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Traveling with Cats

 
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I rescued a kitten 🐈‍⬛ from a ministry I worked at. Her mother lived in the chicken coop and I noticed the kitten wasn’t growing (like her siblings.) For three months, a little boy at the ministry and I brought her and her mom food and water. One day I noticed that the mom was pregnant again and was not sharing her food with ‘kitty’ so the day the kitten was brave enough to let me touch her, I took her in and she did grow but she’s still a lot smaller than her siblings.

Anyhoo, I adopted kitty out to two people and paid for her food & litter to ensure she had a nice life. Her second family needed to give her back to me due to job loss and move. I am now moving and looking for a new job and perhaps a new start. I have booked my ticket and hers to fly to Pennsylvania.

In order to get her to my current home, it was about a 10 hour drive and she meowed on and off the first few hours…

Any travel tips for car or plane travel with cats? (Yes, I’ve “googled it” but I’m asking you all fellow permies.)

I did pet her while she was in the cat carrier and put her on my lap under a sweatshirt on the drive but those are things I can’t do on a plane.

I’ve read websites suggesting sedation but because of that thing going around, pets cannot travel as cargo and are not allowed to be sedated…

I was thinking that over the next couple weeks I should take her on short drives to help her get used to her carrier more and the noises and movement… I don’t want to be THAT person with the crying cat on the flights…

I would just have someone care for her while I’m away but most friends of mine have left CA or have other pet responsibilities. She does have a history of getting along well with other cats and dogs. I will probably be gone for a month.

Blessings,
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master gardener
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Location: southern Illinois, USA
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While, I have traveled long distances with cats, I have never flown with one.  Driving wise, I have learned to have a calm conversation with them.  

My experiences with tranquilizers from a vet has not been good. It seems to have freaked the animal out more.  Maybe the dose was too low. Anyway, I never tried them again.

My experiences with pet sitters has not been good.   3 out 5 times it was close to disaster.  The negative experiences involved people who failed to show ( I always leave extra food and water just in case)    Frankly, leaving animals at a vet or kennel has only been marginally more successful.
 
Alana Rose
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Thanks for that input John. I definitely do the calm conversation and even petting her against the outside of the screen of the carrier seems to help calm her down.

I just ordered a product called Feliway, https://us.feliway.com/products/feliway-mulitcat-starter-set, I could use this at home while I pack and in the moving transition and if I leave her with someone to watch (who already has cats)… I also ordered a spray to put in her carrier for the car/plane. The reviews were mixed, some said it worked great, others it didn’t work at all.

Another website also recommended a product called Thundershirt which is supposed to calm anxiety and thus helps unwanted behaviors due to stress.

I found out if I take her to PA, I technically will need proof of a rabies vaccine and a clear bill of health from a certified vet. This makes my practically free trip… now cost quite a bit of $. However, considering I’m not sure how long I’m staying in PA… possibly more than 1 month… maybe it would be okay.

It’s disappointing that she needs a rabies vaccine and clean bill of health to travel from CA to PA but didn’t need one to cross the international border from Mexico into CA.

I did find information about PureVax which is a somewhat new line of feline vaccines that don’t have adjuvants (that can cause death, disease & disabilities) but now I can’t seem to figure out how to find a vet that carries/offers those nearby.

My kitty does hunt for and feast on mice nearby for at least a few hours each day but she is more of a house cat than a barn cat. Being all black also makes her stand out quite a bit for predators like hawks.
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Alana Rose
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I really can’t tell if the Feliway products made a difference. I think I’ll probably need to get some type of prescription for my kitty when we fly back. She did better than I thought but definitely freaked out at least 5 times and I feel bad for her emotional turmoil.

A local CA vet suggested these products:

https://www.dryfur.tv/travel-leash-harness/

https://www.dryfur.tv/dryfur-pet-carrier-absorbent-pads/

My kitty is usually doesn’t go to the bathroom while traveling but it was good to have the dry pads because I didn’t know what to expect and I opted for this harness: https://www.dryfur.tv/hold-m-tight-travel-leash-harness/ since it’s for kitties who frighten more easily.

She did great going through the metal detector at the TSA checkpoint and waiting for the flights in the airport.

She does act more like a wet noodle with the harness on but I was happy how quickly she adjusted to it.

I’ve never used any flea/tick/pest control on her before but where we lived previously, I could keep them under control through natural means like sweeping & vacuuming often and brushing/combing her daily. Now that we are in PA, ticks, mosquitoes and pests are much bigger of a problem. Does anyone have any experience with BRAVECTO or collar repellants or Wondercide?

I’d like to put something natural on her but if it doesn’t work, I’d hate for she or I or my friends’ pets & family members to get ticks!

I did watch a cool video by Dr. Becker on Mercola Pets about making a homemade repellant… but I haven’t tried making it yet.

I also bought a bungee leash because she’s used to walking and running wild and free. Have you ever tried walking a cat on a leash? There’s certainly good reason for the expression “like herding cats.” https://store.petsafe.net/come-with-me-kitty-harness-and-bungee-leash?_ga=2.52657640.1995301998.1654353541-342266412.1654353541

She and I are enjoying the lush green plants PA is surrounding us with.
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Alana Rose
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Alana Rose wrote:There’s certainly good reason for the expression “like herding cats.” https://store.petsafe.net/come-with-me-kitty-harness-and-bungee-leash?_ga=2.52657640.1995301998.1654353541-342266412.1654353541

She and I are enjoying the lush green plants PA is surrounding us with.

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I like wondercide. We have the rosemary one, however, it's used in conjunction with their flea & tick topical. I will spray it on their harnesses (yes, they are leash trained house cats) when we go for walks. It's nice enough I'll use it on myself in the garden.
 
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