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Help, moving across country!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm moving from Michigan to Texas in May. I'm trying to decide what would be the easiest way to get my 3 cats down there.

Option 1 is to fly them, it's about 3-4 hours for the flight but Mama has a strong heart murmur and Otis has comprimised kidney functioning meaning we wouldn't be able to sedate them. Baby Girl hates being alone but we would be able to sedate her. I'd be worried that stress would affect Mama's heart.

Option 2 is to drive them but it's over 24 hours to drive and I don't know how they would tolerate a long drive like that. Otis and Mama don't mind the car but Baby Girl can't stand it. Once again though we could sedate Baby Girl for the drive but not for the full 24 hours.

Has anyone had to fly their cats and if so how did they handle it? Are they allowed on the airplane under your seat or do they have to be placed under the plane? If they have to be placed under the plane do the people handle them carefully? Does the change in pressure affect them? Any information/experience would be greatly appriciated!
post #2 of 8
My thought would be to first talk with your vet and get his/her perspective of what will be easiest on their health, especially considering the concerns with Mama and Otis.
post #3 of 8
We flew with Puppy. A one hour car ride, 2 flights, and a 1 hour bus ride.

We gave him the sedative, but it didn't seem to do much. Our vet had us do a "beta test" of the sedative before we flew. When it didn't work, she told us to up the dosage for the flight. Still didn't do much. Luckily, it was a night flight, so he seemed to settle down after a while. When he mewed, it was quieter than the engines, and he settled down if I leaned over at pet him.

Avoid noisy terminals. Puppy was ok in all the terminals except Las Vegas. It was really loud with all the slot machines, and he was freaking out the whole time.

Many airlines require you to carry your pets as a carry on. We just got a soft sided carrier, and he sat under our seats. It was a tight squeeze on the little plane, but since I was sitting next to my bf, no one complained that the carrier stuck out a little.

I'm not sure how you would do three, you might have to kinda sneak them though. They only allow 2 animals per flight. Or so they say. On our flight, there was our cat and two dogs. Go figure.
post #4 of 8
I drove from northern Colorado to San Diego last Sunday, with two kittens and two people in a compact car. And a bunch of luggage.

Bella is my baby who hates travel. When she was upset, my passenger had to cuddle her so she couldn't see the big scary sky, since she was pretty unwilling to spend the trip in a carrier. Rowan spent most of the trip in the litter box, and I can't explain that, but he's a good traveller.

I didn't sedate, because my vet told me that I was probably better off just keeping them in carriers the whole trip than trying to figure out how much they'd need for the whole trip.

The only bad part of the trip was the drastic altitude changes in the mountain ranges, which upset Bella. At least, I think that's what the problem was. I noticed she was most vocal when I was trying to get my ears to pop.

I don't have any opinion about flying with cats, but I've had some pretty awful delays flying, and you won't be able to let the cats out of their carriers in the airport or in a plane. My drive ended up being 22 hours (sightseeing for my Aussie passenger through Utah), and we were just fine. The cats arrived in San Diego just fine, actually, they were well rested and wanted to play when we got here. I have pictures in a thread just a bit down the page in this subforum. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=11

Edit: I forgot to add in either of those posts that I had the cats in their harnesses with their identifications and rabies vaccine tags attached. For if I got stopped by some overzealous agricultural control guy, and so that my passenger or I could easily grab and keep hold of them. It was a great idea in the end, even though we weren't hassled at any of the ports of entry. I had to use Bella's harness once to encourage her out from under the clutch, and Rowan's once when he seemed a bit too curious about what was outside.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I called the vet today but he wasn't in so he's supposed to call me Monday. I did some more research and it looks like I can take them on board but only 1 or 2 of them. I don't want to put one under in cargo but I also don't want to fly them down another time seperately. Plus Baby Girl tends to meow a lot and I'm afraid it would drive everyone nuts! Glad I'm thinking ahead of time!
post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by valanhb
My thought would be to first talk with your vet and get his/her perspective of what will be easiest on their health, especially considering the concerns with Mama and Otis.
Couldn't agree with this more. Sounds like your kitty's need special medical attention for this trip. I'm sure the vet has some good way to go about this. Good luck!
post #7 of 8
I've flown many times with various cats - mainly for going to shows. Never sedate the cats for traveling. They can have adverse reactions - sometimes very violent ones.

I only took one cat with me when showing, so they rode on the plane with me under the seat in a soft-sided carrier. You can put them in verikennels (heave duty) for under the plane travelling - the entire plane and cargo section IS pressurized so the animals will be ok. Its noisier under the plane and even on the plane they don't like the "ground" part - once in the air, they settle down.

Not sure if you can have more then one cat in a carrier under the plane in the verikennels. You'll have to check with the airlines for specifics on how they handle shipping.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
So the move is now 1 week away and we've decided to drive. This is going to be at least a 21 hour drive and we're taking 2 days to do it. The first day we'll drive 5-8 hours and then finish up the next after a night of sleep. Do most hotels accomidate animals, let alone 3 of them lol? I could use any suggestions offered. As of right now I have one larger carrier because only Baby Girl is a bad traveller. We plan on putting the litter box on the floor and letting them have the back seat to sit on. We're renting an Envoy or Explorer to host my belongings. I'd like to have water available from them because Mama usually starts panting after a short car-ride. How about one of those hamster drinkers? They don't mind going to the bathroom on the road which will make it easier on me to let them eat and drink. I also plan on getting harnesses for them and attaching their tags for when we stop to get gas.
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