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Old 08.01.2017, 23:41
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Flying with cats to US?

Hi all,

I did a quick search but didn't find anything recent about this, so apologies if I missed something. Has anyone flown RECENTLY from CH to the US (or vice versa) with cats IN CABIN? I plan to move back in the next few months and want to travel with my cats right next to me (too many horror stories about pets in cargo). I would like to know which airlines allow cats to fly in the cabin CH-US, and what your experience with this was like. Also, I'm hoping to just buy an extra seat so I don't have to share what little leg room there is. Anyone had any luck with this?

Thanks!
Erin
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Old 09.01.2017, 00:22
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

We moved back this summer with our cat. No need to buy an extra seat for your cat. The soft sided carrier will fit fine under the seat in front of you. Do not sedate or give you cat any medication. You will need to get a rabies vaccination and a pet passport signed by a veterinary within I believe it is 3 weeks of travel date. Search those specifics on the website https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet...-united-states

Not all airlines allow in cabin transport and some airlines allow only a certain number in cabin. So when you make your reservation, you must call the airline first and reserve your cat with that flight. I had no trouble calling the airline and actually speaking with a live person in Switzerland. They answered all my questions. You need to show you have paid for your cat at check-in as well as the pet passport. That is it -

We had a missed connecting flight and my poor kitty did not poop, pee, or drink, eat anything for 24 hours. I carried litter, food, water and took her to the pet area of the connecting airport to let her out but she would have none of it. She stayed in her carrier under with a towel to give her a place to hide the entire 24 hours. She was ok when we got home. I let her out into the car as we drove and she sat on the seat but still would not eat.

I had a pet pad that would absorb any pee if she happened to go and put a blanket so she could hide and also a towel on top to cover.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09.01.2017, 04:44
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

Thanks, Janice! What airlines did you fly, and how old is your cat? Where in the US did you fly to? I might be headed to Arizona, which is a brutally long flight from Switzerland with two cats (and no leg room). Why did you not sedate her? I would think mine would complain, loudly, the whole time. Would hate to be thrown off mid-Atlantic! ;-) Thanks!
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Old 09.01.2017, 05:36
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

I don't remember if it was Delta or American that I took from Zurich to JFK, then JFK to Charlotte. The connection from JFK to Charlotte was delayed several hours making it from the time we left our Apartment in Basel a 24 hour travel door to door. Look at your airline possibilities - pick the shortest most direct route and then call the airline. Tell them you have two cats and want to make sure that you can take them as carry on. They will confirm and book it for you on the phone. Make sure you check on the timing of the rabies vaccination and set up an appointment for the shots.

The Vet will also advise you not to sedate, it is very stressful on the cats to be medicated - it does not help, only makes them feel helpless. Sedation does not make them drowsy - not at all, it suppresses their central nervous system, leaving them staggering and confused. It could also disrupt their digestive system making them much more dehydrated by the time the flight is over.

Do not worry about the cats crying, they will settle down once in the air and it is amazing how much engine noise drowns them out. Since you have two cats, if you get two seats by the window, they will not bother anyone. A soft fuzzy blanket will make them cozy. I did carry a small medicine dropper and tried to offer some water from time to time.

The other thing I did for my cat was I put her on a harness and leash. My cat is not docile and I could not safely remove her from the carrier without fear of her getting loose. Remember when you go through security at the airport, you have to take the cats out of the carriers and the carrier has to be run through the x-ray machine.

So - at security ask them to take you to a private room. In the room, remove the cats, then security will take the carriers and have them scanned.
When you get to your final destination, ask the person that is picking you up from the airport to have food, water and a litter box ready. When we moved to Switzerland four years ago, my cat did immediately use the bathroom as soon as we got her in the car. Going back she did not at all even after we got home.

Also, for several weeks after, she threw up several times a day after eating. Consider having an easily digestable food for them, and give only small portions at a time until they have been home a few days. They are going to go through their own type of jet lag as well.

It will not be as stressful as you are imagining it to be. They will be fine and you will get through it. If they are criers, then they will cry for a while.
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Old 09.01.2017, 05:45
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

You wanted to know the age of my cat - 7 years old.
If you have several hours of layover at your connection in the US, ask the airport staff if there is a pet area. Have some food and a travel litter box or flattened shirt box that you can carry some litter and make box for them. The pet area will allow you let them out. If no pet area, a secluded empty waiting area works also. Another good reason to have them with harness and leash.
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Old 09.01.2017, 09:51
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

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Thanks, Janice! What airlines did you fly, and how old is your cat? Where in the US did you fly to? I might be headed to Arizona, which is a brutally long flight from Switzerland with two cats (and no leg room). Why did you not sedate her? I would think mine would complain, loudly, the whole time. Would hate to be thrown off mid-Atlantic! ;-) Thanks!

Fly business class
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Old 09.01.2017, 19:42
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

As far as I remember, you are not allowed more than 1 cat per person. If you buy 2 seats, it may work, but you really need to find out.
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Old 09.01.2017, 19:54
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

This post has made me think for a while. I am a total cat lover, but truly I cannot imagine a cat on a flight for 8 hrs (East Coast) or 12 or more... in a soft carrier on a plane. Not for the cat- and certainly not for other passengers either... I know mine would scream blue murder all the way- and the thought of an animla not being able to pee, poop or eat for such a long time is just a total NO.

When we moved here from UK, 12 hours by car- we bought a very large wire dog crate, so our cat had a litter tray and water- and we stopped regularly to open boot (trunk) for fresh air- and stopped overnight in a Hôtel that allowed us to have our cat and dog with. I would personally much prefer my cat to travel in pressurised hold in a large crate where it can move around and have access to above. All airlines specify that animals must NOT be sedated as it is just too dangerous.

And I wouldn't want to impose a howling cat on others, especially long haul- what about people who are highly allergic to cats?
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Old 20.01.2017, 06:29
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

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Hi all,

I did a quick search but didn't find anything recent about this, so apologies if I missed something. Has anyone flown RECENTLY from CH to the US (or vice versa) with cats IN CABIN? I plan to move back in the next few months and want to travel with my cats right next to me (too many horror stories about pets in cargo). I would like to know which airlines allow cats to fly in the cabin CH-US, and what your experience with this was like. Also, I'm hoping to just buy an extra seat so I don't have to share what little leg room there is. Anyone had any luck with this?

Thanks!
Erin
An alternative is United's pet shipping service. It's not in-cabin, but it's not just "as luggage" either. (Though tbh, the horror stories of pets in cargo are overstated. I honestly wouldn't worry, and would do that. To be sure, don't believe the fools who claim the cargo hold is neither pressurized nor heated -- it is, with the same air as the cabin.)
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Old 20.01.2017, 19:54
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

More on United's pet shipping service:

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...s/petsafe.aspx
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...als/rates.aspx
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...rocedures.aspx
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Old 20.01.2017, 20:05
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Re: Flying with cats to US?

At last of all, don't check-out the following thread:

Thread titles - What first pops into your head, when you read one?
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