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Airplane Traveling with Cats and "Sleeping Pills"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi,
We are traveling the first time with out cats in an airplane in 2 weeks.
We already got a lot of good information here regarding our travel. We also bought pet carriers already, etc. and made sure the airplane can take our 2 cats.

Now we have another question and maybe someone can help here.
It is about giving our cats some kind of "soft sleeping agent/pill" because we don't want them to be in stress so much. The flight is from NYC to LA and altogether we might be 10-12 hours "on the road".
These 2 cats were rescued 6 years ago and one of them is still scared and super shy. They never went outside in 6 years being in an apartment on the 5th floor.

Does anyone have any experience regarding sleeping "pills" for cats to keep them "stress free" in the airplane and cab.
Any help/hints?
Thank you
Ibo
post #2 of 10
Most vets will prescribe "ace" to relieve their anxiety but a warning if you do that. It can make a cat nausious, and coupled with the movement in the plane, can double up their sickness. If you go that route, test your cats in advance to make sure it doesn't nauseate them.

Some people have success with things like Bach's Rescue Remedy or Feliday spray. If you have a pet health store in your area, you might stop in and talk to them about what they have available for you. Anything you use, try in advance.

I flew a cat once and when I got to security in the airport, they actually told me that I had to put the cat with carrier thru the scanners. The equipment is stronger now and they will probably ask that you take the cats out of the carrier and hand carry them thru the metal detectors. Make sure you have a harness on them so that you can hold them firm. You don't want for them to get loose in the airport.

I just drove 2 cats in a 10 hour trip. Once of them was carsick and I was really glad that I had paper towels with me to clean up after him. Layer the cage with something like puppy pads and bring extras in case you have to change them. Put paper towels in your carry on bag.
post #3 of 10
You usually have to see a vet and to get a wellness record within X amount of days prior to the flight. I think it's usually within 14 days. Your vet will be able to prescribe some form a sedative appropriate for flying and driving at that time. One of our cats had a prescription for valium for stress at one point.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello and thank you for your posts and help!
I know about the vet certificates, etc. for international flights to Europe for example, but I thought it is not necessary for domestic flights in the US.
Is this a requirement? I am flying with Delta.
How is the experience with this?
Thank you all.
Ibo
post #5 of 10
I've heard you shouldn't give them any pills as it can in fact make them more stressed, I'm sure others on here (or your vet) can advise about that.

My 3 flew as kittens so a different situation, but they had a long drive to the airport, then lots of waiting around before coming home to me they spent about 8 hours in the carrier. The breeder gave them Rescue Remedy to help calm them for the trip.
post #6 of 10
I would not advise it - even tho vets say its ok. I've flown with cats - they don't like the take off/landings, but calm down once in the air. Are you talking about traveling on board with you under the seat? If so, keep in mind that airlines only allow 2 pets on board and only 1 pet per person.

If you have more then 2 cats, they will have to go under the plane in cargo. I would not give them any meds. But you might try some calming drops (Rescue Remedy, etc.) before. Its a natural calming supplement.

Cats (local flights) need a vet certificate within 10 days of traveling on the plane. Be sure to have your cats vaccine record too, just in case someone asks However, this is only if the cat is being shipped in cargo without you. If the cat is with you, nothing is needed from the vet.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibo View Post
Hello and thank you for your posts and help!
I know about the vet certificates, etc. for international flights to Europe for example, but I thought it is not necessary for domestic flights in the US.
Is this a requirement? I am flying with Delta.
How is the experience with this?
Thank you all.
Ibo

You should definitely call your airline. I have not flown with my cats for quite some time, but I know my mother needed the certificates when flying with her chihuahua (from North Carolina to Michigan) at Christmas, and the dog was kept with her at all times, not put in cargo. I'm not sure which airline.
post #8 of 10
Interesting (unless it was a holiday thing) cause many people show cats across the country and are on a plane for the weekend - no one I know travels with vet documentation and the cat on board.

I think I had my cats vaccination papers when flying just in case; but never used them.
post #9 of 10
I agree with Missymotus, the sedatives make them more stresses.
They do not put the cat to sleep completely, thus the state of altered consciousness of the drugs makes them more freaked out. I know...I made this mistake once. It was only an hour flight but it was horrible. Never again will I drug my cats for any travel.

Rescue remedy and feliway spray yes, but no medications.
post #10 of 10
I agree - no drugs. You won't find any drugs that last for 12 hours anyway - you don't want them starting to come out of a drug haze while the plane is taking off, and having them even more confused and scared!

If they're drugged out, they're more likely to get dehydrated, which isn't good.

They'll be fine
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