For those who have traveled with pets: soft or hard-sided kennel?

  1. Hi guys,

    I booked my ticket to Chicago... my cat's "pet fee" cost as much as my own seat! lol

    Can you tell me what kind of container you kept your pet in? A soft-sided container or a structured plastic kennel?

    I don't know what would be more comfortable for the cat and also convenient for me to lug around my stops.

    The airline's regulations are 17 inches long x 16 inches wide x 8 inches tall.

    Thanks, everyone. :heart:
  2. depending on the airline I think you have to have them in a metal carrier.

    When I got my puppy I was going to have him travel by plane closer to me, I have a 6 hour drive one way to pick him up. Turned out it was more then i'd pay in gas and lunch and supper. So I opted for the drive.

    I purchased a metal crate for him just because that is what we use at home when he's alone. It find it better and more airy for them. I had a plastic one from my last dog and just didnt find it comforting for her. Its too closed in if you know what i mean.

    Travelling with a cat you might want the plastic one just so they she/he cant get her paws out.
    Something like this
  3. I travel with my poodle all the time (she is about 10 pounds). I have a soft side traveler that I put her in that fits easily under my seat. I then put her on a leash walking through the terminal. Have had no problems so far.
  4. For my dogs and rabbit we always used a hard sided carrier. The airlines wouldnt allow us to keep them with us as carry on - which suprised me with the rabbit. I would only use a soft sided kennel if you are able to keep them with you on the plane.
  5. I think they both have pro's and con's.

    One warning though, for if you use a soft one. Do not set it on a table, bed, or other elevated surface. I put my cat (the one in my avatar) in a soft one to take him to the vet and set him on my bed while I gathered my purse and belongings. He squirmed around so much that he knocked himself OFF the bed! I felt sooo bad -- he was already traumatized at going to the vet and then he had to fall on the floor. I felt like I didn't do a good job protecting him when he needed me:sad:

    But he got over it and asked me to pass along the advice, lol:smile:
  6. I think airlines usually require the sturdy, plastic kennels with the metal front door. Also, you have to have a water dish to attach in there. You probably would do this anyway, but they won't let you board the pet without it, even if it's a one-hour flight, let's say.
  7. Thanks, Tammy... my airline does allow soft-sided carriers. I will attach a water dish... just don't see how it'll stay put!
  8. A good idea is that in a hard-sided carrier, put a blanket or some of your clothes(because of your scent) to make your kitty more comfortable. Have a safe trip!
  9. Before I moved to Ireland, my dogs used to fly with me three times a year, to see my parents, so we have a bit of experience!

    DO NOT get tranqualisers for your animal. Under pressurised air in the hold or cabin, it can cause heart problems.

    The container should be large enough that the animal can stand up lie down and turn around comfortably.

    Bare in mind, unless the animal is small enough to travel in the cabin with you (this has never happened in the UK, although I believe it is allowed in Germany) it will be travelling with the luggage, and so the case needs to be sturdy enough that if other bags were to fall on it, it wouldn't buckle. I have the airline approved Pet voyager carriers, which are plastic, with the metal door, similar to those pictures above. Make sure they are sturdy enough not to buckle if something falls on them. I'd really try to get airline approved carriers, which should be in your big pet retailers. You can buy water bowls which clip on the inside of the doors, just for a few dollars. I also had to purchase non key padlocks (you know, with the number barrels?) and make sure the number to open the padlock was clearly marked on the outside of the box, so that if there were any delays, ground staff could open the padlock and give more water. The padlock was so that the door wouldn't accidentally get open and the dogs get out, not for any type of security, ergo, the padlock code on the outside of the box in plain view. I always made sure my full name and address I was travelling to, flight number, tel number etc was taped to the box in full view.

    When I got on the plane, I ALWAYS, IMMEDIATELY, spoke to one of the cabin crew, and very politely asked them to personally make sure they mentioned to the pilot that there were dogs on board. The heat has to be specifically put on in the luggage hold, and unless they know animals are in there, they may not put it on. Temps at 30 odd thousand feet in the air, are non life sustainly cold.

    Having said all that, I never had any probs all the times we flew, and that was with two dogs, and two boxes.

    I appreciate it will be nerve racking, but I'm sure you'll all be fine.

    (Pm me if you want any more info)

    Good luck!

  10. When I moved from NJ to LA ( and then came back home again) I used one of the small study plastic carriers that went under the seat for my cat. I was not putting her in cargo, and this I knew where she was.

    When we travel locally ( to visit "grandma" and stuff) I use a larger carrier, it's soft and pink, and she is able to stick her little head out of the top, where she is zipped in. She really likes that!
  11. The first thing that you need to find out is if they will allow you to take her into the airplane cabin with you (often the price is different if you are taking a pet into the cabin or putting her in cargo and there is often a weight limit for the pet to travel in the cabin.) If she is going to be traveling in the cabin I think that a soft-sided carrier is the way to go. (My dog Spot (10 lb mini dachshund) loves his so much he always wants to jump in it even when he is not flying!) If they do not allow her in the cabin then like others have said you definitely need a hard sided case with water bowl, etc.
  12. another note on taking your pet in the cabin-mosty airlines only allow 1 pet in the cabin so if there are any service animals onboard your pet is going in cargo. I would not use a soft-side for that reason. I have flown my cats all over the country and the plastic carriers with the metal doors are great! Also verify with the airline if you need a vets' note-some airlines require that as well.
  13. The other thing you need to be prepared for is allergies. If there is a person on the plane with allergies to pet hair or dander, the pet will have to go into the cargo hold.