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Old April 20th, 2009, 09:59 AM
Oski Oski is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3
Arrow Flying with my cats -- need advice

Hello everybody,

I'm hoping to get some advice from those of you who have travelled with their pet by air before. My boyfriend and I are moving from Canada to Germany so flying is unavoidable (we'll be taking Lufthansa). We have two wonderful boy cats who are very friendly, adaptable and just great friends to each other and us.

Here's the issue:
We have already reserved two in-cabin spots for the boys and were slowly starting to get used to the thought of having to confine them into such a tiny space for more than eight hours.
However, looking at the way too small airline-approved carrier size for onboard, we were wondering if it is actually more humaine to let them fly cargo in a huge (dog) carrier which they could share. In the car, the boys do great in one cage but meow constantly when they have their individual carriers. Although, I don't care about meowing, I just want them to be comfortable.

One of our cats would fit pretty well into the tiny carrier but the other guy would really be incredibly unconfortable (though he does fit.)

I'm terribly scared about both options -- spacious cargo or tiny on board experience. Are the cargo horror stories true?
What would you do?
I would appreciate ANY advice, and stories of you flying with your pet would be very much appreciated!
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Old April 20th, 2009, 10:28 AM
cpietra16's Avatar
cpietra16 cpietra16 is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pointe Claire, Quebec
Posts: 3,926
I'm not sure about your cats, but my cats will always look for the smallest possible space to sleep in..the smallest box, the smallest drawer, etc...I think they'll be fine in a small enclosure for 8 hours....and this is just my opinion...I would rather they be with me, close by, where I can watch them, than be in cargo...I personally don't always like the way they treat the animals...
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Old April 20th, 2009, 01:49 PM
JennieV JennieV is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 2,339
Oski, I think that having them with you is an invaluable thing to do. And also, THANK YOU for taking them with you, as so many people these days abandon their pets just when they move from one apartment to another, never mind across the ocean...

I flew with my dog from Israel (13 hour flight), he was my carry-on, and what I did is give him a pill to make him sleepy before loading on to the plane. I think you may have to stop feeding the cats alittle while before going on the plane, not sure. You better ask your vet about that, I know it helped me alot, because he didn't get sick and since I didn't give him water before the flight, he was ok and didn't pee. I also snuck him out of the cage while everyone was sleeping and kept him on my lap, under a blanket...Not sure if your kitties will stay put. LOL

I tried sending you a private message but was unable to, I guess because you are very new to the forum...so I will post here what I wanted to say to you:

Oski, how big are your kitties? I have a carrier for small animals that is somewhat different, in the sense that it is lower to the ground but wider that the usual ones. It could be a nice solution for you. Contact me if you are interested, my email is listed in my profile.

Last edited by JennieV; April 20th, 2009 at 02:06 PM.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 11:33 PM
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Kassiaethne Kassiaethne is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brazil
Posts: 39
I flew my dog with me from New mexico to FL. I flew delta and they treated her wonderfully. She did go down with the cargo (way to big for being in flight) I did give her one xanax to relax (recomended by vet) they loaded her and even gave me a card before taking off at the layover saying she was loaded in the same plane as me still and even took a couple mins to tell me how she was and how calm *coughxanaxcough* she was. even scolded me for not taking her out to walk when I was grabbing my luggage (lol I was alone with 2 large bags and had just taken her out but it was cute) and offered to help so I could walk her more. All in all Id so recommend delta for their treatment of my cassi

Edit: as a side note I also put a shirt I slept in and some familiar items to make her feel comfortable and still having me around to calm her worries if she had any (who knows da doggie mind)

Last edited by Kassiaethne; April 20th, 2009 at 11:34 PM. Reason: side note
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 02:31 PM
Oski Oski is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3
Thank you all for your prompt replies.
I called Lufthansa, and as it turned out, they do not permit more than one animal per carrier anyway, even in the luggage compartment (makes sense, I guess). So, we'll be taking our two cats on board with us. Cpietra and JennieV, I'm glad you agree that that would be the better thing to do anyways. Thanks for your advice. You're right. Better to be close to them. It's helpful to hear what other pet owners think.
I'm glad to hear that you have had a positive experience travelling with your dog, Kassiaethne -- let's hope all airlines are that nice all the time.

I'm still curiously awaiting any other travel stories if anybody has some.

Thanks for all your help!

Last edited by Oski; April 23rd, 2009 at 03:23 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 03:25 AM
Klopfer Klopfer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 29
3 years ago Smokey had to fly cargo from Florida to Germany (Continental Airlines; Jacksonville - Newark - Hamburg (GER)). Service was great but really expensive. He arrived one day later than he was expected to because he missed his flight in Newark due to technical problems. The airline brought him to a local shelter for that night and called us early in the morning (I guess it must be 3 a.m. local time). A few minutes later the shelter called us to tell that he is allright and that they will bring him to the airport in time.
When he arrived in germany his kennel didn't have any mark or scratch, so I believe that they took good care on him. He had to go through a medical examination and the customs. Took us nearly an hour to wait. But then we were allowed to welcome him in Germany

Make sure your cats are microchiped (could be possible that canadian microchips couldn't be read in germany (american microchips won't), but that's not a real great problem), have all the paperworks ready and all shots up to date)

Oh, I've see that you must be in Germany now! How do you like ist? Where are you now?

Last edited by Klopfer; May 31st, 2009 at 03:30 AM.
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