Fly cross-country with a cat

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blackwhisker
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Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm

I might have to fly cross-country with my cat.

Which Airlines are more cat-friendly? Will I be able to keep my cat in a carrier near my feet?

Anyone have recommendations about how to minimize the cat's stress level? I imagine this will be a hundred times more stressful than a trip to the Vet.

Should I put a diaper on my cat? My cat peed on me once when he was on a road trip for 8 hours straight, even though his litter box was close by.

Thank you.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by DanMahowny » Fri May 24, 2019 5:15 pm

I would advise against doing this.

Very disrespectful to fellow travelers.
Funding secured

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Steelersfan
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Steelersfan » Fri May 24, 2019 5:21 pm

This article is a year old but from a usually reliable source:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit- ... n-a-plane/

What if you happen to get seated by someone who's allergic to cats?

panine
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by panine » Fri May 24, 2019 5:24 pm

I've never taken any of my cats on an airplane because... I just wouldn't put them through it. Your vet may be able to prescribe a tranquilizer. Also, be prepared to have to take your cat completely out of its carrier for TSA, so get a leash if you're going to do this. Also, I believe there are services that will drive your cat cross country for you. They drive through the night, so it doesn't take horribly long.

JustSomeGuy155
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by JustSomeGuy155 » Fri May 24, 2019 5:27 pm

I flew my cat cross country and asked my vet similar questions
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm
Which Airlines are more cat-friendly? Will I be able to keep my cat in a carrier near my feet?
It seems like they all are about the same. They charge $150-200 or so and it's a business to them. I would find the most convenient flight and then lookup their pet policy online
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm

Anyone have recommendations about how to minimize the cat's stress level? I imagine this will be a hundred times more stressful than a trip to the Vet.
The vets can give some kind of sedative for this. My vet recommended not to give it unless a cat is very skiddish because you never know how your cat will react and it can make them lethargic for a few days. I didn't give it to my cat and he was very scared but basically just stayed still the whole time and was fine as soon as we got home
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm

Should I put a diaper on my cat? My cat peed on me once when he was on a road trip for 8 hours straight, even though his litter box was close by.
Take away any food the night before and any water a few hours before. Cats can hold their bladder for days if they wanted to. If your cat has problems it might be a different story.

I'm not a vet. Just passing on info from mine. I recommend calling yours for peace of mind!

JustSomeGuy155
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by JustSomeGuy155 » Fri May 24, 2019 5:38 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:21 pm
What if you happen to get seated by someone who's allergic to cats?
I actually saw this once in my row with someone else's dog. The person told the flight attendant and they found someone to swap seats
Also there's some maximum like 2 pets per flight and you need to register your pet in advance

ohai
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by ohai » Fri May 24, 2019 5:48 pm

It is not realistic to have the cat wear a diaper. However, you can line the cat carrier with diapers or diaper like material. If you sit next to someone who is allergic to cats, I can guarantee that someone will volunteer to sit there in their place. In a flight of 300 people, at least one person is going to be really into cats.

Incidentally, when I flew cross country with cats while moving coast to coast, someone else brought in a big dog who just sat on the floor. Maybe it was an emotional support dog or something. The person did not seem physically disabled.

Fallible
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Fallible » Fri May 24, 2019 6:00 pm

blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm
I might have to fly cross-country with my cat. ...
Absolutely check first with your vet.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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TierArtz
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by TierArtz » Fri May 24, 2019 6:13 pm

I don't travel much anymore, but I've never seen a cat in the cabin. Prior to retiring from the military, my cat flew from Hawaii to Baltimore, and Baltimore to Germany and back in a well-labeled (contact info) large dog kennel in pressurized baggage. It worked great. The kennel included food in a door cup, a bed, and a small litter box. You will likely need a health certificate and up-to-date vaccinations (especially rabies). Being a veterinarian, I took care of those myself :-). I think I zip-tied the door latch shut for extra security.

Edit: I now recall we used a contracted animal shipping company for the trip from Germany.
Last edited by TierArtz on Fri May 24, 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dottie57
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Dottie57 » Fri May 24, 2019 6:23 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:15 pm
I would advise against doing this.

Very disrespectful to fellow travelers.
Especially those of us with Asthma and severe allergy to cats and dogs. Recycling Air for the whole trip. :confused

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Riprap
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Riprap » Fri May 24, 2019 6:36 pm

There are a lot of people that HATE cats. Hate is a strong word, but they HATE cats. Be prepared for hostility from fellow passengers especially if you're the type that talks to your cat like you would a two year old child.

mariezzz
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by mariezzz » Fri May 24, 2019 6:52 pm

I did air travel with a cat for a few years pre 2001, but wouldn't advise it unless absolutely unavoidable these days. It's stressful for most cats. Between added security at the airport (you'll have to take the cat out to show TSA) and packed flights, it's just not worth it.

I would be very reluctant to hand my cat over to some company that drives them cross-country. I'd have to do a lot of research - who are the drivers? I think I'd drive cross country myself instead.

If you can't avoid flying:
Fly direct. Try to find a time when planes are less packed, which will be difficult. Consider paying more and upgrading to a premium seat, although that doesn't always guarantee more space. (You won't be allowed in the emergency rows).
Do your research directly with the airlines. Follow their rules precisely. They'll want a vet certificate which has to be issued within a few days of flying usually.
Never put a cat under the plane - only in the compartment with you.
Drugs are not advised - they can have different effects at altitude.
Buy a soft-sided carrier - that gives you more flexibility - under seat space varies a lot these days. It also will allow the cat to stand when not under the seat. Be sure it's solidly made (Samsung used to sell one) - so the cat can't start to tear it apart. Be sure there isn't a heat generating media/internet device (airlines are placing these under a subset of seats now) next to the cat.

Get a harness for the cat, get them used to it well before flying, and keep it on them from the time you leave your home to the time you reach your final destination. Have a short leash on it as well. Do not take the cat out of the carrier (except for TSA) -- but if the worst happens & the cat somehow gets out, the leash & harness will help with catching it.
Put a t-shirt that you've worn (overnight at least) in with the cat. That may help comfort it.
My cat was such that if I put out fresh litter, he'd run to it & use it right away. That helped with travelling. I'd put it out about 30 minutes before leaving the house.
I'd slip a small bowl of water into the carrier at the airport, but chances are, the cat won't drink. They're fine for 6-8 hours (unless they have medical issues, in which case, I wouldn't advise airplane travel at all).
I wouldn't take away food/water the night before the trip. Just get some of those puppy training pads and line the carrier with them, and keep a couple of spare ones as well. This was never an issue with my cat.
What I would suggest is making some kind of a loose cloth (cotton) cover to go over the carrier. I used to do that. It can help to calm the cat. It can also help calm people who claim allergies. They generally won't know the cat is there. I would sit away from the boarding gate, and the plane noise covers a lot. Plus, most cats will be quiet. In flight, I'd open the zipper about 2 inches & slip my hand - or a few toes in. That would let the cat know I was there. I'd also shift the cloth cover around, so the cat could see me. While waiting at the airport, I'd slip a hand in to pet the cat, but under no circumstances should you take it out. (Airports don't allow it. More importantly, the cat could run away and get hurt, or lost - keep in mind that it may not behave 'typically' (even if it's a very laid back cat) when in a stressful travel situation.)

Don't worry about people being allergic. I'm allergic to many scented products, but no one worries about that. Most people are not allergic to cats.

Cat and dog owners usually have a lot of dander & even fur on their belongings (my cat loves sleeping on my back pack, which I always take when I travel). If the cat is in a carrier, there's little more to trigger allergies than what is on your clothing already. I know some people will jump up and down and protest at this ... but I don't get special consideration when they use scented products and it triggers my allergies on a plane - makeup, shampoo/conditioner, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, perfumes, soaps, hand/body lotions, etc. Synthetic scents are the worse (and are in the vast majority of scented products) because they have additional chemicals that make the scents (thus the allergens) persist for days.
Last edited by mariezzz on Fri May 24, 2019 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

panine
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by panine » Fri May 24, 2019 7:09 pm

Riprap wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:36 pm
There are a lot of people that HATE cats. Hate is a strong word, but they HATE cats. Be prepared for hostility from fellow passengers especially if you're the type that talks to your cat like you would a two year old child.
And, rest assured, there are people that HATE screaming kids but are subjected to them every time they fly. :sharebeer

mariezzz
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by mariezzz » Fri May 24, 2019 7:15 pm

panine wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:09 pm
Riprap wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:36 pm
There are a lot of people that HATE cats. Hate is a strong word, but they HATE cats. Be prepared for hostility from fellow passengers especially if you're the type that talks to your cat like you would a two year old child.
And, rest assured, there are people that HATE screaming kids but are subjected to them every time they fly. :sharebeer
And other people who hate even more the parents who have not raised their kids to behave in public spaces, or fail to stop kids old enough to understand from yelling, kicking the seat, etc. (Infants are different - sometimes there's not much that can be done, but I personally would never have brought a child under 1 on a plane.)

Iridium
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Iridium » Fri May 24, 2019 7:22 pm

mariezzz wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:52 pm
Never put a cat under the plane - only in the compartment with you.
That's interesting. I thought that putting pets in the cargo hold is the standard procedure. Is there a reason why cats don't do well down there?

panine
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by panine » Fri May 24, 2019 7:27 pm

Iridium wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:22 pm
mariezzz wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:52 pm
Never put a cat under the plane - only in the compartment with you.
That's interesting. I thought that putting pets in the cargo hold is the standard procedure. Is there a reason why cats don't do well down there?
It's freezing, extremely loud, and not sufficiently pressurized down there. Agony. Not uncommon for cats and dogs to die if placed down there.

Dottie57
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Dottie57 » Fri May 24, 2019 7:30 pm

mariezzz wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:52 pm

Don't worry about people being allergic. I'm allergic to many scented products, but no one worries about that. Most people are not allergic to cats.

Cat and dog owners usually have a lot of dander & even fur on their belongings (my cat loves sleeping on my back pack, which I always take when I travel). If the cat is in a carrier, there's little more to trigger allergies than what is on your clothing already. I know some people will jump up and down and protest at this ... but I don't get special consideration when they use scented products and it triggers my allergies on a plane - makeup, shampoo/conditioner, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, perfumes, soaps, hand/body lotions, etc. Synthetic scents are the worse (and are in the vast majority of scented products) because they have additional chemicals that make the scents (thus the allergens) persist for days.
Please don’t say not to worry about allergies from a cat or dog. Dander is not my main problem. It is the secretions from skin (which are on dander, and the breath (exhalations) from the animal which causes problems . I wish my problems were only with sneezing. I have problems with breathing.

The worst part is I can’t even call the airline to find out if there are furry friends on a given flight.

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mrspock
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by mrspock » Fri May 24, 2019 7:33 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:15 pm
Very disrespectful to fellow travelers.
Personally... I’d take a cat or dog over a random human child. As for allergies, while I empathize with those who might suffer, if its between the potential death of a family member due to riding in cargo for things like a x-country move, I think some temporary discomfort or rebooking on a flight without animals (in the case of severe allergies) is a small price to ensure the survival of somebody’s family pet (or dramatically reducing their stress).

Were there a dedicated pet airline, I suspect pet owners would gladly pay, but unfortunately one doesn’t exist.

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Riprap
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Riprap » Fri May 24, 2019 7:36 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:30 pm
Please don’t say not to worry about allergies from a cat or dog. Dander is not my main problem. It is the secretions from skin (which are on dander, and the breath (exhalations) from the animal which causes problems . I wish my problems were only with sneezing. I have problems with breathing.
Agreed.

Sitting by a cat would be worse than sitting by a fat person whose fleshy folds are spilling over the armrests into my personal space and whose BO would melt steel.

Yeah...believe or not there are people who REALLY don't like cats.

Dottie57
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Dottie57 » Fri May 24, 2019 7:46 pm

Riprap wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:36 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:30 pm
Please don’t say not to worry about allergies from a cat or dog. Dander is not my main problem. It is the secretions from skin (which are on dander, and the breath (exhalations) from the animal which causes problems . I wish my problems were only with sneezing. I have problems with breathing.
Agreed.

Sitting by a cat would be worse than sitting by a fat person whose fleshy folds are spilling over the armrests into my personal space and whose BO would melt steel.

Yeah...believe or not there are people who REALLY don't like cats.
I actually like cats. I tolerate them outdoors quite well. (Yes, cats can be leashed just like a dog. But they don’t go on a walk well). But indoors is a different story.

THY4373
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by THY4373 » Fri May 24, 2019 7:46 pm

I did it post 2001. My ex and I brought her dad's two cats back from the west coast to the east coast. We got carriers that would fit under the seats in front of us. We did not sedate the cats and they did not either pee or poop on the flight. We were prepared for that but it never happened. The cats were quiet and I doubt most folks who didn't see us boarding with them even knew they were on the plane. Other than dealing with TSA (more on that in a minute) it was honestly no problem at all.

My recommendations are:

Take the cat in the cabin with you as there are horror stories of animals being misdirected and dying from mishandling when flown as cargo this is especially true in the summer months when temperatures in the hold on the ground and indeed on tarmac can be quite high.

TSA is likely going to want the cat to go through the metal detector or even worse if you get the TSA braniacs we got through the x-ray machine. What idiots. We refused and my ex-wife (wife at the time) had to get the cat out of the carrier in the open terminal and walk through the metal detector with each one and get him back in the carrier. I have since learned you can ask for a private room for screening this is MUCH safer since you don't have to worry about the cat getting loose in terminal.

Pay what is necessary to get a direct flight if at all possible for obvious reasons. It may also be worth paying extra for a nice seat and/or early boarding especially if you need bin space for any carry-ons.



As an aside my mother brought her mother's cat back from the UK and she went in the hold for the first part of the journey but I think was on a dedicated cargo plane for the second and I think she arrived in the US with some race horses. Poor cat had to fly Manchester to London, overnight in London and then the trans-Atlantic flight the next day. Poor cat hid behind the bookcase for a week.
Last edited by THY4373 on Fri May 24, 2019 7:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

THY4373
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by THY4373 » Fri May 24, 2019 7:48 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:15 pm
I would advise against doing this.

Very disrespectful to fellow travelers.
Sorry to say I don't see it this way and even if I did I would rather "disrespect" my fellow passengers than my cats. You are lower in my priorities than they are just sayin :-).

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TierArtz
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by TierArtz » Fri May 24, 2019 7:51 pm

I would love to sit by a cat on a plane; those who travel with them are probably really nice people :-).

If pets are not used to traveling (most are not), there's going to be some logistical challenges. I'd be willing to bet the death and escaped/lost rates would be higher for first time cross-country vehicle-traveling pets, than for those who travel in pressurized cargo. My parents drove my cat 1/2 way across the country once and I worried about our fur-baby much more than when he made three prior transoceanic flights.

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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 7:55 pm

mariezzz wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:52 pm
I did air travel with a cat for a few years pre 2001, but wouldn't advise it unless absolutely unavoidable these days. It's stressful for most cats. Between added security at the airport (you'll have to take the cat out to show TSA) and packed flights, it's just not worth it.

I would be very reluctant to hand my cat over to some company that drives them cross-country. I'd have to do a lot of research - who are the drivers? I think I'd drive cross country myself instead.

If you can't avoid flying:
Fly direct. Try to find a time when planes are less packed, which will be difficult. Consider paying more and upgrading to a premium seat, although that doesn't always guarantee more space. (You won't be allowed in the emergency rows).
Do your research directly with the airlines. Follow their rules precisely. They'll want a vet certificate which has to be issued within a few days of flying usually.
Never put a cat under the plane - only in the compartment with you.
Drugs are not advised - they can have different effects at altitude.
Buy a soft-sided carrier - that gives you more flexibility - under seat space varies a lot these days. It also will allow the cat to stand when not under the seat. Be sure it's solidly made (Samsung used to sell one) - so the cat can't start to tear it apart. Be sure there isn't a heat generating media/internet device (airlines are placing these under a subset of seats now) next to the cat.

Get a harness for the cat, get them used to it well before flying, and keep it on them from the time you leave your home to the time you reach your final destination. Have a short leash on it as well. Do not take the cat out of the carrier (except for TSA) -- but if the worst happens & the cat somehow gets out, the leash & harness will help with catching it.
Put a t-shirt that you've worn (overnight at least) in with the cat. That may help comfort it.
My cat was such that if I put out fresh litter, he'd run to it & use it right away. That helped with travelling. I'd put it out about 30 minutes before leaving the house.
I'd slip a small bowl of water into the carrier at the airport, but chances are, the cat won't drink. They're fine for 6-8 hours (unless they have medical issues, in which case, I wouldn't advise airplane travel at all).
I wouldn't take away food/water the night before the trip. Just get some of those puppy training pads and line the carrier with them, and keep a couple of spare ones as well. This was never an issue with my cat.
What I would suggest is making some kind of a loose cloth (cotton) cover to go over the carrier. I used to do that. It can help to calm the cat. It can also help calm people who claim allergies. They generally won't know the cat is there. I would sit away from the boarding gate, and the plane noise covers a lot. Plus, most cats will be quiet. In flight, I'd open the zipper about 2 inches & slip my hand - or a few toes in. That would let the cat know I was there. I'd also shift the cloth cover around, so the cat could see me. While waiting at the airport, I'd slip a hand in to pet the cat, but under no circumstances should you take it out. (Airports don't allow it. More importantly, the cat could run away and get hurt, or lost - keep in mind that it may not behave 'typically' (even if it's a very laid back cat) when in a stressful travel situation.)

Don't worry about people being allergic. I'm allergic to many scented products, but no one worries about that. Most people are not allergic to cats.

Cat and dog owners usually have a lot of dander & even fur on their belongings (my cat loves sleeping on my back pack, which I always take when I travel). If the cat is in a carrier, there's little more to trigger allergies than what is on your clothing already. I know some people will jump up and down and protest at this ... but I don't get special consideration when they use scented products and it triggers my allergies on a plane - makeup, shampoo/conditioner, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, perfumes, soaps, hand/body lotions, etc. Synthetic scents are the worse (and are in the vast majority of scented products) because they have additional chemicals that make the scents (thus the allergens) persist for days.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions mariezzz! I appreciate all the helpful information, especially the part about leaving 2 inches of zipper open to slip a few toes in :)

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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 7:58 pm

JustSomeGuy155 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:27 pm
I flew my cat cross country and asked my vet similar questions
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm
Which Airlines are more cat-friendly? Will I be able to keep my cat in a carrier near my feet?
It seems like they all are about the same. They charge $150-200 or so and it's a business to them. I would find the most convenient flight and then lookup their pet policy online
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm

Anyone have recommendations about how to minimize the cat's stress level? I imagine this will be a hundred times more stressful than a trip to the Vet.
The vets can give some kind of sedative for this. My vet recommended not to give it unless a cat is very skiddish because you never know how your cat will react and it can make them lethargic for a few days. I didn't give it to my cat and he was very scared but basically just stayed still the whole time and was fine as soon as we got home
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm

Should I put a diaper on my cat? My cat peed on me once when he was on a road trip for 8 hours straight, even though his litter box was close by.
Take away any food the night before and any water a few hours before. Cats can hold their bladder for days if they wanted to. If your cat has problems it might be a different story.

I'm not a vet. Just passing on info from mine. I recommend calling yours for peace of mind!
Thank you JustSomeGuy155!

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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 8:02 pm

TierArtz wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:51 pm
I would love to sit by a cat on a plane; those who travel with them are probably really nice people :-).
Thank you TierArtz! I definitely agree with you! :-)

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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 8:09 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:46 pm
I did it post 2001. My ex and I brought her dad's two cats back from the west coast to the east coast. We got carriers that would fit under the seats in front of us. We did not sedate the cats and they did not either pee or poop on the flight. We were prepared for that but it never happened. The cats were quiet and I doubt most folks who didn't see us boarding with them even knew they were on the plane. Other than dealing with TSA (more on that in a minute) it was honestly no problem at all.

My recommendations are:

Take the cat in the cabin with you as there are horror stories of animals being misdirected and dying from mishandling when flown as cargo this is especially true in the summer months when temperatures in the hold on the ground and indeed on tarmac can be quite high.

TSA is likely going to want the cat to go through the metal detector or even worse if you get the TSA braniacs we got through the x-ray machine. What idiots. We refused and my ex-wife (wife at the time) had to get the cat out of the carrier in the open terminal and walk through the metal detector with each one and get him back in the carrier. I have since learned you can ask for a private room for screening this is MUCH safer since you don't have to worry about the cat getting loose in terminal.

Pay what is necessary to get a direct flight if at all possible for obvious reasons. It may also be worth paying extra for a nice seat and/or early boarding especially if you need bin space for any carry-ons.



As an aside my mother brought her mother's cat back from the UK and she went in the hold for the first part of the journey but I think was on a dedicated cargo plane for the second and I think she arrived in the US with some race horses. Poor cat had to fly Manchester to London, overnight in London and then the trans-Atlantic flight the next day. Poor cat hid behind the bookcase for a week.
Thank you THY4373! I really appreciate you sharing your experience. Asking for a private room for TSA screening is a very helpful tip!

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ResearchMed
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by ResearchMed » Fri May 24, 2019 8:14 pm

blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:55 pm

<snip>

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions mariezzz! I appreciate all the helpful information, especially the part about leaving 2 inches of zipper open to slip a few toes in :)
I used to travel very frequently with a cat, one who was *very* well behaved and enjoyed a bit of "showing off" in general.

I agree with arranging for the cat to be able to smell you. That can also be done by just putting feet (with socks/etc., but preferably without shoes) right up against the grate or netting - whatever allows air flow. Being able to insert some toes/the front part of the foot is even better, when possible.
Some cats are generally more easy going than others; some adjust to other people/strangers and/or busy/noisy environments better than others. It might be difficult to predict before a first trip.

IF you are even considering medicating the cat (I never did), then discuss in advance with your vet and TRY the med a couple of times at home well before the trip, to make sure you know how that cat tolerates the med under normal circumstances.

I always put a tiny "litter box" at one end of the carrier. It was really small, but it was there if needed, and it usually wasn't. I also never gave the cat anything at all new to eat during trips, starting a few days before travel. And I tried to use occasional bits of "moist food" while traveling, rather than dry, for the moisture content and also because it might be a bit more tasty/appealing and easier to eat. (I considered "wet cat food" too smelly to provide in any kind of public area.)

RM
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Watty
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Watty » Fri May 24, 2019 8:23 pm

You can do a test when you are at home to see how your cat might do in a carrier for that long. Just put them into the carrier and put it under the coffee table for six hours while you watch TV and read a book.

That might sound a little cruel but that is no different than what you would be doing on the plane.
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm
I might have to fly cross-country with my cat.
Drive instead, serious consider driving. Even if it is a long way you can have an adventure on the road trip.

If this is not a one way trip like you are moving across country then find someone to leave your cat with while you are out of town.

Be aware that a typical airline might require;
Pets must remain completely in their carrier, with the door closed, and under the seat during the entire flight.
https://www.bringfido.com/travel/airlin ... _airlines/

This means that if the cat freaks out there is very little that you can do to calm it except to rub the carrier with your foot to try to calm it.

You also need to be prepared for multi hour flight delays.

We recently had a cross country flight where the person in the seat next to us had a cat in a carrier. My wife is mildly allergic to cats but she is OK if she does not have any contact with the cat or furniture that the car has been on. If the person had tried picking the cat up off the floor I would have called the flight attendant and raised hell. I was a bit surprised but the cat actually did OK on a four hour flight but I don't know if it was drugged or not.
Riprap wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:36 pm
There are a lot of people that HATE cats. Hate is a strong word, but they HATE cats.
You also have to consider that if you need to get up and go to the bathroom you would be leaving your cat alone with whatever weirdo you are sitting next to. That could be a risk if you are not traveling with someone else who can watch the cat at all times.

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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 8:27 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:14 pm
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:55 pm

<snip>

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions mariezzz! I appreciate all the helpful information, especially the part about leaving 2 inches of zipper open to slip a few toes in :)
I used to travel very frequently with a cat, one who was *very* well behaved and enjoyed a bit of "showing off" in general.

I agree with arranging for the cat to be able to smell you. That can also be done by just putting feet (with socks/etc., but preferably without shoes) right up against the grate or netting - whatever allows air flow. Being able to insert some toes/the front part of the foot is even better, when possible.
Some cats are generally more easy going than others; some adjust to other people/strangers and/or busy/noisy environments better than others. It might be difficult to predict before a first trip.


RM
Thank you ResearchMed! glad to hear your cat used to travel so well.

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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 8:29 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:23 pm
You can do a test when you are at home to see how your cat might do in a carrier for that long. Just put them into the carrier and put it under the coffee table for six hours while you watch TV and read a book.

That might sound a little cruel but that is no different than what you would be doing on the plane.
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:05 pm
I might have to fly cross-country with my cat.
Drive instead, serious consider driving. Even if it is a long way you can have an adventure on the road trip.

If this is not a one way trip like you are moving across country then find someone to leave your cat with while you are out of town.

Be aware that a typical airline might require;
Pets must remain completely in their carrier, with the door closed, and under the seat during the entire flight.
https://www.bringfido.com/travel/airlin ... _airlines/

This means that if the cat freaks out there is very little that you can do to calm it except to rub the carrier with your foot to try to calm it.

You also need to be prepared for multi hour flight delays.

We recently had a cross country flight where the person in the seat next to us had a cat in a carrier. My wife is mildly allergic to cats but she is OK if she does not have any contact with the cat or furniture that the car has been on. If the person had tried picking the cat up off the floor I would have called the flight attendant and raised hell. I was a bit surprised but the cat actually did OK on a four hour flight but I don't know if it was drugged or not.
Riprap wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:36 pm
There are a lot of people that HATE cats. Hate is a strong word, but they HATE cats.
You also have to consider that if you need to get up and go to the bathroom you would be leaving your cat alone with whatever weirdo you are sitting next to. That could be a risk if you are not traveling with someone else who can watch the cat at all times.
Thank you Watty! You are so thoughtful! I will try the test you mentioned. I think it would be a good way for the cat to get used to sitting in the carrier.

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Riprap
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Riprap » Fri May 24, 2019 8:30 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:23 pm
You also have to consider that if you need to get up and go to the bathroom you would be leaving your cat alone with whatever weirdo you are sitting next to. That could be a risk if you are not traveling with someone else who can watch the cat at all times.
Here kitty kitty, I have a nice treat for you...

That weirdo might like dividends too.

Just kidding, just kidding.
Last edited by Riprap on Fri May 24, 2019 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by ResearchMed » Fri May 24, 2019 8:33 pm

blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:27 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:14 pm
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:55 pm

<snip>

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions mariezzz! I appreciate all the helpful information, especially the part about leaving 2 inches of zipper open to slip a few toes in :)
I used to travel very frequently with a cat, one who was *very* well behaved and enjoyed a bit of "showing off" in general.

I agree with arranging for the cat to be able to smell you. That can also be done by just putting feet (with socks/etc., but preferably without shoes) right up against the grate or netting - whatever allows air flow. Being able to insert some toes/the front part of the foot is even better, when possible.
Some cats are generally more easy going than others; some adjust to other people/strangers and/or busy/noisy environments better than others. It might be difficult to predict before a first trip.


RM
Thank you ResearchMed! glad to hear your cat used to travel so well.
I just thought of something else. It may or may not be useful for your cat.
Do you ever have an opportunity to put your cat in a carrier and drive it around, when it is NOT to the vet?
If the cat doesn't freak out en route to the vet, then fine. But if it does, then perhaps start driving it around a bit when there is not a "vet waiting" at the end of the trip, etc.

RM
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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 8:39 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:33 pm
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:27 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:14 pm
blackwhisker wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:55 pm

<snip>

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions mariezzz! I appreciate all the helpful information, especially the part about leaving 2 inches of zipper open to slip a few toes in :)
I used to travel very frequently with a cat, one who was *very* well behaved and enjoyed a bit of "showing off" in general.

I agree with arranging for the cat to be able to smell you. That can also be done by just putting feet (with socks/etc., but preferably without shoes) right up against the grate or netting - whatever allows air flow. Being able to insert some toes/the front part of the foot is even better, when possible.
Some cats are generally more easy going than others; some adjust to other people/strangers and/or busy/noisy environments better than others. It might be difficult to predict before a first trip.


RM
Thank you ResearchMed! glad to hear your cat used to travel so well.
I just thought of something else. It may or may not be useful for your cat.
Do you ever have an opportunity to put your cat in a carrier and drive it around, when it is NOT to the vet?
If the cat doesn't freak out en route to the vet, then fine. But if it does, then perhaps start driving it around a bit when there is not a "vet waiting" at the end of the trip, etc.

RM
Thank you ResearchMed! I think driving the cat around in a carrier several times will help the cat get used to sitting in a carrier, and hopefully make the flight a little less stressful.

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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by samsoes » Fri May 24, 2019 8:54 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:23 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:15 pm
I would advise against doing this.

Very disrespectful to fellow travelers.
Especially those of us with Asthma and severe allergy to cats and dogs. Recycling Air for the whole trip. :confused
That would be me. My allergy to cats is severe enough to necessitate a medical emergency landing at some point during the trip, as my breathing gets extremely difficult.
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mbres60
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by mbres60 » Fri May 24, 2019 9:19 pm

It saddens me to read some of the responses here from people who seem to disregard the fact that there are enough people who are allergic to cats. I am allergic and would never in my wildest dreams have thought I would have to bring allergy medication with me when I fly. As a matter of fact, once symptoms start to flare, it is actually a bit late to take the medicine. Personally I don't have breathing problems like some do but my throat gets real itchy, I sneeze, and eyes get extremely itchy. I would be absolutely miserable and livid. I have no clue if I would get symptoms if a cat was on the plane but not near me nor if it was on the floor next to me in a carrier. I don't know exactly what I am allergic to or if it makes a difference if the cat is in a carrier but has never climbed over the seats I am sitting in and by. I do know that the callousness on here about having no concern for others is quite disturbing.

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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by bighatnohorse » Fri May 24, 2019 9:35 pm

I've taken a cat to Alaska and back. Airline wanted a health certification with the last 30 days from a Vet (about $35. back then).
The cat carrier had to fit under the seat - the smallest size turned out the best - the cat would actually turn around in it.
I used a pee pad to line the bottom (not need though).
I asked TSA for a personal screening - TSA will take you to a small room (so the cat can't really go anywhere) and ask to have the cat removed from the carry case - they then inspect the carry case.
His ticket was $100.00
He slept quietly the whole trip.
It was possibly mildly stressful to him and me but not really a problem.

typical.investor
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by typical.investor » Fri May 24, 2019 9:37 pm

mbres60 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:19 pm
It saddens me to read some of the responses here from people who seem to disregard the fact that there are enough people who are allergic to cats. I am allergic and would never in my wildest dreams have thought I would have to bring allergy medication with me when I fly. As a matter of fact, once symptoms start to flare, it is actually a bit late to take the medicine. Personally I don't have breathing problems like some do but my throat gets real itchy, I sneeze, and eyes get extremely itchy. I would be absolutely miserable and livid. I have no clue if I would get symptoms if a cat was on the plane but not near me nor if it was on the floor next to me in a carrier. I don't know exactly what I am allergic to or if it makes a difference if the cat is in a carrier but has never climbed over the seats I am sitting in and by. I do know that the callousness on here about having no concern for others is quite disturbing.
I do agree concern for others seems lacking.

That said, in this day and age of service animals, I'd always bring the allergy medicine with.

As for children being worse than pets, I have never seen a child defecating in the airport terminal and people obliviously walking though. And if the animal is peeing on road trips when the litter box is nearby, what do you really expect on the plane?

tim1999
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by tim1999 » Fri May 24, 2019 10:06 pm

I took my cat on a cross-country flight on American. Small carrier under the seat in front of me. She is healthy and well-behaved.

I had to sit next to a older grumpy woman who grunted and sighed when she saw the cat carrier under my seat, and who I could see texting someone furiously for the first 15 minutes at the gate about how horrible it was to have to sit next to a guy with a cat. When she asked me if the cat was sedated, and I told her no, she acted like I was committing some kind of crime against humanity. More grunting and sighing.

The cat didn't make a peep the whole flight. You don't want to sit next to a cat, charter a private jet, lady.

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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by cadreamer2015 » Fri May 24, 2019 10:25 pm

We travel on cross country flights with our cat twice a year and have been doing so for the past 3 years. We traveled with the cat several times in years past during cross country relocations.

1) Your cat carrier has to fit under the seat in front of you. We prefer the soft flexible carriers.

2) TSA will want to run the carrier through their X-ray machine (without the cat)

3) We carry the cat through the metal detector. We have TSA Precheck so I don’t know the procedure if you need to go through the body scanner.

4) We prefer Alaska Airlines. $100 per trip, which is less than other airlines. When we traveled with our dog in a kennel in the hold they seemed to do a very good job of making sure you knew your animal was on the flight and well taken care of.

We put several layers of absorbent pads in the bottom of the carrier. Usually our cat can hold it. We do take some cat litter and a small litter box so the cat can do her business at the destination. My DW usually takes the cat into a family bathroom at the destination airport.

As for people with allergies, I assume the airline will reseat them away from the pet. If you look closely I see cats and small dogs on many if not most flights.
De gustibus non est disputandum

Ztx
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by Ztx » Fri May 24, 2019 10:46 pm

I flew with a cat few times on American Airlines and it was not a problem (2 hr flight though). But you need to call the airline and notify them about the pet since, I believe, there is a limit for number of pets on each flight. There is a small extra fee (I think $50 or so)

Yes, definitely get a carrier that fits under the seat. My cat sat in the carrier without a sounds the whole flight and didn't cause any issues. I was afraid to take it out of the carrier to go through TSA but the cat was scared and got into the carrier without an issue.

Overall both of my flights went smoothly.

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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 11:36 pm

bighatnohorse wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:35 pm
I've taken a cat to Alaska and back. Airline wanted a health certification with the last 30 days from a Vet (about $35. back then).
The cat carrier had to fit under the seat - the smallest size turned out the best - the cat would actually turn around in it.
I used a pee pad to line the bottom (not need though).
I asked TSA for a personal screening - TSA will take you to a small room (so the cat can't really go anywhere) and ask to have the cat removed from the carry case - they then inspect the carry case.
His ticket was $100.00
He slept quietly the whole trip.
It was possibly mildly stressful to him and me but not really a problem.
Thank you bighatnohorse!

Topic Author
blackwhisker
Posts: 221
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 11:38 pm

tim1999 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 10:06 pm
I took my cat on a cross-country flight on American. Small carrier under the seat in front of me. She is healthy and well-behaved.

I had to sit next to a older grumpy woman who grunted and sighed when she saw the cat carrier under my seat, and who I could see texting someone furiously for the first 15 minutes at the gate about how horrible it was to have to sit next to a guy with a cat. When she asked me if the cat was sedated, and I told her no, she acted like I was committing some kind of crime against humanity. More grunting and sighing.

The cat didn't make a peep the whole flight. You don't want to sit next to a cat, charter a private jet, lady.
Thanks tim1999.

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blackwhisker
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 11:41 pm

cadreamer2015 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 10:25 pm
We travel on cross country flights with our cat twice a year and have been doing so for the past 3 years. We traveled with the cat several times in years past during cross country relocations.

1) Your cat carrier has to fit under the seat in front of you. We prefer the soft flexible carriers.

2) TSA will want to run the carrier through their X-ray machine (without the cat)

3) We carry the cat through the metal detector. We have TSA Precheck so I don’t know the procedure if you need to go through the body scanner.

4) We prefer Alaska Airlines. $100 per trip, which is less than other airlines. When we traveled with our dog in a kennel in the hold they seemed to do a very good job of making sure you knew your animal was on the flight and well taken care of.

We put several layers of absorbent pads in the bottom of the carrier. Usually our cat can hold it. We do take some cat litter and a small litter box so the cat can do her business at the destination. My DW usually takes the cat into a family bathroom at the destination airport.

As for people with allergies, I assume the airline will reseat them away from the pet. If you look closely I see cats and small dogs on many if not most flights.
Thank you cadreamer2015!

Topic Author
blackwhisker
Posts: 221
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by blackwhisker » Fri May 24, 2019 11:43 pm

Ztx wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 10:46 pm
I flew with a cat few times on American Airlines and it was not a problem (2 hr flight though). But you need to call the airline and notify them about the pet since, I believe, there is a limit for number of pets on each flight. There is a small extra fee (I think $50 or so)

Yes, definitely get a carrier that fits under the seat. My cat sat in the carrier without a sounds the whole flight and didn't cause any issues. I was afraid to take it out of the carrier to go through TSA but the cat was scared and got into the carrier without an issue.

Overall both of my flights went smoothly.
Thank you Ztx.

KandT
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by KandT » Fri May 24, 2019 11:46 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 7:48 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:15 pm
I would advise against doing this.

Very disrespectful to fellow travelers.
Sorry to say I don't see it this way and even if I did I would rather "disrespect" my fellow passengers than my cats. You are lower in my priorities than they are just sayin :-).
I love it! You make people watching so fascinating for me. I am not allergic to cats or dogs and like them both but it is always fascinating to watch someone who chose to get an animal and then make it everyone else problem. The same is true of people who don't seem to get the idea that we act civilized toward each other, pick up our own trash and extend common courtesies. I love to land and then watch people from the back try to force their way up front to get off the plane.

But why stop with cats? I have a close friend that loves her Alpacas. Beautiful animals. Well behaved too. She likes to take them to shows. Why should she have to drive or arrange alternative means of transportation when she can make it the airline's and passenger's problems? My advice? You get farthest in this world when you can take your own choices and make them other people's issues. Just Sayin' :happy

Hmmm....Would a descended skunk be OK? Maybe we could have a whole zoo or small farm up at 39,000 feet. Lots of people like snakes. But we might have to book them on separate planes than the mice people. You know what? Just pass a law that says each airline must accommodate you with the pet of your choice. Even if they have to fly just you and you bought an economy ticket on Expedia. I can't wait until the the honey bee people catch a whiff of this new idea. They transport their hives all over for agriculture pollination. Seems they could do it a lot faster by flying! Although it would bee ironic to put the bees on a plane. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by mariezzz » Fri May 24, 2019 11:51 pm

Definitely agree with Watty's suggestion about exposing the cat to the carrier in advance. In fact, I'd suggest that all cat owners always leave cat carriers in a place the cat can explore them. I do that with mine. That way, when I take them to the vet, they're familiar with the carrier. My cats like the carrier - it's a nice place to sleep and hide - cats like little cubby holes.

ohai
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by ohai » Fri May 24, 2019 11:51 pm

Who cares if someone else doesn't like cats? A lot of people don't like tons of other things - people of different races, immigrants, little kids, and whatever. You're not there to please everyone.

Flying with a common, clean, domestic pet like a cat out of probable necessity is a socially accepted behavior, unlike flying with a skunk or donkey, or smoking in an airplane, or anything else that has a truly undesirable effect on others. It is not disrespectful; airline regulations are designed around commonly accepted behavior. If you find this very normal behavior to be unacceptable, then I am afraid that you are likely the weird one.

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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by mariezzz » Fri May 24, 2019 11:57 pm

mbres60 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:19 pm
It saddens me to read some of the responses here from people who seem to disregard the fact that there are enough people who are allergic to cats. I am allergic and would never in my wildest dreams have thought I would have to bring allergy medication with me when I fly. As a matter of fact, once symptoms start to flare, it is actually a bit late to take the medicine. Personally I don't have breathing problems like some do but my throat gets real itchy, I sneeze, and eyes get extremely itchy. I would be absolutely miserable and livid. I have no clue if I would get symptoms if a cat was on the plane but not near me nor if it was on the floor next to me in a carrier. I don't know exactly what I am allergic to or if it makes a difference if the cat is in a carrier but has never climbed over the seats I am sitting in and by. I do know that the callousness on here about having no concern for others is quite disturbing.
I've gotten pretty callous responses when I've asked people not to wear scented products, or put them on near me. I've asked people on the bus not to put on makeup - powdered stuff that flies all over. People have simply continued to apply. This can all trigger pretty severe responses in me, especially on a plane where I can't get away from the scented product. Think about this when you purchase scented products or apply perfume. (Why anyone would want to be wearing 4-8+ different scents is beyond me.) I also know that when I traveled with my cat, covered, under the seat so people couldn't see it, no one claimed allergies. I doubt it's any different from sitting next to me - I'm sure I always have some cat fur & dander on me, or my backpack.

ohai
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Re: Fly cross-country with a cat

Post by ohai » Sat May 25, 2019 12:02 am

No one is "disregarding" the needs of allergic people. The fact of the matter is that this is all a compromise when you use a form of transportation that is shared by many other people. The same applies to any kind of behavior in a societal setting; any one person's individual preferences are never absolute. Cat owners do not want to fly with cats and subject the animal to this unusual stress. This behavior is usually out of necessity. I'm sure the airline would do what it can do rearrange seating arrangements if the cat causes discomfort to a nearby passenger.

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