Tips & Advice for Airplane Travel - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Tips & Advice for Airplane Travel

Hello~

I've been looking all over this website for tips or advice on traveling with cats by airplane. So far, I've found plenty of them but most of those are for long-distance flights and on U.S. airlines.

So I'm reaching out for those of you who have travel on airlines from outside the U.S., and specially on Mexican airplanes.

This is the whole story. If you do not with to read it, scroll down to where the bold letters begin.

This Christmas vacations I'm taking my kitty, Byakko, with me. I would love to leave him home (since I know they prefer it that way) but I have been unable to fin a pet-sitter where I live. I thought of leaving him with my roommate, but I really don't like the way she treats her cats and I am not sure if I want my pet to be treated that way. Besides that, I travel home for a week a few days ago and when I got back Byakko came running to me as if he thought I had left him, so I really do not feel like wanting to leave him again.

I have also consider pet hotels where he can stay, but they are way too expensive and they just don't convince me. Those cold cages, all that noise, and having to deal with strangers and other cats just too mean to me. It is Christmas and I shouldn't be leaving him alone.

Unfortunately, the only way to travel home is by airplane. And the only airline that goes to where I live do not allow cats on board, just in cargo. I am so worried about this because I have rode so many bad stories about cats traveling on board that the thought of it its just frightening to me!. Nevertheless, I'm trying to to think positive and hope that nothing bad happens to him.

So far, I know that:

1) I need a good carrier. I am planing on buying the one on top of the green one:


Do you thing it would be safe enough? Also, I've consider buying a medium one (green), but it looks to big for my cat. Should I buy a smaller one, considering he can move inside it, even if it might look too cozy? Or should I buy a medium one where he would have a lot of extra space?

2) Something to keep him feeling comfortable
I have rode wonders about Feliway, but it is TOO expensive where I live. One small bottle costs me more than 50 dlls and I just can't spend that much money right now. Is there anything else I could use to keep my kitty from feeling to stressed on cargo?

3) Food?
Should I feed him the night before or avoid any food and liquids until after the travel?

4) IDs and travel information
I rode in another website that it is a good idea to paste some information on the travel carrier, things such as: owners information, information about the content of the carrier (a cat) and even a little text presenting the pet just so the people who handle the carrier feel more "in touch" with the cat. Do you think this might be a good idea?



I would appreciate any other tips you can give me, thanks♥
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 12:03 AM
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I'm sorry, but I'd never take one of my girls on vacation with me. I'd never subject them to an airplane ride - in cargo - unless I absolutely had to, and I can't imagine what circumstance that would be. Even though you may not care for how your roommate takes care of her own cats, yours would surely survive a vacation left in her care. The trauma and stress of taking her with you, in my opinion, isn't worth it. I'm not sure how you can compare traveling in cargo to the noise in a pet hotel, it's probably many times worse than the trauma you assume a safe pet hotel would be. And foreign airlines? No.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 12:51 AM
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I'm with marie73, there is no way I'd fly my cat cargo unless it's an absolute emergency. There are too many horror stories out there. In cabin I'd think about it, but not for a week long trip, the only reason for me would probably be relocation. I may be crazy, but if I absolutely didn't trust my roommate and had no other option, I'd probably not go on the trip. I know not everyone is like that, but I strongly believe your cat will be safer and a lot less stressed at home or boarded.
I don't know where you are, but there are restrictions on pets flying cargo when it's cold, so it may not be an option. International you need papers and records and run the risk of quarantine.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 09:31 AM
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I've heard horror stories about leaving a cat with a roommate before, but I've heard a lot more about flying with them in cargo. I would search long and hard to try to find a carrier that allows in-cabin animal carriers.

These threads are ones where this topic was discussed...

https://www.catforum.com/forum/36-cat...lying-cat.html

https://www.catforum.com/forum/47-lou...s-country.html

If you're not able to afford Feliway, you probably aren't able to spend the money for good boarding or pet transport services either, so I'm not sure what to tell you except to caution you against sedation - that's where one hears the most horror stories.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 12:28 PM
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I have flown with Yuki once to go visit my parents for a week. She flew in the cabin with me in a soft carrier that squashed under the seat in front of me. She was fine and didn't seem stressed at all. My flight was just over an hour. There's no way I would ever put her in cargo though, or fly international. In that case I'd rather have someone I trust stay with her or visit her every day.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 02:24 PM
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Yes, what Yuki said. I'd put him in a soft carrier that slipped under the seat in front. Once at cruising speed you can take the carrier out form under the seat for more comfort. A small soft carrier would suffice. Cats really don't travel well so pick up some Homeopet for Digestive Upsets for the trip, too. It may help with travel sickness.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 02:29 PM
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Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that is cats are allowed in cabinsa on that airline.

Cats do just fine when we are gone. I think we miss them more than they miss us. Putting them through the trauma of a flight in cargo should only be done as an absolute last resort. I wouldn't reccomend it.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 03:34 PM
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I would under no circumstances take a cat on a one week trip if it involved a plane. Even if the cat appeared to be a laid back cat while in a carrier it's still stressful. Just let the roommate take care of the cat for a week, the cat won't die if not in perfect care for a week. You'll miss the cat more than he'll miss you.

The only place we take the cats is the cabin in the gulf islands. It's about 2 hours total before we get there (car, ferry then 5 minute boat ride), but the cats get to run around the island as there's no cars or dangerous animals, so they like it. If they didn't like it we wouldn't bring them there. As it is, if we're only going a few days we don't take them.


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Last edited by Carmel; 12-02-2013 at 03:37 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2013, 06:10 PM
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Agree on not taking the cat, but..

Check and get very specific instructions from the airline you're using. Many require a completely different set of things you need to follow. Some do not allow plastic "connectors" holding the two cage pieces together, some don't allow soft, nearly all require a strict size. Don't rely on people here to get it right for you - call and be 100% certain of what the airline will allow. It would be awful to get there with the cat and have it not be allowed.

The one you're looking at has plastic snap connectors holding the two halves. I know some airlines require metal SCREWS, not snaps, to hold the pieces or it will be rejected.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Just to clear..I am not talking about a week trip. I was talking about a two-months trip to my parents house.

Here, in Mexico, we donīt have a lot of the great services you might have in other countries (United States, Spain, etc.). Our pet-hotels are very similar to your (and ours) public kennels, so I am pretty sure he wouldnīt like it.

As for my roommate, well...I really donīt trust her in this matter at all. She is almost never home, she never cleans the catīs litter box (or the house for that matter), she is planning on having a lot of pre-christmas parties (we call them Posadas, here) which include a lot of noise and people, she doesnīt really feed them, etc. So...I really believe that two hours of stress is better than 60 days of feeling neglected, probably not eating well and maybe getting sick.

Feliway, as I said, it is REALLY expensive it costs me the same as the flight ticket (which is almost $100 dlls). Nevertheless, I did bought both of them because that much is what I care for my cat. Money is a problem, but as I said I was willing to pay it...I just wanted to know if there where other products or options.

To all of you who actually offered me some help, advice and suggestions - I thank you♥

Last edited by marie73; 12-07-2013 at 02:43 AM.
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