Exploding Egg

Fun With Cats and Airplanes

Next in my travel preparation adventure — flying with kitty cats.

My cats, like most, are really not fond of carry cases. But while the remodel of my house was going on I discovered that, if given a choice, they’d rather freak out together in one case than freak out separately in two cases.

Zoo and Tao

Zizou and Tao

When they were in two cases, Tao was quiet and sat calmly the whole time, but Zoo, who actually pretty much never meows, yowled constantly and kept trying to scratch her way out of the case.

After they finished carpeting one of the rooms I was able to put the cases in there, open the cage doors and let them out — closing the room door behind me. Once the workmen left I went back into the room to see how they were doing.

I found them both crammed together in the back of the same carrier, looking a lot calmer than they had in separate ones.

After that, when potential buyers were still coming to look at the house, I decided to put them in the same case. And sure enough, I was rewarded with much mellower kitties.

So I plan to take them both to my new apartment, once we figure out where that will be, in the same soft-shell case via Southwest Airlines. The airline lets customers take pets as carry on, so long as you have a carrier that fits under the seat, for $75.

It also claims you don’t need a health certificate for your pets in its animal info section. But in this age of uber airport security, I think I’m going to get certificates for them anyway, just to be on the safe side.

This afternoon I’ll take them to the vet to get those certificates, update their shots and find some nice drugs to keep them calm during the trip. As usual, I’ll probably come out of the experience slightly mauled from getting them into the cage. But what can you do?

The drugs, travel, vet bills and all are kind of expensive, especially when you’re unemployed, but it’s a commitment you make — or should make, anyway — when you decide to own a pet. You have to take care of them and not abandon them.

The only bit I’m really worried about is getting my kitties through security at the airport. Apparently you have to take them out of the case and hold them while the bag is scanned.

This could end up being a prickly experience if the cats aren’t properly drugged. They freak out in strange places and especially when other people are around. I have visions of them bolting through airport security, setting off alarms, then vanishing behind some large piece of equipment.

But hopefully the vet will take care of that concern with some good sedatives today. I wonder if she can provide some for me…


Update: I survived unmauled and the kitties put up nobly while getting their shots. For those of you that might one day fly cats across the country, the certificate has to be dated within 10 days of the flight — so I couldn’t get it done yet. I decided to go with Southwest’s promise that cats don’t need them, but I plan to check with airport security to make sure there won’t be any problems before I make my trip. I’ll post another update if they tell me certificates are needed.


April 2, 2010 - Posted by | Hopes and Realities

1 Comment »

  1. I plan on traveling with Southwest with my cat, Ive called and they verified no documentation is needed-was this true for you? and what sedative did you end up using? my vet recommended benadryl 1 mg/pound.

    Comment by LaVeda | March 18, 2011 | Reply

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