Help:Cats In-Cabin Issue (Air Canada)

Old Oct 5th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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While waiting at the gate for a Song Airlines flight to board, a man appeared with a cat in a carrier cage. Huge plane, many seats, what are the odds he's sitting near me? When I checked with the gate agent I was told the man was directly in front of me and would be placing the carrier under his seat, placing me directly in the line of the dander waft. We were booked for the second row in economy class. The gate agent kindly offered to move me and my wife to the second to last row, right in the area of the plane that literally causes my wife to throw up. Now, if an animal fatally attacks a human, such as a pit bull or a mountain lion, we shoot it to death. When you put a cat near me, you might as well put a mountain lion or rabid pit bull near me. I like cats, I really really do. However, the stopping breathing when one is near me can be a problem. In the interest of public health, all animals should be placed in the animal hold area of the plane. I can only assume it's much less of a hassle to comfort Muffy after experiencing her few hours of seperation anxiety, than to deal with a flaccid (then rigid) human corpse in those tight seat and small aisles. After all, they'd never be able to get the meal cart by.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 05:41 PM
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"In the interest of public health, all animals should be placed in the animal hold area of the plane".
With all due respect to anyone's serious health condition, cats in the cabin isn't a matter of public health as the general public isn't at risk.
It's the severe allergies of a tiny minority of the population whose health would be endangered. Many of us have personal and private health issues that are not accommodated when we travel. I'm just not sure that the allergies of a few, should determine airline policy for all. Perhaps there could be some 'cat free' planes to choose from, like 'no smoking' rooms in hotels. Same concept goes for peanuts on the plane.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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I am happy for cats to travel on the outside of any aircraft I am in.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 08:23 PM
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Isn't it interesting that airlines are so concerned that an animal can stand up and turn around in its airline carrier, however most humans almost have to sit in a fetal position for over 10+ hours in their unbearable seats?
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 08:47 PM
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delor, good point...maybe we should demand the same rights as cats, LOL.

One thing I do not understand. A cat in the cabin for hours on end. Where do they urinate? Cat urine has a horrible smell IMO. Just curious.

I guess I have been fortunate that I have not sat next to, in front of or behind a cat travelling in the cabin. And I do love cats. But I just don't understand about the smell factor...would someone please explain. Thank you.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:03 PM
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Thought of this myself as we have 3 cats and have actually transported our son's cats on a quick flite from Phoenix to LAX. We put disposable diapers in the box and made sure they had no food or water that morning. One diaper was wet when we arrived, but the diaper helped stop the odor.Kitty did need a rinse when she arrived home!
A poo might have been a disaster! And they did get X-rayed in the take on luggage security. The inspector insisted they were rabbits as he reviewed their skeletal impressions!
There was NO WAY we would take them out of the containers and get scratched up or risk their escape!
That was years ago, and they are still healthy and no longer fly on planes!
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:03 PM
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Just another anecdote....
On our Air Canada flight to Frankfurt a year ago, one of the passengers was travelling with her 11 year old black lab and when we spoke, she said he went everywhere with her since she was on the Olympic Equestrian team. The dog's cage was in the same area as the horses.
She had never had any problems with overseas flights with him.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:04 PM
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Most people who are allergic to cats comes from the dander. If the cat is inside the carrier, the dander will stay inside the carrier.

It's sad that some of you don't have any love for pets. But I guess to each their own.

I would never put an animal in cargo. Let's assume it is temperature controlled. Are there lights in cargo or are they in total darkness? Even Robespierre said that the danger can be when they are neglected outside the plane. So any way you look at it, it isn't a safe atmosphere for anyone's pet.

I have never been in favor of an animal flying but when a person (2 cats to) from the UK to Toronto what is she suppose to do? Not everyone can afford the Queen Mary.

I just wish some of you would have shown a little more compassion for her.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:17 PM
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Madison, I still would like to know about a cat and their need to urinate or have a bowel movement while in the cabin on a flight. A TransAtlantic flight is a long one. In fact to think of a cat not given any water or food way before the flight, in the airport, on the flight etc. seems terrible to me. Most humans I would imagine would not want to go through that. My question is not the lack of love for a pet, my question is concern for the pet.

Sooo, would someone please answer my question.

And also, thinking of the passengers around the dear cat, wouldn't the smell of the cat's urination or bowel movement be terrible, hour after hour, on an oversees flight.

Can anyone explain??

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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:50 PM
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LoveItaly - I know the baby diapers or wee wee pads help a lot and the waste can be removed. I am not in favor of pets traveling with their owners for the reasons you mentioned, but in the case of 2 Cats she is moving and doesn't have a choice in the matter. It would be nice if the airlines could think of some ways to make it a little more comfortable for all concerned.

Her pets are better off being without food and water for 1/2 day than being separated from them for a lifetime if she left them behind in the U.K. No one should have to be separated from their pets.

I once traveled with a kitten that I had rescued from the cornfields of Iowa, right by the Roseman Bridge (The Bridges of Madison County) Once on board the plane I gave him a couple of sips of water and he was fine. I didn't have a choice in the matter, since I had flown from LA to Iowa and it was in IOwa I found him quite by accident. I was lucky, no poops and no pees until I got him home.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 10:12 PM
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Oh Madison, I didn't mean to suggest that 2Cats2 not take her cats with her, not in anyway. I just felt this concern: a TransAtlantic flight (UK to Toronto) plus the at least 2 hours ahead check in time...it seemed to me that the cats would be dying of thirst by the time they landed in Toronto. I know I could not go that long without some water. And then the other side of the coin, the urine etc. problem, and the other passengers.

I have, to my knowledge, never been on a flight where there has been a little cat around me..but maybe there was and it was handled properly so conquently I wasn't aware of it. And again, I do love cats so sure not trying to come across as anti-cat etc.

The Bridges of Madison County...so that is how you got your nick!!! If I had been you I would have named your dear little kitty Ponti (bridges in Italian). Best wishes.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 11:04 PM
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Hi Madison
I beg to differ with you thrice!

1) "Her pets are better off being without food and water for 1/2 day than being separated from them for a lifetime if she left them behind in the U.K."

I love cats, have cats, and have grown up around cats (and dogs). I have "rescued" cats, and taken care of cats for others.

Perhaps the owners have formed an attachment for their cats (one is just seven months old), but to my knowledge and experience, but it's a real stretch of reality and imagination to assume that the cats themselves would actually be better off separated from their current humans.

Cats adapt themselves to their situation. It's one of the things I love most about them. They are not humans, they are felines.

People form deep and loving bonds with pets that deserve consideration, but projecting human needs onto animals is (though common) is never a true measure of the needs of the animal, and never will be.

2) "Most people who are allergic to cats comes from the dander. If the cat is inside the carrier, the dander will stay inside the carrier."

I think you seriously underestimate the potential effects of dander on an allergic person.

3)"It's sad that some of you don't have any love for pets. But I guess to each their own."

I think it's sad that you are making such a sweeping generalization about people who may have serous allergic reactions and/or those (probably close to 100% of passengers) who do not wish to fly while exposed to possible smells of cat urine and feces in close proximity to their seat.

This is not a lack of love for pets, but rather a simple fact. Loving a pet does not mean you will necessarily love everyone else's pet, and NEVER means it is desirable to have one under the seat in front of you on a lengthy flight if you suffer from serious allergies.

I think allergy to dander is not at all uncommon. I think that it would be good if airlines had a few "pet friendly" flights to accommodate the needs of folks like th OP, and the majority of flights should be for travelers flying without animals.

Until then, I certainly wish the OP all the luck in dealing with her serious need to keep both cats with her, and hopes she gets on the plane with them. I'm also glad I won't be on the same flight!
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 12:04 AM
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I've never heard of this word 'dander' before. What does it mean - urine ? Is it an American word ?
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 12:12 AM
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When I moved from the US to France I had not choice but to travel with my dog in the hold. I took several precautions before traveling.

1. Carrier traning. My dog had never been in a carrier so I introduced the carrier over a two month period. First it was just sitting around and bit by bit I made it her bed. Finally she would sleep all night with the door closed so I knew she felt safe.

2. No flight changes. I drove 8 hours the day before my flight to get to an airport that had an airline that accepted animals and that offered a direct flight.

3. I carefully marked the container in large letters with the destination, flight number, "live animal" in french and english, her name and also included a pouch with food, leash and feeding instructions and contact info.

4. I chose a flight in the late evening so the sun would be down to avoid any excess heat. It wasnt summer yet but was heading that direction so I didnt want her in a heat box on the tarmac. The airline had a special area in the hold for animals that is temperature controlled.

Everything went fine and my dog looked less tired than I was upon arrival at CDG! It was not something I wanted to do but I really had no choice. I was probably more stressed than my dog the entire trip.
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 01:41 AM
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LoveItaly - I know you didn't mean for them to leave their cats behind. From the posts I have read of yours you have always been kind. I didn't read anything negative into it at all.

Ponti is a cute name and would have been so appropriate. I named my cat Madison. I almost named him Kincaid for Clint Eastwood's part in the movie, but loved Madison. Ponti can be his middle name. I was so obsessed with the book and the movie and when I found this kitten in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa next to the Roseman Bridge I knew he was mine. All my pets have been abandoned or abused and have brought me great joy.

I agree with so many of the posts here but sometimes we just have to put up with unpleasant things. I have experienced the same "aromas" from babies flying with their parents and let me tell you the smell has lingered for longer than I liked.

Solution - hire a private jet. It would only be about $50,000 one way. As if anyone could afford that.
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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Yes, I was thinking about baby diapers myself. Dirty diapers of any kind, whether human dirt or cat dirt, can be disposed of, I guess in the toilet compartment or wherever these things go.


And since I own a hypo-allergenic cat, I understand that cat fur or skin is not per se the allergen.
(Dander--skin and saliva flakes, source of the word 'dandruff.')

from http://www.catsinternational.org/art..._your_cat.html

"Dander--a naturally-occurring combination of skin cells and saliva that the pet is continually shedding--is most often the cause of pet allergies. It is the protein of this dander that causes the reactions....

"Fel d I", the cat allergen, is the major cause of allergic reactions to cats. During a cat's self-cleaning process, Fel d I protein in the saliva is deposited on the fur."

Before anyone overreacts on the subject of icky cat saliva and skin flakes, be aware that the biggest component of household dust consists of human skin flakes. In fact, that's what the zillions of dust mites in your home are feeding on.


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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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Elaine - How is it that your cat is hypo-allergenic?

I swear I am going to buy myself a new loofa. I didn't know that the dust mites feed off of human skin flakes.

Thanks for the info





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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 11:50 AM
  #58  
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In the US board the Fodors editors deleted a post concerning the woman who was tossed off of a SouthWest flight after some passenger(s) complained about her T-shirt.

What if someone who is allergic to cats got on board and complained. Would the person with the cat be compelled to exit the flight?

What if someone who is allergic to cats got on board and complained. Would the person who complained be required to leave?

The point here is who's rights trump who's?

mm
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Madison
My cat is a Cornish rex and looks rather like the picture at
http://cats.about.com/cs/breedprofiles/p/cornishrex.htm

Because they are small (6 pounds avg)and have extremely short hair, they create less of a saliva/dander problem.

Of course anyone can be allergic to anything, so 'hypoallergenic' is a relative term. I have two friends who are allergic in general to cats and who don't get allergic reactions when they visit my place, but that's not to say they wouldn't have reactions after an extended stay or that someone else mightn't right away.
But we digress.
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Pets are optional. Breathing is not. I don't think pet owners have any "rights" that inconvenience or endanger other people.
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