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Safely fly kitten?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I know people do it all the time, but is it really o.k. to fly an old enough kitten to where you live?

I might be getting a kitten from L.A. or Colorado. Either way, it'll be faster to just fly it here. And, I'm thinking the faster the less stress. People don't really enjoy flying (motion sickness, cramped up, scary people) so a kitten probably won't feel too good either.

Is there a way to make it easier on the kitten, and what do they ship them in? A real carrier or a cardboard carrier? Can you ask the breeder to send something that smells like home for the kitten? Should you take them out of the carrier to go potty in a litterbox in the car asap? I'm worrying ahead of myself, but it couldn't hurt to start planning now.
post #2 of 12
Most of my kittens are flown to their new home. Per airline rules, the breeder is required to put the cat in a IATA approved carrier, anotherward, a real carrier with a wire front that won't break and has proper ventilation. Bedding is required something sort and absorbant.
The toys aren't technically allowed but many breeders do sent toys.
Food is taped to the top of the carrier and vet certificate on the side. You will need to show ID (drivers license or state ID) to get your kitten from the airport. You will pick your kitten up with luggage or at the counter.

Plan to wait 30 minutes from unloading. Northwest and continental are the best airlines to ship with. I would avoid american, they sent my boy Tayga in a cracked carrier and thankfully nothing happened to him.
post #3 of 12
Kittens are usually 4 months old or older when shipped. They are shipped in an approved hard-sided carrier. I've had a few kittens shipped to me with no problems. Some are a bit scared when they arrive, but others are wanting to be petted.

It was only 1/2 drive from airport to home, so no litter box, etc. till we got home. Jack will be flying in (4 months old) and its a 2 hr trip. We will put the litter pan out if we stop to eat before coming home (depends on the time) but will have everything set up at home for him.

To be on the safe side, just talk to the kitten and maybe pet him a little in the car - everything will be new and you don't want him getting away from you. You'll have plenty of time when you get home to pet and cuddle
post #4 of 12
My Husband worked for United for over 30 years and he was the one that would send the Pets. There are alot of Rules but it makes it safer that way. Our Breeder is over 2 hours from here. That flight from L.A. is a short flight so that shouldnt be to bad for the kitten. I looked at breeders in So Cal also.
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by moonandstarkatz View Post
Most of my kittens are flown to their new home. Per airline rules, the breeder is required to put the cat in a IATA approved carrier, anotherward, a real carrier with a wire front that won't break and has proper ventilation. Bedding is required something sort and absorbant.
The petmate vari-kennel is a good one, just as long as there is ventillation on all sides of the carrier. Avoid carriers that snap together; they have been known to snap open during transit. The crates that are screwed together are best.
Good Crate:
Bad Crate:

Puppy training pads make great bedding

I would also suggest fastening a rabbit water bottle to the inside of the cage. Flights can dehydrate and this way, your kitty will have more than enough fluid available.
post #6 of 12
If its only a 2 hr drive to the breeder, you might consider driving to pick up the kitten vs flying him in. Figure out what it would be both ways. Cost of airline keeps going up, but then so does the gas. See which is more economical for you.
post #7 of 12
We are driving for our Kitten. We just have to decide if we want to meet her or go there. If we go to the Breeders I will end up at the Cheese Factorys and Winerys first. She can bring the Kitten also. We also talked about the breeder coming here also. We have alot of options. She could bring the Kitten to a Cat Show also. My last two Cats came from the Bay Area and it was a 2 hour Drive to get them. This is a little farther but it is ok.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm sure the breeders have alot of experience, so it's probably ok to just trust them. A drive to LA (like 10 hour round trip drive) or colorado (two day drive) would be harder on a kitten. Cost wise, whatever is better for the cat, cause of course the gas prices make it all about the same too!
post #9 of 12
If my Breeder was in L.A. I would have it flown. The traffic on 580 is terrible also and in L.A.
post #10 of 12
All of mine were flown to me, and all did very well

It was a long day for them, 2 hour drive for the breeder to the airport and having to arrive 1 1/2-2 hours before the flight.

Then 90 minutes in the air, and of course the flight was late then 1/2 hour after landing for me to pick them up. 45 minute drive from the airport to my house.

So about 7 hours in the carrier for them! I didn't let them out in the car but did pat them through the front door grill.

Demetri yelled at all the airport staff (I believe he was swearing ) When I got Ana and Farley they came in the same crate and both were quietly huddled up together.
2 travelling together were certainly more chilled out.

Despite the long day it still took a while for them to use the litter once arriving home. They ate first, and then played before finally using the box.

Demetri was 3 months, Farley 5 months and Ana 11.5 weeks.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I can totally picture a cat swearing
I guess she (it's going to be a she ) will be ok.
post #12 of 12
Smudge flew to me on Continental, I believe. The only thing I did that no one has mentioned here was I had a SnuggleKitty that I got my scent on by sleeping with it for a couple of weeks, and I sent it to the breeder. She sent it along in the carrier with him, along with his favorite blankie from home. It must have worked because as soon as he smelled me he started purring!
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