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What do airlines require to fly a cat??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Is there a minimum of vaccinations required to fly a cat? Does anyone know this? I'm asking because that little 11 year old tuxedo I was going to be watching while his mommy moves from CA to MA will be flying out this Friday, but she says he has not been vaccinated in about 5-6 years. This makes me a bit leary (understandably) especially since his is indoor/outdoor and I am asking now that she either have him at the minimum tested for FIV and have a rabies and distemper vaccine or place him at a home with no other cats just in case. I was just very surprised that the airline was not asking for some proof of vaccine. Maybe they are and she just doesn't know it. Can anyone tell me what's required? I know some of you breeders out there ship quite frequently and might be able to answer this.
post #2 of 14
I'll move this to care and grooming for you
post #3 of 14
All you need to do is go to the webpage for the airline you are using -- they have their individual requirements listed (all airlines are different). Some require health certificates for cats, most don't though. They also all have different requirements as to how big your carrier can be to fit under the sit.
post #4 of 14
I've always wondered this too. So they can be carried on? I seriously thought they had to be "checked" and travel in cargo hold. Maybe that's just the larger pets.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCMaggie View Post
I've always wondered this too. So they can be carried on? I seriously thought they had to be "checked" and travel in cargo hold. Maybe that's just the larger pets.
Yes! Most airlines don't heat their cargo hold...and because you're closer to the sun doesn't mean its warmer at 10,000 feet...it can get quite cold in the cargo hold!!!
Not to mention the lack of pressure for a comfortable flight, noise level (usually is right by the wings) and less oxygen.

Our friend recently moved to Vegas and she took her cat on a plane. Just as a warning, the vet gave the cat a lot of vallium for the trip and said that cats have one of 2 reactions to the meds: 1) They fall asleep for the entire trip or 2) It causes hyperness and aggression in the cat. Most cats fall under #1's reaction.
post #6 of 14
If the cat is flying alone (not in passenger section with a person) you need a shots record (including rabies) and a health certificate from the vet within 10 days of flying - not any longer.

Even if you are taking the cat personally, I would update the shots and rabies to be on the safe side
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
If the cat is flying alone (not in passenger section with a person) you need a shots record (including rabies) and a health certificate from the vet within 10 days of flying - not any longer.

Even if you are taking the cat personally, I would update the shots and rabies to be on the safe side
Thanks. That's what I had recommended to this woman.
It's not for my cat. I actually posted another thread about it a week ago or so. I"m going to be watching someone's cat while they make the move from CA to MA, but now it might not happen if this cat hasn't had it's shots. She said the cat is 11 yo and up until about 5-6 years ago they were bringing the cat faithfully to get vaccinated but admits it hasn't been vaccinated in that long. Obviously I don't want the cat in my house unless I know it has a clean bill of health (which I told her) but I was also wondering what kind of issues she might run into with the airlines.
post #8 of 14
Most airlines have a limit on how many pets per flight in the passenger section. We flew our son's cat back to him in Florida and there was a limit of two pets per flight.
I had no idea you could fly pets until I saw a tiny Westie in it's travel carrier while we were waiting for a flight a few years ago.
post #9 of 14
I'm flying with my kitty in about a month, so I've been looking into all this stuff too.
In regards to the limit of the number of pets on a flight, you should let the lady know that she needs to tell the airline ahead of time that she's flying with a pet, and she'll have to pay a fee once she gets to the airport. For American Airlines, it's $80 upon checkin.
Also, even if the airline doesn't require a statement of health, the state the flight is entering might require that. So it's best to have one just in case.
post #10 of 14
I just like to point out that all the major airlines that allow pets to be shipped in the cargo hold, have temperature controlled sections that are pressurized and there is the normal concentration of oxygen in the air. The only discomfort for pets travelling this way, is the noise level, crating and fear of a new strange scary environment.
The pets are kept seperate from the luggage, are loaded last and taken off first.
The ride is scary for them, but they are perfectly safe and the temps are comfortable. Heat in the winter and A/C in the summer.
post #11 of 14
But also check with the airlines on temps - most have a range of flying unattended cats/dogs. If its too hot or too cold they will not ship.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
But also check with the airlines on temps - most have a range of flying unattended cats/dogs. If its too hot or too cold they will not ship.
That's correct, because they are concerned about the tarmac temps, while the animal is being transported to and from the aircraft.
I believe the high must be below 85 degrees and anything under 45 degrees you need a cold climate acclimation statement from your Vet.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
I just like to point out that all the major airlines that allow pets to be shipped in the cargo hold, have temperature controlled sections that are pressurized and there is the normal concentration of oxygen in the air. The only discomfort for pets travelling this way, is the noise level, crating and fear of a new strange scary environment.
The pets are kept seperate from the luggage, are loaded last and taken off first.
The ride is scary for them, but they are perfectly safe and the temps are comfortable. Heat in the winter and A/C in the summer.
Very correct. The cargo holds that are intended for live animals are indeed temperature controlled and pressurized (most aircraft's entire cargo hold is pressurized).

It is cooler than the cabin but still safe. The temperatures at a jet's normal cruising altitude are in the minus 30- minus 50 degree range (even in the summer) so no matter what time of year the cargo hold is always heated for your kitties comfort.

Some animals can be carried in the cabin but you would need to check with each specific airline as they are all different.
post #14 of 14
Your best bet is to call your travel agent and have them tell you what the airline you are on requires.

If you did not book through a travel agent contact whomever you booked your airline tickets with.

Please get your requirements from your booking method (hopefully it was a knowledgeable travel agent). As just getting advice from a chat line is not necessarily going to give you the correct answer. I mean you don't want to get to the plane to board and found out you don't have correct info. They will not accept "Miss Mew" told me. (no disrespect Miss Mew, just using an example)

I am a travel agent and hear horror stories all the time from clients that did not get the offical answer from the correct people. Not that everyone is no knowledgeable about the information they are giving you. But you don't want to be misinformed.

There will also be size regulations on the carrier you use and fees you have to pay. You also have to make a reservation for you pet in the cabin, you can't just show up. They only allow one pet per flight.

Good luck and please if anything atleast call the airline you are booked on and make sure you are all set and that you know their regulations.
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