Air Travel with Elderly Cat, What has been your experiences?

  1. Dear Board,
    I am an intermittent R.N. traveler, (NICU), I own a condo in Lexington, Kentucky. I have a 15 plus years, needy, cat who I love dearly. He barely tolerates going by car, but I can cope with that, (a third of his body hair fell out the first time when he traveled by car, he is a long haired cat). He cried incessantly, even with Feliway, and sedation, but adjusted within a week of arrival. His hair grew back nicely. I am hesitant to take him on a plane. He cries a lot and loudly to get his way, even at home. I often joke that he has more control over me than I like to admit! It is one thing for me to put up with it in a car by myself, but a lot to ask other people to deal with it. The cost for him to get a health certificate at his age is expensive and I am on slim funds until my next assignment. I think he would just about die in a cargo hold, (I'm not kidding). I do not have family where I live who can keep him and he would not do well with other cats. He has only lived with me.
    What has been other's experience with cats on a plane?
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Blackcat99
    I had an elderly 17 year old Siamese cat that I took on a plane from Pittsburgh to Seattle and then from Seattle to Pasco, WA. She was a very loud mouth at home all the time. On the planes, I didn't hear a "peep" from her the entire time. No, it is never ever safe to put an animal in cargo. I had her right by my feet underneath the seat in front of me. You must buy an airport approved pet carrier that will fit underneath the seat in front of you. You can find these at your local pet store. When you go thru security you will need to remove your cat from the carrier and hold her while they x-ray the cat carrier. Yes, it costs money for a health certificate. I think the health certificate has to be done within a week before departure. I don't remember for sure. Call the airline and write down everything they require. If you don't do exactly what they say they will not allow your pet to board the plane. Good luck. My cat was just fine after the experience and lived for 2 more years.
  4. by   canoehead
    Sedate, sedate, sedate...and hopefully she will sleep or be too frightened to yowl. I would also plan on taking her somewhere quiet and allowing her 24h of mom-kitty time after such a rough trip. Get your things out so she knows she's home, and don't leave her alone until she's had a good purring session in your arms.

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