Water Worries For Feline’s Flight

May 3, 2008

in Animal Stories

This happened a couple of months ago. I was flying from Hawaii to Malaysia with a overnight transit in Taiwan. I have a cat, so when I bought my ticket I asked the airline what the requirements were to fly with my cat. It required lots of paperwork and specific measurements of cages allowed on the plane. I called the airline several times to confirm what was needed to bring my cat home. In the past when my friend took her cat home she was told the maximum measurements for the cage. More recently when she showed up at the airport with the cage she was told that it was too big and she had to get a new one. It was a good thing that they had a smaller cage there for her to buy.

So I was afraid that I might have the same problem…that’s why I called them so many times. Anyway, when I got there they never checked the paperwork that they insisted I needed to have in order to fly my cat back. It was when I was about to check in my cat that they told me that no water is allowed in the cage. Only food. Nobody told me that! I bought special water and food bowls for the cage where it’s basically stuck to the cage door so that it won’t spill out.

Then they told me that no water is allowed. They even told me that if by accident the water was to spill out of the cage, it might cause some electrical problems and would in turn cause the plane to crash! Yes….that was what the man at the check-in told me. He then told me that I should have used ice cubes instead of water since they would melt slowly and not spill out when they moved my cat’s cage.

Nobody told me that when I called them…numerous times. I know I get really dehydrated when I fly….in fact I drink a lot of water. So there was no way I was going to let my cat into the plane without water. The man was trying to bully me into throwing away the water in my cat’s cage. He then told me that if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be able to board the plane.

My friends who were flying with me tried to change his mind but he wasn’t going to. Then I told him that if he wanted me to throw the water out, I was going to report to it to the ASPCA. Animal Cruelty….right? That seemed to work; in fact, he even lowered his voice and asked his manager to come out. His manager was very nice. I told the manager about the whole situation, and she nicely told me that perhaps I needed to put less water in the bowl and assured me that that once my cat got in Taiwan she would have someone refill the bowl so that my cat would have water at all times.

When I got to Taipei they had someone meet me at the overnight check-in desk to tell me that my cat was doing fine and that they had given my cat more water. In fact, the next day when we had to check in again the man behind the counter told me that my cat was doing all right. That was nice of them. They kept me up to date about my cat.

If they had told me to put ice cubes instead of water in the bowl, I would have gladly done it, but nobody did. And I hated it when the man at the first check-in counter in Honolulu tried to bully me into throwing away the water. This might not be much compared to the other horrible tales that I’ve read about, but it was horrible when it happened to me.

Signed, Diesel’s Mom

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

paul July 8, 2008 at 12:14 pm

very nice..

i love animals, and glad to hear that some people care..


rb July 15, 2008 at 11:36 am

Cats are hardier than you might think. Your cat would have gotten by fine without overnight water – and probably avoided a stinky cage too.

Sounds like the airline personnel took pains to keep you happy.


Bob November 13, 2008 at 9:39 am

It's a freaking cat. Leave it at home.


Zimminger December 5, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Cats are actually descended from desert dwelling animals, and so have no extraordinary needs (or even what we would consider ordinary needs) for water. Excellent animals to cage and ship for that reason; you only invite trouble if you supply the normal amount of food and water…because then they have to excrete.


Anonymous December 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Cats don't need much water at all. You chose to travel with your cat, its YOUR responsibility to deal with inconveniences involved with doing that.


devon April 2, 2009 at 9:42 am

Poor kitty-should've left it at home with a cat sitter


Erick April 2, 2009 at 10:02 am

Some real asshole comments on this story.

Yes, it's true that there are wild desert cats that survive in an extreme climate. Whatever broken logic could make someone believe that lifestyle somehow applies to all species of house cats is seriously flawed. Water is a basic necessity. Frankly, I don't care if my pet CAN survive a long flight without water; that's not an excuse to dehydrate an animal. A pet doesn't understand and it's not like you can explain "drink up now because you won't get a chance on the plane." You're suggesting it's acceptable to deprive an animal of water for 15+ hours.

…and Bob, did it ever occur to you that this was a one-way flight where the author was moving?


Neen April 2, 2009 at 10:49 am

That story was the dumbest thing ever. Are you serious??!!


JC April 2, 2009 at 11:58 am

Leave your cat home. No one else wants to ride next to your pet. I have 2 cats and i would bring them on a flight with me. Leave them with family or at a good kennel.


Phoebe April 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Wow, a lot of the commenters on this one are mean. Not having water is a serious issue. Access to water is important to an animal's survival on a long flight. Of course she was concerned, and the guy indeed sounds like a jerk. I'm glad there are people who care about the needs of their pets.


Joe April 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Are you serious – thanks for the long story about cat water. This seems so stupid compared to the breast feeding dog lady.


robby April 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm

why not feed the cat wet food?

the cat can derive all of its water needs from that.

You're not making the cat suffer–and if your cat is drinking that much water to begin with, it might have a kidney infection.


Collin April 2, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Erick & Phoebe – those guys are obviously joking – loosen up.

I don't see why anyone believed the breast feeding dog bit. It is bullshit.


jose April 3, 2009 at 8:10 am

this was such a stupid story and a waste of everyone's time. WHO GIVES A FKKKK IF YOUR CAT DOESN'T HAVE WATER FOR A FEW HOURS!

you need to get a ilfe


Anonymous April 3, 2009 at 9:17 am

I have had cats all my life, and I currently have two. FU to the jerks who are telling this woman to leave her cat at home, when she is on a ONE-WAY FLIGHT and MOVING. Cats are less annoying than a lot of people's kids (as one can see just by reading some of the posts on this site).

However, I do agree that they can go a pretty long time without water — definitely long enough to survive a flight. And yes, just give them wet food if that concerns you. Just understand they may take a dump in the cage if you do so, which in my opinion would be more inhumane, if you allow that to happen.


Anonymous April 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

They let you on the plane with water? Did they check it? Wow, security is less than I thought xD


TB April 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm

The cat can drink its own urine? Problem solved!


Lynn April 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I seriously think that the fellow was pulling your leg.

Where were you supposed to get the ice cubes? If you had put ice cubes in the dish before leaving home, they would have melted by the time you got to the airport, and even if you had put them in the dish right before checking in, by the time the cage was transferred to the plane, there is every likelyhood that the cubes would have melted anyway.


H E Pennypacker April 6, 2009 at 6:29 am

Who puts a water bowl in the cage?! Of course its going to spill out! Why not use one of those water feeder things that hangs from the cage? Every consider that???


Karl Nellen April 6, 2009 at 8:34 am

I have seen many times people spilling their drinks and yet have to see a plane crashing. What a dumb reason to deny a cat on an 8th hour flight a spoon full of water!


Omar April 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Cats do not need water for an 8 hour period. It will not affect them at all. Hell, cats sleep all the time for 10-12 hours straight.


Steph July 10, 2012 at 5:54 am

What is up with all these awful comments? As someone who is emigrating overseas, my cats have to travel with me on a 10 hour flight. I was interested to read this story because I learned something about how it can go. Thanks for the story. Ignore the haters.


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