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Flying with a devon for the first time

Hello everyone- 

I will be flying my Devon Rex kitten home in June and it will be my first time traveling with a pet by air. Any advice or stories for a newbie? I have a small Sherpa bag and some Feliway all ready. I will be flying US Airways (not too happy about that but it was the cheapest and I had a voucher I needed to use). The trip is about 6 hours with one layover. 

Should I bring a disposable cat box for the layover? It's a very short one (about 1.5 hrs). I have a travel dish for water. I have a harness and lead for when I have to take her out at security. 

US Airways charges $125 for in cabin animals, yikes. Anyone know how strict they are about enforcing it? 

Thanks! 

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  • Hi, I've flown a couple of times with my boys. Are they allowed in the cabin with you? Personally I wouldn't dream of taking my boys on a plane if they had to fly cargo. The massive no-no is sedatives as it can have funny effects with the decreased cabin pressure. My big tip is heading for the disabled toilets on a layover and before the flight. IT's the only place in an airport you can get total privacy and peace and quiet (the normal loos tend to have space under the cubicle partitions so cats can escape whereas the disabled loos are much better for containing them). I take a dog toilet training pad (like a big, flat nappy) and a little cat litter. Sprinkle a handful of litter on the pad, if your cat needs he will do his business and then you can just throw it away.

    If your DR is leash trained he'll probably be better than the average cat at adapting to new surroundings and sensations so you should be fine. Mine are always much happier if I let them out of the carrier and have them on my lap for the flight, they just go straight to sleep that way but you do need to be subtle about it and check the passengers next to you don't mind!

  • Thanks for the response! 

    Yes I will have them in the cabin with me. Or him rather, only flying with one this time. 

    I'm hoping I'll be able to have him in my lap with me during the flight. I guess it all depends on how strict everyone is. I will get one of those training pads, good idea. 

  • I haven't heard of cats being able to fly with you in the cabin. We don't have that here in Australia. All pets travel in a special section in the cargo hold over here.

    I cant offer any advice but good luck and let us know how you go. Smile.gif

  • My Daughter flies with her cat all the time in Canada.....they go in the carrier, under the seat...are NOT allowed out.

  • Hi Lia, 

    How did you go with him? 

    Nicole

  • Hi, I am also flying with my Devon for the first time, actually, my 'future' Devon - I am flying to Florida from Philadelphia on Monday, July 1, to pick up my Devon boy, Timothy, from breeder. I didn't want him to be shipped in cargo, and decided to fly myself and to take him to cabin with me.  He will be 11 weeks exactly that day!  I am very interested in your experience, did you already have you flight?  I am also flying on US Airways, and it's also with one layover. I would appreciate so much if you share your experience!

  • The flight went wonderfully! Well my Devon did great, US Airways was the usual with delays and poor service. But we made it! 

    Bowie is about 7 months old, so maybe this made it a bit easier. He got some Rescue Remedy (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=3550) before we drove to the airport. I used the soft sided (small) Sherpa bag and it fit perfectly under the seat on the airplane. I used a blanket and a coat to cover the sides so that he wasn't stressed during all the activity. 

    I chose to sneak him on rather than pay the $125 "pet fee." US Airways doesn't allow you to call ahead and reserve a pet space. I took a gamble and I don't think anyone even thought I was carrying a animal carrier... looked like a suitcase. No sweat. This was only possible though because he didn't make a peep the entire trip! Not one meow. I'm not sure if it's because he's a Devon or because the Rescue Remedy worked well. Either was he was a champ and made it through the 6-7 hour travel ordeal with no problems. 

    During our layover I found one of the family / disabled bathrooms and hung out in there. It's quieter and secure so you can let your cat out. I had a Chux (similar to a puppy training pad) in the carrier in case he peed, but he didn't. He didn't even want to come out of the carrier, he felt more secure in it. I hung out in the quiet bathroom for a bit between flights. 

    Getting through security was the trickiest part. You have to carry your pet through the scanner. I had him in a harness with the harness wrapped around my arm. He was a little freaked but it was quick and he did great. Just let them know that you have a cat so you can carry him through the X-ray scanner. Make sure your carrier makes it through quick so you can put him right back in. 

    So I guess I would see how your kitten does in the carrier and then decide if you want to announce his presence at the counter or try to sneak in. They don't ask for papers or anything, it's just another fee that they try and get you with. Worst comes to worse, you feign ignorance (Oh I had NO IDEA there was a fee, so sorry!), pay up, and get on the plane. But I'm pretty sure you pay $125 for each flight. Some carriers, like Jet Blue, don't have fees, and most carriers have less expensive fees. I only went with US Airways because it was the cheapest flight. 

    And kitten is not allowed out of the carrier! Except at security of course. Good luck!!! It's stressful but Devon's are so calm and wonderful! 

  • Hi Lia, thank you so much for your reply!                                                                                             I am not worried about the fee, I am ready to pay it. I am just very nervous because I will see my kitten for the first time right before the trip - the breeder will bring him to airport.  I don't know how he will react to me, and, poor baby, he will not only be without his mommy and brother for the first time, he will have to be on a plane with a strange lady!  I also don't know - should I try to give him a water to drink during the flight or while waiting between flights?  Also - what should I do if he will cry during the flight?

  • I wouldn't offer food or water during the flight, as long as it's just the day. Just make sure to offer both when he arrives home. I would definitely recommend the Rescue Remedy. I also use Feliway which is supposed to reduce stress during travel. All you can do is your best! He may cry during travel, it is stressful, but he will be OK. Maybe try to request a seat alone if there's room on the flight? That way you won't have to worry about him bothering anyone, and it will be quieter. 

  • Thank you, Lia! I hope he will be okay! 

    Lia B said:

    I wouldn't offer food or water during the flight, as long as it's just the day. Just make sure to offer both when he arrives home. I would definitely recommend the Rescue Remedy. I also use Feliway which is supposed to reduce stress during travel. All you can do is your best! He may cry during travel, it is stressful, but he will be OK. Maybe try to request a seat alone if there's room on the flight? That way you won't have to worry about him bothering anyone, and it will be quieter. 

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