Relocating with a six year old cat
I'm sure the topic has been covered, but navigating message boards isn't my forte:
I'm happy to say that I found my new home on STT, and the landlord is cat-friendly! But now I have the delightful task of finding out the requirements for, and ease of, transporting my six year old, vaguely skittish cat.
I'm flying US Airways the whole way down. Does anyone have any advice for dealing with that airline (specifically) or advice about pet relocating (in general)?
I've read the "Moving With Pets" part of the vimovingcenter site several times, but I'm looking for some first-hand advice.
I did it years ago with a dog and a cat and have scores of friends who've done it since then (many part-time residents do it frequently every year) and the whole operation is really very simple. Just get a decent carrier, get the health certificate and off you go. I'm NOT in favor of tranquilizing/sedating even a "skittish" cat as even if they kick up a stink at the outset the majority settle down quickly. Unless of course your cat is a Siamese or part Siamese in which case the incessant yowling protests can go on for hours!!
You might get your cat used to a simple but good quality harness now as it obviously makes handling easier if you have to take them out of the carrier for inspection. Good luck and welcome!
We put a harness on our cat because tsa requires you to take the animal out of the carrier to go through the scanner. I was terrified she would squirm free and be loose in the airport. Didn't need to worry. Our cat was so freaked she barely made a sound. Total travel time for us was about 9 hours, door to door. She refused to eat and didn't pee until we go her to the apartment and a litter box.
You will want to carry the cat with you (vs. shipping as checked baggage) & place the carrier (the soft sided ones are the best for this) underneath the seat in front of you. This way your cat will be with you the whole time which is a calming thing for kitty. Don't forget that the cat carrier will also count as one of your carry-ons.
it's also a good idea to have several layers of absorbent diaper type material in the bottom of the carrier/cage. This way if kitty goes... well, umm, you know... all you have to do is pull out a layer of covering & toss it in the trash versus having to smell it for several hours. Your fellow passengers will also thank you!
It will also be good if someone can have a litter box stocked & ready for use when they pick you up at the airport. If that's not possible, then at your place of residence.
call the airline and double and triple check their requirements please. you need to worry about the temp IF your cat will be in cargo. check and see what the approved carriers for a pet are.
You need to get an immunization record from the vet with all up to date shots within 10 days of travel. there are no rabies here and they would like to keep it that way.
our cat traveled from mia to pr to stx. No problem not even when tsa asked me to take him out. that was my big concern, i thought he would bolt. instead he clung to me when i had to take him out, they also commented on his size-he is big boned. he did not utter one peep-seriously. NOTHING. and when we got him to our new home, he went and hid for hours and hours.
relax and have fun
Thanks to everyone for responding.
As I sit here and stare at my cat (sleeping on my favorite messenger bag) I think my fear of relocating her is definitely just a form of psychological transference for my own relocation.
Seems like everyone's had a relatively easy move with their cats.