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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:47 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:37 pm
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Hi everyone, I'm in a bit of a situation.

To cut the long story short, after moving between London and South Carolina repeatedly I have decided to return to SC after my two year long stay. However, in my time here I adopted these two Bengal brothers, Caesar and Enzo. And although my family is attempting to persuade me to simply leave them, I can't. I'm too attached. They are great cats and are very loving to each other and other people. The flight from Heathrow will be about 7/8 hours, which isn't too bad but I am just so worried about some things.

I've read that cargo holds are very noisy, stressful etc but I've also read they are not, and that is actually how the cabin is for animals, apparently they (the cargo holds) are regulated with temperature, well ventilated and have good sized crates for the animals. But I am just so worried, I don't think taking them in the cabin will be good because they are very noisy and I don't want to make the flight uncomfortable for others. I've looked into pet travel agencies, but I just need reassurances on what I should do. Should I tranquilize them for the flight? What should I put in their box? What can I do if God forbid, something bad happens in the cargo hold? Please someone help me as I really really do not want to leave them behind. I just need some advice because I know Bengals are slightly different than most cats, are at least mine are!! Someone please help me ASAP, so I can put my worrying mind to rest haha


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:55 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:23 pm
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some flights are changing their rules .ask at cargo.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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The first thing to do would be to call airlines and see what your options are. Can they travel in 1 crate together or do they have to stay separate / what type of medical records do you need to import them to the US / price of flying cargo vs in the cabin / etc.

I wouldn't tranquilize them, there is too much risk with something medically going wrong while they're sedated and no one is watching them. I would probably prefer having them in the cabin with me, yes they may be noisy but I would rather have them where I know they're not getting tossed around. The horror stories of pets in crates getting tossed and the crates breaking open are heart breaking.

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Tuck, Chloe, Buddy, Lewis & Tia - rescue kitties
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:30 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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If at all possible keep them with you in the cabin. Airplane noise is so loud, it should drown out the meowing. You can always use felaway spray, cat nip or talk to them to calm them down, possibly pet them. A transatlantic flight goes up so high and it is so very cold in the luggage area and dark and noisy. Imagine how frightened and uncomfortable your cats will be. Are you traveling with someone? There is a limit as to how many carriers one person can bring and there is also a limit to the number of animals allowed in the cabin, first come, first served so make your reservation early.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:36 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
Welcome to the forum! I can only imagine you anxiety over the travel. First of all, you love your kitties and they love you, so leaving them behind is not an option. Second of all, cats fly all the time! Some can travel in the cabin (I'd even purchase a seat for mine). I'm not sure about tranquilizing them. Ask your vet! I do know someone who moved 9 hours with 12 cats and said they gave them tranquilizers and they slept the entire way (this was in a van). I don't know anything about cargo holds, but they have dogs and other animals in there all the time. It's probably quite a scary place being extremely dark. Unfortunately, bengals are very noisy! But so are crying babies! Having you with the kitties may help them feel safer. 99% of air travel with pets goes wonderfully! Call the airlines and ask questions. That's about all I can tell you. You probably want to make sure your kitties have access to water, but no food! You don't want them getting an upset tummy from stress due to all the commotion.

I realize driving is not an option and it takes a while by ship! Flying is the best option and I hope the airline can assure you that your kitties will have a safe trip.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I think you should talk to your vet. If it were me, I'd be inclined to buy an extra seat on the plane, and keep my cats in the cabin, and maybe give sedatives if that were safe and practical. There just seems like too many things that could go wrong in the cargo hold.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:05 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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You can read a lot of interesting stories on Google! First of all, some airlines limit the number of pets in the cabin, so the earlier you book your flight with an animal, the better odds you can have your kitties with you. The carrier need to be stored under the seat in front of you! I'm sure buying another ticket is quite expensive and you will be traveling with TWO kitties. The carrier has to be small enough to fit -- if you don't have a seat for them! The other thing is to make sure your cats are on a harness and leash. You must take them OUT of the carrier to go through security and you do not want your cats jumping down and running off. If you are traveling alone ... this can be a problem trying to deal with two cats. Naturally, security is not an issue if you put the cats in the cargo hold -- but the majority of cat owners prefer the cats be with them. Get a soft carrier with a netting window so the cats can see you at all times. Feed treats on take off and landing. Just as babies go through the ear popping thing, so do cats. No food for 8 hours before, just water. They recommend you have pee pads with you. Put at least one in the carrier in case there is an accident. Have zip lock bags to hold any soiled ones. Make sure your cats have tags with your information on them. One blog said the engine noise drowns out any vocalizing the cat does -- but they were not traveling with a bengal. If you are going to need help with the kitties, don't hesitate to ask for a helping hand.

Contact your airline and ask all the questions in advance. You cannot just show up with your kitties. Check out airline approved carriers with wheels and see if that will help you out any. Rolling the cats will be a lot easier than carrying them.

Most of all -- good luck! I know you will be so happy when the plane touches down in the USA!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:25 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Going through the security check point can be stressful. You have to take your cat out of the carrier and walk through the metal detector. One time my frightened Siamese crawled inside my shirt! Everyone is rushing and dealing with one cat can be hectic so be prepared with two! Hopefully you are traveling with someone who can assist.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Would love an update from the original poster!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:27 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:59 am
Posts: 56
Location: Texas
I have taken my dog and Bengal from South Korea to Texas by plane, then from Texas to New York City in a moving van, and New York City to Iraq and on Wednesday, they will be packed up and moved from Iraq back to Texas again. Then possibly to Shanghai in February.
The live animal cargo hold is separate from the cargo hold where they store the luggage. It's ventilated and temperature controlled. Yes, it's noisy down there. It's also noisy INSIDE the plane. I've always had my dog and cat sent in cargo. I think it's just easier all round. Taking them inside a cabin and they can't use the bathroom? I'd just rather they pee on their pillows in the cargo. It's 18 hours from NYC to Iraq...Every airline has it's own set of rules. Some airlines only permit 2 animals per flight. You will need to get their rabies vaccine certificates prepared. You will also need to have a good health certificate prepared for each of them. Apparently if you are in transit in Istanbul for just an hour, you will also need a rabies titration...which takes 4 weeks to get the results. Good thing I'm ONLY just hearing about this now!
Did you know that I also use a pet relocation company? Because I think I'd kill someone if I had to do this all on my own.

Good luck, OP. I have toted my little kiddos with me everywhere and they're fine. Usually it take 2 weeks for Lola (the dog) to adjust and maybe about 3 months for Dahab (the Bengal) to completely return to his normal self. Also, to get Dahab into Iraq, I had to change his breed from Bengal to domestic short-hair. I know in the US each state has its own set of rules.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:58 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
So happy you posted your experiences here. I hope it helps the original poster! I'd be a nervous wreck traveling with my bengal.


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