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Unread 03-20-2007   #1 (permalink)
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Default I live in Japan and have two healthy cats (aged 4 and 5). They have always received..

Great questions. Traveling with cats, especially air travel, can bring up lots of concerns. Unfortunately, rules for pet travel can vary from airline to airline and may be different in Japan than here. So I would definitely check with your airlines on their restrictions as well. I think it is always best if the cats can ride in the cabin with you and it is ideal to have each in their own carrier.

In some cases, airlines will only allow one cat in each cabin (first class vs. coach), so one of them may have to ride with your companion (if you are traveling with one). Some airlines make their decision on where the cat rides based on weight but to be honest, I don't know how stringent they are on weighing the cats. If the cats do have to go into the "hold," they should be kept in separate carriers.

Sedatives are a tricky subject; in general, I try to keep the animal drug free in case of an adverse reaction, etc. I find in the cabin, most cats do very well and will calm down quickly. If you decide to use a sedative, be sure to try it out ahead of time to see how your cat will react - some can have the opposite effect and can make some cats hyperactive.

I would also plan carefully the time of year you are traveling based on weather. For example, if you want to fly into Phoenix in the middle of summer and the cats are in the hold, you could run into weather problems; in fact most airlines have weather temperature restrictions for animals placed in cargo.

Beside these things, I always recommend that you have a break-away collar on your cat that has identification. I also think its a good idea to travel with a recent picture of your cat and their pertinent medical records. Hope this helps a little. If you have more questions as the time for moving gets closer let us know. Take care.

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