Generally, you can take pets weighing up to 6 kg into the passenger cabin in a suitable carrier. Many airlines do not allow you to take certain animals such as birds or rodents into the cabin – they must be transported in the cargo hold.
You can obtain more information about travelling with pets from the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Good to know
Your animal must be transported in a suitable container regardless of whether it travels in the passenger cabin or the cargo hold. The transport container may not exceed the maximum weight or dimensions – please refer to the regulations of your airline.
The following applies to the transport container:
- Material: The container must be escape-proof. A container made of sturdy wood or plastic which has not been treated with any harmful or toxic chemicals is best. Cat carriers made of cane and cardboard boxes are not permitted.
- Space: The animal must be able to stand in a natural position, sit, lie down and turn around in the transport container.
- Leak-proof: The transport container must be lined with absorbent material such as newspaper, shredded newspaper, cardboard or blankets, etc.
- No risk of injury: The interior must not have any sharp corners, edges or nails. If the container has wheels, they must be removed beforehand.
- Information about the animal: If your pet is not permitted to travel in the aircraft cabin, please provide the following information on the transport container:
- Name of the animal
- Contact address and telephone number
- Sustenance: The container must be fitted with a water bowl.
- Reassurance: Give your pet a comfort blanket and their favourite toy – the familiar smell will have a calming effect. Get your pet accustomed to the transport container at home by closing the door for one to two hours at a time and then giving it a treat.
For customs clearance your pet must be in a kennel.
Please ask your vet and the relevant authorities which travel documents you require for your pet (import, export and transit papers, health vaccination and certificates).
Furthermore, each animal requires its own valid pet passport. You can obtain detailed information from the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).
The documents and transport container will be inspected at check-in. Please plan enough time and be aware that special check-in times may apply to passengers travelling with pets. Your airline will be able to give you exact details.
Petcare at Zurich Airport
If your pet is not travelling with you in the passenger cabin, Zurich Airport's Animal Care team will take care of it. Trained staff will provide your pet with the right care – the airport's freight area includes air-conditioned, soundproofed animal holding rooms.