NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a right way to travel with your cat and a wrong way.

The TSA said one of its officers found a cat packed inside checked luggage at Pennsylvania’s Erie International Airport.

The feline, named Slim, was curled up in a pile of clothes inside the bag.

An Erie International Airport (ERI) TSA Officer let the cat out of the bag this week. Literally. And the cat’s name is Slim. Slim’s owners packed her in their checked bag. While this could have been extremely dangerous for the 6-month old cat, Slim is just fine and is currently residing under the care of the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. … No worries though if you’d like to travel with your pets. Here’s how! … Checkpoint Screening: … Check with your airline first to inquire about any fees and policies. … Your pet will need to be screened via checkpoint screening if it’s traveling with you in the cabin of the plane. … We do not X-ray pets. However, there have been many occasions where passengers have assumed their pet needed to go through the X-ray. You can imagine the surprise of the X-ray operator when they see Fluffy’s skeleton roll across their monitor. It is not an unusual occurrence. Your pet will need to come out of its carrier, so it is a good idea to know how your pet will react. Many a cat has gone into a feline frenzy after being removed from its carrier. An angry cat is never a good thing. … Even if your travel is “off the leash,” you should strongly consider keeping your pet on a leash. The checkpoint is a noisy environment that can cause your pet to flee at its first opportunity. This happens with humans occasionally as well. Your pet can be carried through the walk through metal detector or walked through on leash. If your pet triggers an alarm, one of our officers will have to take a closer look. Pets are not screened with the body scanners. … Checked Baggage: … If your pet is traveling in a kennel, your airline will arrange for a TSA Officer to screen the kennel. Officers will need to inspect your kennel/carrier for prohibited items with you present. Sometimes this can be done visually, but it’s good to have a leash handy in case the officer asks you to remove your pet from the carrier.

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

“While this could have been extremely dangerous for the 6-month old cat, Slim is just fine and is currently residing under the care of the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania,” the TSA wrote on Instagram.

Comments (18)
  1. Nancy Morris says:

    It has been suggested around here that it was just a Vietnamese guy packing a snack for the trip.

  2. Cats love clean laundry and the cat getting into the suitcase without the owners knowledge is absolutely a high probability here.

  3. Did they run it through the CAT scan?

  4. Should have disguised it as a weapon they probably would have missed it.

  5. Maybe airlines ought reconsider their policy of charging flyers what amounts to close to a full fare to bring a pet aboard an airliner. That would go a long way towards discouraging pet smuggling.

  6. Grizz Mann says:

    Looks like someone let the cat out of the bag.

  7. Better than find cat packed in your taco or sweet and sour.

  8. Dave Stanley says:

    In this case I think it’s quite likely the cat got in their on it’s own and nobody knew it was their until the suitcase was opened.

  9. “Sometimes this can be done visually, but it’s good to have a leash handy in case the officer asks you to remove your pet from the carrier. ”

    TSA is so stupid. The animal is in a carrier so it can be safely transported, and these idiots want to remove it so they can look in the box? Do they really know what they are looking at?
    Dumb cucks.

  10. Phil Davison says:

    Apparently Aunt Bethany was traveling again.

    1. @ Phil……best comment I’ve seen online in weeks!! Kudos to you! Now get my stogie!

  11. Terry Wood says:

    I you’ve ever owned a cat you would know that sometimes they will sneak into an open suitcase without the owner knowing. This could have easily happened and it was closed, locked and went on it’s way to the airport. Unless the owner admitted they purposely did this I would tend to think this is what happened.

    1. David Fermor says:

      I have to agree with you, Terry. The little rascals will sneak in, burrow themselves into the warmest spot and stay hidden while someone packs in haste not realizing that Fluffy isn’t in his usual hiding spot when the taxi comes. The rest is as we see. Hopefully, that was the issue.

    2. That is the first thing I thought of, too. I hope these people didn’t get their pet taken away from them because of a mistake. I would be heart broken if one of my cats were taken away because they decided to hitch a ride in my suitcase.

    3. Nancy Morris says:

      That’s obviously correct, as anyone with a cat knows, and the TSA definitely should know. Cats do that routinely. The TSA tut-tut memo in this article is rather stupid. It even weirdly suggests that when a cat is found in an x-ray the TSA assumes it’s a smuggling attempt by the traveler. Wow, is that ever a stupid assumption on the TSA. I wonder if they were stupid enough to actually accuse the traveler in this case.

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