X

Pat Brody Shelter Blog

Pat Brody Shelter Blog

10Jul

Feline Airplane Travel - Part 1

It is possible for your cat to ride safely on an airplane if you plan ahead, follow the rules, and are prepared to be a little pushy on your cat's behalf. In addition to federal regulations, each airline has its own regulations, so check the individual air carrier's rules before booking a flight for you and your cat. It is ideal if the cat can ride in the cabin of the airplane with you where he will never leave your care during the course of the trip. Not all airlines allow animals to travel in the cabin and others allow no more than two cats in the cabin per flight on a "first come, first served" basis, so it is important to make these arrangements far in advance of your departure date. The cat's carrier must be able to fit under the seat and the bottom should be lined with an absorbent material in case of accidents. ("Puppy pads" are made of the same material as disposable diapers and are excellent for this purpose.) Be prepared to present a veterinarian-signed health certificate dated no more than ten days before the scheduled flight. If the cat is riding with you, let the person sitting next to you know that you have a cat, just in case they have allergies or phobias.

If your cat cannot travel in the cabin with you, it will ride in the baggage hold. Although this compartment is pressurized and the extremes of temperature are regulated, it is still a good idea to travel during the coolest part of the day in the summer--the early morning or late evening. Choose a non-stop flight and request that your cat be hand-carried to and from the plane. Make sure your USDA-approved shipping crate is marked with contact persons at both the departure and arrival sites and has sturdy handles that won't come off during handling. Make sure all the bolts securing the halves of the carrier are in place and tightened. Your pet should be wearing an identification tag on an elastic collar. If the trip is longer than six hours, you will want to have dry food and ice cubes in untippable dishes in the carrier.

Be sure to talk directly to the freight handling personnel at the airport. Make the staff check and report back. (Most pet fatalities occur on the ground, when animals are left in their crates on the hot tarmac or in stifling cargo holds.)

Be aware that there are regulations regarding the range of temperatures when a pet may be shipped. If the temperature on the ground in your departing, connecting, or arriving city falls outside these limits, you may run into unexpected delays or cancellations. It is also wise to avoid peak travel times around holidays when air traffic is heaviest.

It is generally better not to have your cat tranquilized before flying. The combination of high altitude and limited oxygen is a challenge your pet's body is better prepared to meet if he is not sedated. 

The Air Transport Association has a free booklet, Air Travel for Your Dog or Cat. It is available by sending a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope to: ATA, 1301 Pennsylvania Blvd. N.W., Suite 1100, Washington, D.C. 20004. 

About the Author

Related

Can Cats Get Acne?

Can Cats Get Acne?

Acne is not just a problem reserved for teenagers. It may sound strange, but did you know that your ...

Read More >
Kitty Psych 101

Kitty Psych 101

This section is designed to assist cat owners with behavior problems that, if bad enough, can lead t...

Read More >
Veggie Cats

Veggie Cats

Whatever reason cats have for wanting to go "vegan," the behavior can be annoying to owner...

Read More >

No-Kill Shelters List

The Pat Brody Shelter recommends this list of other shelters that may be able to take your cat in.

Read More >
Feline Airplane Travel - Part 2

Feline Airplane Travel - Part 2

These unique ideas on how to keep your cat safe while flying are published in the book, "277 Se...

Read More >
You Can't Declaw with Love

You Can't Declaw with Love

The decision to declaw your cat is very controversial.

Read More >

Post a Comment

Blog Search

Subscribe

Name

Categories