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Airplane Travel with Kitty

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for some advice for the upcoming holiday season about traveling (or not) with my kitty. I'll be spending a week away from home with my family -- and unfortunately that means 3 planes and 8-11 hours of travel time to get there. My 1.5 year old kitty adjusts really well to being in new places, but isn't such a fan of the journey. I brought her with me on the plane last year when I went home -- she was a kitten then, and did just fine for the most part, though she did start panting during the first plane ride (a VERY scary thing to witness in a cat, though I'm not really sure how scary it is medically?). She just gets very nervous and worried, and then eventually becomes exhausted from the stress and sleeps. She was diagnosed with a mild heart murmur this year, but I had her heart ultrasounded, and it looks normal so the vet said I shouldn't have to worry about keeping her in a low-stress environment.

If I leave her here I can have a pet sitter come and visit her, but she's a very people-oriented cat, and has never been left alone at night before. I'm worried that she'll be distraught and feel SO abandoned!!

Does anyone have advice about which option is best? The stress of travel, or the stress of loneliness?
post #2 of 4
Leave her at home - much safer in a lot of ways (not the least of which is the slight chance of her escaping somewhere if unexpectedly startled). She'll be ok if you leave her favorite toys and be sure the pet sitter is reliable and willing to stay around each visit to play with her.
post #3 of 4
As much as you want to have her with you during the holidays, try and think of the trip from her point of view. She wasn't very happy about the plane ride the first time, she probably will not enjoy it much this time around... It may not be very good for her either if she gets as nervous as she did during the last trip.

I also had to travel with my cat on board a plane, and it was not pleasant for my kitty. It is not something I would recommend for any cat who has a possible heart issue, unless the cat is absolutely comfortable with flying. Although she may not be very happy without you for a few weeks, in the long run it may be the healthier course to take.

Enjoy your vacation, and as long as your cat is in good hands, she will be fine.
post #4 of 4
Holiday travel is not a good thing for any pets. Too much going on. I'd have a pet sitter come in (once/twice a day). Maybe leave a radio on for the cat so she won't be in total silence.

Any thoughts on adopting a 2nd cat to keep the first one company (after holidays) so that your cat would not be alone in the future?
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