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Readers Respond: Have you made an international move with cats?

Responses: 3

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Marion Boddy-Evans successfully moved her six cats from So. Africa to Scotland, even though the cats had a six-month quarantine.

Have you made an international move with cats? Did your cats have to be quarantined at the destination country? What were the specific requirements for cats entering that country? Share your experiences, both good and bad, with other readers.

Note:This form is not for asking questions or replying to another reader. Think of it as your own mini-article on the About.com Cat site. Replies with questions or comments directed at other replies will not be published.

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Not Again

I moved my 2 cats approx 10 years ago from the UAE back to the UK, when they had to go into quarantine. This experience was horrendous. I looked on the DEFRA list of supposed approved facilities and chose what seemed to be a good one. Their literature was very good reading, but pure fiction. My cats were 10 and 13, and had lived all their lives in a penthouse apartment, so had never come into contact with other animals, and they had their pet passports covering their whole lives showing yearly inoculations. The story is too long to go into here, but on collection my eldest cat was in such a bad state from not being treated for a skin infection, that after 13 years I had to have her put to sleep. I NEVER wanted to have to put an animal through the UK system again, but unfortunately after retiring to Thailand 3 years ago with 2 Burmese cats I have to return to the UK. Imagine my horror of now having to put my beautiful cats through that inhumane system. I'm terrified.
—valboyes

NEVER SEDATE YOUR CAT WHILE FLYING!

Hi ya! I moved my cat Baghera from Portland Oregon to Scotland in 2004. It took over 6 months planning through the PETS scheme but was worth it when she didn't have to go into quarantine. One important thing I did learn from the Animal Receiving area at Heathrow airport is that something like 90% of all animals that die on planes have been sedated. It has to do with the lower pressure on flights reacting adversly with the lower blood pressure caused by sedation. Most vets don't even realize the risks because they don't realize how much the cabin pressure causes an additional lowering of the blood pressure in cats and dogs. I just wanted to share this with readers as I had been close to mildly sedating my cat for the 30 hour journey until the kind people at Heathrow explained this to me. Thanks for your time! By the way, my cat now loves being a scottish lass... Meow!
—Guest Happi Tate

Coming from Uzbekistan to America

I moved my Siamese in 1994, from Uzbekistan to the United States. My biggest fear was that I was going to have to fly through Heathrow, as I'd been told that even a short layover there would result in quarantine. But I was able to finagle a Frankfurt to LA flight. Flying into the US was very easy at the time (pre-9/11). We were both exhausted after the nearly 24 hours in airports and planes. So I was worried that they would look at her and think she was ill - because she was as tired as I was. But the customs people glanced at her box, said "what a beautiful cat" and waved me through. Suni didn't eat a lot on the trip, but I took her out whenever I was allowed to and kept her on her leash. I was prepared to force fluids, but she was willing to drink. I created a portable litter box out of sand and a shoebox, and then threw it away before we boarded. It probably helped that she was a very gentle-souled cat. But all-in-all it was very easy.
—Guest Jenn

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Have you made an international move with cats?

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