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High-flying Cat (Almost)

Cats seem to love napping in suitcases!
Cats seem to love napping in suitcases!

One orange tabby cat made news recently by trying to stow away aboard a Delta airlines flight to Orlando.  TSA officials at JFK International Airport in New York were surprised to see the outline of the animal when the suitcase went through their X-ray unit.  It seems the kitty found its way inside an unsuspecting house guest’s luggage.  The cat was returned to its relieved owner.  The airline passenger rebooked for a later flight and made it to Orlando – cat-free.

     Airlines have rules regarding animals on their planes.  A fully trained and certified service dog may be allowed to fly in the cabin.  Most airlines will allow a limited number of small pets in the cabin, in suitable carriers that will fit under the seat.  It also may be possible for a pet to fly as cargo, although that can be dangerous for the animal as many cargo holds are not climate-controlled.  Before attempting to fly with any animal, contact the airline for rules and information, and to make proper arrangements.

     When you travel with your pet, plan ahead by making sure your furry buddy is fully vaccinated and has proper identification, including an ID tag (with your cell number on it, since you will not be at home).  Have your pet microchipped and make sure the registry is up-to-date, in case the tag is lost.  Make arrangements for your pet at any stops along the way and at your destination, including lodging and veterinary care.  If you are traveling by car, take a pet bag with you that has your pet’s food, a water bowl and maybe a bed or blanket from home that will be familiar and comfortable for your furry buddy.   

This is a busy time of year for travel.  Having everything planned and arranged beforehand will help you to keep your four-legged companion safe and comfortable, so you can enjoy your time together, wherever you are, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.