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Transporting anxious cats from the middle of the US

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 erj
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Has anyone figured out how to do this without them or their human having a mental meltdown? I think I should fly with them to the east coast and then transfer them to a professional pet shipper. Logistically they have to be somewhere comfortable but safe from escape between flights. I don't get warm and fuzzies when I imagine trying to do this in a hotel. And yet, how would a shipper do better with fearful cats who need to be in their carriers in the morning? The shippers who were on the EP podcast said do not drug your pets but humans take sleeping pills for plane rides so I must be missing something. Is it that we are bigger and they are more vulnerable or is that no one is monitoring the cargo area?

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(@aspidistra)
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I know on transatlantic ordinary passenger flights it is the medication ban is as there are no veterinarians flying with them, they aren’t allowed drugs because there is no one who can monitor that. Animals have been over-tranquillised and died. Personally I think a few dying that way is better than animals flying wide awake and completely traumatised. But it's all about liability for the airlines.

I have said this before, unpopular opinion on here I know. but if you are travelling a long distance I personally believe it is worth considering whether it is better for pets to be rehomed rather than flown and caged for endless hours between flights etc. The trauma of the latter, in my experience being worse than the trauma of being rehomed, particularly for cats.

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(@vandfdavid)
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(@redbird)
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@aspidistra Completely disagree...

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@redbird fair enough.😂

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 erj
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Tough choice. I promised them I wouldn't go if I can't take them. Rehoming would be difficult since one is so scared and co-dependent on his slightly more confident brother. I wonder if I can fly with him in the cabin under a seat. I would buy a friend a ticket if I could bring them both in the cabin.

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(@sunil)
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@erj We're buying a ticket for a friend who will be a travel buddy to bring our additional cat along. A couple other tips we have picked up from other folks moving with animals:

- get your airline approved cat carriers ASAP and make them super cozy and wonderful places for your kitties to be ASAP... we have ours sitting in cat-preferred spots around the house with favorite blankets and toys inside, with the doors zipped open at all times so the cats can pop in and snuggle up and get used to the idea of their carrier being their "safe place".  This should really help reduce the stress of travel because they will be contained in a familiar place, that smells like home. 

- when going thru airport security, ask to be screened in a private room. This is a very reasonable request and 99% of security folks would rather do that than have to deal with a chaotic and stressed out animal out amongst all the other activity happening at a security checkpoint!

 

Hope that helps!

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 erj
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(@aspidistra)
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Most transatlantic flights don’t allow pets in cabins. For example American Airlines will only allow them as cargo transatlantic. There are exceptions but it may not currently be helpful that Aeroflot is one of the exceptions.😂

People on this forum have previously discussed using private jets that specialise in pet transportation, that might be a route worth considering. Have a look at some of the older discussions about it or someone may be along with recent experiences. 

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(@jgibson)
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@aspidistra we are looking at a private jet charter in June 2022 from the USA to Portugal I’m not sure about details my wife has been handling our pet relocation 

seems like a great option 

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(@solubode)
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@jgibson I too am looking in June 2022 for my final relocation to Portugal with my little dog and 3 cats. If you wouldn't mind passing on the information your wife finds out, I would be interested in sharing the flight.

 

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 erj
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@jgibson how do you find them? I saw on Facebook a couple groups that sync pets with charters but neither involved the US.

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(@jgibson)
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@erj there is a spread sheet on the pet charter Facebook group you can sign up on with your info     People in the group use this info to form a group charter

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(@redbird)
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@jgibson Several airlines will fly one cat in the cabin. You just need to visit their websites. TAP for example will let you. I flew one of mine in cabin and one with the luggage. They were extremely kind to me and the cats; I was so worried about the one in the hold I was crying, which is rare for me. When I boarded the plane, I asked the flight attendant to make sure the pilot knew that my cat was down there and needed to be warm. Later during the flight either he or his co-pilot came to my seat and assured me he'd made sure the cat was warm. It was more traumatic for me, I think. You can DM me on Messenger if you want more info.

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 erj
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(@erj)
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Thanks. Will do. I might be able to do the cross US flight with them in the cabin and drugged. Here is something I need to investigate: to go through security you have to scan the carrier without the pet. I need to see how our airport handles that. If we could go into the search room it might be ok but can you inagine holding a cat, drugged or otherwise, in the security area and have that go well? Yikes.

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 Lois
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@erj Taking my cat out of the carrier at security is my biggest fear as well. The only time she lets me hold her is when we are at the vet - and that is in a closed room.  I plan to fly her with me in the cabin.  That said, I did bring my 2 cats back to the States from France years ago.  I had hopes that the agent at check-in would allow the two in one carrier, but no such luck!  They both made the trip in baggage and were fine but I would not want to do it again!

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(@redbird)
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@lois Some airlines will allow two in one if they do not exceed a relatively low weight limit.

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(@redbird)
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@erj Someone else posted about this above, but if you missed it, ask TSA for a private screening room. I texted TSA beforehand to make sure that was possible and they assured me it was. I then printed out the text just in case the local TSA agent balked. I didn't need it, however. They will take the cat out and examine the carrier in a closed place after scanning your other hand-held items.

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(@redbird)
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@erj I don't know where you're flying from, but if you could fly to Miami and take TAP from Miami airpot, you could spend the night between flights at the Miami Hotel https://www.miahotel.com/ which is inside the airport terminal. That's what I did. They will come out to your vehicle and load up your luggage and cats when you arrive and then they'll move your luggage and cats to the TAP agents when it's time to go. The hotel is located in the same terminal as TAP. You walk a few hundred yards (it seemed) in a straight line to the place where you will hand one of the cats over. I could never have done this by myself if I'd had to stay at a hotel off airport and transport them on a shuttle bus. 

Please don't rehome them. That's cruel. 

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