HomeCat Behaviorcat personalityThe Problem with Shipping Pets on Aircraft

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The Problem with Shipping Pets on Aircraft — 7 Comments

  1. I agree most cats don’t like travelling especially a long journey so I will be staying right where I am with my gang,so many things can go wrong on journeys and my motto is East West home’s best.

  2. I was at an airport once recently going through security. In the line ahead about ten folks, was a man with a cat hanging on his shoulder just watching all the people. The cat didn’t seem stressed at all. I was shocked and amazed. I imagine that cat had traveled before. And, I’m sure it is rare to see that.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to travel cross country bringing my “cat”. Of course, I cannot move from where I am until Marvin and Yellow go over the rainbow bridge…but Bigfoot would travel nicely. Not that I would move anyway, but you never know.

    All that said, just today I saw this website in Texas that specializes in transporting pets. I haven’t poured over it yet, but seems to me there is a need for this kind of service.

    If you want to check it out, dot com

  3. When my wife emigrated from Europe to the USA to get married to me, after much soul-searching she carefully searched for good homes for her two beloved cats in her homeland rather than bring them along with her. One of her cats in particular, a rescue cat, was extremely nervous and timid. As hard as it was for my wife to give them up, she knew that a transatlantic flight followed by a potentially lengthy period of quarrantine would be much too traumatic for them to endure.

    Again a year ago, when we found it necessary to move some 2,200 miles across the USA to our present home, we had to carefully consider our options regarding our cats Robin and Bobbie. We quickly ruled out the option of shipping them as luggage in the manner described in this article. Some people we talked to had taken their cats in pet carriers into the passenger cabin of the airplane, but we didn’t feel that was a good idea, either.

    Finally, we decided the lesser of all the ‘evils’ would be to bring Robin and Bobbie with us in pet carriers in the front of the moving van (lorry) with us as we drove it the 3 1/2 days to our new home. We gave them tranquilizers (prescribed by the vet) as needed, and my wife comforted them by talking to them and petting them when they were especially upset. At times Robin wanted to see what was going on, so occasionally my wife held his pet carrier up so that he could look out of the (closed!) window. This seemed to reassure him. We stayed overnight in pet-friendly motels, bringing the litter box along and letting them loose to roam freely about the room as we slept.

    The first day, they were furious at being confined in the pet carriers. The second day, they were frightened at what was happening to them. The third day, they resigned themselves to the experience. And the fourth day, they accepted the arrangement as though it were a new lifestyle that would continue on for the rest of their lives. At last we arrived at our new home, where they quickly adjusted to their new environment.

    None of the options were really ideal, but we were satisfied with the results of our choice, and I think that Robin and Bobbie would agree.

    • I think you did a perfect job. I would have done it the same way. I couldn’t stand the plane thing. I would have definitely taken the long but more controlled way as you did. I think it’s very commendable to make the effort – there are so many people out there who wouldn’t dream of driving for a few days for their cats welfare.

  4. You don’t ‘ship’ your granny back home after she visits you so I don’t see why you should ship your cat or dog. It’s pretty simple actually. I would never do it unless there absolutely no other option and then I would use tranquillisers if it was safe and possible to in order to reduce the whole stress for the cat. The hold of an airplane must be an impossible experience for any animal. I think it’s a terrible betrayal of their trust too. I wouldn’t put anyone through something like that basically. Not my cat, not my granny, not me. I’m sure the sound is so loud their ears are ringing for the next 2 weeks. Thats just for a start. What about the temperature. What about the fact that it is probably dark. This is a hell on earth experience for an animal. Nor would I take my cat out of a box anywhere in the airport unless I had at least 2 secure collars and leads tied around it’s neck so even if it ran it couldn’t get far because I’d tie the leads to the box or something. I won’t do any such thing unless it is secured to my own personal needs/requirements.

    I don’t think I would move – simple as that. I’d turn down the moving idea because I have cats. With cats you stay put. You don’t drag them around in cars or planes to different places unless you don’t care about how they feel and think it’s ok ‘because they are used to it’ some such nonsense. Way to give a cat a bad time.

    On a more positive note I like the picture you found. It’s much better the way the picture depicts it. One would have to assume any humans would be in the hold whilst the cats enjoy things up on deck 🙂

  5. My blood runs cold at the word ‘shipping’ of cats, it’s as if they are cargo!
    I imagine cats are absolutely terrified at airports and on planes, most cats hate being away from home and travelling, even short journeys.
    Again they have no choice but to accept what their caretakers put them through, but I know I would never ever put our cats through as much trauma and stress as sending them abroad by plane must do.

  6. There are other serious risk factors than the one’s mentioned.
    These occur when a pet owner is allowed or forced to take the per in cabin. They have to pass through the security control upn arrival at the airport and before boarding. This entail taking the cat out of the carrier in a noisy stressful atmosphere whilst it is passed through the X-ray machine. They always say the cat can go through in the carrier disregarding the damaging affect on the cat especially if destined for a breeding program. There is a high risk of the cat panicking and escaping. There is no stopping a 7 kg Van kedisi male from escaping if it wants to. This security inspection is nothing better than paranoia which puts the welfare of the cat second on account the insane notion that a bomb may be hidden inside a plastic box with walls that are only 2 mm thick and everything inside can be seen at a glance. I am happier when they can be loaded in the hold but incredibly those crazy Airbus planes have no facilities in the hold for pets! Either way you are caught between a rock and hard place. It’s that the airlines and airport authorities don’t give a damn until one day someone makes them pay a high price for their irresponsibility.

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