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Need Advice For Cat Travel

RainbowMcFuzzy
New Arrival

Hello everyone.

 

My husband and I are planning to move from the east coast to central US. We will be taking out cat with us  in-cabin and I would love some advice or stories from folks about their experiences.

(Neither of us drive so that is not an option for us)

 

I know that once we book our flights, we are to call and "reserve" a spot for him and pay once we get there. I know that the best way to make sure he gets onboard is to get there early, but I've read people's accounts of being turned away because of other passengers allergies and that worries me.

 

How did you prep your cat for long travel? Did your cat make a lot of noise or did they calm down? What was going through security like?

 

Any tips for what to expect would be really helpful in calming my nerves.

7 REPLIES

Re: Need Advice For Cat Travel

rtbarron
Active Member
Solution

I completed a trip to Dallas and back with a cat last week and except for the permanent scars I will have from trying to put her into the pet carrier against her will, and one accident on the way home ("sir, something is leaking out of your bag"), it didn't go too badly.

I highly recommend getting some sort of spray or collar with phermones to calm your cat. Feliway makes a spray that is available from veternarians.

www.feliway.com/us#redirected
feliway.jpg

There are also calming collars available at Petco that are non-toxic and smell like lavender.

When you arrive at the ticket counter, you will pay the $95 pet fee and the agent will tag your pet carrier for your flight. At security you will need to remove the cat from his carrier and carry him through the metal detector. The TSA agents swabbed my hands for explosives afterward so be prepared for that. Once through security, the hardest part is getting the cat back into the carrier. Once you've accomplished that you simply walk to the gate and line up when the flight is ready to board.

My cat meowed occasionally inside the airport but remained calm on the aircraft. I didn't have any problems with other passengers having pet allergies.

Good luck on your move!

Re: Need Advice For Cat Travel

Lindsey Employee Rank
Employee

Cannot give this reply enough likes. Heart

This is truly the kind of stellar content that makes Community work. People have questions, and someone out there has an answer. Good work @rtbarron!

 

 

Lindsey
Community Manager
The Southwest Airlines Community

Re: Need Advice For Cat Travel

rtbarron
Active Member

@Lindsey

Thanks for the "luv." I'm proud to be a part of the Community!

Re: Need Advice For Cat Travel

RainbowMcFuzzy
New Arrival

Thank you so much for your reply!

 

That helps put my mind at ease a bit. I was worried about him making noise or getting there and being told he couldn't come on board.

Re: Need Advice For Cat Travel

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@RainbowMcFuzzy

@rtbarron has some great advice.  A friend moving overseas dumped, oops, I mean delivered, her cat to me on Southwest.  She had two comments about the trip. 1. The pet carrier has to be completely enclosed.  She had him in the standard hardside container with the wire door but that was not completely enclosed, so she had to buy one from SWA at the airport.  About $100 so not totally outrageous but she wasn’t expecting that so I thought you might want to know.  2.  She went to the vet for a sedative before the trip, and was pleased with the results.  He was an abused adopted cat, so he is kinda high strung.  Fortunately for us, he relaxed after about a year in his, oops, I mean our, home.  

 

Best of of luck with the travels.  I hope it goes well.  Report back on the results because cat people are curious just like their critters.

Re: Need Advice For Cat Travel

rtbarron
Active Member

@CareforNOLA wrote:

She had him in the standard hardside container with the wire door but that was not completely enclosed, so she had to buy one from SWA at the airport.  About $100 so not totally outrageous but she wasn’t expecting that so I thought you might want to know.


The carriers that Southwest sells are actually only $58 (tax included). You can buy them at the ticket counter or order online here:
https://www.swathestore.com/swapet/p-SWA0055
Southwest pet carrier.jpg

Re: Need Advice For Cat Travel

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@rtbarron

good to know! Her purchase was about three years ago and the carrier was brown, red and yellow, and it looks a little sturdier. They changed the color scheme and the price which is good, especially considering it might be a one time use.