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Traveling with Cats

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My husband and I are planning to move from Indiana to Texas at the end of May. We're debating about the best way to transport our three cats. Two are young (five), but one is 17 (although in excellent health for a girl her age).

If we ship them in cargo (scary), we can only ship two from the airport in Indianapolis because of airline rules. We would need to take the third cat in the cabin with us. We can only take two in the cabin with us as well. The airline claims the cargo hold is climate controlled, but I've heard too many horror stories about pets dying in transit from dehydration.

The airlines have many rules and regulations about having a health check within ten days of departure (more hassles at a busy time), we must arrive two hours before the flight at the cargo center, not the regular airport, we must have special shipping kennels, they must not be sedated. Needless to say, all of this will cost mucho bucks.

The other option is to drive them there -- 1100 miles with at least one overnight stop, preferably two.

Does anyone have experience about such a move that they might share?

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