Viral Clip Shares Clever Tricks for Traveling With Your Cat

A man named Steven and his cat Mando are being praised online for a video featuring tips and tricks when flying with a feline.

Mando, who is an orange and white cat, and his owner are TikTok stars with over 790,000 followers, and they bring "cat tips" as well as "adventures" to the masses, according to their bio.

According to The Humane Society of the United States, most airlines let owners bring a cat or a small dog in the actual plane cabin for a fee. They recommend communicating with the airline well ahead of the trip though.

The viral TikTok, which has been viewed 4.1 million times, is captioned, "Tips for longer and shorter flights! You and your cat can do it! #cattravel #howto #cattips #catplane #foryoupage."

The video has been liked over 919,000 times since it was shared on March 15 by TikToker @cat.mando, or Mando and Steven. Along with music, the informative video, which lasts around two minutes and thirty seconds, is a detailed step-by-step process of flying with a feline.

The first tip insists viewers fly with a "pet-friendly airline" that will let the feline fly next to their owner under the seat. "Otherwise, they will go under the plane in the cargo bay, and we want to avoid that," the TikToker said while showing a clip of Mando in his cat carrier with his head sticking out as Steven pet him on the plane.

The TikToker revealed he's had "great experiences" with Delta and Alaska Airlines in the past as the screen panned to another clip of Mando sitting in a carrier as his owner carried him toward the plane.

Cat in carrier
A viral clip shares clever tricks for traveling with your cat. Here, a cat resting in an open carrier. SVETLANA SULTANAEVA/GETTY

The next subsequent tip is to download the airline's app after purchasing the ticket. The Tiktoker suggested viewers "download the airline's mobile app, and chat with a live agent. This way it only takes seconds instead of waiting three hours on hold over the phone like I did once."

He encouraged messaging the airline that they are flying with a cat, and they need to be "added to the cabin." Steven showed a sample conversation he had over his flight as well as a screenshot of being on hold for over three hours.

Next, the TikToker mentioned purchasing a soft cat carrier that has three sides of ventilation, and he offered up two as suggestions.

Tip four is all about packing essentials. Steven recommended bringing a portable litter box with two plastic bags of litter, showing himself filling one and suggesting that cat owners bring it in the carry-on bag as well. Steven also said to bring food for the cat, and he included wet food, dry food, and water.

Once at the airport, it's time to check in with the cat, and owners must pay the pet fee, which he says is around $100 to $125.

The sixth step involves conversating with TSA. The cat has to come out of the bag during this process, and Steven demonstrated doing so with Mando. "You can ask a TSA agent to go into a closed room if you're worried about your cat escaping," Steven explained.

Next, it's time to walk the cat around on a leash before the flight since they will be enclosed during the trip. This is also the opportune time to feed the feline as well if they are relaxed enough.

Steven showed a few clips of Mando walking on his leash as well as eating some food before boarding. Tip number eight is when it's time to explain to people in your row that you are flying with a cat and ask if they are allergic.

The next tip ensures it's alright if the cat meows on the flight, and Steven revealed he doesn't use sleep meds for Mando since he sleeps during the flight. However, meds are an option.

He even let his cat peek his head and upper body out of the carrier mid-flight. Steven will also let Mando have his head out for pets and in order to calm him. Plus, the TikToker sits the bag on his lap when it's safe to do so.

The final tip involves using a litter box in the bathroom, which Steven demonstrated with Mando. He recommended doing it once or twice during the flight, bringing in the litter box and emptying out the litter into it. However, Mando just sat in the box and didn't actually use it in the accompanying clip before the video cut off.

Over 6,500 comments came in over the viral video of Steven and Mando, and people seemed to appreciate the content. "I don't even have a cat, and I watched this whole thing with the closest attention," a TikToker admitted.

Some people had their own experiences with their animals on flights. "I took my cat with me on a flight, and the lady in front of me with a child was complaining about her potentially making noise... Her kid cried the entire time," the viewer reasoned.

One feline owner said they "hate" when their cat's airline fees end up being more than their ticket. "And they don't get a seat," they added. "$100 to $125 is crazy, and for what?"

People were grateful for the advice they received from the video. "Thank you for sharing info on the litter box," a TikToker said.

Others thanked Steven and Mando for their efforts. "Thank you so much for this! It's not easy especially to film everything, but looks so worth it," a viewer said.

Another offered up their appreciation as well, adding they've "been desperately Googling trying to figure out tips to bring my cat on a plane! This was so helpful!"

This isn't the only time an animal on a flight has made the news. In 2021, a video went viral showing a pet compartment on an airplane, enraging most commenters. A woman in November of 2021 allegedly breastfed a cat on an airplane. And a stranger's act of kindness with a puppy helped ease one passenger's flight anxiety.

Newsweek reached out to @cat.mando for comment.