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what to do with cats???

help!!! im moving from south carolina all the way to washington state sometime this fall. problem is, i have two female cats and obviously want to take them with me. i need your advice on what would be the best way. i will be flying with my 17 year old daughter also. i have never traveled with pets before and have no idea what to expect. ????????(confused here)?????????

they should be able to fly with you (beneath seats). my cats flew this way several years ago.  :)

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i see cats and small dogs as "carry ons" on planes all the time. some airlines restrict the number of pets per flight and charge for you to bring the. you'll need to check the airlines to see what their rules are. that is what i'm planning on doing once i finish school and move far, far away...

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you SHOULD be able to take them as carry-on...I'd def. check w/ the airlines and make sure that you don't have to pay extra and that cats are allowed as carry on.

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ooohhhh my!  You're in for some fun times, my dear.  Here are a few things we learned during our most recent cross-country move with three cats.

1.  Most airlines have a 'cap' for a number of pets per flight and per person.  That is usually 3 pets per flight; one per person.  DO NOT ask someone else to carry on one of your pets; its a really good way to end up with your cat confiscated.  We ended up renting a hotel room in Oakland, CA and paying a maid to watch one of our cats for 24 hours while DH and I flew across the country with two cats.  DH turned around immediately upon landing and flew back to California, while I took 2 of the 3 kids home.  Make sure you have someone to travel with you if you have two cats.  Make sure you can get both cats on the same flight (if that is important to you.)

2.  DO NOT let anyone store your pet in cargo.  Even if they say they have a separate pressurized area for pets, it is not safe.  Spend the extra time and money to fly with your cats under your seats.  I think it was around $85 a cat for us.  When we moved to California, we took three cats on one flight, two under the seats and one in the pet compartment.  When we hit turbulence both of the cats under the seats threw up all over themselves and started howling.  We had a layover in Denver and almost missed our connecting flight because of our inbound delay.  So, we ran (literally) with two cats and lots of bags to catch the next flight and immediately notified our flight crew we had a third cat (in the pet cabin).  They told us (after takeoff) that some of the baggage didn't make the flight and would be shipped separately tomorrow.  After begging and pleading we finally found one flight attendant to check to see if our cat was aboard.  He returned an hour later to report that our dog  ??? was aboard.  :o  Fortunately, all three cats made the flight, but somehow, our third cat ended up deboarding with spearfishing equipment!  KEEP YOUR KITTIES WITH YOU!

3.  You will have to take your cats physically out of their carriers to get through security.  The carrier goes through the x-ray machine and you carry the cats through the metal detector.  Your cats will probably be a nervous wreck by this point, so you might want to trim their nails and/or apply claw caps before you travel.  Don't give your cat a sedative to travel - at high altitudes it can stop their hearts.

4.  Most airlines require a certificate of wellness from a vet within 14 days of travel.  Unfortunately, that means getting your cat vaccinated.  I have found no way around it.  You should double check that it is still 14 days and not less because if you are even one day over, you'll need to cancel your flight and go back to the vet.  Ugh.

5.  To sum it all up, fly JetBlue.  We've flown with pets on 4 different airlines and they were the best.  It was an inconvenience, because we had to switch airports and pay a steep taxi fare, but it was the easiest flight experience with pets we've ever had.

Good luck!  It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. 

I'm dreading our next move (in 4 years) with 7 cats.  :D

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what do i when they need to go to the bathroom or if they puke? (which i know they will) i am so not looking forward to this, you guys!!!?????!!!???

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Ditto with MDVEGAN - I just took my pup on vacation to DC with me.  All she needed with a health certificate and a carrier.  But call the airline in advance (REALLY!!!) because somebody else might already have pets on board and depending on the airline, you can only take a certain amount in the cabin.

Good luck!

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what do i when they need to go to the bathroom or if they puke? (which i know they will) i am so not looking forward to this, you guys!!!?????!!!???

Chances are, they will be too scared to even think of going to the bathroom. If your flight is less than 5 hours, I think you're fine.

If they throw up, clean them up and comfort them as much as you can.  I used damp paper towels from the bathroom on my poor kitty. 

Bach's rescue remedy diluted in water is also supposed to be really good for helping pets stay calm without the side effects of Rx.

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Also, you might want to consider not feeding them the day of the flight--less likely to puke.

Cats can easily fast for a day.

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what do i when they need to go to the bathroom or if they puke? (which i know they will) i am so not looking forward to this, you guys!!!?????!!!???

We have flown with our cat twice now, and we just have her fast before the flight. So, if we have a morning flight, we take away food and water before we go to bed. If we have an afternoon/evening flight, we take away food and water when we wake up, etc. etc. The throwing up/going to the bathroom has never been a problem because all the food and water is out of their system by then. Make sure to get airline approved carriers. They are pretty small--your cat(s) will only be able to lay down, but if you have a connection, I just open the carrier in the airport and let Lucy stretch out a bit. It really doesn't need to be a worry--just fast your animals, and limit your other carry-ons if possible (i.e. having a backpack, purse, and a cat all as carry-ons makes going through security--especially x-rays--difficult, but not impossible).

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thanks a lot for all your help, guys. tomorrow is my lucky day. i will be flying to the west coast with one cat. she will travel with us under the seat. my daughter decided to leave her other cat with her dad until winter vacation. i'm flying Continental and they said only one pet per adult, so we didn't have a choice there.
i'll let you all know how it went, and thanks again for all your help!!! :) :) :)

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road trips are a lot of fun.  and might be cost effective if you get a really small rental car and drive straight through.  can your daughter drive?  i know this sounds heinous, but it would probably be easier on the cats, and other airline passengers

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Hey, this is off topic but did anyone else find "What to do with Cats?" on a vegan Recipe Q&A humorous?

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Hey, this is off topic but did anyone else find "What to do with Cats?" on a vegan Recipe Q&A humorous?

So I wasn't the ONLY one...OMG I have a sick, sick sense of humor... :-X

If flying in the lower compartment is so awful...what shall I do with my two doggies...I was considering moving overseas...and You have to know, there  is just no way, Id ever abandon them... :'( they weigh 65 lbs each. Maybe I could dress them as little children and have them fly with me... :-X

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Hey, this is off topic but did anyone else find "What to do with Cats?" on a vegan Recipe Q&A humorous?

Yup!!! ;D

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zealia,
if you move overseas don't forget to check about pet quarantine laws first... in the UK it's up to 6 months!

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This is mostly about international flying with animals, but there is a section about DOMESTIC flights.  I think there are some direct links and advice that can help you:

http://survivejapan.blogspot.com/2007/02/international-travelling-with-animal.html

In general, flying with animals is tricky and can be risky.  :(

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