or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Travel Help/Advice Needed
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Travel Help/Advice Needed

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello fellow cat-lovers! This is my first post.

My husband and I are moving from France to Connecticut in just a couple of weeks. We have one cat, Chachi, who is three years old. We adopted her from a shelter when she was just five months, and she's exceptionally sweet-tempered but can be rather nervous around new people and places and, like most cats, loathes travelling.

We've attempted quite a few short trips with her-- on the subway and by car and train-- and while she never gets sick, she cries and yowls, and sometimes becomes so stressed that she pants uncontrollably. We spoke to our vet in preparation for the big move and she suggested a sedative. During a short train trip this past Friday I tested it out as a dry-run. She had a terrible reaction: between yowling at the top of her lungs, she tried to dig her way out of her carrier, gnawed at the bars, threw her body against the side of the box, scratched at me, and basically terrified me with her reaction. It was heartbreaking to see her in such a state. When I got her home she was considerably calmer but still meowed and panicked from time to time (probably because she felt so foggy and drunk-- I'm now convinced that sedatives are terrible.)

Anyway, these tranquilizers were our fall-back plan, and now that that has failed, I'm wondering how on earth we are going to get our poor baby all the way across the Atlantic. Our vet also gave us some natural calming spray, but it hasn't done much so far. I am not worried about bothering other passengers on the airplane since the background noise should block out her meowing; I am worried about her. I honestly don't know how she will make it through 8 hours of flying plus an hour or two of driving before and afterwards.

Has anyone ever been in a similar situation with his or her cat(s)? I have read a few threads in various forums on the subject and the advice generally given seems to be to leave the cat at home at all costs. We certainly wouldn't bring her on an around-the-world vacation, but we're moving and don't have a choice. Are there any other natural products that you could recommend? Any advice? I am absolutely torn up about this. I look down at her so happy and purring and feel like an absolute schmuck for what I'm about to put her through!
post #2 of 7
I'm not sure if you've done this already, but you should leave your carrier in your home with some treats, and toys inside it, so your cat can get used to being inside it. If you can get her used to being inside it at home, she might actually find comfort in being inside it on the flight, because it will be something she is familiar with.
Short of that, I don't really know what to tell you. New situations are often stressful for cats, and in this case, I'm not sure that you can avoid her feeling uncomfortable.
post #3 of 7
Hi, I know how you feel & can relate.

I'm currently in the midst of relocation planning. I'm relocating to Hawaii from the US mainland with my cat. Although domestic travel, my relocation also requires 12+ hours of air travel & lay over as well as quarantine according to the HI state regulation. My cat is also not good on traveling at all. She literally freaks out for mere 10 minutes drive to my vet.

I've already purchased Feliway(both spray & plug-in) and been using it for quite some times but does not seem to work that much on my cat. I've also purchased Rescue Remedy - seems to work a little better than Feliway but the biggest problem is that she gets very skeptical whenever I tried administering the kind of products

A friend of mine relocated from Italy to Canada with her cat in-cabin. I believe the flight was Air France. About sedation, she gave some kind of pill to her cat, and her cat slept through the flight(lucky her!). I am not quite sure if you could administer medication like that for transatlantic flight - as long as I know, majority of airlines here in the US would not accept sedated pets in either in-cabin or cargo. My vet is absolutely against sedation either. Is your cat traveling with you in in-cabin or cargo/baggage? Mine has to be in cargo due to the quarantine...this is my biggest concern & worry right now.
post #4 of 7
You were wise to test the sedation prior to your trip. My vet advised the same thing, as many cats react to sedation in "reverse"--i.e. getting more agitated as yours seems to have done. I understand your concern, as I felt the same way when I had to make a move of only 7 hours with my cat.

I'm assuming the sedative your vet gave was a drug. Do you have access to any homeopathic meds? I understand that some of those--Calms Forte is a name that comes to mind--work very well and are very safe.

That said, the only way I would bring my cat on an airplane is in-cabin--even if I had to buy a separate ticket for him! Never as cargo!! If cargo was the only alternative, I think I would find a good home for the cat rather than try to transport it.

If you are bringing the cat in cabin, consider that your presence (smell) and voice will do a great deal to calm your cat. If he/she has familiar blanket or towel in the carrier, along with a favorite toy, the cat should be OK. They are quite resiliant.

My cat "complained" during the entire 7-hour drive when we moved, but she was fine within a few hours of our arrival. The only problem was that our furnishings didn't arrive for a few days, so she was upset by the unfamiliar surroundings. That seemed more disturbing to her than the travel.
post #5 of 7
My cat had the same reaction to a sedative, but he broke out of his carrier and attacked me going through Nashville during rush hour, almost killing us both. Now if they have to be in the carrier for more than a little while, I just turn up the radio until they get tired of howling, and do what cats do, sleep. I have never tried Calms Forte for them, but it works wonders for me. Best of luck on your move.
post #6 of 7
I'm not sure about overseas airlines, but many of them will not allow pets to fly in-cabin with you - only in cargo. If you have to fly cargo, nothing you really can do - but I would NOT sedate the cat since you know the reaction.
post #7 of 7
Yes, that's the problem. I don't think there's many options when it comes to air travel across the ocean. As long as I know, sedated animals are not accepted for cargo travel. I believe in-cabin would probably be the same way.

Wish I could bring my baby-cat into cabin. I'd definitely purchase a separate ticket for her if I can. Even if I do, she still won't be allowed in-cabin due to quarantine.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Travel Help/Advice Needed