Making a Soft Sided Carrying Case
When we first started traveling with RC, he had a hard plastic carrying case which he rarely used because we were traveling by car. The case was supposed to meet the airline requirements to travel in the cabin, but when we booked our first flight, United Airlines told us it was too large for cabin usage. We refuse to let RC travel under the plane with the baggage so we needed a solution ... fast. Take a look at mightystudents.com/ for premium quality essays from our authors.
Unfortunately, no one in the country we were departing sold a soft sided case for pets and it would take too long to import one, so we looked for an alternative. Creativity and a little labor of love solved this challenge (although I'd strongly recommend that you avoid this dilemma by buying a commercial soft-sided case designed for cats before leaving home).
We found a gym bag that had the ends covered in a heavy mesh. We added a light weight frame to give the case a more solid form, cut the plastic floor out of the hard-sided traveling pet case, and added it to the bottom of our new soft-sided bag.
The case was almost perfect with these small adjustments, but international airline regulations state that there must be 4 vented sides ... we discovered later that the airlines don't apply this requirement to soft-sided cases. We stopped by a fabric store, purchased heavy mesh used for veils, and created 2 more small mesh windows in each side of the case across from each other for maximum ventilation. We added padding to the shoulder strap so a long walk through airports wouldn't be too tiring.
During our first trip with the new carrying case, we monitored RC's temperature carefully. He was consistently cool and comfortable. The arrangement of the windows allows him to draw back from the end window so he doesn't think he can be seen. Of course, if you could figure out what this furry blob was from the back or side windows, you'd know there was a cat hiding inside. Fortunately, RC doesn't know that and we're not about to tell him.
I really liked this new bag over the hard sided case. RC could nestle up close to me when we're walking through the airport or hotel lobby. Unless RC decides to meow, no one has any idea that I'm transporting a cat. At the airport security check points, I have to encourage the guards to look through the mesh windows to realize why I don't want to put the bag through the x-ray machine. Everyone is surprised and delighted to see RC's little face peering back at them.
Although this home-made case served its purpose well, I'm glad we were able to obtain a commercially made case. The construction is much better and RC seems to be more relaxed since the frame is firmer. See Flying High across the Borders for more suggestions about flying with your cat.
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