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Planning a Big Move

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My wife and I are planning a very big move (Honolulu to Washington, DC) for Spring 2007. We have two male cats that we will be taking with us. Both are healthy, and are a bit over two years old.

I am desperate for any advice regarding transporting our cats. Ideally I’d like to take them in-cabin as carry-ons, but it appears many airlines don’t allow this on transpacific flights. The idea of sending them as checked baggage frightens me, but I might not have a choice. I’m also curious as to anyone’s experience with professional pet transporters like Pets Away.

Again, any advice/thoughts/experiences would be helpful. I’d especially like to hear from anyone who has made similar Hawaii-to-East Coast moves.

post #2 of 8
I have no advice for you.... but I do wish you the best of luck in your search! I'm sure the members here will help you.... I believe Eileen (Eilcon) and Heidi (Valnhb) have shipped little Ginger cookie across the country somewhat..... maybe one of them would have a better answer.... and I think I remember Eileen saying that everyone was great about Ginger, and helpful.... anyway, best of luck!
post #3 of 8
I'll move this to Care and Grooming for you
post #4 of 8
I have flown 2 cats in the pressurized luggage area but both of those flights were only about 2-1/2 hours and I sedated both of them. Like a dummy, I didn't call the airlines in advance to hear about their policy. They did allow me to gate check them so I had them until the last minute and were handed off to me upon exiting the plane.

Have you found any airlines that will allow you to take them in the cabin with you? I personally would be terrified to leave my babies alone that long and would pay extra to have them with me.
post #5 of 8
There are some lengthy forum threads discussing air travel with cats. Search the forum and you shouldn't have to continue this thread.

First and foremost, contact your airline well in advance. They normally allow only two animals on one flight so the two cats may be a problem. The airline(s) are the only ones who can give you definite answers. You'll also need a regulation cat carrier and you'll have to take the cat out of it when the luggage (including the carrier) is X rayed.

It's usually recommended that you not put the cats in the baggage hold but you may not have a choice.
post #6 of 8
I'm not totally familar with flights to/from Hawaii other then I do know you can't just bring a cat to Hawaii on flight cause it has to be quarentined for 6 months.

But coming from Hawaii I don't see why you can't have them on board. I've heard most airlines will allow 2 animals (total) to ride in cabin - the rest have to ride under the plane in kennels. I'm assuming this is a permanent move? Because if you are planning to return to Hawaii in the future keep in mind you will have the 6-month quarentine to deal with.
post #7 of 8
My husband and I flew with our cat Anya over the holidays. She was on 4 different planes over the course of a week. The last day was two flights, and after delays we were traveling for a little over 20 hours...

Here's what I learned:


1: ALWAYS pack a small ziploc baggy of food and a plastic dish you could put water in inside your carry on even if you don't think you'll need it. Flights get delayed. Anya enjoyed a meal of part of my chicken fingers and water from an empty fruit cup dish yesterday.

2: Going through security isn't that bad. But the scary part for kitty is often waiting for the carrier on the other side. The conveyor belt is NOISY. People slam things around. If you have the option step aside with kitty to a quieter area and let your travel partner collect the bags/shoes/coats or vice versa then do that.

3: Keep your coat or small blanket with you to throw over the carrier during stressful times like on the plane or high traffic areas of the airport (or shuttle to/from the airport). It makes it dark and warm inside the carrier and very condusive to naptime. But don't forget to leave an airhole!!

4: Don't forget a couple of small toys or balls inside the carrier will keep kitty from getting bored.

5: Pheromone spray doesn't seem to work in this case. And it makes the carrier smell funny. And it's expensive. Skip it.

6: Either Anya was just really good naturally, or the tryptophan drops helped. They're inexpensive so I would recommend giving them a try unless you're opposed to some of the ingredients. I found it's best to find a quiet corner and give them after check in but before security. (In case your bottle size is deemed inappropriate and confiscated. Ours was never even put into question until our last flight. We were hesitantly allowed to keep it.) These can be found for around $5 at almost any pet store.

If you have any more questions feel free to PM me! Also we flew Airtran and Delta and both were VERY pet friendly and cooperative. Delta was a bit more of a hassle because they don't let you pay for your pet until you get to the airport because they want to see the pet and verify that the carrier is safe.

OH- Don't forget that you will need a certifiicate of health from your vet within 10 days of your flight for each kitty. Also check with the Dept of Agriculture to see if any of the states you are flying into require vaccinations like rabies that your kitties might not have.

Good luck!
post #8 of 8
Your kitties are going to be too big to fit comfortably under the seat in front of you, so you're probably going to end up having to put them in cargo (my last choice because my older kitty is claustrophobic and can't stand to be caged in. Check with Delta they allow pets.
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