(Closed) Moving a cat overseas, coping with quarantine – any Bees done this?

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Is there ANY way you could find a flight that allows her in the cabin?  That’s the part that scares me the most.  Other than that, I think she’ll be fine.  Does she have to be quarantined when she gets to Singapore?  

The other thing to do is make sure that the microchip she has is one that can be read in Singapore and Australia.  I was considering moving to England a few years ago, so I had my cat microchipped again to ensure the English machines could read her information.  So she has two…!  

Post # 4
3571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

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. 


Post # 5
3571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@peachacid:  Haha! The microchip thing actually had me hold off on it for a few years. When we moved to Egypt I refused to do it because they weren’t standardized. When we were leaving the states last time our vet in DC (who deals with a lot of diplomat families, etc) said that readers now are pretty standardized, and the 10 digit (i think) is more or less the international standard now. So that’s what we did. 

I actually was wondering if it worked (since i feel like you never really know after the first day) but Darling Husband came home from the vet here the other day and said they had a reader and it picked it up. I was shocked they had one here. 

Post # 6
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I have a dog not a cat and we probably won’t be going anywhere soon but I was curious about this topic. 

OP I wish you good luck!  Your cat is adorable and I hope all turns out well for you!

Post # 9
4354 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@peonyinparis:  You are such a good kitty momma for carting her with you instead of leaving her behind. Whatever she has to go through I’m sure she’ll be glad to see you at the end of it.

Post # 11
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Ok, I seriously love you. I don’t have any help to offer as I’ve never looked into this but I was curious about the thread title and once I read your post you are AWESOME. It’s amazing how you’re doing all this for your sweet kitty, I’d do the exact same for my baby. I know not too many people would though. Good luck with it all! She is one lucky kitty to have you guys as her family. 

Post # 13
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@peonyinparis:  Hello! Your cat is mad cute, seriously. I would suggest contacting a vet about a mild sedative/ anti-anxiety type drug for her flight. You will find a vet sympathetic of your circumstances and if not, move on and find another – phone around. If anything it will help YOUR peace of mind. I have a sedative for my dog, it makes him lethargic but it helps to control his anxiety and general unhappiness when I need to travel for business like twice a year. I have a 60kg rottweiler cross  boerboel (huge indigenous type mastiff) with serious velcro-dog syndrome – let’s just say I struggle to find a pet sitter. Like you, I tend to take him along with me (on holiday, to the office, to the shops – he likes to travel) but for business I can’t. The meds really really help him the sitter reports a calm dog that does not try to open windows and doors or paces up and down or avoids his food. He was calm and ate his usual portions while I was away recently.  The things we do for our pets.  Good luck.

Post # 14
1106 posts
Bumble bee

So glad she is able to go with you! Congrats – you are a fabulous fur-mommy!

Post # 15
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@peonyinparis:  Daisy is adorable! Please keep us updated in June as to how the transfer & quarantine go. We’ve talked about moving to Europe and I worry what would happen to our kitty.


@Mrs.LemonDrop:  I have friends whose dad is Air Force, they moved their cats all over the US and once overseas. I know who I’ll contact if/when we move abroad. If we were only going for a few months – six max – my mom has already offered (begged) to “borrow” my kitty. But we were to move for longer than that, I’d take her with us.

Post # 16
3571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Mrs.Camera:  haha definitely. Although I learned the hard lesson recently that new barriers can arise for cats when you’re already in a country. <Sigh> You just never know. I think it will work out for us, but I can’t update that post quite yet. 

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