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 Post subject: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:44 pm 
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I'm hoping to take advantage of my upcoming maternity leave by bringing the whole family to visit my parents on the east coast for a month or two. That would mean that my dog and cat need a safe way to travel cross-country. Is there any safe method for getting a dog or cat cross-country other than driving if they are too big to fly in the cabin of a regular plane? I looked into Pet Airways, but they are having financial issues and can't take new reservations.

Thanks everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:26 am 
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We have had animals flown through Continental's Pet Safe program. United has recently adopted the same program (I think United and Continental are the same company now?), though they have certain breed restrictions. :( The drop-off/pick-ups are really easy and the animals (rats in our cases) never seemed worse for wear on the other side. There is a 24-hour Live Animal Desk that will help you out and every leg of transport is climate-controlled (though I think there are still sometimes restrictions on what time of year you can fly animals in places that experience extreme heat). Plus a few major airports have pet hotels for longer trips, though I don't have feedback on these. I believe you do need a special FAA-approved kennel.

United Pet Safe Info

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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Thanks mandycoot. (I've been so busy at work that I've been derelict in keeping up with the ppk). I will check these programs out.

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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:54 pm 
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Last time I checked they wanted $200 to fly a cat in cabin who must stay under the seat the whole trip so the carrier has to be very small. This would apply to dogs as well they limit the number of flights animals can fly on. I am sure you know it's not safe to fly them cargo but I will mention it in case you have not heard some of the horror stories.

If you decided to drive I did this with 3 cats for 16 hours and it went pretty well. I can give pointers. Either way be sure you print off you animals vet records including vaccinations and find out where there is regular and an emergency vet in the area your parents live in just in case you need one. Call them ahead to aware of their policies may be.

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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:01 pm 
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Thanks sophiagrt. I would definitely be too afraid to fly my guys in cargo. Sadly, they are too big to fit under the seat (only by a few pounds each, but it's enough that I can't cram them into the regulation size airline carriers).

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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:45 am 
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I'm going to try to bump this up to get some more ideas - I'm moving across the country in a few months and I need a good way to get my cat (Lillith Cheetarah) to Tennessee with me. Two years ago we moved from TN to WA, and that time I drove with my parents. That took four days and a lot of unhappiness on Lilly's part.

I'm trying to figure out what our options are for possibly flying this time. Lilly is a pretty small cat (7-8 pounds), so I think it's possible to take her in the plane cabin. But there's no fast way to get from here to there. It usually takes me 8-10 hours of flights and layovers to get between WA and TN, and that seems like an awfully long time for Lilly to be stuck in her carrier.

So, does anyone have any thoughts? Tips? Lilly has never flown before, and she is generally not a happy cat in new situations.


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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 12:05 pm 
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As I understand it, up to twelve hours in the carrier is ok for cats. My cat is highly anxious and I flew from Boston to PDX with her a few years ago. She wasn't happy, but she managed. The only really scary part was when I had to take her out of her carrier and walk her through security.


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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:04 pm 
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I flew my super anxious cat from Ottawa to San Jose with a layover in Chicago. It probably took around 10-12 hours. He wasn't happy but he did alright. Like celyn, I was terrified (and so was he!) when I had to take him out at security.

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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:02 pm 
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My super-anxious dog has a sedative/anti-anxiety Rx that the vet gave us for travel. I definitely recommend testing out any medication before your actual trip, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:08 pm 
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I have been doing some research on this recently too. Planning to get myself and three cats from Jersey to PDX some time next year. So far I know that Delta and SouthWest allow cats as carryon's or personal items. There are restrictions and requirements. But mostly they say that as long as your carrier meets the requirements than you can take them on board with you for a fee. Somewhere between 75 to 125 per carrier. If you can fit two cats in a carrier comfortably then that's ok. But my cats are all adults and I don't think that will work.

There is the option of Delta cargo, I think they use the same program as United, it seems to be a national program that all airlines have to follow if they offer pet flying.

I am def going to take the cats to the vet and talk about a medicine to calm or sedate them once we are on the plane. There is no way I could do it otherwise. One of my cats screams on end whenever she is in the car. I would assume or expect her to do the same on a plane. And that is miserable and not fair to the other passengers. I might consider upgrading to first class, hopefully that will give us some more room. Plus I'm only going one way, and a direct flight would be amazing if I can find one.

The other alternative would be driving them the whole way. And 4 days in a car with three cats in cages sounds miserable as well. Not only the screaming issue but then having to unload them every night into a hotel room and then back in the car every day. I can't imagine they will be happy about that. At least with flying you are 8-10 hours and then done!

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 Post subject: Re: Safe cross-country travel for cats and dogs
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:06 pm 
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I agree. Lilly and I did the four-day drive on the way here. It was pretty awful for her. As much as I know she'll hate flying (there are no direct flights between here and there for me!), at least it will be over in a fraction of the time. If you find out anything about calming agents, I'd love to hear about it. I'm happy to share anything I find out, too!

I've seen tight-ish coats for dogs to help them with thunder and such; I wonder if there is something like that for cats? I don't know if Lilly would like it, but it would be worth a try!


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