Every year, hundreds of cats are being left behind when people relocate to another country. The Travelling Cat Project is a collective effort to demystify international cat travel.
Hopefully, by sharing our stories, it will encourage people to relocate with their cat(s).
We believe if you manage to move your personal belongings to a new country, you SHOULD BE able to move your cat(s) with you.
For a full of list of information and stories, please click here.
28, February 2014
Rafale and Dante
1. Did you use an agent?
2. What kind of work did you have to do with vet before your cat is clear for travelling?
Before we went to the vet, we had a call and explained our situation. On that call we also booked all appointments we needed for our kitties to avoid surprises.
So… now the kitties:
Rafale: He was up to date with shots and he was already micro chipped. The only thing I needed to do for Rafale was to give him a Rabies Shot, a health check, to see if he is fit for flying. He also got a Pet Passport which was required for Germany.
Dante: He was more of a challenge, since we lost his papers during our move from Dublin to Malahide so we had to start all over again. So he got all his shots, Rabies, his health check, Got micro chipped and all of this within 2 months, and of Course, also the Pet Passport
3. Is there other paperwork you need to do?
Not really, we did a lot of investigation ourselves on the internet. Germany is not difficult as long as your pets have had their shots, are micro chipped, have their passport
4. How did you travel to your destination?
We travelled by Plane to Frankfurt. We flew Lufthansa since they allow Pets as hand luggage
5. How do you book your cat? Any specific requirement?
I booked my cats by calling the Lufthansa service center in Dublin. During the call I booked my flight for 2 persons and 2 cats. I could pay the tickets for me and my wife via my credit card. I was told that when arriving at the airport I had to go to the check-in counter to check in, and I also had to pay the fair of 80 Euro per cat as extra hand luggage. The only requirement Lufthansa had is that the Cats should be vaccinated, and should have a passport, of course the carrier should have the dimensions as stated on their website.
6. How did you prepare your cat box?
I purchased two Trixie Cat carriers for the flight since they had the dimensions stated by Lufthansa. When they arrived I Left both carriers in their room where they could investigate it, sleep in it, get used to it. I did put some treats in it to make it more attractive for them. I also used these carriers to bring them to the vet. These carriers are not big, for Dante is was OK, but the Huge Bengal … yeah.. poor baby. But they both got used to it, so it was not a problem to get them in on the day of travel.
7. What is the logistics on travel day?
A Lot, the Day before I got some tablets from the vet to sedate them a little (The vet said to give them a half only, if not sufficient, administer the other half). I was really afraid that Rafale, the Bengal who is verrrrry vocal, would scream during our flight. And we really wanted to avoid those “cat haters” during departure and flight. Before we left to the airport, we administered both of them half a tablet let’s say, 30 minutes before we got into the taxi. I checked them regularly if they were OK.
I also got some baby wipes just to be prepared if something might happen during the flight.
Since we booked the 1st flight from Dublin to Frankfurt on that day, we were already at the airport really early (3 hours in advance) to avoid stress with the kitties. We really wanted to avoid long waiting times, queues just to keep the stress as low as possible during check in etc. Check in went well.
And then….. Security check, I still cannot believe it when that guy said “ we need to scan the carrier, get the cat out”. This cannot be true, really…. ? Luckily we were travelling with two people, so what we did was that I got first through the scanner, got back. In the meantime my wife opened the carrier, I got the cat out of the carrier, my wife handed over the carrier to get scanned, in the meantime I walked slowly back through the scanner with a cat on my arm. Ok, the guys at security were cooperative (was it luck??) but they opened the carrier for me so I could put back the cat in his carrier. And back to do the same drill for the other cat.
Before we boarded we noticed that half a tablet was not sufficient enough so we gave them the other half. You could really see that both of them were fighting against the sedation.
We tried to be the first ones to board the airplane where we could put them on the floor under the seats in front of us and we were quite lucky 🙂
8. Was it easy? Was it difficult?
It was easy, but only because of a few things;
• We were prepared
• We were on time
• We were in control
• The Kitties were lightly sedated, which kept the stress level in overall low
(Alice’s reminder to you: Please check with your vet regarding to sedation. Every cat is different and it might not be suitable for your cat.)
9. How is your cat behave during the journey?
As they were lightly sedated, they behaved perfectly, no stress, no sound, no “accidents” it was just perfect.
When we arrived in Frankfurt, we decided to disembark when all other passengers had left, again, to keep the stress down for all.
10. Any further inspection or procedure on arrival before you can take your cat home with you?
None, when we arrived, we got our suitcases, and walked out 🙂
11. How did your cat react to the journey?
In general, they reacted very well to the journey. But in this case we were also prepared. Since we moved to Germany to a new house AND close to our daughters place she was able to prepare our house for the kitties. When we arrived in our new home, the litter box was prepared with the litter they know, their food was there, there was a water bowl and in our suitcases we carried their cat beds which we unpacked on arrival. What I also did is that I rushed to the local pet store to buy them some toys and small pillows with Baldrian in it (yes, the smelly feet stuff, but they go crazy on it). Since our furniture was on its way, the house was empty, so they were able to explore all rooms in the house on their own pace.
We had NO Problems at all, two days later they were running, playing and doing all that stuff that 2 cats can do when they have fun. We had no pee or poo issues. All that because we gave them their space and time, and were not stressed at all (they got extra TLC though)
12. How much did it cost in total?
• Vet: about 400 Euro
• Flight Carriers: 60 Euro
• Flight: 160 Euro
• Prepare new home: 150 Euro
• Seeing them play and have fun in your new place: Priceless !
13. Any other information or tips you think other cat people should know if they want to do the same journey?
• Be prepared. There is a lot on the internet but….
- Ask the company you are flying with if they have regulations, really, ask !
Ask your vet when in doubt when it comes to shots, regulations in the country of destination etc. Make also sure that all shots are done in time and on time. You cannot vaccinate a cat today and leave the day after.
• If you are Emigrating, try to find someone who can prepare your new home for your kitties, this will really help the transition
• Get the same stuff in your new home so they recognize it
• Make appointments early, when you are too late / are not compliant with regulations, there is no flight !!!!
• Make your bookings / reservations on time.
• Stay cool, keep relaxed. It will also help your kitties 🙂
Thank you RF for sharing your story with us. I am sure other cat people will the information useful!
Have you travelled with your cat internationally? If you have, talk to me! Share your story with us! It will help other cat people and their cats!