Can I Bring My Cat on a Cruise?

Can I Bring My Cat on a Cruise? Ahoy there, fellow cruise enthusiasts! If you’re a proud pet parent, you may be wondering, “Can I bring my cat on a cruise?” Well, let me set sail on this topic and give you the lowdown. The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple “yes.” In fact, your choices are quite limited when it comes to cruising with your furry friends. But fear not, for I am here to guide you through the seas of information and help you make the best decision for your beloved feline companion.

Before we dive into the details, let’s address the elephant in the room. Most cruise lines have a firm “no pet” policy, which means your cat (or any other pet for that matter) won’t be joining you on your voyage. However, there is one exception to this rule. A particular cruise line stands out from the rest, offering a pet-friendly experience for both cats and dogs. But is it truly a paw-some idea? We’ll explore that and more in this comprehensive FAQ on cruising with cats and dogs.

Can I Bring My Cat on a Cruise

Can I Bring My Cat on a Cruise

If you’re a cat owner and planning to go on a cruise, you might be wondering if you can bring your furry friend along. Unfortunately, the answer is generally no. Most cruise lines have a strict “no pet” policy that includes not just cats but also other animals like dogs, birds, and fish. However, there is one exception to this rule that offers a pet-friendly experience for both cats and dogs.

1. The Exception:

Cunard Line is the only cruise line that allows cats and dogs onboard their ships. They have a large number of kennels onboard and a dedicated kennel master who takes care of the animals. You can interact with your pet and even take them out to get some fresh air. However, it’s important to note that cats and dogs are kept in separate areas, so your cat might not feel comfortable surrounded by so many dogs.

2. Service Animals:

While most cruise lines prohibit passengers from bringing their pets, they do make an exception for qualified service dogs trained to perform specific tasks for guests with disabilities. So, if you have a service dog, you can bring them on the cruise. Each cruise line may have specific requirements and documentation needed for bringing a service dog, so it’s important to contact the cruise line in advance for more information.

3. Consider Your Cat’s Comfort:

Even if you’re allowed to bring your cat on a cruise, it’s important to consider their comfort and well-being. Cruise ships can be a new and unfamiliar environment for cats, and some cats may not enjoy the experience. Before deciding to bring your cat on a cruise, think about their temperament and whether they would be comfortable being in a confined space for an extended period.

4. Being the Captain:

If you want complete control over bringing your cat on a cruise, there is another option – become the captain of a cruise ship! While this might not be a practical solution for most people, there are a few well-known examples of cruise ship captains who have their pets onboard. For instance, Captain Kate who works for Celebrity Cruises has her cat, Bug Naked, as a part of her crew.

Researching Cruise Policies

When planning to bring your cat on a cruise, it is crucial to research the policies of the cruise line you are considering. While some cruise lines are more accommodating to animals, others may have strict regulations or only allow service animals. Here are some important factors to consider when researching cruise policies for bringing your cat onboard:

1. Service Animal Policies: Check if the cruise line allows service animals onboard for persons with disabilities. Most cruise lines worldwide have policies in place that allow service animals, but it’s always a good idea to double-check.

2. Emotional Support Animal Policies: Unlike service animals, the acceptance of emotional support animals may vary depending on the cruise line. Some cruise lines may have specific requirements or restrictions when it comes to bringing emotional support animals onboard. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these policies and ensure your cat meets any necessary criteria.

3. Port of Call Policies: Remember that on a cruise, you will be visiting multiple international locations. It’s important to research the policies of the ports of call you will be visiting. Different government regulations may require additional documentation or specific procedures for bringing service animals into their countries. Be sure to comply with all necessary requirements to avoid any issues during your trip.

4. Amenities and Accommodations: If the cruise line allows pets, find out what amenities and accommodations they provide for cats onboard. Look for things like designated areas for animals to play or relax, and if they provide any pet-related services or supplies. Some truly pet-friendly cruises may even provide baggies for cleaning up after your cat.

Researching cruise policies before booking your trip will help you make an informed decision and ensure a smooth sailing experience for both you and your furry friend. Always remember to read the fine print, ask any necessary questions, and plan accordingly to make the most of your cruise vacation with your cat.

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Let’s move on to the next crucial aspect of bringing your cat on a cruise: preparing your cat for the cruise experience.

Preparing Your Cat for the Cruise

Preparing Your Cat for the Cruise

Before embarking on a cruise with your beloved feline friend, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your cat is prepared for the unique experience. Here are some tips to help you get your cat cruise-ready:

  1. Health check: Schedule a visit to the veterinarian to ensure that your cat is in good health and up to date on all vaccinations. It’s important to confirm that your furry companion is physically fit enough to handle the time onboard the ship, whether it’s just a few hours or several days.
  2. Consider temperament: Take into account your cat’s personality and temperament. If your cat is easily frightened or has a nervous disposition, a cruise may not be the most pleasant experience for them. It’s important to consider whether your cat will feel comfortable and relaxed in a new environment.
  3. Research pet amenities: Find out about the available pet amenities aboard the cruise ship. Some cruise lines offer kennels, physical fitness areas, and even food and treats for pets. It’s important to know what facilities will be available to ensure that your cat’s needs are met during the journey.
  4. Packing essentials: Make a checklist of items that you’ll need to bring for your cat. This may include their favorite toys or blankets, enough food and water for the duration of the cruise, and any necessary medications. Also, don’t forget to pack a sturdy carrier for transportation to and from the ship, as well as for any excursions during port visits.
  5. Gradual acclimatization: Help your cat acclimate to the cruise environment by gradually introducing them to the sounds and movements associated with being on a ship. Start by playing videos or recordings of ship noises to get them accustomed to the sounds. You can also practice putting your cat in their carrier and taking short car rides to mimic the movement of the ship.

Bringing the Necessary Supplies

Bringing the Necessary Supplies

Cat Carrier

One essential item you will need when bringing your cat on a cruise is a sturdy and secure cat carrier. Flight regulations on carrier sizes can be strict, so it’s important to make sure you buy the right carrier for your pet. It is recommended to purchase the carrier well ahead of time, giving your cat plenty of time to get accustomed to it. Consider filling the carrier with catnip and letting your cat sleep in it during the day to help them feel more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to do some “test runs” with your cat in the carrier, such as taking short drives to get them accustomed to being confined while moving.

For cargo travel, a rigid plastic container is required. One highly recommended option is the PetMate Sky Kennel, which meets the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations with proper construction and sizing. It’s important to choose a kennel that is 3-4 inches taller and longer than your cat to ensure they have ample space to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

For in-cabin flights, a soft-sided pet carrier is the best option. However, it’s crucial to check the specific size requirements of the airline you’ll be traveling with. Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers have been a popular choice, as they often meet the in-cabin requirements for many flights. Another option to consider is the Smiling Paws Pets Expandable Bag which rates well and offers an expandable section for added space.

Food and Water Bowls

When bringing your cat on a cruise, you are responsible for providing their food and water bowls. Be sure to pack enough food and treats to last the duration of the cruise. It’s recommended to bring unopened, properly sealed packages to ensure freshness. Additionally, collapsible silicone water and feed bowls are a convenient choice for easily storing and using during the trip.

Bedding and Litter

Cruisers are responsible for bringing bedding and litter for their cats. While some cruise lines may provide bedding for pets in their designated kennel areas, it’s best to come prepared with your own supplies. Consider bringing your cat’s favorite bedding to help make them feel more comfortable during their stay. As for litter, there are collapsible travel versions available that are convenient for travel. Bringing along a small bag of cat litter and a collapsible litter box will ensure that your cat has a familiar place to relieve themselves during the cruise.

Remember to pack these necessary supplies to ensure the comfort and well-being of your cat during the cruise. Providing a secure and comfortable carrier, food and water bowls, and familiar bedding and litter will make the experience smoother for both you and your feline companion.

Understanding the Rules and Regulations

When it comes to bringing your cat on a cruise, it’s important to understand and comply with the rules and regulations set by the cruise line and the countries you’ll be visiting. This will help you avoid any unexpected situations or penalties during your ocean adventure. Here are a few key points to consider:

  1. Check Pet Policies: Before packing your suitcase, familiarize yourself with the pet policies of the cruise line you’ll be sailing with. Each cruise line has its own set of rules and regulations regarding pets onboard. Some cruise lines may allow cats, while others may not. It’s always best to check directly with the cruise line to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
  2. Country-specific Rules: Keep in mind that individual countries have their own specific regulations regarding animals coming ashore. It is your responsibility as the pet owner to research and understand the rules for each port of call. This may include requirements for health certificates, vaccinations, or quarantines. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in denied entry for your feline friend.
  3. Service Animals: While some cruise lines may allow cats onboard, it’s important to note that most only allow trained service dogs, such as guide or seeing-eye dogs, to sail. If you require a service animal, make sure to review the cruise line’s policy and any specific requirements for approval. Keep in mind that advance reservations may be necessary, and there may be limitations on disembarking with a service animal at certain ports.
  4. Emotional Support Animals: Unfortunately, emotional support animals are generally not recognized as service animals on most cruise lines. While the Department of Transportation recommends allowing emotional support animals onboard, it ultimately falls on the policies of each individual cruise line. It’s best to check with the cruise line directly for their specific policies regarding emotional support animals.
  5. Compliance is Key: To ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all passengers, it’s important to comply with the rules and regulations set by the cruise line and the countries you’ll be visiting. Make sure you research and understand these rules well in advance of your trip. This will help you avoid any unwanted surprises and ensure a smooth sailing experience for both you and your beloved cat.
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Remember, preparation is key when bringing your cat on a cruise. By understanding and adhering to the rules and regulations, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry companion.

Planning for Your Cat’s Comfort

Cat-Friendly Cabin Options

When preparing for your cat’s comfort on a cruise, it’s essential to consider the cabin accommodations. While not all cruise lines are pet-friendly, some do offer cat-friendly options. These cabins are designed specifically with your feline friend in mind, providing a comfortable and safe space for them during the voyage.

Before booking your cruise, it’s crucial to check with the cruise line to determine if they offer cat-friendly cabins. If they do, be sure to inquire about any additional fees or requirements for booking one of these cabins. It’s also important to note that cat-friendly cabins may have limited availability, so it’s best to book early to secure a spot for your furry companion.

Familiarizing Your Cat with the Cabin

Cats are creatures of habit, and adjusting to a new environment can be stressful for them. To help ease their transition and make them feel more comfortable in the cabin, it’s important to introduce them to the space before the cruise.

A few days before your trip, set up a small area in your home that mimics the cabin environment. Place their bedding, toys, and favorite scratching post in this area. Allow your cat to explore and spend time in this space so that it becomes familiar to them. This will help reduce their anxiety when they enter the cabin onboard the ship.

Creating a Relaxing Space for Your Cat

To ensure your cat’s comfort during the cruise, create a relaxing space for them in the cabin. Bring their favorite blanket or bed to provide them with a familiar scent and a cozy place to relax. Additionally, consider bringing items that will help keep them entertained, such as toys or a scratching post.

It’s also important to create a designated area for their litter box. Bringing a collapsible litter box can be a convenient option, as it takes up minimal space and can be easily stored when not in use. Make sure to keep the litter box clean throughout the cruise to promote good hygiene for your cat.

By planning for your cat’s comfort in advance, you can help alleviate their stress and ensure they have an enjoyable experience onboard the cruise.

During the Cruise

During the Cruise

Supervising Your Cat

While on the cruise, it’s essential to supervise your cat to ensure their safety and well-being. Here are some tips for keeping an eye on your furry friend:

  • Secure the Cabin: Make sure your cabin is cat-proofed by removing any potentially hazardous items and securing windows and doors. This will prevent your cat from escaping or getting into trouble.
  • Check for Hiding Spots: Cats love to hide in small, cozy spaces. Before letting your cat roam freely in the cabin, check for any hiding spots where they could get stuck or injured.
  • Keep an Eye on Them: Cats are naturally curious and may wander off if left unattended. Be sure to keep an eye on your cat at all times, especially when you’re outside the cabin.
  • Use a Leash or Harness: To give your cat some fresh air without the risk of them running away, consider using a leash or harness when taking them outside. This way, you can enjoy the views together without any worries.

Taking Your Cat for Walks

Taking your cat for walks on the cruise ship can be a unique experience for both of you. Here’s how you can make the most of it:

  • Choose the Right Area: Find designated areas on the ship where cats are allowed to be walked. Respect the rules and guidelines set by the cruise line to ensure a positive experience for everyone.
  • Use a Secure Leash: Invest in a secure and comfortable leash or harness for your cat to prevent any unexpected escapes. This will give you peace of mind while exploring the ship together.
  • Allow for Exploration Time: Let your cat explore their surroundings at their own pace. Take leisurely walks, allowing them to sniff and investigate their surroundings. Remember to keep an eye out for potential hazards and always follow the rules set by the cruise line.
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Participating in Onboard Pet Activities

Make the most of your cat’s cruise experience by participating in the onboard pet activities. Here are some ways to keep your cat entertained:

  • Cat Lounge: Some cruise lines offer dedicated cat lounges where your furry friend can socialize with other cats and enjoy some relaxation time. Take advantage of this space to provide your cat with a stimulating and interactive environment.
  • Cat-themed Activities: Look out for cat-themed activities organized by the cruise line. This could include cat yoga, cat naps, or even cat nip-making classes. These activities not only keep your cat engaged but also provide an opportunity for you to bond and create lasting memories together.
  • Napping Pods: If your cat enjoys a cozy nap, consider reserving a napping pod in the cat lounge. Your cat can have a peaceful snooze while being surrounded by other feline companions.

Remember, each cruise line may have different offerings and policies regarding onboard pet activities. It’s important to check with the specific cruise line you’re planning to sail with and explore the options available to make the cruise enjoyable for both you and your cat.

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Preparing your cat for a cruise requires careful planning and consideration. By following the tips provided in this article, you can ensure that your feline friend stays safe, comfortable, and happy throughout the journey. Refer this blog

Remember to invest in a sturdy cat carrier and acclimate your cat to it well in advance. Pack enough food, treats, and collapsible silicone bowls for the duration of the cruise. Bringing your cat’s favorite bedding and a collapsible litter box will also contribute to their comfort.

When choosing a cabin, opt for cat-friendly options and take the time to familiarize your cat with the space before the trip. Create a relaxing environment onboard the ship by providing a quiet and cozy area for your cat.

Supervise your cat during the cruise by securing the cabin, checking for hiding spots, and using a leash or harness when necessary. Take advantage of designated areas on the ship for walks and participate in onboard pet activities.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your cat has a pleasant and enjoyable experience on the cruise. Bon voyage!


Can I bring my cat on a cruise?

Yes, you can bring your cat on a cruise. However, it is important to check with the cruise line beforehand to ensure their pet policy allows cats onboard. Each cruise line may have different rules and regulations regarding bringing pets on board.

What supplies should I bring for my cat on a cruise?

You should bring a sturdy cat carrier, food and water bowls, bedding, and a litter box. It is also recommended to bring enough cat food and treats for the duration of the cruise. Consider collapsible silicone bowls for convenience and a collapsible litter box for space-saving purposes.

How can I prepare my cat for a cruise?

To prepare your cat for a cruise, it is recommended to acclimate them to the carrier well in advance. Familiarize your cat with the carrier by placing treats and their favorite bedding inside. Take short car rides with your cat in the carrier to get them used to the motion. Additionally, ensure your cat is up to date on vaccinations and bring any necessary medications.

How can I ensure my cat’s comfort during the cruise?

To ensure your cat’s comfort during the cruise, consider booking a cat-friendly cabin if available. Familiarize your cat with the cabin before the trip by allowing them to explore and get comfortable. Create a relaxing space for your cat onboard by bringing their favorite bedding and toys. Provide fresh water and a clean litter box, and keep their routine as consistent as possible.

How should I supervise my cat during the cruise?

Supervise your cat during the cruise by securing the cabin and checking for hiding spots. Use a leash or harness when outside of the cabin and take your cat for walks in designated areas on the ship. Participate in onboard pet activities, such as cat lounges and cat-themed activities, to provide mental and physical stimulation for your cat. Always prioritize your cat’s safety and well-being.

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