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  1. #1
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    Travelling With Kitties?

    So my boy and I are - for the first time - travelling to visit my family together for the holiday season. We've got no one to look after Brautigan, the cat, so we're taking him with us. Problem is, I've never flown with a cat before, and am worried about his comfort. The flight's only an hour, and he'll be in the cabin with us. Any tips on how to make it all go smoothly?

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  3. #2
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    I've never flown with a cat, but you could look into getting a small sedative from your vet.

  4. #3
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    I've never flown with a cat but I took two cats and two dogs in two cars on a five hour road trip when I moved once. One of the cats was great. I took her with the two dogs (she was in a cat carrier). She peed herself, though. Next time, I would make sure she has a little toilet or take a break. The other cat, however, literally SCREAMED the entire way. It wasn't any sort of normal meowing or anything. It was an awful scream. When the radio was off and no one was talking, she seemed to calm down but any sort of noise and she'd start screaming again. (That made trips to the vet fun, too. She'd be freaking out before we even got there.)

    I would definitly look into a sedative.

  5. #4
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    i second brdgt - a small sedative is sometimes a good idea. it can not only be a sanity-saver for you, the cat, and your fellow passengers on the flight, but it could smooth things over in the airport (when i flew cross-country with my cats, i had to take them out of their carriers and carry them through the metal detector; some cats might be prone to freaking out and squirting out of your hands in that situation).

    the key with sedatives is to do a "test run" a few days before you fly; a lot of vets will tell you to give a cat a very small dose and then increase it if they don't seem sedated. i learned that way that my cats get high very easily, and don't need much (it was like reefer madness in those kitty carriers, i tell you).

    have you found out from the airline if you'll need a health certificate from the vet? some companies will waive them, but you don't want to get caught at the airport without one. you might also ask the airline about the amount of space under their seats; you'll have to be able to fit your carrier under there.

  6. #5
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    "One of the cats was great. I took her with the two dogs (she was in a cat carrier). She peed herself, though. Next time, I would make sure she has a little toilet or take a break."
    A little toilet? What? How do I deal with his need to pee, etc? Do I try to make him go in the bathroom? Clean him up quickly when he goes in the cage?

    By the way, thanks for the comments. A sedative sounds like a good idea.

  7. #6
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    For a little 'toilet' you could try bunching up some paper towels and putting them in the back of the carrier. That way, hopefully the cat will pee on them and then you can remove them easily.

    I've only ever traveled with a cat in the car, and he was so petrified the entire time he was absolutely silent and never peed at all.

  8. #7
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    We took my cat on the plane when he was a kitten a long time ago, so here's what I remember... we asked the vet and he got a small sedative because the engines are even noisier to kitty ears than to ours, and I wear earplugs on planes! We also didn't let him drink or eat for a few hours beforehand so he wouldn't need to go potty. We also needed a special carrier that was small enough for the plane, the airline should be able to tell you about that.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liisotchka
    How do I deal with his need to pee, etc? Do I try to make him go in the bathroom?
    I've never flown with a cat before, but I did do a four-day cross-country move with my cat where he was in the car for hours at a time for four days straight. We got a sedative from the vet, which we only had to use twice. We also bought him a special cat leash (it consists of a harness that goes over his back so he can't give it the slip and a leash that detatches). At rest stops and the like, we'd take him out of the carrier and attach his leash to his harness and let him stretch his legs. Something like that might be difficult in an airport, but you might consider it, especially if you think you might need to haul him back to the plane bathroom for a quick clean-up.

    Overall though I wouldn't worry about it unless your cat has a history of using inappropriate poop and pee to express anger at you. My cat didn't have a single accident on that four day trip -- cats are very clean and usually won't soil themselves if they realize they're trapped in a small space. Just take away his food and water a few hours before the flight and you'll be fine.

  10. #9
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    aww this thread brings back memories! :)

    here's another vote of confidence for the sedative. my husband used one when he flew with our kitty ethel from boston to austin. she didn't have any problems at all the entire flight, although once she got to her new home and mike let her out of the carrier, she was still kinda druggy and was stumbly for a little while, bless her heart. :)

  11. #10
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    I vote against the sedative - when I used it, both of my kitties had gastro problems (diarrhea and vomiting). Although, I know lots of people use the sedative successfully, and maybe my guys would have puked anyway, so who knows)

    I suggest lining the cage with a t-shirt or other clothing item you've warn that smells like you, to reassure them, and let them be loud. ALso, bring some baby wipes and a replacement t-shirt (or two) in case kitty has an accident.

    Polar fleece also works well to line a cage, and as it is spill resistant, it can make clean-up easier.


 
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