Linda's Feline CRF Hints
Traveling with a Cat
This was written by CindyG . Cindy, her husband and Henry moved back to the States in 2000; Henry made his final journey on September 1, 2000 on his 18th birthday.
We moved to Germany from the States with Henry, our CRF, hyperT kitty. We made several transatlantic roundtrips successfully. I must start by saying, don't move them if you don't have to. Travel and relocation is tough on even a healthy cat. That said, not all of us have a lot of choice in moving or traveling, especially if we want to have a job and make money to care for our kitties.
This document is for flying a cat in the cabin.
Buy a softsided carrier. They are larger than the hardsided ones that are
allowed in the cabin. Get one that has openings on the top, side and front,
so you can change wee wee pads, give food/water/meds or pet your kitty. I
bought a SamsoniteTraveler. It was about $40 and worth it. Held up very
well. Whatever model you buy, make sure it has the three way entry, not all
do. Many airlines now prefer them. Some only accept the softsided carriers, now.
Buy puppy wee wee pads. Place one in the bottom of the carrier.
Buy Purr Pads. Cut one to fit in the bottom of the carrier and place it on
top of the wee wee pad. If your cat pees, it will go through the Purr Pad
to the wee wee pads and the cat stays dry. Same for liquid vomit. Plus it
is cushiony, which will take away some of the vibration from the floor of
Take plenty of gallon size ziplock bags and disposible hand wipes. As soon
as you discover urine, unzip the side of the carrier, remove the wee wee pad
and immediately zip it into the ziplock bag. Replace the wee wee pad and
throw the ziplocked, soiled pad in the bathroom trash can.
Make sure you put a wee wee pad down on the floor of the plane under the
carrier. It will catch any urine that may be aimed outside the carrier.
Males will tend to do this (yes, Henry did).
Use the handwipes to clean up your hands. Can also be used to remove solid material (vomit or poop) from the carrier.
Make sure you give subQ's the evening before you are leaving so you kitty
will be well hydrated. Planes are very dehydrating.
I don't recommend subQ's the day of the flight. Your kitty will be needing
to urinate it all out while in a carrier on the plane. I also don't
recommend feeding during the flight. Kitty might very well get sick. Let
them lick some Nutrical, if they will.
Take a fluid bag, line and needles in a carry on, plus meds, wee pads and
ziplocks. Give kitty fluids as soon as you arrive at your destination
I never sedated Henry. He was really pretty calm during air travel (car riding was a different story).
You might offer your kitty water during the flight but chances are it will be refused. Don't hesitate to ask for a cup and water from the flight attendant.
Very important.......don't advertise that you have or are bringing a cat
onboard. Go about your business normally or you may set yourself up for a
show down with some unkind person that will complain loudly about how they are allergic to cats and you might get bumped from the flight. The
attendants on Northwest and Delta never asked other passengers if they were allergic or minded flying with a cat. Low key is the best way to go. Most times, no one knew I had a cat until we had landed and I gathered Henry up. He liked to meow kind of loud on landing, sometimes on take off but hardly ever during the flight unless he needed to pee.
If you can upgrade to first class, do it. Henry mostly flew first class with a few exceptions on short flights. It was a tight squeeze in coach and I wouldn't have wanted to do it for the longer flights.
Make sure you are well planned ahead of time. Most airlines limit the number of animals in the cabin, as well as, limiting the number in cargo.
Make your hotel reservations well in advance and have your method of
transportation set up. You need to spend as little time at the airport
waiting in lines, as possible. If possible, have litter, box and food
available at your destination, ahead of time. Keeps you from having to stop
and buy it on the way, saving time and getting kitty out of the carrier sooner.
When going to the bathroom in the airport, use a handicapped stall. Sorry,
I know I'll take flack for this too, but you need the room for your cat in the carrier, carryon, possibly a coat, and purse. I also took a small disposible cardboard litterbox and a tiny amount of litter. I let Henry out of the carrier, in a handicapped stall so he could use the litterbox.
Buy a good quality harness and a leash. Keep the leash handy and the harness on the cat; you might need this. Place ID tags on the harness that will stay on your cat during the entire travel time. Use the leash to let cat out in the handicapped stall. You may also be required to remove your cat from the carrier at the security check. Place leash on cat before removing from carrier. About half the time, I was required to take Henry completely out of the carrier. The other half, they opened the top of the carrier, looked in and ran that handheld metal detector over him and his carrier. Never was allowed to put him through xray. I'm still not sure I would opt to put him through the xray machine, even if the vet said it was ok. Just my preference, though.
Now if your back is not broken from carrying a cat and all the eccoutrements
that go with CRF cat, you and your cat will have arrived safely:)
CindyG and Angel Henry (my little man of international intrigue:)