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Moving Advice for the junior faculty

11 June, 2006

Moving advice for junior faculty

A whole bunch of us academic bloggers are involved in thousand mile-plus moves this summer. Most of us are moving with pets. I, for example, am checking my cats as very expensive luggage, and hoping that the information United Airlines gave me on appropriate cat carriers is correct. This means about 9-12 hours in the kitty torture chambers for the very talkative cats. And if they go in the cargo hold, you aren’t allowed to give them tranquilizers … except maybe the natural ones? It seemed that it would be less stressful for them than having to be in the carriers in a car for multiple days …

Any advice for all of us moving newbies?

Update: I did actually consult with the vet before buying the air ticket …

12 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 June, 2006 8:13 pm

    Check with the airlines about restrictions due to high temperatures. Although I think that the cargo holds in the planes are now air-conditioned, when I tried to fly my cats a long distance about 10 years ago, the airline wouldn’t permit it because it was summer and the external temperatures were in the nineties; the heat would have been too great. (I took them in the car instead.)

  2. 11 June, 2006 8:20 pm

    Welcome! And thanks for the info. I anticipated that and am flying on a red-eye, so that should be ok …

  3. 11 June, 2006 8:41 pm

    You’re not supposed to give them any sedatives at all, because then the employees cannot tell as easily if there is a problem. Also, there’s something about a slowdown in their vital signs that combines with lower air pressure for possible bad. Less pleasant for them, but also less dangerous.No matter what your flight time is, they will not fly your pets if it is too hot.

  4. 11 June, 2006 9:13 pm

    Have you considered actually bringing them in the cabin with you? Most airlines do allow this. You might have to buy an extra seat…If you do it this way, you’ll be able to slip the kitties some valium. That will keep them quiet and pliable. I would be afraid to put them in the cargo hold; terrible things have happened to pets that way!

  5. 11 June, 2006 9:22 pm

    I know — but United only allows one pet in the cabin on any given flight. I’m not thrilled with the arrangement, but I’ve been told things are much better for animals in cargo than they used to be. There are supposed to be in a pressurized, separate part of the baggage area…

  6. 11 June, 2006 9:29 pm

    Wow, I hadn’t heard about the AC in the cargo hold. We were still going by temperature about 5 years ago when I flew with my dogs.My dogs used to love riding in cars. I got them these little doggie seat belts instead of putting them in crates. I don’t know if they make them for cats, but one of my dogs was really small – maybe the size of a medium full grown cat.I don’t know if your cats are too big to fit under the seat in a carrier, but the last time I flew the carrier had to big enough for the pet to stand up and turn around. I couldn’t imagine any but the tiniest of pets would be able to do that…that space just isn’t very tall.Buying a seat would probably be much more expensive than cargo hold. And the airline I last used said there was a limit on how many animals were allowed at one time on the whole plane. Still, although it is probably a very small percentage, bad things do happen to more pets flying in cargo than you hear about.Personally, I prefer having my pets on the road with me. I have crossed the country with them more than once without problems. And cats are probably easier than my dogs were since you don’t have to walk them every time you stop for gas.Check out for places that will let your pets stay with you. Generally, if they allow dogs, they will allow cats.Best of luck, whichever you choose.A different Rebecca

  7. 11 June, 2006 9:41 pm

    Well, I’m kind of stuck with the flying at this point. I can’t drive to where I’m going and get there when I have to be there to meet the truck with my stuff. So really, I’m looking more for haw to make the kitties as comfortable as possible, given that they’ll be in a scary place for hours.

  8. 12 June, 2006 4:32 am

    my late cat flew across the country in cargo three times. she did really well.i was amazed. they do have a/c in there, but they _still_ won’t let them fly if it is too hot or too cold.

  9. 12 June, 2006 4:43 am

    Well, please everybody keep your fingers crossed that it isn’t. I’m flying a red-eye, so it will be in the coolest part of the day the entire way.

  10. 12 June, 2006 4:50 am

    I’ve just checked — the high temp for the days of our travel to Destination City is around 87. The lows are around 70. That means that it’s likely to be no more than about 70 when we’re flying — unless it’s a lot hotter at altitude? But again, we’re flying at night, and I think much of the trip will be cooler than that. Does anyone know how hot is too hot? Because the airlines did not mention this as a problem, and I asked. In fact, that’s why I booked the red-eye.

  11. 12 June, 2006 12:50 pm

    First — plan to get to the airport really, really, really early for your flight — then smile, suck-up and make friends with whomever checks you in… they’ll be your friend in case of trouble and you want them to remember you — I suspect the worst that would happen is that the cats would be delayed a while if it is too hot– until it cooled off. You might want to have a back-up plan for someone to come get them from the airport and take them back for a later flight. Your ticket-agent friend can help you with this sort of problem…My advise is to give them each something that smells like you, call the vet to see if you should restrict food and water before they go and make sure the carrier door is shut tight…. if there is a loop for a locking mechanism, take a wire coathanger, put it in like you would a padlock and twist the ends together tightly… that way anybody who needs to get in to help them can do so, but it doesn’t come accidentally loose.You know that they’ll probably need shots and a check-up certificate from the vet. As for other moving hints and tips…1) make sure that if your moving company is packing for you, that you have all the stuff in the “normal” place… i.e. if you keep winter coats in a spare bedroom closet, move them to the hall closet etc.. otherwise the unpacking is more puzzling than it has to be.2) Get a list of the stuff the company won’t allow on the moving van and formulate a plan to deal with that.3) hire someone to clean your empty place — it is worth $75 to have someone do that for you… Merry Maids etc… will take care of it — see if you can have them get a key from the office so you don’t have to be around when they do it. 4) Make a pedicure appointment for the week after you move… you’ll need an hour where someone is pampering you.

  12. 12 June, 2006 5:13 pm

    ITPF — Thanks! And I have no back-up plan. Argh. I suppose I should, but it’s only going to get hotter in destination city. I’m really lucky, because I don’t have to do any serious cleaning. When I moved in, the previous tenants (landlords’ family) hadn’t cleaned. A maid service was supposed to come in, but never did. When I move out, they’re going to re-do the kitchen and bathroom, so I don’t have to do much except maybe sweep. And I’m doing all the packing myself … aaargh. But a pedicure next week before I fly? Sounds very good!

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