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I am moving overseas (via plane) to an apt in NYC - I need much advice

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I adopted my 3yr-old light gray/silver tipped cat, when I rescued her from the street at age 3 wks. I was never a cat lover before (I grew up with dogs), but one look at that poor little kitten, I was determined that she would live. I had no idea that I would become to attached to her (as if she was a child of mine). When I go away on vacation and leave her with my niece, I'm constantly calling home to see how she is. Is this normal?
Anyway, we are currently living in Israel (where she was adopted), but are planning on moving back to NYC at the end of the year. How do I do this? (By the way, she's a house cat)
(1) Can I take her in the cabin (plane) with me? In what type of carrier? Does it have to be the hard square carrier, or can it be the soft 'hand bag' type that she can look out from? I spoke to a travel agent and he recommend that I purchase a 'business class' seat, this way I would have enough leg room for me and my cat. But, is there a carrier 'type' that the airlines require?
(2) I have a nervous 'scaredy cat'. She meows so loudly when I take her to the vet by taxi, even though she's in a carrier. So, I figured the Vet would give me some 'tranquilizing' medication to keep her "out" for the 11-hr flight to the States. Any problem with that?
(3) If she's out, do I have to be concerned with her urinating, etc., or being dehydrated? What do I do?
(4) When we arrive in NYC and get to my (currently vacant) apt., what should I make sure that I have immediately on hand for her, so that she can feel secure/safe? (kitty litter box, bowl of food/water, bed?)
We're going to be living like 'nomads' for a couple of weeks until I get my things from storage.
(5) My NYC apt is on the 27th floor with an extended outward terrace that is enclosed only with verticle bars on 3 sides. Should I be worried about letting my cat venture out on the terrace? (she may not want to after she hears all the noise pollution of Manhattan). Though, currently in Jerusalem, we live on the 4th floor and I built minute window sill extensions outside of the apt on all windows with a 1-1/2 ft high bar. She never tries to jump out. I guess she knows instinctively that this is her permitted territory. What should I worry about in NYC?
(6) RE: kitty litter box. Since I'll be moving into a much smaller apt (one-bdrm, living rm, kitchen), I will not be able to keep her kitty litter box in the bathroom (too small room), and she has a terrible habit of loving to kick the sand all over the place. Any suggestions, re: kitty litter box and location (I thought of placing in a far corner of the living room with a Shoshi screen separating it from the rest of the room, but how do I control overflowing and tracking sand?)
I know I'm asking for alot of info, but I'm real anxious about this move, it's so new to me, and I want to be prepared. I feel like I'm moving and taking home a newborn baby. I must be mad!
Any help/advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks, Misss Kitty
post #2 of 4
First of all, welcome home. Isreal is beautiful. As for the move, I've done it cross country but I do travel back to Jersey quite often for cat shows and bring one or two with me. First you need to check with the airline if they allow cats on the plane. If so, ask if they allow the Sherpa type carrier (the soft sided one) and if so, I suggest that one. I use it but I also use the hard carrier one but it's a Kennel Cab 2 size small that will fit under the seat. Sometimes they tell me that doesn't fit but I always prove them wrong. Also, allow for an aisle seat as that has more room under the seat. Do not sit on the landing gear and that might fighten her. Do not tranq her as she can have a reaction to it up in the air and you will not be able to do anything to help. I don't tranq and you'd be surprised, no sounds because they don't know what going on. I also put a harness on my cat because when you go through security you need to take them out of the carrier so the carrier can go through the x-ray machine. With the harness on, there is less chance that she will get out of your arms and run if she gets scared. Do not feed or offer water about 4 hours before leaving for the airport. She will be fine on the plane. As for when you get back to the city, I suggest using the pine type litter (Feline Pine or something to that type) in the litter box as it's very good and doesn't smell. Besides, it doesn't track very much and it ends up like the sand type once used a few times. Do not let her out on the terrace as she could fall. Keep her behind a closed window as the screen on the window might fall out if she leans on it. Alot of accidents happen when the are up high. Give her bottled water as she might get sick on the tap water since she's not use to it yet. Use the bottled water for about a month gradually increasing the tap water into it about a week after you arrive. Kitchen (if a covered litter box) or bedroom would be fine for a litter box especially if you use the pine type litter. Also, you need to be calm when the time approaches as she will sense something wrong. You will also need a heath certificate from her vet before you leave to come home and that will have to be within 10 days of traveling (those are the rules here in the states so I'd check with the airlines how long before hand they require the certificate) and you present that at check-in. You will also need to make a plane reservation for her so nobody else can claim that they made their reservation first and all airlines only allow a certain amount of cats on the plane. If you can get the things I mentioned above (i.e., the harness), please let me know and I will mail one to you. Hope this helps in the meantime and if you need any other information, just ask. I have one question, since I'm from the city, where is your apartment. I can also suggest a vet if you need one. The big animal hospital on the east side is wonderful. It's just like a human hospital. Good luck and sorry that this was so long.

post #3 of 4
Miss kitty..

I am going to have to make this short, as it is time for me to get ready for work. I just wanted to reply before I go. I work for an army vet and do this travel stuff all the time. The US does not have any requirements except the rabies has to be up to date. The vet you use whould be able to issue a health certificate as well. Call the airline you are using and get all the specifics on their requirements. THe soft sided carriers are the only ones allowed in the cabins. If they go as cargo, they have to be in an airline approved crate. These will fit under any seat weather buisness or economy. You need to ask the vet about the tranqualizers. Most dont recomend incase they have a reaction or something happens in the air. They will usually not mess in the carriers, they are too upset to use the bathroom. I would just make sure there is something absorbant in the carrier incase. Again, call the airline you plan to use and ask them the specifics on health certificates and the size for the carrier.
Ack...I better go before I make myself late. I will answer the rest of the questions this evening when I get home.
post #4 of 4
Another suggestion is to have a travel supply of baby wipes and put an old towel at the bottom of the carrier with some paper towels on top, just in case. I also forgot to metion (as it was 2 am here) that the only size hard carrier that would fit under the seat is the samll kennel cab 2. As to you Sandie, I use a hard carrier on the plane in the winter time to come back home for the shows because it has a carrier cover. The only one that will fit is the SMALL Kennel Cab 2. Now it's time for me to go get ready for work. BTW Sandy, thanks for being there and helping me in your experteese -- the vet stuff.

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