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Flying Kitties.

BamaRama
March 18th, 2005, 12:04 PM
Hehe. This may seem quite comical but I'm actually enquiring about people that have flown with their cats before.

I'm moving from Toronto back home to Victoria, BC for June 1st, and I've never flown with a cat before..I have 3 cats and I can only bring 1 with me at the new apartment... :sad: The ex keeps the others...*sigh*......Anyways, unfortunately kitty is going in the cargo hold as I need all the baggage space I can get, even in carry on.

What are some tips for traveling with my pet? What can I expect? I hope he isn't spooked for days afterwards, though he is a pretty easygoing cat... :confused:

Thanks in advance for any help offered!

Eleni
March 18th, 2005, 12:36 PM
I think you should probably have the vet look him over before you leave,


are you putting him in a carry on? or will he be in the cargo section of the plane, if hes in the cargo part ive heard it can be quite cold for travelling pets, you may want to put a nice warm blanket in with him.


maybe a toy hes familiar with or something he recognises so hes not so frightened.


I wish you lots of luck !

Eleni

Prin
March 18th, 2005, 01:44 PM
After working in the baggage handling of an airline, I heard stories of people letting the cat out and replacing it with a stray airport cat. I don't know if you could somehow lock the cage?

And if your cat gets bumped onto another plane, let it go. If it is bumped, it means there are too many animals on that flight in comparison with the oxygen supply... I wouldn't fight it.

CyberKitten
March 18th, 2005, 02:32 PM
PLEASE do not put your kitty in the cargo hold!! I travel with my cat but I carry her on. The dirty little secret of the airlines is that some requirement makes it cheaper for them to decrease the amount of oxygen in the hold. Now some pets do make it - and I know breeders who ship (many do not though) but it is not worth the risk. At one point, I was going to adopt a Siamese from a Rescue in Montreal and even then, I purchased a plane ticket and made attangements with the airline to fly the cat to me. I know space may be a premium be your cat is a living breathing animal!!

Prin
March 18th, 2005, 02:39 PM
Actually, it's the payoff from transporting cold cargo that sucks the Oxygen out-- they keep the cold stuff cold with dry ice and dry ice needs oxygen to get cold. They get paid WAY more for the cold stuff than for pets, so you can guess the priority. That's why if you get bumped, stay bumped.

CyberKitten
March 18th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Actually, it is not from transporting cold cargo (and most airlines will not allow pets in the cargo hold during certain "cold" months" - that does not mean they observe other rules though) Usually to save money -In lieu of providing smoke or fire detection and extinguishment, some cargo compartments are designed to control a fire by severely restricting the supply of available oxygen. Class D compartments are designed with little or no positive ventilation (i.e., no oxygen being supplied), so that if a fire breaks out it will extinguish itself in a matter of seconds due to a lack of oxygen. Therefore, once the cargo doors close, that is all the oxygen the animals are going to get. Animals are therefore at risk of overheating and exposure.

A major Congressional investigation in the US recommended that airlines change this or the FAA institute this as a requirement but it has not happened. It is the same in Canada with the NTSB. In the US, they did manage to make the airlines release stats on the number of pets who died in flight (it was in the thousands!).

Here is another article:

http://www.msu.edu/~silvar/airplane.htm

One can always take the chance but you are playiong Russian roulette with your cat's life. I would never do it - my cat is too important to me. I can replace a suitcase but not my pet!

If you absolutely have to place her in the cargo hold, you could ask the airline questions about their amount of air (but they may tell you all is fine when it is not). There is also the alternative of Companion Air, a special airline for pets and their companions based in the US. And if you have no chice, watch every move your cat carrier makes (though some people have watched in horror as their cat carrier was dropped by an airline employee). Pets are considered livestock (unless you insure say a Show Cat or Dog) and are also regulated by the Dept of Agriculure with little returned if the animal dies.

BamaRama
March 18th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Thanks for the information, everyone.

I have a lot of time to think about it, but I would rather pack up some stuff in storage and lose some space with me in carry-on than see my little buddy suffocate to death or get lost on the runway somewhere:(

The only reason I was leery about bringing him with me under my seat was because I thought he'd cry the WHOLE time and drive the other passengers crazy, also, one more backpack would have helped...but really what would I put in that backpack anyways? Probably magazines and a discman. I'll just bring a bigger purse to put those items in.

Yup. Methinks kitty will be flying under my seat. Thanks again ;)

CyberKitten
March 18th, 2005, 04:44 PM
I am so happy to hear kitty will be flying with you! My Yin Yin has flown a few times now and I place the carrier in front of me underneath the seat in front and talk to her. She likes her carrier very much (will even fall asleep in it at home on occasion) and she has toys and her favourite fleece pillow to sleep on. The first time, she was afraid of the noise as the aircraft took off and there were a few Siamese yowls but they did not last long when she saw I was right there. Most of the flight, she sleeps or is quiet - taking it all in tho the view from underneath the seat is hardly exciting. (It beats the cargo scenery tho!)

The seond time, the woman sitting next to me did not know she could have taken her cat so she wanted to know all about YY and she talked about her kitty. I bring bottled water so YY has a drink periodically. The flight ettendents were extremely helpful.

Just be sure to tell the airline in advance you are bringing your cat. They tend to allow only one or two small animals per flight so they need to know ahead of time.