one cat. This pet is also the most adopted, there are about 15 million throughout the territory. Considering its small size, it can accompany you everywhere when you travel, no matter what means of transport you take. What should you know before traveling with your cat by train?

cat on train

What are the current regulations for taking the cat on train travel?

Pets in general, and cats in particular, are allowed under certain conditions. Four rules are essential and you must take care of them before bringing your animal to the station. Your cat must first be microchipped so that it can be easily identified.

Your pet must also have a valid health record. His vaccination record must be up to date, especially for his rabies vaccine. If you are going abroad, you must have your cat’s passport with you . If you are a national of one of the countries of the European Union, this document is essential for you.

Before you leave, consult your veterinarian. He is the best qualified professional to help you meet these conditions. When you plan to travel by train with your cat, you must take into account the regulatory requirements of your destination. If you go to Italy, for example, the law requires that the animal has a vaccination certificate and that it is identified by the European standard (EC) Reg. No. 998/2003.

For a train trip, a passenger can only travel with two cats. This number is the maximum allowed, because there are only two containers that are provided for a passenger. For a cat to be accepted on board a train, you must imperatively place it in a cage, a rigid box or a bag designed for the transport of this pet. It is advisable to choose transport accessories that have a regulatory size of 45 x 30 x 25 cm. Your cat should weigh no more than 6 kg.

cat in train at night

What arrangements should be made before, during and after your stay?

Not all pets enjoy traveling as a means of transport. Many of them feel sick. They can also develop behavioral problems due to the trauma suffered during the journey. Despite this, it is possible to prevent your companion from having such ailments or to limit their effects as much as possible if they occur.

Preparations before the trip

Very short trips on public transport are an effective way to start getting your pet used to travel on Amtrak. Whether by bus or metro, this exercise allows your cat to gradually become familiar with this unusual mode of travel for him. As they are of short duration, these excursions do not affect your cat. Limit the risk of stress related to transport with a pheromone spray that you spread in his cage.

What to do during the trip

When you travel with your cat by Amtrak train, do not let him walk, because not everyone likes felines. Some people also have allergic reactions to cats. As it is very agile, avoid taking your animal out of its cage, it can become a danger to other passengers.

If you need to reassure him, just cuddle him through the bars or ventilation openings of his transport cage. As he is used to your voice, you can also talk to him to soothe him.

After arrival at destination

The trip probably tired your cat, especially if the trip was long. After traveling with your cat by train, he may be unsteady on his feet and restless. Let him rest first. Do not involve him in physical activities that will cause him to expend energy.

A few tips to optimize the comfort of your cat

In order to prevent your cat from feeling uncomfortable or that its meowing due to stress disturbs the other passengers, a few essential tips are recommended. Before taking taking any travel on trans, consult his veterinarian first and take advice from him.

If your cat often shows signs of anxiety, the veterinarian can prescribe medication. In these cases, painkillers such as Zylkene are often recommended. You can also give him other stress relievers specific to motion sickness.

Using a spray such as Feliway, you can spray the inside of your cat’s carrier to reduce the risk of harm to the animal. Depending on the distance to be covered, your cat must have water and light food available.

A few hours (2 hours) before your departure, avoid stuffing himself with food. This will prevent him from feeling nauseous or throwing up . A towel at the bottom of the crate can prevent accidental urine spillage.

Consider adding a few toys inside his cage to distract him. You can buy him a plaid or a stuffed animal, for example. However, you must be sure that your cat appreciates this toy. When the animal already has a toy with which it is used to having fun, it is preferable to keep it.

For more travel tips for your feline friend, follow our blog. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I travel with my cat on Amtrak?

A: Yes, Amtrak allows passengers to travel with their cats and small dogs on select routes. However, there are specific guidelines and restrictions that pet owners must follow.

Q: What are the requirements for traveling with a cat on Amtrak?

A: When traveling with a cat on Amtrak, the pet must be in a carrier that meets Amtrak’s guidelines for size and ventilation. Additionally, the combined weight of the pet and carrier should not exceed 20 pounds.

Q: How many cats are allowed per train on Amtrak?

A: Amtrak allows a maximum of five pets (cats and dogs combined) per train. It’s important for pet owners to make reservations in advance to ensure there is space available for their pet.

Q: Can I bring my pet on any Amtrak train route?

A: Not all Amtrak train routes allow pets, so it’s essential to check the specific route’s pet policy before planning your trip. Some long-distance routes and certain trains may not permit pets on board.

Q: Are there specific pet-friendly accommodations on Amtrak trains?

A: While pets are not allowed in all areas of the train, Amtrak provides designated coach cars for pets, where passengers can travel with their pets in a pet carrier placed on the floor. However, pets are not permitted in the train’s food service cars.

Q: What should I consider before traveling with my cat on Amtrak?

A: Before traveling with your cat on Amtrak, ensure that you complete the pet release and adhere to all pet policy guidelines. It’s also important to consider your cat’s comfort and well-being during the journey.

Q: Can I take my cat in a pet carrier as checked baggage on Amtrak?

A: Yes, cats can travel in a pet carrier as checked baggage on Amtrak, as long as the carrier meets the specified guidelines and the pet owner travels with the cat.

Q: Are there any restrictions for traveling with a cat on Amtrak?

A: Although cats are allowed on Amtrak, there are restrictions and regulations that pet owners must adhere to, including the size and type of pet carrier, the pet’s behavior, and the completion of the pet release.

Q: Can I travel with my cat on Amtrak’s Auto Train?

A: Yes, Amtrak’s Auto Train allows passengers to travel with their cats in designated pet-friendly areas. However, it’s essential to review the specific guidelines for traveling with pets on the Auto Train before your journey.

Q: What if my cat is a service animal? Can they travel with me on Amtrak?

A: Service animals, including service cats, are permitted on Amtrak trains, and they are not subject to the same restrictions as pets. However, it’s important to ensure that the service animal meets the requirements and guidelines for traveling on Amtrak.

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Hamna Nasir is a dedicated cat lover, avid traveler, and accomplished author. Born and raised in the bustling city of San Francisco, Hamna's education journey led her to Boston where her interests expanded and intersected in unexpected ways. Hamna's ontent explores a multitude of topics, from preparing your cat for its first trip and choosing pet-friendly accommodations to understanding feline behavior in different environments. Her first-hand experiences, love for storytelling, and unwavering commitment to enhancing the bond between cats and their owners have earned her a devoted following. Her insights have been celebrated by pet lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and travel bloggers alike.