Shipping Cats by Air - Earthrelo
  • January 20, 2022

Relocating countries is no easy feat. Let alone if you have precious items to ship. If you are a cat owner and are relocating to a new state or country, you have come to the right place. Well, now that you are here, let’s make a wild guess. You are probably perplexed between two questions: How to ship your pet and what is the cost of shipping your pet

Needless to say, you would prefer shipping your pet in the best way possible that imposes the least stress on them. Although several pet owners complain about flying, there are no other perfect means of shipping pets apart from air transport. Flying is the most viable option for shipping your cat. 

Considering this, the cost factor plays an integral part in the equation. After all, advance budget preparations are always helpful. Isn’t it? 

Before beginning with today’s discussion, it is important to bear in mind that there are plenty of factors that add up to the total cost of shipping a cat by air. To get a better idea about shipping costs, we have enlisted a few details in this guide to help you create a perfect budget for your pet travel. 

How Does Cost Vary? 

Costs generally vary depending on a variety of factors. Some of them include the pet policies of the airline, the class of service used, the weight of your cat, size, and the route of your travel along with the destination. Read on to get an average cost estimate on class of service and major airlines.

Cost Based On Class Of Service 

NOTE: These 3 options are not available on all commercial airlines. (The weight and height regulations vary as per airline pet policies) 

There are 3 classes of service to ship cats by air

In-Cabin: Generally for small cats that weigh less than 18 pounds and less than 19 inches in height while standing. 

  • Estimated Cost: Major airlines accept one pet per passenger at an average cost of $125.00 each way on domestic flights. 

Checked Baggage: For larger cats weighing between 19-100 pounds (or less) accompanied by an adult passenger. The cargo hold area will be pressure and temperature-controlled. 

  • Estimated Cost: Runs anywhere from $50.00 to $500.00. 

Air Cargo: Unaccompanied cats that are restricted by destination country requirements or regulations. The cargo hold area will be pressure and temperature-controlled. 

  • Estimated Cost: Runs anywhere from $50.00 to $500.00. Ensure checking in with the cargo department of airline reservations for a better understanding.

Cost Based On Major Airlines 

Here is a list of estimated costs imposed by chief airlines for flying cats in the cabin and as checked baggage. 

In-cabin Cost 

  • American Airlines: $125
  • United: $125 (more for extended/longer trips accompanied with multiple layovers) 
  • Delta Airlines: $200 (International/Virgin Islands), $125 (US/Puerto Rico/Canada), $75 (Brazil) 
  • Southwest: $95 flat fee. 

Checked Baggage Cost

  • American Airlines: $200 (all routes), $150 (to/from Brazil) 
  • Delta, United, and Southwest: checked baggage service is not offered for pets. 


  • These costs are mere estimates and hence, vary. Make sure to contact your airline for confirmation of recent costs following your reservation. 
  • Usually, the cost of shipping a cat in a cabin or as checked baggage is fixed. 
  • These are not round-trip costs. The charge consists of flying in each direction of the flight.
  • Most airlines might impose an extra pet charge if the flight has a layover (even if your cat stays on the same airline). Furthermore, if your cat changes airline firms during a layover, another additional pet fee will be charged by the airline heading the next leg of the journey. 

How Much Does It Cost To Ship Cats By Air: Other Important Costs

Besides the airline fares and estimates, did you know that several other components determine the overall cost of shipping a cat by air? 

If you are seeking an international move, here are a few standard items that will be a part of the overall cost. The components of a typical cat relocation include, 

  • The airfare 
  • Cost of crate, carrier, and accessories 
  • Pre and post-travel inspection 
  • International health documents and certificates 
  • Veterinary visit costs, lab costs for tests and vaccinations
  • Quarantine costs 
  • VAT (Value-added tax) as per the purpose of the travel 

Besides this, a few other items that determine the cost of shipping a cat includes, 

  • Origin And Destination: Ideally, the closer you stay to the airport, the least expensive your trip gets. In case you start and end in towns that call for some driving or multiple flights, get ready to expect higher costs. 
  • Import Permits: Traveling internationally? Your destination country will ask for formal permission from the government in the form of an import permit that translates to an additional charge. 
  • Government Endorsements For Health Certificates: Ensure acquiring official health paperwork from your veterinarian. In several cases, these documents require certification from the relevant government body. 
  • Custom Clearance: Upon landing, don’t think it’s over yet. In most cases, entry processes should be negotiated by a customs agent. At this point, you can expect to pay a considerable tariff, tax, customs fee, etc. 


Considering the entire process and factors determining the cost of shipping a cat, it is best to start planning on your budget early as the costs can be notable. Although it is definitely worth every cost to ship your fur friend in the safest way possible, these costs can get sizable while traveling to far-off distances. All in all, being aware of such costs early will help you create a proper budget for your pet move. 

Last but not least, note that some airlines do not permit you to book directly with them for your pet fly process. In such cases, you will need to hire a pet-shipping company with your airline account. This is to assure that all the paperwork and import procedures are completely accurate to keep away unwanted fees or penalties.

Call Us Now

We Will Help You With All Your Moving Related Questions.

Call Us Now - Earthrelo
Back To Top
Trusted By

We are proud to have earned the trust and recognition of many reputable organizations and platforms. Here are some of them.