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I'm really pleased I wasn't on that flight - horribly allergic to cats.
Thank goodness they got rid of peanuts.
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So... I was reluctant to acknowledge this post because it felt a little like goading, however I was concerned about sitting next to someone who made a fuss on the flight so this might be relevant to someone else reading this thread. If someone reading this is either (1) concerned about sitting next to someone who complains about their cats or (2) being the person sitting next to someone transporting an animal, here are my 2 cents:
- Typically people are not allergic to the cat's fur as commonly thought. Yes, one can be allergic to the fur or the dander, but, more commonly, one is allergic to an enzyme in the cat's saliva. When the cat grooms itself, this enzyme gets deposited on their fur. If you are allergic to cats, pet a cat, and fail to wash your hands before touching your eyes or face, then, yah, that's a bad idea. If you are one of those people allergic to the enzyme in their saliva, then simply avoiding petting the cat can help alleviate your concerns on a flight with a cat. We also wiped down our cats ahead of time with cat wipes to remove some of the enzyme (as we do when friends with allergies visit our home). If you are allergic to the dander or fur, then that is another matter. If you express to the booking agent that you are highly allergic to cats, you would likely not be seated next to a pre-assigned pet seat so that's good to know.
- As far as our experience with other passengers, they were all positive. I was worried about being hot, tired, separated from my husband, and seated next to someone who complained incessantly about me and my very scared cat. Our cats were quiet the entire time so the people behind us once we were leaving the flight were surprised they were even there. They laughed and said they had no idea and then wanted to pet our cats. Our cats also did not go to the bathroom (cats typically do not go where they are seated since they are very clean unless they are very frightened). But we were prepared (with poop bags, extra puppy pads, wipes) just incase they did. When my husband left his initial seat, the people next to him said they were sad because they had children and were excited to be flying next to a sweet old cat. The flight attendants were very kind and offered water to the cats (which they didn't drink because they were nervous). The flight attendants also were concerned because the cats didn't make any noise the entire flight and asked if they were okay
. I know that this kind of warm or indifferent welcome is not guaranteed to happen on another flight, but I hope someone reading this takes heart that your flight doesn't have to be awful. Our cats are doing very well here with us and we are so glad we didn't let the fear of the process of bringing them stop us from moving our furry family members with us.