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View Full Version : Advice solicited about flying with cat


Charlie Wilkes
April 22nd 06, 08:39 PM
I am flying down to Phoenix on 4/30. I plan to rent a car and drive
to SW New Mexico where I have a travel trailer.

My plan at this time is to take Tweaker along, although my tenants
have offered to take him in my absence. My experience so far has been
that he doesn't mind travel at all, doesn't protest over being dropped
into the carrier and hauled around, and actually seems to enjoy it. I
also tend to think he is more "bonded" to me than to any given place.

I assume I can take him on the plane as a carry-on, and I plan to
check all that out with the airline, find out what vetting is required
etc. But has anyone in the group actually had experience with flying
aboard an airliner with a cat? I'm wondering how that will go.

Comments sought.

Charlie

MaryL
April 22nd 06, 09:55 PM
"Charlie Wilkes" > wrote in message
...
>I am flying down to Phoenix on 4/30. I plan to rent a car and drive
> to SW New Mexico where I have a travel trailer.
>
> My plan at this time is to take Tweaker along, although my tenants
> have offered to take him in my absence. My experience so far has been
> that he doesn't mind travel at all, doesn't protest over being dropped
> into the carrier and hauled around, and actually seems to enjoy it. I
> also tend to think he is more "bonded" to me than to any given place.
>
> I assume I can take him on the plane as a carry-on, and I plan to
> check all that out with the airline, find out what vetting is required
> etc. But has anyone in the group actually had experience with flying
> aboard an airliner with a cat? I'm wondering how that will go.
>
> Comments sought.
>
> Charlie

I have flown many times with my cats, although it was some years ago.
First, check well in advance to make sure cats are permitted in the cabin of
the airline you plan to use. *Only a few* airlines permit it, and I would
*never* put my cats in baggage (which is what most require). Once you
settle on the airline, be sure to make reservations well in advance and
*make sure* the cat is included. Your cat will take the place of your
carry-on luggage but will actually be charged as "excess baggage" (of all
things!!), and airlines will have a limit -- it used to be one small pet per
cabin, so it is even more important to have those advance reservations for
Tweaker than for you. You will be required to keep Tweaker in the carrier
*at all times.* To me, that's only common sense, but there have been
problems with some passengers who have taken their pets out during the trip.

My cats always traveled very well. The only time they would become upset or
cry was when I would make a quick trip to the restroom. They were fine as
long as I was in my seat. Whichever cat I was traveling with could look up
and see me because the carrier would be placed under the seat in front of
me. Most of the time, my cat would actually curl up and fall aleep. (At
that time, I only had one cat at a time, but I traveled with several
different cats over the years).

Be sure to ask for the *exact dimensions* under the seat, and make sure your
carrier will fit within those specifications. The aisle seat is usually
smaller because of a bar that extends down, so use those dimensions. That
way, you won't have a problem if seat assignments change. I really
preferred the aisle seat because I could easily slide the carrier into that
space without tilting the carrier (and possibly distressing my cat).
Incidentally, I used those "stewardess wheels" type of carts in the airport
so I could easily pull the carrier behind me. If you do that, look for the
ones with large wheels -- the ride for your cat will not be as loud or
"bumpy" as with small wheels.

I only used a cat tranquilizer the first time I took a trip. My poor cat
was so sick afterwards that I vowed never to do that again. So, I never
again used one of those tranquilizers -- and I found that it wasn't needed.
However, be sure to take a couple of cans of canned cat food (the type with
pull-up rings to open so you won't need a can opener) and a small bowl in
the cabin. That way, you will have food for Tweaker even if something
happens to your checked luggage. However, don't open the carrier and try to
give food or water to Tweaker until you are off the plane. He probably
would not eat it, anyway. My cats will not even eat in the car. They
always wait until I reach a motel.

Do not give Tweaker food or water for several hours before you depart. That
cuts down on the possibility of air sickness or need for a litter box.
Also, have a harness *already on* Tweaker before you get to the gate where
security checks are done because you may be required to take him out of the
box before going through security. In fact, *insist* on it if they want the
carrier to go through the checkpoint with luggage. When I was traveling,
guards would sometimes let me just hand the carrier to a security agent and
they would hand carry it, but that type of security may have tightened-up
since then (and I would not want my cat to go through the X-Ray with
carry-on luggage, even if the guard tried to assure me that there would be
"no danger").

I hope this helps. It is rather long and rambly, but I have been trying to
think back through some of the steps I went through when I was traveling. I
now have two cats (Holly and Duffy) so I leave them in the house together
when I travel (generally just once a year), and I have a great pet sitter
who comes in twice a day to care for them.
MaryL

Photos of Duffy and Holly: >'o'<
Duffy: http://tinyurl.com/cslwf
Holly: http://tinyurl.com/9t68o
Duffy and Holly together: http://tinyurl.com/8b47e
Recent pics: http://tinyurl.com/clal7

Charlie Wilkes
April 23rd 06, 07:31 AM
On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 15:55:42 -0500, "MaryL"
-OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:

>
>I hope this helps. It is rather long and rambly, but I have been trying to

Yes, it's very helpful. Thank you.

I suppose my biggest concern is fellow passengers... personal rights
activists seem to be everywhere these days.

If I can't take him on the plane, I will leave him with my tenants.
He is the most serene cat I've ever known, and he will deal with it
just fine.

Charlie

-L.
April 23rd 06, 08:45 AM
Charlie Wilkes wrote:
> On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 15:55:42 -0500, "MaryL"
> -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
>
> >
> >I hope this helps. It is rather long and rambly, but I have been trying to
>
> Yes, it's very helpful. Thank you.
>
> I suppose my biggest concern is fellow passengers... personal rights
> activists seem to be everywhere these days.
>
> If I can't take him on the plane, I will leave him with my tenants.
> He is the most serene cat I've ever known, and he will deal with it
> just fine.
>
> Charlie

Whatever you do, don't fly him cargo...way too many true horror stories
about pets in cargo.
-L.

Charlie Wilkes
April 23rd 06, 02:34 PM
On 23 Apr 2006 07:43:47 GMT, Brandy Alexandre
> wrote:

>Charlie Wilkes > wrote in
>rec.pets.cats.health+behav:
>
>> On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 15:55:42 -0500, "MaryL"
-OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>I hope this helps. It is rather long and rambly, but I have been
>>>trying to
>>
>> Yes, it's very helpful. Thank you.
>>
>> I suppose my biggest concern is fellow passengers... personal
>> rights activists seem to be everywhere these days.
>>
>> If I can't take him on the plane, I will leave him with my
>> tenants. He is the most serene cat I've ever known, and he will
>> deal with it just fine.
>>
>> Charlie
>>
>
>I didn't take the time to read that long reply, so I might be
>repeating.
>
>I looked into flying a great deal before deciding to drive with Kami
>last year. A lot depends on the airline, but as far as in-cabin
>travel, the cat *is* considered one of your carry-ons, but they will
>also charge a fee. Most will limit in-cabin pets to two or three, so
>you must "reserve" Tweaker's space when you make your reservation. Not
>many seem to care about vet certificates, but when you decide which
>airline, make sure what they require as soon as possible because some
>require certificates with "no sooner' and "no later" dates on them.
>Basically, they do *everything* they can to discourage traveling with a
>pet.
>
>Note also they have rules that will not allow you to let him out for
>any reason during the flight (though celebs seem to do this all the
>time). I was also concerned about allergies and such, but since
>airline policy allows you to be there, stand your ground with
>complainers and make sure they move before insisting you do.

I would rather sit somewhere else than get into a ****ing contest that
the flight attendant has to deal with.

But, I've already bought my ticket, and I haven't yet called the
airline to ask about the cat. The more I think about it, and weigh
the comments I have gotten from you and Mary, the more I am inclined
to leave Tweaker in the care of my tenants. He knows them and he is
friends with their dogs, one of whom is curled up on the couch with
him at this moment. They are nice people, and they know how much he
means to me.

Charlie

MaryL
April 23rd 06, 03:06 PM
"Charlie Wilkes" > wrote in message
...
> On 23 Apr 2006 07:43:47 GMT, Brandy Alexandre
> > wrote:
>
>>Charlie Wilkes > wrote in
>>rec.pets.cats.health+behav:
>>
>>
>>Note also they have rules that will not allow you to let him out for
>>any reason during the flight (though celebs seem to do this all the
>>time). I was also concerned about allergies and such, but since
>>airline policy allows you to be there, stand your ground with
>>complainers and make sure they move before insisting you do.
>
> I would rather sit somewhere else than get into a ****ing contest that
> the flight attendant has to deal with.
>
> But, I've already bought my ticket, and I haven't yet called the
> airline to ask about the cat. The more I think about it, and weigh
> the comments I have gotten from you and Mary, the more I am inclined
> to leave Tweaker in the care of my tenants. He knows them and he is
> friends with their dogs, one of whom is curled up on the couch with
> him at this moment. They are nice people, and they know how much he
> means to me.
>
> Charlie

The one comment I would make about that is to be sure that they are
reliable -- not just honest, but reliable in the sense that they will
carefully follow any feeding instructions, take Tweaker to a vet if
necessary, etc. If so, I think cats are better off when they can be left in
their own environment and not subjected to the stress of travel. My cats
"traveled well," but it is not as good as being at home and in the care of
someone who will keep their routine as normal as possible.

MaryL

Joe Canuck
April 23rd 06, 04:10 PM
Charlie Wilkes wrote:
> On 23 Apr 2006 07:43:47 GMT, Brandy Alexandre
> > wrote:
>
>> Charlie Wilkes > wrote in
>> rec.pets.cats.health+behav:
>>
>>> On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 15:55:42 -0500, "MaryL"
>>> -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I hope this helps. It is rather long and rambly, but I have been
>>>> trying to
>>> Yes, it's very helpful. Thank you.
>>>
>>> I suppose my biggest concern is fellow passengers... personal
>>> rights activists seem to be everywhere these days.
>>>
>>> If I can't take him on the plane, I will leave him with my
>>> tenants. He is the most serene cat I've ever known, and he will
>>> deal with it just fine.
>>>
>>> Charlie
>>>
>> I didn't take the time to read that long reply, so I might be
>> repeating.
>>
>> I looked into flying a great deal before deciding to drive with Kami
>> last year. A lot depends on the airline, but as far as in-cabin
>> travel, the cat *is* considered one of your carry-ons, but they will
>> also charge a fee. Most will limit in-cabin pets to two or three, so
>> you must "reserve" Tweaker's space when you make your reservation. Not
>> many seem to care about vet certificates, but when you decide which
>> airline, make sure what they require as soon as possible because some
>> require certificates with "no sooner' and "no later" dates on them.
>> Basically, they do *everything* they can to discourage traveling with a
>> pet.
>>
>> Note also they have rules that will not allow you to let him out for
>> any reason during the flight (though celebs seem to do this all the
>> time). I was also concerned about allergies and such, but since
>> airline policy allows you to be there, stand your ground with
>> complainers and make sure they move before insisting you do.
>
> I would rather sit somewhere else than get into a ****ing contest that
> the flight attendant has to deal with.
>
> But, I've already bought my ticket, and I haven't yet called the
> airline to ask about the cat. The more I think about it, and weigh
> the comments I have gotten from you and Mary, the more I am inclined
> to leave Tweaker in the care of my tenants. He knows them and he is
> friends with their dogs, one of whom is curled up on the couch with
> him at this moment. They are nice people, and they know how much he
> means to me.
>
> Charlie

The problem is... no matter how much advice you receive on the issue you
still will not be able to predict how *your* cat will react to a flight.

April 23rd 06, 07:12 PM
Yes, I've flown with a cat. Virtually every airline, with the one
exception of Southwest, will let you take the animal in the cabin with
you. But there is a restriction on the total number of animals in the
cabin for each flight, so it would have been better to have made the
reservation at the beginning. Callie's "ticket" cost $75 for a
cross-country flight. I did get tranquilizers for her, but ended up not
needed to use them as she was pretty okay. A little disturbed by the
security line coming in and the baggage claim wait going out - but who
isn't?

If you've got a confident cat, it should be fine. Just realize that you
will need to pick the cat up out of the case and walk through the
security gate with the cat in hand and then place them back in the
case. If your cat will be too difficult for you to handle in that way
(and one of mine is - not Callie, and she would need to be driven) then
flying may not be the right thing. A harness is not a bad precaution.

The odds are the cat will be pretty silent. Don't forget they are on
the floor under the seat and there is jet noise, so it would have to be
a fairly mighty meow for your neighbors to hear much of it.

You're the best judge of your cat, but it is a big deal to them (they
don't know if they've lost their entire territory forever or not) ...

cybercat
April 23rd 06, 07:44 PM
"Charlie Wilkes" > wrote in message
...
> On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 15:55:42 -0500, "MaryL"
> -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
>
> >
> >I hope this helps. It is rather long and rambly, but I have been trying
to
>
> Yes, it's very helpful. Thank you.
>
> I suppose my biggest concern is fellow passengers... personal rights
> activists seem to be everywhere these days.
>
> If I can't take him on the plane, I will leave him with my tenants.
> He is the most serene cat I've ever known, and he will deal with it
> just fine.
>
> Charlie

Charlie--I bet there is an airline that will let you take him on the plane
with you, and not in baggage.

You don't have to leave him behind and you don't have to put him in baggage.



Inviato da X-Privat.Org - Registrazione gratuita http://www.x-privat.org/join.php

Charlie Wilkes
April 24th 06, 05:06 AM
On 23 Apr 2006 11:12:16 -0700, "
> wrote:

>Yes, I've flown with a cat. Virtually every airline, with the one
>exception of Southwest, will let you take the animal in the cabin with
>you. But there is a restriction on the total number of animals in the
>cabin for each flight, so it would have been better to have made the
>reservation at the beginning. Callie's "ticket" cost $75 for a
>cross-country flight. I did get tranquilizers for her, but ended up not
>needed to use them as she was pretty okay. A little disturbed by the
>security line coming in and the baggage claim wait going out - but who
>isn't?
>
>If you've got a confident cat, it should be fine. Just realize that you
>will need to pick the cat up out of the case and walk through the
>security gate with the cat in hand and then place them back in the
>case. If your cat will be too difficult for you to handle in that way

No. He will love it. He will privately hope we get flagged for extra
security.

>(and one of mine is - not Callie, and she would need to be driven) then
>flying may not be the right thing. A harness is not a bad precaution.
>
>The odds are the cat will be pretty silent. Don't forget they are on
>the floor under the seat and there is jet noise, so it would have to be
>a fairly mighty meow for your neighbors to hear much of it.
>
>You're the best judge of your cat, but it is a big deal to them (they
>don't know if they've lost their entire territory forever or not) ...

He won't worry much if I am there.

I just called Alaska Airlines and they confirmed him for my flights.
Relevant details:
- Dimensions: 17"x12"x7.5"
- Bed of absorbent material
- Food and water dishes
- Current health certificate
- $75 each way

I will have to go to PetSmart and get a different cat carrier, and
take him to the vet. Otherwise he is good to go.

To test Option B, however, I took him down to my tenants' house today,
to see what he would do. He has never been in their house before, but
he knows them. He was wholy relaxed, interested in nosing around
their house, but not nervous at all. But I'm gonna take him with me.

Charlie

MaryL
April 24th 06, 09:52 AM
> wrote in message
ups.com...
> Yes, I've flown with a cat. Virtually every airline, with the one
> exception of Southwest, will let you take the animal in the cabin with
> you.

In that case, this is a *major* change from when I was flying a few years
ago (and found only a few airlines that would permit small pets in the
cabin). It's a *very good* change, I might add.

MaryL

April 24th 06, 05:02 PM
Charlie Wilkes > wrote:

>I just called Alaska Airlines and they confirmed him for my flights.
>Relevant details:
>- Dimensions: 17"x12"x7.5"
>- Bed of absorbent material
>- Food and water dishes
>- Current health certificate
>- $75 each way

Great news about the reservation.

I recommend a soft bag carrier which is easier for you to carry
(shoulder strap), easier to fit under a seat and probably more
comfortable for your cat. Once the side panels are rolled down it
looks just like luggage which keeps the petting zoo crowd factor down
a little :-)

-mhd

Charlie Wilkes
April 25th 06, 07:47 AM
On Mon, 24 Apr 2006 12:02:56 -0400,
wrote:

>Charlie Wilkes > wrote:
>
>>I just called Alaska Airlines and they confirmed him for my flights.
>>Relevant details:
>>- Dimensions: 17"x12"x7.5"
>>- Bed of absorbent material
>>- Food and water dishes
>>- Current health certificate
>>- $75 each way
>
>Great news about the reservation.
>
>I recommend a soft bag carrier which is easier for you to carry
>(shoulder strap), easier to fit under a seat and probably more
>comfortable for your cat. Once the side panels are rolled down it
>looks just like luggage which keeps the petting zoo crowd factor down
>a little :-)
>
I plan to get the soft carrier.

If people fuss over him, that will be fine. He will love it and I
won't mind.

Charlie

April 25th 06, 02:15 PM
One more suggestion -

Ask your vet before the trip. My friend's vet prescribed a cat sized dose
of children's benadryl before she took her cat on the plane. BE SURE TO ASK
VET FIRST!!!! Please find out the exact dose before you try this - only a
doctor will know the 'cat safe' dose - its probably quite small.

Anyway, the Benadryl acts as a mild tranquilizer & sedative. Kitty will
probably sleep the whole way - so you won't have to worry about her getting
upset with all the strange sounds, smells, people. Or when you carry her
through the security screener.

I actually saw the cat after she took the Benadryl - she was okay just quite
sleepy.

-- maryjane

PS. another use for benadryl is with dogs. My families poodle had
epilepsy - fortunately he didn't have seizures too often - but after the
seizure ended my mother the RN would give him a tiny dog size dose of
Benadryl - so he slept through any after effects.

"Charlie Wilkes" > wrote in message
...
> On Mon, 24 Apr 2006 12:02:56 -0400,
> wrote:
>
>>Charlie Wilkes > wrote:
>>
>>>I just called Alaska Airlines and they confirmed him for my flights.
>>>Relevant details:
>>>- Dimensions: 17"x12"x7.5"
>>>- Bed of absorbent material
>>>- Food and water dishes
>>>- Current health certificate
>>>- $75 each way
>>
>>Great news about the reservation.
>>
>>I recommend a soft bag carrier which is easier for you to carry
>>(shoulder strap), easier to fit under a seat and probably more
>>comfortable for your cat. Once the side panels are rolled down it
>>looks just like luggage which keeps the petting zoo crowd factor down
>>a little :-)
>>
> I plan to get the soft carrier.
>
> If people fuss over him, that will be fine. He will love it and I
> won't mind.
>
> Charlie