Cats on a plane

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Post # 17
Member
3273 posts
Sugar bee

Oh my god I hadn’t even thought about this and we are planning on moving a 4hr flight away (or 3+ day drive) in the future.

One cat thinks that cars are the devil and literally howls the entire time he’s ever in a car… the other cat is just a crazy bitch. I feel sorry for anyone sitting near our howler kitty on a plane 😂

OP I hope you and your kitty have a (relatively) chaos and stress free airport experience and flight xx

Post # 18
Member
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

planekitty

Post # 19
Member
1407 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

abeeinnyc :  I’m a veterinarian and I see this a lot (our hospital often deals with export pets to various countries and all of the complicated paperwork that goes with it, domestic travel is a piece of cake). Every airline is different, some require a veterinary letter saying they are healthy for travel, other require valid rabies vaccine and some require nothing.

I would recommend a visit to your vet prior to the trip. Depending on your cats age and the length of your trip there are lots of different kitty sedation or anti-anxiety options to try. My personal favourite is gabapentin as long as they are not seniors (which is still safe in seniors but I would want blood work and listen for heart murmur). I recently had a family of 3 bengals traveling halfway across the country with a connection and they all stopped in for sedation injections on the way to the airport (we used butorphanol for them, which is only as an injection).

I have a family member who flies with her cat several times per year and yes you need to take them out of the carrier to walk through the metal detector.

Most cats won’t urinate in their carrier.

Also, most cats are more comfortable in dark environment, so using a jacket or sweater to cover the carrier will help too.

Post # 20
Member
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I just went to the vet today to get a prescription for my cats for our us moving at the end of the month. 

Some Bees talked about the pheromone sprays, my vet said they sometimes work, but you need to start spraying it in the crate about a week out. They also have this in a diffuser form, that was recommended to get to out into the house for a month to help with transitions  

We were also prescribed gabapentin, which is a mild pain reliever that in low dosages can relive anxiety and induce calming while keeping the cat conscience and aware. 

We’re using both to when we transport our babies for a new place! 

Good luck. 😸

Anev: +1 for gabapentin! 

Post # 22
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

abeeinnyc :  I think flying will definitely be less stressful for both you AND your kitty than a 4 day drive with hotels! I can’t imagine dealing with spastic angsty cats, litter boxes, etc. in multiple hotels…shudder. Honestly the worst part of the whole flying experience for me was the stress I felt leading up to going through security. But we got the private room (which I’m sure you will too) and that made it totally manageable. Once we were on the plane it was fine! I am sure my needier cat was probably howling through the 2 hr flight (he always howls in cars so I just have to imagine a plane would be even more terrifying), but you really can’t hear it with the roar of the jets lol. As for your cat’s ears, I am not a vet by any means but I don’t think you need to be concerned about that unless she has some specific condition that would put her at risk? 

ETA: One more tip – put some of your dirty clothes in the carrier with her, the scent is supposed to be comforting. And I totally agree with pp’s suggestion of putting a towel over the carrier so it’s dark and she doesn’t get over stimulated by everything.

Post # 23
Member
1407 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

abeeinnyc :  the cabin pressure won’t hurt her, unless she’s has an underlying condition like an ear infection that is already painful. Swallowing will equalibrize the pressure in cats just like people, you can try bringing some cat treats but if she is the stressed kind, she probably won’t take them. 

Another tip, keep the carrier out so it is part of her usual environment- even put treats or cat nip in their so she wants to go in and feels comfortable in it. That way “getting out the carrier” won’t be such a stressor either.

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