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taking cats on a plane

AviMag

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  • Added on: September 25th, 2006
I am wondering if anyone has recent experience in taking animals on board (passenger cabin), and if you can share what the procedure has been in terms of security etc.

I am looking to take my cats from San Francisco to the East Coast (Boston)and given the new climate, I am wondering if it is going to be possible to take them with me, or whether I shall have to drive cross country...

Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Avi

Amstel

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  • Added on: September 25th, 2006
Sorry Zopa, I cant let this on pass me by...

Cats on a Plane, the sequal to Snakes on a Plane?
Been there, done that, be back, do it again....

gymboy689

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  • Added on: September 25th, 2006
You said cats plural?

Usually, there is a limit of 1 or 2 domestic pets per flight, so check with the airline. It's about $25 per leg (as in $50 if you have a connection...it gets expensive)

As long as you have them in a cage, and it's domestic travel, should be fine. You can call the airline and, depending on the airline, can reserve a pet ticket, as in you're guaranteed to be within the number of pets onboard but you still have to pay the $25, or just show up and hope for the best

cjun

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  • Added on: September 25th, 2006
Just chunk the cats in a bag and place it on the check bag conveyor. Just kidding. I watched a show about Southwest and a passenger tried to do this. They made him by a kennel and the cat had to fly in a pressurized luggage compartment.
For details of my 2007-2008 RTW trip go to Barry Backpacks Around the World.

kyretech

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  • Added on: September 25th, 2006
I read up a little on pet transport when I brought my dog to New Zealand this year. In flight, many airlines allow pets in a kennel/cage as long as the pet is under a certain weight and the kennel is under a certain size (and the pet has to fit in comfortably, of course). I don't know if anything has changed due to new regulations, but you should be able to contact the airlines directly to find out. I'm pretty sure the airline web pages have something about pet transport as well.

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Sky Annie

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  • Added on: September 25th, 2006
I haven't travelled with pets, but I sat beside a woman who was going from Seattle to Denmark with a cat. It was cool, actually. There was a woman with a dog in the row in front of us.
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TheWanderer

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  • Added on: September 26th, 2006
One Canadian airline (I think it was AirCanada, but I can't be sure), recently banned cats from the cabin due to allergies. One woman complained that she could have died from the allergic reactions, and I guess they don't want that on their hands. Don't blame them for that, but I have cats, so if I have to fly them I guess I'll have to go with the other airline, cuz no way in heck they's going underneath!

JetGirl

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  • Added on: September 26th, 2006
I like cats, but they just don't travel as well as dogs do. This I know first hand about traveling with cats: When they are stressed they become really annoying. And by annoying I mean they pee, poop and puke. Darth Mavis (even the really, really good cats do this) Now imagine this going on during a cross-country flight in the passenger cabin. You could be putting yourself and your furry little friends in grave danger. The last thing you need is a riot because your stressed cats have decided to hork into the aisle. That being said, if you drug them, they may be so out of it that they don't even know they are traveling. (Side effects of kitty anti-depression meds: paranoia and thoughts of suicide. How do you know if your cat is having thoughts of suicide?)

Just my $0.02

Jet
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willis

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  • Added on: September 26th, 2006
I don't know about cats on planes...

I do know that dogs on ferries are definiely not cool.

Our overnight ferry over to Ibiza had about 4 dogs on it who were all chained up during the night to the railing on the deck right outside our cabin. It was horrible. They barked AALLLL night long -- sometimes in unison, then back and forth, then sometimes one would go solo while the others rested. And as far as we could tell the owners did not make any attempts to quite them down or if they did they had no luck. I like animals and am usually very patient but that night I had very bad thoughts regarding those dogs (and the owner). Actually the owners are really the ones I was mad at -- very inconsiderate. Go sleep out on the deck with your dog if that's what it takes.

Sky Annie

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  • Added on: September 26th, 2006
The woman with the cat I sat beside had to keep her cat in the carrier that fit underneath the seat in front of her. No biggie and I seriously doubt many other passengers knew there was a cat travelling with them in the plane.

Of course, this was on SAS and the flight was really calm. Then again, this woman has logged many MANY miles of travel with her cat and found the worst problemw as clearing airport security. Apparently the pet carrier has to go through x-ray but the cat walks through with her. Depending on the level of noise, the cat sometimes got a bit agitated at being out of the carrier and who could really blame him.

What can I say? I had 8 hours on the flight with the woman so I had to ask....
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comelysmuse

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  • Added on: September 26th, 2006
I drove cross country from Florida to Seattle with my cat. I stocked up on kitty tranquilizers and got a 25 foot lead for potty breaks and he didn't need the drugs after the first day. Smooth sailing all the way.

scubamama

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  • Added on: September 26th, 2006
I can't even get my cats to the vet (about a 5 minute car ride) without them puking Frown I can't imagine getting them on a plane.
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Haci Richard

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  • Added on: September 27th, 2006
I took my cat on a plane twice. The first time was in the cabin from Istanbul to Paris to Lisbon -- he really hated the take off and landing and was pretty unhappy most of the first leg of the trip. He meowed and cried most of the way to Paris. (He was not the crying type either -- a big tough guy that survived the earthquakes in Istanbul in '99, a few fall from the third floor balcony, etc.) By the second leg he was psychologically and physically beaten and from the perspective of the other passengers, a "good cat."

When I took him from Faro to Lisbon to Johannesburg to George a month later, regulations required that he fly in the pressurized cargo hold. At the vet's suggestion, I gave him a bit of antihistamine before the flight (no tranquilizers! Cats can get airsick and die in their sleep on them). This second trip, though a lot longer, seemed easier on him (and me). I think he could just relax and sleep most of the way down there.

Either way, your kitty is going to be a bit annoyed at you for a while, but I'd recommend the cargo hold.
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Callilucy

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  • Added on: September 27th, 2006
quote:
Originally posted by Haci Richard:
regulations required that he fly in the pressurized cargo hold. At the vet's suggestion, I gave him a bit of antihistamine before the flight (no tranquilizers! Cats can get airsick and die in their sleep on them).


The antihistamine makes your cat sleepy, it sedates him- that's why you give it to them. This should be the same reaction that the CORRECT dosage of any sort of sedative would give. I am for giving sedatives (either antihistamine like Benadryl or other oral sedative) to dogs and cats while travelling. It makes for a much easier trip for the animal, this especially applies to the majority of cats, and dogs with anxiety issues. The most important thing is that you talk to your vet and get a trial dose of sedative, used at home to see how the drug will affect your pet. You want Fluffy to be sleepy and happy, not actually passed out (this is when an animal can aspirate its vomit as Haci stated above). You also will most likely need a health certificate from your vet for your cat to be allowed on the airplane. I always bring a copy of my pet's vaccination records and rabies certificate just in case.

If your pet is travelling in the cargo hold make sure that the kennel is SECURELY fastened. The majority of pet deaths occurring on airplanes were from kennels which somehow got opened midflight and the loose animals got injured.

Last note: everybody likes a responsible pet owner. Bring your records, pay attention to your pet and those around you. Know the rules of the airline, hotels, whatever and abide by them, if you don't it just makes the rest of us look bad and then we can't take our pets fun places.
I don't want to be fearless, I want to be brave.

Callilucy

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  • Added on: September 27th, 2006
And one more thing to all you airline passengers.
From a loving dog owner:
If my dog's kennel arrives in the baggage claim area before I do, DO NOT stick your fingers in her kennel to pet her. There is a reason her kennel is plastered with signs asking you not to touch her. She doesn't like flying. By the time we land her happy drugs have worn off. She hates having strangers poke her. She has very large teeth.

I know she's cute but get it through your head that you shouldn't poke my dog!

Thank you, that is all.
I don't want to be fearless, I want to be brave.


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