If you live near a train station and you would rather not ride in a car or a plane then this would be a good option to go with. Riding on a train with a cat like any other form of transportation requires that you know certain things before hand. You also need a carrier if you plan going on a train with them or you will not be able to bring them along.
Why Travel With Your Cat By Train?
Traveling by plane can be better for flying with pets because its a lot safer and less complicated to ride on. You also can’t use sedatives on a plane because it can mess with their blood pressure and the way they regulate body temperature whereas a train you could use them if you needed to.
Amtrak Pet Policy
If you live in the USA then Amtrak is your best bet as it is the most popular train to go with. For the longest time Amtrak did not allow pets. They only allowed service dogs on their trains. Fortunately they recently changed this in 2016 to not only allow dogs but cats as well.
The thing is they need to be inside of a carrier. In order to travel with your pet on a Amtrak train the policies are actually very similar to riding on a plane and the carrier rules are also very similar as well. This is Amtrak’s pet policy according to their website.
“Pet owners must provide a pet carrier. The maximum size for pet carriers is 19″ long x 14″ wide x 10.5″ high. Maximum weight of pet with carrier is 20 pounds.
The carrier may be hard or soft sided but must be leak proof and well ventilated. For your pet’s comfort and safety, it must be able to sit and lie down without touching the sides of the carrier. Your pet carrier counts as one piece of carry-on baggage.“
If you want a good carrier to take on a train then getting an airline approved carrier will be your best bet. If you want a list of the best ones you can read my article about that here “Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers In Cabin“.
There are also other rules that you have to follow while on the train with them as well. According to their website
“Pets must remain inside their carrier while in stations and onboard trains. Please keep your pet with you at all times.Onboard, place your pet carrier under your seat (not under the seat in front of you), except on Amtrak Cascades trains where you can put your pet carrier on the floor in front of the seat next to you.
Pets are welcome in Coach class, but remember they may not travel in First class, Business class, bedroom accommodations or food service cars.Some routes designate a specific Coach car for pets: Amtrak Cascades, Carl Sandburg, Illinois Zephyr, Illini, Lincoln Service, Saluki, Pere Marquette, Wolverine, Blue Water, Hiawatha and Missouri River Runner. On other pet friendly routes, you and your pet may ride in any Coach car.”
Age is also a factor on whether you can board with your cat or not. To be able to board with them it says on their website.
“Your pet must be at least eight weeks old and be odorless, harmless, not disruptive and require no attention during travel.Amtrak maintains the right to refuse acceptance, and may remove any pet exhibiting these issues from stations or trains.
You certify that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and accept liability for your pet by signing the pet release document at check-in. Amtrak does not accept liability for the health and well-being of pets.”
Finally, if you are wondering about Amtrak’s prices of bringing them along it will cost you about $25.00.
If you want the actual Amtrak policy page where I got all of this information you can find that link right here https://www.amtrak.com/pets
Other Trains That Allow Cats
The best way to go would be to use Amtrak but if for some reason you don’t want to use Amtrak or don’t live near one of their stations you could also go on other trains as well. Here are some other trains that allow cats.
1: Alaska Railroad
1: So. California: Metrolink
2: Los Angeles: Los Angeles Metro
3: San Diego: San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
4: San Diego County: The Coaster
5: San Francisco: San Francisco Muni
6: San Francisco: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
7: San Jose: VTA
1: Denver: Regional Transportation District (RTD
1: Shore Line East (SLE)
1: Southeast Florida: Tri-Rail
2: Southeast Florida: Brightline
3: Miami-Dade Transit (MDT)
1: Atlanta: MARTA
1: Chicago: Chicago Transit Authority – CTA
2: Chicago area: Metra
1: Baltimore-Washington, DC: MARC Train
1: MBTA Commuter Rail
2: Boston-Cape Cod: CapeFlyer
1: NJ Transit
2: New Jersey-New York: PATH – The Port Authority of NY & NJ
1: New York: AirTrain JFK
2: New York: MTA Long Island Rail Road – LIRR
3: New York: Metro-North Railroad
1: Portland: TriMet
1: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
2: Houston METRO
1: Virginia Railway Express (VRE)
1: Seattle: Sound Transit (ST)
If you live in a different country here is list of those trains stations and their policies on this website here http://petfriendlytravel.com/train_travel
Closing Tips Before Going On A Train With Your Cat
If you don’t know already cats really hate traveling. They don’t like anything that is unknown to them so as a result they will most likely meow a lot or do things like drool and vomit.
If you want the ride to be as comfortable as possible for them then you will want them to get used to the carrier before going on the train. It would also help if they were already used to car rides as well. Then they won’t be as scared to board with you.