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traveling with my cat

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have never travel on a plane with my cat. what are the things I have to do, such as should I not feed her the night before or that morning? Should I carry some food and water? Will she be ok in the carrier from California to Florida?
post #2 of 7
I'll move this to Care & Grooming for you.
post #3 of 7
First you need to contact the Airlines Cargo people - there are restrictions on size of carrier, type of carrier, requirement for water in the cage if the cat is flying cargo. If the cat is going to be flying in passenger area at your feet you will need a specific type of carrier, etc.

You should also check with them whether your cat will need specific vaccinations (i.e., rabies if you are travelling from a state that does not require them to one that does). The cargo people will probably be able to help you with that also.

I sent a kitten from Toronto to California and the Air Canada folks were a great source of information but whatever airline you are using will have their own rules, I'm sure.
post #4 of 7
You cat will need to be microchipped

I am in the process of getting mine a EU passport, of course laws are probably different, but they need all their shots up to date, need to be microchipped too.
post #5 of 7
Some airlines won't ship animals in cargo, and they require them to be with you in the cabin. You bring them as one of your carry-on items and stow under your seat.

Make sure to get a soft carrier since they actually fit under the seats.

Provide food 4 hours before, water 2 hours before, and give a place to go to the bathroom before you leave.

You can ask your vet for a sedative, but I didn't think they worked. My vet likes to do a test run with the sedative before the actual flight, so if you go this route, go to the vet one week before hand.

Get your cat familar with carrier, harness, and leash before you go. You have to actually take the cat out of the carrier and hold him as you walk through security and the bag goes through the machine. Just loads of fun, I assure you.

Microchipping isn't required, but highly recommended. As is a collar with an ID, and a harness and leash.

You may also need a health certificate. Get it from your vet within 10 days of flying. It will list your pets vaccines (including rabies) and it will say that the cat is in good health. They never checked mine, but you're supposed to have it. The vet will have the proper form.
post #6 of 7
I flew one of my cats from the UK to here.

The first time she went to the airport they refused to allow her on, they said the box was too small even though it was the largest cat box I could get.....

The box I eventually got was big enough for a small dog (it was infact a dog box) she could have held a party in there. They said she had to have room to stand, sit up and walk around... it cost a fortune. Not sure on the US laws but the rules from the UK are very strict. I know that some of my friends have travelled from Germany to here with their cats and dogs at their feet.

The flight was 4 hours, the wait befor was about 1 1/2 and at this end about 1h our. She still soiled the box and was wet when we got her here.
post #7 of 7
Whatever airline you're flying with should have a page on their website listing the requirements for flight. Bab-ush-niik was right on re: the 10 day health certificate and the 4-2 hour rules for food and water. I've had the certificate checked a couple of times. And double check before your flight that the cats have reservations. United managed to lose our cats' reservations and one had to fly cargo instead of both in the cabin with us. Which I found out the night before and had to make rush trip to petsmart for a hard kennel

We use Sherpa bags for traveling. They open from the top and are easy to get your cat into and out of during the trip through security screening. Be sure to fasten the top securely or your cat might be able to poke his head through.

Neither Seamus nor Gator has ever soiled themselves during travel, and we fly from Colorado to Florida. I would recommend taking a direct flight if possible.

My boys are good travelers. We've never sedated them. The only problem we ever had was one person on the plane, several rows behind us, was allergic to cats, but the flight was full and there wasn't anyplace to move us or them to.
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