Moving! Transporting the Cat By Air

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Cat waiting
This post has been a long time coming. More on that later.

We've already tried a 5 day road trip with the cat. I don't recommend it. Every morning, find the cat's new hiding spot, shove a half-Xanax (vet prescribed) down her throat. Shove her in a bag. Drive until the sun goes down, then keep driving as long as you can withstand the nonstop meowing. Pay up to an extra $100 to a road side motel for the privilege of housing your cat alongside.

That was in October. We were not going to repeat this in the oven heat of late June when moving cross country to New England. So my parents flew out, spent a few days siteseeing Northern California, and then took the cat back with them a couple days before the movers arrived.

The general process is worth knowing, and here's what we did, but it's recommended you double-check all this:
  1. Confirm with airline prior to purchasing plane ticket, that they have space for an onboard cat.
  2. Purchase a plane ticket
  3. Call up airline and obtain separate reservation number for onboard cat.
  4. Take cat to the vet, acquire updated vaccines and a signed record of good health.
  5. Drug cat with a half Xanax and drive her to the airport in her soft carrying case.
  6. Hand cat over to parents. They check in at desk with cat and pay onboard cat fee ($120).
  7. Parents go through TSA security check.
  8. Dad takes cat to private screening room so TSA can remove cat from her bag and inspect the carrying case. Dad brought gloves, probably wasn't necessary.
  9. Board plane and put cat in carrying case under seat in front of you.
  10. Cat is too scared to make a peep for the entire 5 hour flight.
  11. Drive cat home and release her in "her" room while she waits for her owners to return after a 2 week road trip.

So that worked out fine for us. Still rather traumatic for the cat, but considerably less awful for our road trip.

Cat headed to the airport Cat being transported through airport
Cat at ticketing Cat going through TSA
Focused cat [unfocused]


rooth said...

Poor kitty - but yes, way better than the road trip

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