Carrier for Air Travel

Christina Cat

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I am flying south for several months and of course that means taking Mr. Wiskers with me on the plane. He is an older cat, 14 yrs, with the sweetest temperment. However, I must say he is headstrong and used to getting his own way. This will not be possible on the flight, since it seems that the airlines no longer allow even ESA (emotional support animals) to sit on the lap of the traveller. Apparently, the cat must stay in its carrier under the seat throughout the flight. I already have several carriers, some soft sided and some hard. I can only carry him in the cabin, because I will be flying in November and the airlines don't allow animals in the baggage area during the winter months. My problem is to choose one that will fit under the seat. I have a "Space capsule Bubble" pack, but I think the smaller hard sided one would be his favorite (he's used it before), but what if it does not fit under the seat?
Has anyone recently travelled with a cat on Air Canada, what should I do? Any advice, I'm very worried about this. What about the Benedryl thing that I read in another thread. How much can I safely give him. He will be in the crate for four hours and he hates it for longer than two minutes. He IS going to keep meowing at me to let him out, so I'm thinking of covering the crate with a cloth so that he can't see me to make demands. Is that ok?


MrWiskers3.JPG
 

FeebysOwner

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Have you checked Air Canada's web site about carrier size requirements, or at least the largest sized bag that can fit under a seat. Either and/or both should be noted. If not, call them. Ask your vet about Benadryl - or, gabapentin, which is often used to help quell a cat for vet visits/trips. I would test whichever product you decide to use in advance so you can gauge efficacy and duration - and perhaps, dosage adjustments, if needed.

I personally would not cover the carrier if it were me, at least not initially so that Mr. Wiskers can get used to the whole new setup and is able to recognize you are right there. Then, you might cover it if he doesn't settle down, with an occasional 'peek' to let him know you are with him the whole time.

You might also consider getting him a heartbeat toy or a ticking clock ahead of time and see if they help to calm him. If they do, then you can use it during the flight. And a worn, unwashed piece of your clothing inside the carrier might also help.
 

Kflowers

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When using a hard carrier, if I were you I'd use wire or even just twistie ties to secure each of the plastic "bolts' that hold the top to the bottom of the carrier. Or when you go to shop you could put books equal to the weight of your cat in the carrier and jerk the carrier up and down by the handle and see if it survives.

Talk to your vet about medication to calm him for the trip. THEN, and this is very important, test the medication before you leave to see what his reaction to it is in case -1- it doesn't work -2- he has a bad reaction and needs to go to the vet immediately.

We gave one of ours a vet prescribed tranquilizer to help her adjust to another cat. It paralyzed most of her left side. That did not help calm her. She recovered in about 8 hours. We didn't try it again.
 
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Astragal14

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Sherpa Pet has a program called Guaranteed on Board - they guarantee your pet will be allowed on the plane when using their airline-specific soft sided carriers and will reimburse your flight if you are denied boarding. They have two style options, one says Delta and one says America Airlines but they're also accepted on other carriers (Air Canada included). Sherpa has a list by airline and aircraft type of who does and does not accept their carriers.

Guaranteed On Board – Travel With Peace of Mind
Sherpa® Travel American Airlines® Airline Approved Duffel Pet Carrier, Medium, Charcoal – Sherpa
Sherpa® Travel Delta® Air Lines® Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Medium, Black – Sherpa
 
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Christina Cat

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I have checked with Air Canada. The sizes given are: Hard-sided - 9" H 15.5" W and 21.5" D
Soft-sided - 10.5" H 15.5" W and 21.5" D

9 inches seems very small for the height, especially since they say the cat must be able to stand up in its crate. I called the airlines and they tell me the dementions are variable as far as height, depth and width are concerned. That means that only the soft sided one will be ok, because the hard one is larger. So, what I am still puzzling about is how I'm supposed to lay down the carrier to fit under the seat. The carrier is 9" wide so if the room under the seat is 9" than I will have to place it on its back.
I think I should actually go out to the airport ahead of time and take the carriers so that they can tell me what I can do.

Thanks for the good advice, I will try a bit of the benedryl ahead of time, and I will look for a "heartbeat toy" (never heard of them before). I am also going to try to get him used to being in the carrier for longer periods of time at home, now that I know which one.
 
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Christina Cat

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Sherpa Pet has a program called Guaranteed on Board - they guarantee your pet will be allowed on the plane when using their airline-specific soft sided carriers and will reimburse your flight if you are denied boarding. They have two style options, one says Delta and one says America Airlines but they're also accepted on other carriers (Air Canada included). Sherpa has a list by airline and aircraft type of who does and does not accept their carriers.

Guaranteed On Board – Travel With Peace of Mind
Sherpa® Travel American Airlines® Airline Approved Duffel Pet Carrier, Medium, Charcoal – Sherpa
Sherpa® Travel Delta® Air Lines® Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Medium, Black – Sherpa
This is very interesting! If I didn't already have four carriers I would most definitely go for one of these.
 

FeebysOwner

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I think I should actually go out to the airport ahead of time and take the carriers so that they can tell me what I can do.
Sadly, that might be your best option.

Feeby's carrier is soft sided and about 10"H x 10"W x 18"H and it fit under the seat on a Southwest flight many years ago - probably before the airlines began to 'shrink' the passenger areas! I don't think she could really stand up in it very well, but she was able to reverse her head/butt from end to end without issue.
 

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I think you also need a health certificate from your cat's vet stating that they're healthy and what vaccinations they've had. I only had to fly with one of my cats once and he had a health certificate and the airlines accepted the Sherpa soft sided cat carrier.
 

SwissMiss

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I also forgot - it's probably a good idea to bring a harness and leash for your cat. They made my cat get out of the carrier for a couple of minutes to scan the carrier - I guess for explosives. That was scary because I was afraid my cat would get loose in the airport and I'd never see him again. With a leash and a harness your cat would be secure if airport security makes him get out of the carrier.
 
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Christina Cat

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Thanks to everyone for their good advise. :purr:
 
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