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Tutu

whatcha doooin?
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 14, '11 10:38pm PST 
Here is a word of hope for those who ever need to travel across continents with their feline.

My cat and I flew to France and back this summer. The trip there was something like 20 hours; the trip back was about 30 (and I think she handled it better than I did, I'm still ill from stress).

My cat is perfectly healthy. She was drinking a lot more than usual when we got home so I was a bit worried her kidneys were stressed, but two days after we arrived home she had her blood tested and everything was normal. Her eating is fine, her leavings are fine. She doesn't seem phased at all.

I know all animals are different, and that they say travelling is especially hard on cats, but this is definitely something to be hopeful for if anyone needs to do the same as I did.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask/reply here. There are many, many things you need to prepare for depending on how you are doing to transfer the pet.

I didn't have to do much because my cat is such a friggin angel (got lucky there...).

France doesn't require quarantine but some countries do, so check that first. You also need a certified health certificate. Mine was only checked once but if I didn't have it.....

What I did:
- soft-side carrier by SturdiPet (~$99)
- old wash cloths lining the carrier (with spares underneath the bottom padding)
- natural sedative (by Bach), about 4 drops per 4 hours; no proof it does anything but my aunt gave it to me (please do not use tranquilizers unless you absolutely need to)
- a small case of treats (this was the only food she got while travelling, dunked in water because otherwise she would not drink. this is also how I administered the sedative).
- harness/leash. this is important. you will need to carry the pet through security. if you do not have at least a harness, the pet could run away (this almost happened to me because of some idiots in Paris...)
- caress your pet occasionally. my cat was fine, but occasionally she cried and all she wanted was to see me and for me to pet her (second best to getting out of carrier).
- take her out on a leash while in the terminal. technically this is forbidden, but you could argue for their health if they have been on a plane for hours. blood clots, etc. this is also the best time to feed and water them. find a secluded area of the terminal (mother/baby bathroom, if needed.)
- if your cat is a constant whiner, you might want to consider putting them in the pet cargo area. my cat can't be heard over the plane noise, so that wasn't an issue (11 hours in flight can get a bit stressful when someone/something keeps crying).

Edited by author Sun Aug 14, '11 10:40pm PST

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Tink the Cat

Never met a- mouse I didn\'t- bat!
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 21, '11 8:08pm PST 
This is fantastic info!! Thanks for sharing; we are always at a loss when someone asks for this info! Luv, Tinkkitty
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Sipr

1189098
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 23, '11 12:21am PST 
Excellent information to have! We are about to move to DC in February (from Hawaii) with little Sipr in tow.
A few questions:
What do you have to do beforehand with the airline before flying with your pet?
Where do you get this natural sedative? and what effects does it have on the kitty?

as the military is paying for our flight, we do not have much choice in the airline but I can only hope that we get one that allows pets in the cabin (the mainland will be freezing in February!) or even allows pets at all :
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Coopurr

I still suck my- thumb...
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 23, '11 1:27pm PST 
I think it depends on the cat. My bridge baby Felix should have had frequent flyer miles. But I would only take him when it was guaranteed that I could put him in the cabin with me. I wouldn't let him fly cargo. And he flew with me practically ever other weekend.

Felix was soooo good that people would comment after the flight, "I didn't even know a cat was on board..."

With Coop...I couldn't do it. Both Felix and Coop are/were Russian Blues, but Coop is completely skittish. Nothing can comfort him with the carrier. And I'm just really lucky that my landlady adores him and takes very good care of him while I'm away.

BUT that being said...with the right temperment, a cat can do very well flying. It just depends on the purr-sonality.

BTW, how was France? I'm a huge Francophile, too! I was just in Paris in April.

smile

Purrs,
Coop's Mom
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Coopurr

I still suck my- thumb...
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 23, '11 1:33pm PST 
PS to Sipr -- Check with your airline before you fly. I believe some airlines don't permit pets in cabin. And what you need is a health certificate from your family vet -- it has to be dated within so many days of the departure. They need to be up on their shots and everything. And usually, if you've kept up with all the shots and visits, your vet will just issue the health certificate. With Felix, I just had to call, and they'd prepare it for me.

There's also a pet-in-cabin charge, so be sure to check that, too.

Hope this is helpful,
Coop's Mom
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Beepers

Father of- champions!
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 24, '11 1:51pm PST 
Sipr, most airlines that allow pets in-cabin have restrictions on the number of pets/carriers allowed. Some allow only 1 or 2 carriers per cabin, so be sure to RESERVE pet carrier space in-cabin ahead of time.

Also, I believe it's the same on all airlines, that the pet carrier is your carry-on, so no other carry-on bag is allowed for the passenger with the pet carrier.

The advice from Tutu and Coopurr is excellent! way to go
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Sipr

1189098
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 24, '11 9:14pm PST 
thanks for the info!
what do they charge usually? and how far in advance would I need to reserve?
I hope the military books our tickets with enough time to reserve.... it really isn't up to us what airline we get unfortunately
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Tutu

whatcha doooin?
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 18, '11 8:05pm PST 
Sorry I just saw the replies!

To Sipr's mom:
Call airline and make sure you 'reserve' a space for your cat. They can only have a certain number of animals in-cabin, but not sure about in the back of the plane.

>>
Where do you get this natural sedative? and what effects does it have on the kitty?
>>

The sedative I used I got from my aunt who uses it for her dog who dislikes thunderstorms.
You can read about it here:
http://www.grassmere-animal-hospital.com/thunderstormphobia.h tm

"Rescue Remedy - a Bach Flower homeopathic remedy - this is a mild, anti-anxiety, natural medication that is given either directly in the mouth or in the drinking water. It can also be used for separation anxiety, traveling, company coming, etc. In my experience, it may help mild anxieties, but if you have a dog in full blown thunder phobia, it will probably not be enough by itself. The dose is 1 drop per 5 pounds up to 20 pounds. Above 20 pounds, add 1 drop per 10 pounds. Thus, a 70 pound dog would get 9 drops. Put it directly in the mouth, wait 10 minutes and repeat if necessary."

I can't prove it does anything for my cat, but we were on cross-Atlantic flights and she was fine for a few hours in and then became restless. It's either from the sedative wearing off or just pure boredom.
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Tutu

whatcha doooin?
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 18, '11 8:06pm PST 
Also, I paid $200 for a ONE WAY ticket for my cat (all flights)... and $200 Euros from France to home.... *cringe*
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