beautyfoodnerdrunningshoptravel

February 23, 2016

traveling with my cat

yes, i travel with my cat. i've taken her a number of places, by car and by plane. she's stayed at the homes of friends and family, hotels rented by production and occasionally, under much protest, a kennel. before you balk at the girl with a pet carrier walking her cat thru security let me assure you, my cat is way easier to travel with than most of the kids i've shared a plane with. also, mine fits under the seat!

travel pets cats organization international sleepypod


the first time we flew, i was a little nervous. going thru tsa with a pet requires a little extra inspection. you must remove the animal from the carrier and walk thru the metal detector while the carrier goes thru the x-ray belt. then your hands along with your pet (sometimes) are swabbed with a cloth and tested for explosives and such. i always keep a leash on her at the airport, tho most of the time she goes rag doll limp. but, she's an animal, so there's always a chance she'll run. all she really wants is to get back in the carrier, b/c everyone wants to touch her and look at her little face, and she's totally annoyed by that. cats right?

the sleepypod air is kind of amazing. it fully unzips and folds flat for storage. it hooks into the car seat belt and is 35 mph crash safety tested like a child's car seat. the mesh is also designed so that she can see put but i can't look directly in without getting close, more privacy.
but look at that face!

since we're going overseas, mallory had to have a few vet appointments to get her rabies vaccine, microchip and health certificate. this ensures that she won't have to be quarantined upon arrival. every country is different to be sure to check with your vet well in advance. we started the process 60 days out. my vet in santa monica actually has someone who deals exclusively with international travel for pets and that was very helpful.


medical docs, immigration docs, emotional support animal docs, lost pet docs and treats

most airlines require you pay a pet fee, sometimes as much as an additional $200 per leg of the trip. this is outrageous to me from the stand point of: she's my under the seat carry on item, not excess baggage. it's not the fee i mind, it's the amount of the fee. i happily pay pet deposits at hotels and apartments, usually a portion if not all is refundable. but $400 for a round trip, that's nearly what the ticket for myself cost. and most of the time, they don't even notice. after forking over the dough a few times and not having a single ticket person ask for her boarding pass, i now wait until i'm asked and then pay the fee. (yes, i feel the same way about having to pay a fee for a lap baby, give me a break)

mallory is a registered emotional support animal. some airlines allow them to fly free but not all so be sure to check ahead of time. you will have to send your doctors letter and flight information to the airline in advance so they can log the animal. one upside of esa animals is that you can have them in your lap. if you have a strong fear of flying, this is probably a nice thing. i do not and will probably only take mal out if there is no one seated next to me and only to stretch her legs a bit. she probably won't want to come out anyways.

she peaked out at cdg but didn't want to come out, and yes, she is on the leash the whole time

mal is a good little air traveler. she's quiet and sleeps for most of the flight. i occasionally nudge her just to make sure she's still alive. every time i land and take her out from under the seat someone says "there was a cat down there, she didn't make a sound, i had no idea." i've definitely been on a plane with a dog that had no chill, for 6 hours, i just got lucky i guess.

fun fact, cats can hold their bladder for up to 24 hrs. that means when they pee on your bed, it's b/c they're pissed (hehe) not b/c they just couldn't hold it anymore. the longest mal has been in the carrier is 13 hours door to door. we're about to hit the 17 hr mark going to budapest so i've upgraded her accommodations a bit.

the sleepypod air is kind of amazing. it fully unzips and folds flat for storage. it hooks into the car seat belt and is 35 mph crash safety tested like a child's car seat. the mesh is also designed so that she can see out but i can't look directly in without getting close, more privacy.

travel pets cats organization international sleepypod


travel pets cats organization international sleepypod
pardon the fur

travel pets cats organization international sleepypod

travel pets cats organization international sleepypod

i bought 2 extra sherpa liners just in case she has to use the bathroom in the carrier, i can swap out a fresh one. the carrier also folds in at the sides to fit under the seat and once you're airborne, can be brought out and allow for more room.

travel pets cats organization international sleepypod sherpa
look at her little toes up top!

i'll give her food and water on the plane, but i'll take her food away after her medicine in the morning of the flight, just in case. once we land i've had a lovely co-worker offer to drop the litter box and litter i sent at the hotel so it's ready for when we arrive.

travel pets cats organization international sleepypod


so that's my travel plans with mal so far, i'll keep you posted on how she's adjusting to life abroad.