I’m your girl for this!!!! Crazy cat lady here. We’ve done:
Sophie: USA -> Egypt (2 years) -> USA (1.5 years) -> Afghanistan (2 years) –> ANYWHERE ELSE soon! (Probably USA)
If you’re going to be in Singapore for a while (a year or so) do NOT even worry about Melbourne right now or it will get stressful.
I see there is no option to take her in cabin, which makes things more complicated. I only book tickets where she can come carry on when I move her. If it’s at all possible I reccomend you try to do this too, but if you can’t (it happens. From my experience, cat in cabin appears to be largely limited to US/Euro airlines).
1. Definitely call and ask a lot of questions about the animal cabin, their specific cage guidelines, etc. Also ask about climate control. One of the biggest problems for animals in cargo is that they are often left out on the tarmac for a long time while loading/unloading planes. Sometimes its really hot out when they do this. (For example, Ive been told this about Dubai, and a friend who works for airlines in the States told me this too). So, if you have any control, it’s best if you move during not extreme temperatures.
How does quarantine work? Is it gov’t quarantine or is it house arrest kind? I ask this because I’ve never had to do quarantine for her. I’m really surprised that Singapore would have higher standards than Europe (I’ve not moved her to Europe but she’s going through the procedures now to do it just in case, and we did it before when we moved here) – the US too (although that doesn’t surprise me). I’ve always heard about quarantine for dogs, but not cats. (Just an aside).
In terms of stress- one thing you can do is start getting her used to her carrier. Take her on drives to get her used to being in there and seeing that she’s ok.
They make cat calming spray, which I’ve used. I’m not entirely convinced that it works, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.
Put a puppy training pad in her carrier overtop the squishy thing. Sophie has NEVER peed in her carrier and we’ve done… 12+ hours without a break. I’m always prepared with a training pad in the carrier and a couple extras and a few plastic bags in case i needed to quick change it.
I actually give her a low dose sedative too, which keeps her awake but calm. Kitty xanax/benedryll i guess. I wouldn’t reccomend this though if you’re putting her under the plane. It can inhibit their ability to control their body temp in some cats. This has never appeared to be the case with mine, but I wouldn’t risk it in cargo.
Bring some of her food with you! So they probably have something similar everywhere (If I can get cat food in Afghanistan, i’m sure you have decent options) but take about a weeks worth so you can mix it in to the new food and gradually reduce. This is especially important if you always feed your cat the same thing. (Sophie refused to eat the first move because I had always fed her the same brand. It was a stressful few weeks).
Carry the paper work on you – keep a copy on her cage. Keep a copy in your checked luggage. And a copy in your carry on. See where I’m going with this one? ; )
If you have a layover, they do make these disposable litter boxes – they’re like a reinforced paper bag-type thing. I did this when we moved to Afghanistan because I had a 10 hour layover in Turkey so we had a hotel. I carried litter (had to have to tested for bomb materials 2x since it was Sept 11 weekend 2011, but it’s fine) and this worked perfectly. The litter was heavy in my carry on though.
Whatever you do – don’t be a stressball about it all! She will pick up on the stress of moving anyway, but if you remain calm in deeling with her and moving, she’ll be fine.
That’s all for now because this post is insanely long already. But if you have any other questions, feel free to PM me. I know we haven’t done gov’t quarantine, but I feel like Sophs and I are kind of Champs at this by now. ; )
Also, I don’t know if i need to say this BUT I’m really glad you’re moving her! It’s seriously not that expensive, difficult or anything. It’s so worth it, and I’m sure it means a lot to her that you would not abandon her.