I was recently moving jobs out of state and needed to take my cat with me to the airport. I had put my cat Harley in a kennel and was wondering what I needed to do next.
As I researched, I wondered am I allowed to bring my cat in an Uber? The answer is yes, you are allowed to bring your cat on Uber rides if your cat uses Uber Pet. This was a huge relief and all I had to do is figure out what rules apply.
Using Uber Pet for your Cat
Uber Pet is a new service offered to transport one animal/pet with its owner. Again, if you have a service animal you do not have to use this service and I will go into detail below. When using your app to order the Uber, you will still input your pickup and dropoff location.
The only difference between using a regular Uber is selecting “Uber Pet”. After that, confirm by tapping ‘Choose Uber Pet’. When your rideshare shows up, you can bring your one pet with you on the trip. If you need to bring more than one I suggest calling your driver in advance to see if it is ok.
Uber Pet Restrictions
From Uber’s page, it states that you can bring one small animal. At this time there is no restriction on size(if considered small) or breed. If you are ever in doubt about the pet you are trying to transport, please contact the Uber driver in advance.
Uber Pet Cost
Uber Pet does cost additional money to bring your furry friend along. This will vary on what distance you are traveling. There are additional charges if your cat leaves any hair, waste, or damages the uber vehicle. If you are unsure how your cat will react while traveling in vehicles, be sure to read our article on traveling with cats.
Helpful Pointers on Bringing Your Cat on Uber Pets
It is always good to practice with your cat on your first car ride but if your cat is a pro then the process is easy. Depending on how comfortable and well trained your cat is, it is a good idea to follow these tips:
- Bring a blanket or clothe to lay down with the seat where you will place your carrier or cat
- If it helps also put a cover over the carrier to calm your cat
- Always ask the driver if they have a preference on where your cat should go
- Never leave your cat unattended
- If you are confident that your cat does not need a carrier, put them on a harness or leash.
Uber Service Animal Policy
Can your cat be considered a service animal? No, at this time cats are not considered service animals but in the future, this policy could change. If you are traveling with a dog that is a service animal, state and federal law prohibits your Uber driver from rejecting service.
If for any reason an Uber driver is aware that you have a service animal and refuses your service, the driver will be removed from using the Uber driving application. Uber takes the service animal policy very seriously and will take disciplinary action.
Does Lyft Have the Same Program as Uber?
If you are not an Uber fan you may still be in luck. Am I allowed to bring a cat in a Lyft? Yes, if your Lyft driver is ok with you bringing your pet. Unfortunately, there is not a “Pet Program” for Lyft at this time but if your driver accepts, there is no additional charge.
Your driver is not allowed to turn down transportation if you have a service animal with you. If the driver tries to charge you an additional fee for transportation, please contact Lyft customer service. You can access this by clicking on ‘Contact Support’ to file a complaint.
Tips to Get Your Cat On Lyft
Since there are no Lyft Pets yet, you will have to work a little harder to get your cat on a Lyft. Be considerate if your driver says no. Remember, they can be allergic to your cat or kitten. Follow these steps to get your cat on a Lyft:
- Contact your Lyft driver immediately after scheduling your trip
- Tell them that your cat or pet is with you and if they have any special requests to allow pets.
- Make sure to have your cat/kitten in a carrier and have extra towels with you.
- Keep a close eye on your cat at all times and soothe them if they become upset
Of course, if you have a service animal with you don’t need to reach out to the driver beforehand. If they say they are allergic to your service animal and decline driving you, they have to notify Lyft. Similar to Uber, Lyft will ban drivers that deny rides to people with service animals. Lyft stands by the No-Discrimination policy and the American Disability Act.
Cats and Public Transportation
If there are no Uber or Lyft drivers in your area, there may be alternatives. Amtrak just updated its policy for you to travel with one cat below 20 pounds including the carrier. The cat’s owner will be charged 26 dollars and making reservations in advance is a must!
There are some stipulations though so it is a good idea to read their policy about approved carriers and length of the trip. Also, health is taken into consideration and if your cat or kitten is current on its vaccinations. For more information, please read more on Amtrak’s website.
Traveling by Bus or Subway With Your Cat
More and more bus companies are allowing small animals to travel with their owner. The main requirement is that they have to be in a carrier for them to board the bus or subway. Gopetfriendly.com has made a comprehensive list of the many U.S States that allow small pet travel. If you do not see the bus company on the list, give them a call or visit their website. With over 60% of people owning a pet, transportation companies are starting to cater to the needs of the fellow cat owner.