Post # 1
I’m flying with my cat in a couple of weeks and getting pretty nervous.
She will be flying in-cabin and I’ve triple checked with the airline that cats don’t need health certs so that will save her the extra trauma of a vet visit. She’s really the most easy going cat when it comes to travel that I’ve had. She’s been on the subway with me, she rode with me in the car when I was moving across the country, and she is very calm. Never makes a peep.
That being said, she doesn’t care for other people very much. I adopted her when she was almost a year old from a pet rescue and she was in really rough shape. Not sure if that has anything to do with it, but I’m the only person she lets get close to her. She seems fine when she’s in her carrier and can look at people from safety, but out in the open is another story.
This makes me very nervous about the security checkpoint. I’ve got her trained to wear a leash and harness but I’m concerned she will freak out. If she’s unable to hide and around a stranger, she starts visibly shaking. Do most airports allow you to ask for a private room?
I’m also very nervous about the air pressue, and what that does to a cat’s ears. Anyone here brought a cat on a flight? Tips?
Post # 2
My brother did this a few times. Brother in law too.
Can you get her some kitty xanax? The vet should be able to get you a script.
Are you not planning on using a carrier? I 100% recommend a carrier so she can feel safe and semi hidden.
Be prepared if she gets sick. My brother’s cat threw up last time he flew. I think he got diharreah as well : /
Post # 3
abeeinnyc : i really don’t understand your concern about security…your cat has to be in a pet carrier. she won’t be on a leash. and if she freaks out, that sucks, but again…carrier (which should also help her not to freak out, as it will give her a secure place).
Post # 4
Omg girl I went through this exact shit with my two cats a year ago when we were moving across the country. I was shitting myself I was so nervous they would escape at the security checkpoint. Luckily, the airport we were flying out of let us have a private room for security. I think all airports are actually legally obligated to offer that option, so my guess is that you will be ok, although I found it very difficult to get confirmation of this fact before my flight. I had both cats wearing a harness in their carrier and was prepared to leash them up if it came to that, as one of my cats is skittish AF and would definitely run away and never be heard from again (something that sadly has actually happened to cats going through security) if she wasn’t firmly leashed. Fortunately, when we got to security, all we had to say was “we have cats” and the security attendants immediately took us to an enclosed private room, where we were able to hold the cats while they ran their carriers through the xray scanners. Trust me, they don’t want a crazy cat clawing at them or escaping anymore than you do!
As for the actual flight, as far as I know my cats were fine. I suspect that one of them was probably crying the whole time, but it’s so loud on a plane that I couldn’t hear anything. When we reached our destination, they immediately came out of their carriers and acted like nothing had happened, as cats do!
One thing you could do is ask your vet for some meds to calm your kitty down. My vet gave me something (cant remember what it’s called but it makes them sleepy/calm) and I gave it to my more nervous kitty a couple hours before the flight. No idea if it actually helped or not. The other cat refused to take the pill so she was on her own!
All in all, I would definitely avoid flying with cats in the future as much as possible because of the stress it put on ME…but that said, the experience I had was pretty smooth all things considered.
ETA: here is a pic of one of my cats at the airport that day. He was not impressed.
Post # 5
Just to clarify for everyone asking: when you fly with a cat (or any animal that flies in the cabin with you), the cat has to be taken out of the carrier during security. The carrier goes through the xray scanner along with other luggage, and you’re supposed to I guess carry your cat in your arms through the human scanner. I’m sure any of you who own cats can imagine how fucking terrifying it would be removing your cat from its carrier in the chaos that is airport security, yet that is the policy. Luckily at most airports I think you can request a private room to avoid that heinousness!
Post # 6
I am zero help, but I did find this:
Post # 7
tiffanybruiser : omfg I have nightmares about losing my cats in public places (weird I know)
But that sounds horrible <\3 how scary to have to take them out of their carriers!
Post # 8
megrays : Trust me I have the same nightmares! When we got to the security checkpoint last year, I actually started crying like a baby and told my husband I wasn’t going through with this if they didn’t give us a private room lol. I said I would rent a car and drive the 16 hours with both cats rather than risk losing one of them in the airport. Luckily it did not come to that!
Post # 9
Omg I could NOT imagine taking my cat out of the carrier at the airport. I’d have 3 instantly lost cats. That being said, Acepromazine is your friend. You can get it at your local vet. It’s a script but a very inexpensive and easy one to get. You sedate your kitty about an hour before you leave- that means an hour before the actual stress kicks in. I’d get some now and test it on kitty before you actually try to use it on travel. I worked at a vet clinic for 4 years, I’ve only seen one case where the drug had the reverse effect and made the cat more hyper-aware of everything. When you sedate them they just looked like they smoked a fat joint- droopy red eyes, a little wobbly, but they’re totally fine. It really, really helps. Also, I use a spray called Feliway- it’s a synthetic horomone product designed to mimic a nursing queen’s horomones. It has an instant calming effect on cats and dogs- make sure you get the cat kind if you do this. You can use both products without drug interaction. Good luck!
Post # 10
tiffanybruiser : lol bahahaha I feel you on the shitting myself. I;m assuming they would have a private room, but it’s so hard to get a straight answer from anyone at the airport. I plan to have her leashed before we make the trip.
tiffanybruiser : Thank you! Yep, you’re supposed to take the cat through the metal detector in arm. I don’t know how that’s the policy, because it’s insane lol. I don’t see why I can’t just take the carrier through the detector.
megrays : I am lining the carrier with absorbent pads, but I truly hope she doesn’t need it.
I’m half tempted to just drive with her, because this sounds like a total nightmare. : /
Post # 11
tiffanybruiser : bahaha that’s me right now!
pearleaf : I’ve heard of Feliway. Sounds like I have to make a trip to the vet for emergency sedatives. I’m hoping she just sleeps, but I don’t want her to freak out on the plane and cry the whole time.
Post # 12
You can ask for a private screening. They’ll take you to a closed-door room and ask you to hold the cat while they search the carrier by hand. You may have to ask a couple of agents before you find one that knows the rule on this though. If you do the private screening, you don’t have to take the cat thru the metal detector.
ive flown with cats before and they are freakin miserable on planes and hide for 3 full days at their destination so you may want to consider leaving her at home, if you’re going on a vacation.
Post # 13
abeeinnyc : Pet stores also sell cat pheromone spray that you can spritz into the carrier. Ours is called, “At Ease.” It helps calm the cat down without medicating them. When we adopted our kittens from the SPCA, they sprayed some on the blanket in the box to help make their move less traumatic. We’ve also used it on their first visit to the vet to help keep them calm.
Post # 14
I traveled with my cat years ago and was worried about the process of taking him out of his carrier but everything went well. I think I did the kitten hold (with his butt supported) if he seemed like he was uncomfortable. I was more worried than he was, overall.
Post # 15
When I flew with my cat, who is very skittish, I was very worried about going through security. I had to take her out of the carrier. I thought she would try to bolt, but instead, she clung to me like I was a life raft in the middle of the ocean! It was like I had my cat velcroed to me. Then, she happily allowed me to put her back in the carrier. (My cat hates her carrier, but she also tries to run back into it when we’re at the vet; I think she’d rather the known evil than the unknown!)
I had asked my vet about medication and she had advised me to just use Benadryl, and it worked well. Make sure to ask your own vet though before trying it!