Taking the Kitties Across the Ocean

bshcatlover

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Hello,

I thought I would just post here and see if anyone has had any experience moving their cats across the globe.  I will be moving back to Canada from the UK in about 4 months and I was hoping some of you would have some experience/advice or tips. 

As it is a trans-Atlantic flight, they won't be able to travel in cabin with me, but instead will have to go in cargo which I am quite worried about.  I have bought 2 medium Vari Kennel Ultra Fashion airline crates (28x21x22"), which I now think may be too large for them.

I have emailed a couple of pet export companies who have quoted me anywhere from £1,082.96 to £1,535.44.  Is that standard or should I just contact the airlines directly?  The problem is British Airways doesn't accept animals not booked through a pet travel agency, so if I don't want to use a pet export company, I would have to take my cats on the train down to London which I'm afraid might be more stressful for them.   Has anyone has a particularly good experience with a UK-based pet export company they can recommend? 

One of my cats is rabies vaccinated and microchipped and I plan on getting the other vaccinated and microchipped as well.  Before they leave, I know they require a health certificate to be completed not greater than 48 hours in advance, is there anything else?

Hope someone can help, I am super worried about how they will do on the trip!   Thanks!
 

momofmany

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For the health certificate question, you need to contact the local government on where you are moving too, as well as the airline you are flying them on. I know the local government will have specific requirements on the type of medical documents that you will need to have with you. Some countries require a quarantine period on all animals entering the country. Some airlines may also require some type of certificate.

I flew a cat in cargo one time and I gate checked him so that he was hand carried to a pressurized compartment in the plane. The flight itself was only 1 hour and in the summer so I wasn't too worried. The problem is that your flight is long, and the compartments under the main cabin are not heated. Please call the airline to understand exactly where they would be putting your baby's carrier, as it should NOT be in general cargo.

I've read enough bad stories about flying animals in planes that I would look for alternative transport if you feel the airline is not going to adequately take care of your kid. Know what you are getting into with this trip.
 
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ziggy'smom

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Are you sure you can't take the cats with you in the cabin? I once flew from Sweden to the US and there was a little Poodle traveling in him mom's lap. The was with SAS. I'm pretty sure my neighbor who just moved her dog to Poland flew in cabin with her dog too. I would check with some other airlines. Check with SAS since I know that they do allow animals in the cabin. It may be an issue having two cats but maybe that could be fixed by having them in one carrier. Maybe that would make them feel more comfortable too.

If you do have to take the train with them or they have to travel in the cargo compartment make sure that the carriers are completely covered with a blanket or something. If it's covered and they can't see out they will feel calmer and less scared. All the new sites are scary but if they are in their own little dark compartment they feel more safe. Maybe you can attach a blanket with tape or if you can sow you could sow a slip on cover for the carriers so that it won't come off.
 

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Several years ago friends of mine moved from the U.S. to Germany and took their cat with them.  They took her in the cabin and were not even allowed to have her in cargo. They had planned to and after getting to the airport found out they couldn't.  The husband had to run to Petsmart and get a soft carrier, and I was so relieved and happy when I heard about it (he brought us their hard carrier).  I had been upset and praying ever since I knew what they were planning and I think my prayers were answered.

I personally would never, ever, ever, have my cats fly in cargo.   If I had to move and couldn't bring them with me in the plane, I would sadly rehome them before I would put them through flying in cargo.
 
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bshcatlover

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I myself was quite worried about having them travel in cargo so I emailed the pet travel agency to ask about whether or not it was possible for my cats to fly in cabin with me and this is the response I got back:
The pets are not permitted to leave the UK in the cabin with you they all have to travel in the hold, it is a special hold designed for pets and is therefore heated and pressurised the same as the area we travel in.
So, it looks like they will have to go in cargo.
 

carolina

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That fee sounds ridiculous....
My cousin is in the process of taking her dog to Brazil, from the US, with American Airlines. It will cost $150. I would go straight to the airline and get a ticket with them - if not British, consider traveling elsewhere :dk:
American Airlines requires an international Health certificate, signed by the USDA for transportation. To check what you need, you need to call the Airline, then log in to Canada's Embassy website - in there you will see what is needed - each country has its own requirements.

To Brazil, for example, the International Health Certificate needs to be Certified/signed by the USDA and the vet within 10 days of traveling. This is all you need. This health certificate will ensure all vaccines are up to date, and the animal has no transmissible diseases.
They do however, have vets on site on arrival.... However if you don't have the proper documentation, your pet will be put on quarantine..... Not a good thing.....
 
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bshcatlover

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Well, I just thought I'd give you all an update on how my trip planning is going.  I passed all my finals, will be graduating this weekend and then moving back home to Toronto on the 23rd of July.

I have gotten a few quotes from different pet travel agencies and have decided to go with Pet Air UK.  I was quoted about £1,100, but since I want to use my own carriers which are a bit larger, it'll be more like £1,500.  They will each be in their own carrier and are not allowed to share a carrier.

They've already been microchipped, got their rabies vaccines and are up-to-date on their other vaccinations as well.  Now I just have to get their health certificates a couple of days before we leave.  They will be flown down to London a day earlier because I was told the turn-over time for pets is longer than for luggage, so they may have to spend the night down in London and then they will be put on my flight from London to Toronto.

I am very nervous about how well they're going to travel, but it's really the only option we have.  I'm going to spray down their carriers with Feliway spray and give them Zylkene to help try to calm their nerves.
 

missymotus

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The price sounds right, we imported 2 cats from Germany last year which were allowed to travel in a large crate together. The girls were 9 months old which is the minimum age for importing and travelled well for the 24 hour journey here, then 30 days in the quarantine station. 

I send cats & kittens as cargo in country a lot, cats really do tend to travel very well. 

Far easier using a pet transport company to ensure all rules and guidelines are followed.

Good luck with your move and congratulations on passing your finals.
 
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bshcatlover

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Yeah, I'm just really worried since Angus is a bit of a stress case and this is my first time ever traveling with cats.  I have heard so many horror stories about cats escaping and getting lost, I just want to make sure everything goes smoothly. 

I'm also worried about all the paperwork I have to complete, I just don't want to forget a form or something, so I have to make sure I have all the right documents for them.  I have some documents (i.e. Jaffa Cake's Pet Passport with her registered breeder's name on it) and other documents like her medical records with her pet name, Jaffa Cake on it... Do you know if that will be a problem?
 
 

missymotus

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 I have some documents (i.e. Jaffa Cake's Pet Passport with her registered breeder's name on it) and other documents like her medical records with her pet name, Jaffa Cake on it... Do you know if that will be a problem?
I really don't know, could depend if her pet name is part of the ped name. We only used pedigree names on all paperwork.
 
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