Our pets can feel like some of our closest friends. For one TikTok user, Steven Squire, his 13-month-old cat Mando is also a beloved travel companion, as documented in a now-viral video detailing the pair’s first plane ride together.
In the video, which has almost 12 million views at the time of writing, Squire shares his advice on flying with a pet cat, from picking a pet-friendly airline to choosing the right carry-on. For this particular trip, Squire booked a Delta flight from Salt Lake City to San Diego, stocked a well-ventilated soft shell Travel Cat carrier with easy-to-pack WhiskWare containers full of kibble and water, and found plenty of opportunities to let Mando stretch his legs in the airport.
Not just concerned with Mando’s comfort, Squire was also careful to consider his fellow passengers. “I made sure to ask if anyone in the front row was allergic,” he told Travel + Leisure. “No one was, and they were very happy to meet Mando. If anyone had been allergic, I would have asked the flight attendant to move us to a new seat.”
Squire’s video of their first flight is not the first footage of him and Mando to have gone viral. A neighbor previously uploaded a TikTok of the duo out for a walk that racked up millions of views, inspiring Squire to start his own TikTok account. He has since posted several videos chronicling his adventures with Mando, from a trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to posts addressing questions like whether cats’ ears pop mid-flight. Squire even posted a follow-up video to his most-watched post sharing tips on flying with a pet dog.
As for Mando, all that internet celebrity might be going to his head. “He’s started perching himself on the highest piece of furniture in the room, which I’ve been told is a cat’s way of saying they’re the alpha of the house,” Squire said. “So, the fame might be getting to Mando just a little bit!”