Taking cats through airport security

| 08/09/2017

We will be leaving Cayman in a few months time and will be taking our two cats, adopted from the Humane Society, with us. They’ll travel in carriers as our carry-on baggage. I’ve read all the rules for the airline and for pet export, and import to the other country. I’m wondering about security at the airport. Can they go through the screening in their carriers with us as we pass through the screening? Or do we have to take them out of the carriers? Can this be done in a room? I’m very worried about them being scared and bolting out of the security area.

Auntie’s answer: I checked with the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) and there is a standard operating procedure for taking dogs and cats through the security checkpoint at Owen Roberts International Airport.

The animal cannot stay in the carrier and be put through the X-ray machine to be screened. The carrier has to be placed on the conveyor belt separately. You can then either carry your cats or walk them on a lead through the metal detector.

However, the CIAA notes that if the alarm goes off, a security officer will conduct a visual inspection of the pet and the lead. In addition, if the lead has a pouch, that will have to be removed and screened separately through the X-ray machine. For anyone with an “oversized animal”, security may need to do a physical inspection.

After the carrier passes through the screening, you have to put your pet back into it. There is no private room available where you could take your cats out of their carriers.

So, I would advise you to invest in a cat harness or collar and lead (‘leash’ for Americans) for each animal to make sure you don’t lose them at the airport. I’m sure you can find them at the local pet stores.


Category: Animal Questions, Ask Auntie

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Not everyone wants PR, many are fine with leaving after working here. And to responsibly take their pets with them! Airlines recommend taking cats in the cabin.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why on earth would anyone want to travel with a cat?

  3. Anonymous says:

    obviously you have to get your cat scanned.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I had to suffer this situation taking a kitten to the US. The kitten had to be removed from the carrier for security screening. OK I totally understand that. But there is (so they say) no way this can be carried out in a secured room. The cat has to be removed at the general public security and carried through the scanner by the owner. If it bites, struggles in its terror, is dropped and bolts, the prospect of ever finding and catching it again is slim. No cat leash can hold a terrified cat when it wants to escape.
    I have a much larger and stronger (and very nervous) cat I wish to travel with and there is no way on earth I would be able to hold this cat securely in this situation.
    To say that the airport security does not have a private screening room that can be used for this sort of situation is a lie. How do they deal with people who need to be searched or questioned more closely? Ask them to strip off in the public area? It’s just laziness surely. Please treat pets more humanely and safely going through security. Private screening rooms are available in other countries. About time we had them here.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would prefer if it animals were x-rayed. I do not see why passengers should be put at risk to pander to those that cannot travel without their animals.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Such stupid rules , for gods sake its a Cat in a plastic container !! LMAO

    • Anonymous says:

      You see a cat, I see an ideal means of transporting drugs or explosives. After all there really is no good reason for a passenger to take a cat on a plane.

      • Anonymous says:

        Transporting drugs out of Cayman? Why go to all the trouble when they can be sold here. Read the question again, there is a good reason for taking a cat on a plane. To take them home.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Google pets airport security screening. Lots of tips from other travellers to be found.