Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Moving cats...

Someone posted a comment asking about moving our cats from California to Alaska. Welcome to my insanity! Don't be afraid...

Actually it wasn't too bad. Yes, we did give them a sedative (SEDAGIVE?!?! Said a dirty word!). Don't remember what it was, but we got it from our vet when we got the health certificates for them.

We had researched traveling with our cats to Alaska and had read that we needed to get them health certificates stating that they have their shots and are flea-free and all that. In all honesty, nobody ever checked the records we kept handy on the flight. I was rather surprised. Not even when we went through security!

Ah, yes, the post-9-11 security. We had to take the cats OUT of their carriers and hold them as we went through the scan things! Thank goddess I had the harnesses and leashes for them and they were already a bit relaxed from the sedative, which I had given them in the car just as we arrived at the airport. Otherwise they would have clawed the hell out of us from all the activity! Instead, they just kind of clung to us and watched their surroundings with big eyes.

Dusty was getting kind of active as we waited to board. I was worried that he would start meowing and cause a disturbance. But once we got on the plane and got them in their places under the seat in front, they calmed down and went right to sleep. I think I was more worried than they were!

It was kind of hard getting the carriers into place with hardly any room to spare with seatmates, but luckily I had understanding seatmates who helped me out, so that was okay. At least I didn't get someone who was allergic to cats!

I recommend the soft carriers made for airline flights because they are easier to fit under the seats. Not to mention that a cat of noble bulk like Dusty can press on the sides and stretch out a bit more inside.

After the first flight, I snapped Dusty's leash on while I waited for my husband to exit the plane (we had different seats). I pulled him out of his carrier, thinking he was sick of it by that point. His eyes were all blurry from the drugs, but he was awake. But here's the part that tickled me...

He immediately hopped back IN his carrier!

These two have never liked their carriers or traveling of any kind. Trips to the vet will leave me deaf as Dusty voices his displeasure. So seeing Dusty hop into his carrier of his own free will raised my eyebrows. "Who are you and what have you done with my Dusty?!"

They both slept through the second flight with no problems at all.

They started waking up when we got the rental car. The trip had lasted about seven or eight hours, so it was about time for the drugs to wear off. The vet had given us enough for a single dose and than half of another does for each in case it wore off too soon, but the single doses worked just fine (one pill for fat Dusty and a half for skinny Asuka.)

It's good to have practice pilling cats before trying to do it in an uncertain, busy place like an airport. Don't rely on pill pockets just because your cat usually eats them. I can guarantee he won't have an appetite when you need him to!

Um, I think that's about all I have on my experience flying with cats. I believe I have another post on it somewhere in here when it actually happened, try looking at all the posts labeled "It's raining cats and dogs... well, just cats." Any questions, feel free to post. I love to answer questions like I actually know what I'm talking about or something!

1 comment:

Lily said...

Thank you so much for that post! It was very helpful. I also read your previous post about wanting to experience an Alaskan summer. Trust me, the summer makes the horrible winter totally worth it! Go hiking in Cooper Landing, fishing in Homer, explore Denali. You will love it. Oh, take the Kenai Fjords boat tour in Seward too. It's just wonderful. Thanks again for all the cat info!