Skittles has officially made her first flight from DC to Tucson! And even better…she made it with minimal yowling and screeching! As those who’ve traveled with their cat before know, it’s always hit or miss as to how the cat will react and for those not familiar with Skittles and her previous travel experiences…they have not been the smoothest. She is somewhat notorious for her very vocal protestations any time she had to take a ride in her carrier.
There were a few things that made this trip a little smoother; first of all, after much research (which was mostly made up of asking my friend who has traveled multiple times with her cat) I decided to ditch the hard sided cat carrier and get Skittles a brand-spanking new soft sided carrier (thanks Dad!). We went with the Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier in original plum (see link).
So now that Skittles was all set up with her new carrier the next step was to get her to actually go in it without pitching a fit. The key is that you want to make sure the cat doesn’t associate the carrier with negative experiences—hence having to get a new one that had never been to the vet. So I set up her carrier where her cat-hut had been so she could go in and out at her leisure and thank god she liked it…she has been using her carrier as a sleep spot. Now she’s nice and acclimated!
My biggest fear when flying with the cat is that she
would freak out at security and make a mad dash for freedom. In order to make absolutely sure that she didn’t stage her great escape in the security line I put her in a harness, according to the people at the pet store the best type of harness is one similar to this…(see link).The mesh harnesses are supposed to make them feel more secure and are more comfortable…apparently…
At any rate, it seemed to work for Skittles and she was actually very well behaved while going through the metal detector. After this it was pretty smooth
sailing, although Skittles was not a huge fan of takeoff
and landing she slept through the majority of the flights. Now that the potentially traumatizing travel experience is over she seems to quite enjoy her life as a desert cat!