Next month I will be flying my cats across the country and taking them as cabin luggage. My vet has supplied suitable drugs for keeping them relaxed during the trip (although I think that I should be the one talking them!)

On a flight I was on last week there was a baby 3 rows away and said baby was crying during take off and landing as it was probably experiencing inner ear discomfort due to the pressure change.

My question is do cats suffer from the same sort inner ear problems that humans have when flying? (and is there anything I can actually do about it?)

  • I would reconsider giving your cats sedative. When I flew with my cat my vet refused to give it any sedative because the combination of new medication + pressure difference in the air = big unknown and could have adverse effects. Also, most likely, once you get to your seat and settle down, with the carrier under the seat, they will likely go to sleep. Because of the travel, they probably wont eat or drink (unless yours are very used to traveling), but just generally sleep through the flight.
    – PandaPants
    Apr 2, 2019 at 21:45
  • @PandaPants Already have the vet supplied sedatives and done one trial run to see how the would affect them. The next trial is scheduled for this weekend - but this time with putting them in their carriers and driving around for a bit
    – Peter M
    Apr 2, 2019 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


Yes cats can get uncomfortable as a result of pressure changes and the effect this can have on their ears. The ears of a cat are similar to ours and the pressure is equalized in the same way as it is for us.

Here is a picture of the cat's ear.

It is fairly easy to help your cat equalize the pressure difference. All you need is to give your cat some treats during the time the plane climbs up to altitude and during the time before landing, When the cat swallows, the pressure is equalized.

Remember to bring some wet food you can give your cats during the trip (the air inside many planes is often dry.) The small 50-85 gram packages are ideal to put inside the carrier during the trip.

  • Thanks for that. Of course 1 cat eats treats and the other cat just ignores them!
    – Peter M
    Mar 31, 2019 at 15:09

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