Burton The Cat Answers Your Questions: Part 2 - Traveling With Cats
This is Part 2 of a 3-part post from Christine - cat mom of @Burtonthecat (and Diego!)- offering up guidance and wisdom about leash training, traveling with cats, and meeting new people!
Check out Part 1 about Christine's adventures in leash training here.
Today, she walks us through taking her babies on an airplane and offers up some more great advice from her own experience flying with cats!
That Cat Blog: How did the cats behave going through security?
Christine: Security was a surprise for me, despite my research it wasn't clear they have to go through "naked" in your arms - no leash or harness or carrier, which scared mommy! They did great though. Diego is squirmier than his brother Burton who is very docile and flops in your arms and let's you carry him anywhere. Again: know your cats before attempting this! So two cats presents a challenge! Thankfully I was prepared for this by not traveling alone, and with cat dads help we managed great! Kind strangers were also readily available and offered assistance which thankfully wasn't necessary. If you have the time: TSA did offer us a private screening room. We fly SWA, who love their pets so it's only $90 one way per carrier, two pets per carrier allowed (no interspecies mixing! LOL) - my boys really did great.
TCB: How did you keep them calm in such a hectic setting?
C: Burton loves the hustle and is curious. Diego prefers the safety of his crate when it's busy, but will venture out if brother looks to be having too much fun or getting all the attention. Nothing soothes them like mommys touch. We didn't use any medication or sedatives.
TCB: Did you get a lot of stares/questions at the airport?
C: Tons! People think you're a crazy cat lady (I am!) but why are cats and dogs treated any differently. Another tip: "pet friendly" at the hotel does not mean CAT friendly. Double check and inquire. Don't ask me why this is, definitely feline discrimination! Make sure you and your loves have a safe kind welcoming place to stay on your trip!!! Burton loves Kimpton! The biggest comment I get about Burton is funny: "What kind of animal is he?" Obviously he is a cat! Ha ha ha ha what do people think!? They love the attention. Photo ops and cuddles from kiddos and other crazy cat ladies in hiding!
TCB: How were they on the plane? Did they sit with you? Did they each have their own seat? Did anyone complain on the flight?
C: Southwest Air lets you bring them on board (I wouldn't do it any other way personally) as long as their carrier fits under the seat in front of you. Being a travel pro: I also know the middle seats on this airline are roomier in the foot area! They frown on them coming out of their carrier, for everyone's safety and when you purchase the ticket you also promise they won't make any unpleasant "smells" so know your kitty before you fly. If there is an accident odds are good you will not be able to take them out for clean up till you land.
I purchased a special carrier that unzips and expands like a tent so they had lots of room after takeoff.
Overall people loved it! The humans got all the judgement!
They cry just a little when the cabin pressure changes, so do I. It's terribly uncomfortable! They also got quite warm, so I fanned them. All things to think about. Burton runs warm though, and his little brother was sitting on his head.
Q: And why were you flying? Did you move from San Diego to Portland? Or just visiting friends/family?
A: I travel for business every week, and sometimes with cat dad. We know the boys travel so well otherwise, we had the crazy idea lets see how they do on the plane- a short trip up the coast. That way they don't have to stay home with the sitter! And momma misses them so much. They did so well I will be doing this again soon. Next trip in a couple weeks!!!!!