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If you have moved overseas, what did you do with your pets?(13 Posts)
DH and I are considering moving overseas, possibly to Middle East. The one thing we don't have a solution for is what to do with our two cats.
Is it easy to move them overseas, or look to rehome (not an easy option as one is quite elderly now)?
I think its very dependent on the country you are moving to. You also need to think about what you would do if you came back to the UK. I lived in Australia and had planned to bring my cat back to the UK with me. UK has quite strict quarantine requirements. The cat needed a chip and all his usual vaccinations, plus a course of jabs against rabies, followed by a blood test to confirm the jabs had worked. Then we were going to contact Qantas to organise the flight. Then quarantine on arrival for I think 6 months. In the end we found a new home for him, he was a bit feral and got a job as a mouser on a hobby farm.
Will your older can manage the move? I mean is she healthy enough for the jabs and the flight? And how will she handle the climate where you plan to move to? I think if there is anyway you can rehome them it is better for the cats. Even if hassle and cost is not a barrier for you. Particularly if it is a temporary move and someone will have them for the time you are away.
We had 2 cats in Oz and came back last year, we rehomed them through a friend (her mum took them to live on 5 acres where they had a big mouse problem). They were quite young (4 year old siblings)but as they both couldn't stand I didn't want to put them through the journey here, and we didn't know where we'd be living either.
I know someone who recently moved to Dubai and took her cats with her (from Canada).
Last year we were looking into moving back to the uk from Canada so went through all the microchip ping and rabies backs. DEFRA changed the regs in January though so now it is much easier to move them back to the uk. No quarantine as long as you follow the rules.
The key thing is to get the cats tested (negative) for rabies, and then get them vaccinated. After 6 months you can then usually take them to most countries without quarantine. Check with your vet though as this is just based on my experience. You also need to look up the animal import rules on the website of the country in question. They vary massively depending on both country of import and country of export.
We moved 2 cats we adopted in Dubai with us to HK. It was a very difficult decision, as the Dubai airport vet thought one wouldn't survive the flight as she was so terrified and they both had to be quarantined for 16 wks on arrival. However, in the end we took the risk as the alternative was to have her PTS (no rehoming options- definitely do not rely on rehoming in the ME if you end up coming back because there are tonnes of strays and it's really hard).
I would have re-homed if we could have tbh as we are in an apartment in HK with no outside space.
We got our cat in Dubai and have subsequently moved him to Geneva, London, Glasgow and Paris and he has coped very well... We made use of professional pet mover from Dubai-Geneva and Glasgow-Paris but otherwise did it ourselves and it was relatively straightforward.
We are rehoming ours, with people who we know to be cat lovers and very stable. Both cats are quite highly-strung, and I don't think they would cope with the flight tbh. We plan to move them a month or two before we go in case anything goes wrong and we have to re-think.
We flew to France nearly 6 years ago. Our fares via Ryanair for 3 of us were about half what it cost to fly our 12 year old Maine Coon to Bordeaux.
Still, we thought it was worth it, and she's still with us.
The only thing we learned, is to feed them 'wet' food for a while as they can get very dehydrated during the flight.
We moved from Geneva to Scotland and took the dog with us, but that was a reasonably easy one. We drove rather than fly to make it easier on her.
Check with Defra to see what the rules are for returning to UK from ME.
I know expats who have moved pets, and those who have rehomed pets. Depends where you are going to, how difficult the journey will be and what condition the pets are in.
Also, check out the vet situation in your chosen country. I had two cats when we lived in Oman. I only found one vet who was reliable, the other, who was I think Egyptian had less idea than my DD.
Sadly, both had to be PTS in one week. Both had been bitten by the bin cats and got really horrible abcess' that would have required daily dressings. We were going on holiday that week for seven weeks and had nobody who could commit to taking them to the vet or doing the dressings.
Some family friends of ours are very kindly 'fostering' our two moggies. The cats are very young and have always been completely skittish, and they would have a complete breakdown if they had to go on a 15-hour flight to Singapore, not to mention the caged waiting bit on either side. It's hard enough to take them to the vet down the road in our car.
Plus they are outside & inside cats and we will be in a condo; they'd be bored witless hanging about inside all day. So it pains me to do it as we've only had them a year and I am FAR too soppy about them, but we've no choice.
We're coming back to UK in two years, if plans go as we want them to, so we'll be reunited - of course by then the cats might want to stay with our lovely friends who have a garden that is much nicer and bigger than ours, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it...
We've done it thee times
First time elderly cat went to stay with a colleague- we were prepared to take him back, but he was happy and settled with her.
Second time, cats went to stay with my brother and thence to a neighbour when he moved overseas as well.
Third time, coming back from Oz, guinea pig and rabbit went to friends from school.
We have a dog now who I would take with us, paying whatever was needed, she'd stop us going somewhere 'uncaninefriendly'.