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Cats and Air travel desperate for advise

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi there folks!

I was wondering whether you may be able to give me some advise as you all were so wonderful when my cat was ill last year.

I live in London England and my soon to be husband has just been offered a huge job offer over in Dubai. I love it out there too and would love to go but the deciding factor is our lovely cat Dexter. The only place to get honest advise is this site as i know you all are as in love with your cats as i am with mine and all understand the worry i have.

Non cat lovers think we would be nuts to let a job offer like this go because of a cat but without Dexter we are not going anywhere!

Leaving him is totally and utterly out of the question so we are left with the conundrum of is it fair to put him through a five hour flight when he already hates going in the car. I dont think it is motion sickness he suffers with, as there is no drooling or sickness but he becomes like a screaming banshee when put in a crate, his fur flies out and he turns from a placid loving cat into a roaring angry lion and i hate to see him like this and i myself become panic stricken!

He is a house cat so climate would not be a factor as the appartment we have been offered is big and fully airconditioned but as he does enjoy going for walks on a harness and lead (much to the ammusement of people in our area) we would take him out over in Dubai only when it was cooler.

Does anyone have experience with relocating cats to countries far away, especially cats who are not too keen on travelling?

Would love to hear your thoughts and any stories of similar experiences.

Many thanks

Anna and Dexter the cat!
post #2 of 10
No reason to fear the flight, so far as I know, especially if you're going on a European or American carrier.
post #3 of 10
First no I don't think you are crazy to consider your Dexter first.
I'm sure you will get advice from people who have experience here, I don't but I do know people who fly cats and dogs. Six hours is not a long time actually, many fly overseas it just depends on if you find a way to calm Dexter. I don't know what the rules are there but I would start by checking with your airlines. He may be able to fly under the seat with you so you could be with him. I do know that our airlines will not fly an animal that has been sedated in the baggage area so you might want to check on that also. There is a product called Rescue Remedy that a lot of animal rescues and others use to calm animals, it is not a drug so it won't hurt him. If you have access to it you might want to get some and try putting Dexter in his carrier and going somewhere to see how he does. I had my first experience with flying an animal yesterday so I know how worrisome it can be. Our dog came home and he was 6 hrs. getting here. He had a layover and had to change planes, I was a nervous wreck but he did fine. Good luck.
post #4 of 10
I am having my new kitten shipped cross country and the breeder told me one of the kittens is going to Russia and the UK.
He told me not to worry even though I am.
Your cat should be ok.
My husband worked for United and saw cats come from alot of countries to here.
post #5 of 10
I flew from Dallas to PHL with my rescue dog in a carrier about 5 years ago. She was a toy dog and weighed about 12 pounds; I used a Sherpa carrier (which we now use for our cat). She flew under the seat directly in front of me (American Airline) and did exceptionally well - I heard comments from folks when we were disembarking that they did not even know she was there! She was not the calmest dog, but bonded with me very quickly, so I guess she trusted (or sensed!) she was going to her forever home. I suspected she was at one time a puppy mill dog, so her good behavior is especially commendable given her former circumstances.

I was told to be sure not to feed her for a period of time - something like 4-6 hours; I cannot remember - but all the appropriate information should be on your airline's website. Also, check out these sites for great information. I am a big fan of Rescue Remedy, but have not yet tried it on a cat. I did use it for my rescue and it did seem to calm her quite a bit. She was not "tranquilized", but just calmer and more "even". I do think being in the cabin made a difference; I kept my foot near her carrier on the plane and she knew I was nearby even if she was frightened of the loud noises. Make your reservations as far ahead as possible because most airlines only allow 1 or 2 pets in the cabin on each flight.

Also, check about quarantine laws in Dubai. I know that Hawaii has very strict laws about pets being brought onto the islands and that Great Britain does too (but they were somewhat amended a few years back). And check directly with your airline for any specific regulations they may have.

Good luck with Dexter! I think he will be fine!

http://www.petsonthego.com/transairlineregs.html
http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_pets/cabin_pets/
http://www.pettravel.com/airline_rules.cfm
post #6 of 10
I think I'd talk with my vet as well, and maybe even test any remedies offered (Rescue Remedy, mild sedative, etc.) with a long car ride. Also, I think I'd find referrals to vets in Dubai now, so that you're already a client when you land, just in case, as well as checking out any housing restrictions etc., again, just in case. Many cats and dogs travel extensively by air, so I would do some more research with your possible air carriers, as well as vets, before making any decisions.

Actually, the company offering your fiance the job may have a lot of advice as well - and, if they don't even try to address your questions, it may not be that great of a job offer. But, I bet the company has dealt many times with children/pet issues and may be able to offer a lot of hand-holding. Good luck!

PS - I just found a link via google (http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index...o-dubai-10108/) - absolutely no idea how legit it is, but it does seem to give some background about taking pets to Dubai, especially from a UK perspective. Again, if the job offer is coming from a major firm or corporation, do lean on them for advice/suggestions - it's normally part of a relocation/expatriate /recruitment process.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much everyone, you have all been such a help. I have done a bit of research today and been most airlines will not allow cats in the cabin area and have to travel in the cargo area.....yikes! The Rescue Remedy sounds a great idea, i use it myself and i didn't realise there was one for animals so i will try that while travelling in the car first and see how it works. Feliway spray i have tried before but it didn't really work for long, after a while the meows just got louder and booooy is my cat loud when travelling!! I will also check out vets over there and the housing restrictions......research is what i will be doing this evening!!! Thank you again for support and suggestions.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna W View Post
Thank you so much everyone, you have all been such a help. I have done a bit of research today and been most airlines will not allow cats in the cabin area and have to travel in the cargo area.....yikes! The Rescue Remedy sounds a great idea, i use it myself and i didn't realise there was one for animals so i will try that while travelling in the car first and see how it works. Feliway spray i have tried before but it didn't really work for long, after a while the meows just got louder and booooy is my cat loud when travelling!! I will also check out vets over there and the housing restrictions......research is what i will be doing this evening!!! Thank you again for support and suggestions.
The Rescue Remedy that you use is the same stuff, there is not one for animals. You just need to find out the dose, it is hard to overdose. Good luck.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna W View Post
most airlines will not allow cats in the cabin area and have to travel in the cargo area.
Cats are not allowed in the cabin over here either, my 3 cats were all flown to me and were just fine. Demetri did swear at all the staff when I picked him up though
post #10 of 10
Just FYI, the cargo area in which pets fly is not the luggage compartment. It's a separate area for animals that is more temperature-controlled and has oxygen. Your cat should be perfectly safe there. He won't like it, but five hours isn't going to hurt him at all. Just get a sturdy hard carrier and fill the bottom with shredded newspapers.

A pet should not be sedated if traveling underneath. I did try a vet-prescribed sedative one time with my cat in-cabin (because he was a horror, meowing for eight straight hours and clawing his way through the soft carrier), but the sedative only made it worse. He was still angry, but also groggy, and had continence problems.
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