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Flying a cat with a heart murmur

Julee PaineJulee Paine KentMember Posts: 115
edited 23 September, 2013 in Cats & Travel
Hi all, We will be moving from CT to WA in the near future, a 3000 mile trip. We're bringing two dogs and two cats - neither of the dogs is a concern, nor is one of the cats. However, Bubba has a heart murmur, in addition to being ridiculously shy. He is about eight years old, and I don't think the murmur is severe, if I remember correctly. I'm wondering what we can do to make his flight more comfortable. We will be flying with him in cabin, in a crate next to his sister's (the other cat we're bringing), will definitely have a towel or something over his crate. How else can we help him? I was thinking a cat thundershirt, possibly some sort of natural calming agent? If I remember correctly, sedating cats with murmurs is a bad idea. Of course, we'll be consulting with our veterinarian prior to flying, I was just hoping for any advice or experiences. Thanks! (^^


  • Sharon DaltonSharon Dalton Member Posts: 3,728
    edited 16 September, 2013
    Blessedly, I've never had to fly with a furchild; I was SO relieved to read that he'll be in the cabin with you! Flying furkids as cargo is an abysmal idea; look up the story of Jack the Cat. My Mordred is also timid; I wish I could say I've found something that works, but I haven't. Every trip we make between home and cabin (5-1/2 drive), he spends *under* the pad I put into his kennel for his comfort. I've read that sedation for flying isn't a good idea for any pet. There's Rescue Remedy and Feliway, but I haven't had any success with either of those. I bought a Thundershirt for him, but we've not yet made the trip, so I don't know if that will help. Your vet will guide you, for sure. Best of luck for a safe and uneventful trip!
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 17 September, 2013
    Only in case you didn't know, or no one told you, when you take them in the cabin with you, you have to go thru the detector, with them. You have to take them out of the carrier, and hold them, when you walk thru the detector thingy. Show people that fly to shows all the time, put a harness and leash on them, as an extra precaution, when they walk thru the detector thingy, with them. They are also chipped, and have tags on the harness, with their name, the owners name, vets name, and phone numbers. But these are seasoned show cats, that are used to travel and flying. They DO NOT sedate them. They put wee wee pads in the carrier, under the blanket or towel, in case of accident. Do not feed them before hand, especially, if they are not used to flying. Do not open the carrier, while in route. Carry a bottle of water, and a baggie of foodies, in case, of a layover or unforseen delay. Do Not, open the carrier, if you have to give them a few crunchies to tide them over, put them thru the bars. Teach them to use the water bottle, such as you would see on a rabbit cage, and use that, if you are delayed and have to give them water. You teach them, by smearing a very little of wet food, on the neck of the bottle, so they lick it. Make sure you know and understand, the airlines rules of flying with pets, the cats and the dogs. The dogs should be chipped and tags on their collors. Carry their health records with you, in your purse, in case you should need a vet in route, especially, their rabies certificates. I put their rabies tag, on their collors, when I travel, as well as their chip tags and other tags.
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 17 September, 2013 Some links to help you. Make sure you know and understand, what kind of carriers you need, for the cats in the cabin, and the dogs in the cargo hold, according to that airlines regulations.
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 17 September, 2013
    Meowma does not ship kittens, if the new person lives far away then the person has to fly her and the kitten if they want one delivered! The kittens ride under the seat in front of Meowma and you would be surprised at how calm most are, they don't even meow except a little when the plane lands, at the same time all the human babies cry--we think the ears must hurt like humans do sometimes. .Many times these kittens have never even been away from other cats at ALL, so every bit of this is new to them, and they are still ok. There is very little room under the seat in front sometimes and even the hard carrier made to fit there, and it's near impossible to find, will not fit under all seats. For this reason soft carriers are better, plus Meowma thinks that the fact that the cat can actually feel you through the fabric might help keep him calm. She DOES unzip the zipper enough to put her hand in and massage thekitty a bit at thew airport, until they go under the seat, and will give a kitty treat or what have you and they can eat it. or not. She does carry a 3 oz can of food and small water dish just in case, but has never had to use them. If the kitty eats something 5-6 hrs before you ever leave the house he should be fine for the day. remember that cats about to have surgery are fasted for 12 hours ahead, and do not get to eat but a few bites late in the day--best just wait until you get where you aregoing. This also helps avoid poop and pee in the carrier which is not fun at all. Meowma says if your cat is shy, carry a jacket or something to keep the carrier covered while you are in the airport, he should be fine in the shade under the seat. Coal is right, he needs a harness witl leash already attached before you get out of the car at the airport, you will have to hand carry thru security.put the harness on snug enough to not come off, and putyour hand through the loop on the leash in case he gets away. Get the other human to go thru first and be ready on the other side with whatever you covered the cage with, ready to cover kitty if he goes nuts (. If you have to, scruff him and support his butt until the security person swabs your hands. we dont think any of this will happen to you, but it is best to have this option open if at all possible, and be ready but not nervous--just so the cat does not end up loose in the airport if something goes wrong.
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 18 September, 2013
    Hey Bodrouex, guess who?? Saw an article in the paper today, someone in CA runs a school, to teach dogs how to fly, no not like Superman, MOL, but kinda like how we teach show kitties, to accept showing, and all the commotion. :-h|:|
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 23 September, 2013
    wish people here would pay for services like that!
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