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What papers does my cat need to be able to travel abroad?

Ginger cat on suitcase advice

What papers will you need to travel with your cat?

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A family holiday just wouldn’t be the same without your cat. Taking your cat on holiday with you will mean extra organisation.

By Zoe Monk

But with today’s modern car carriers, vaccinations, pet passports and cat papers to travel with, all make it much easier to take your cat abroad. As long as you organise everything in good time and are confident your cat can cope with the journey, then you and your feline friend can look forward to a great trip together.

A family holiday just wouldn’t be the same without your cat. Taking your cat on holiday with you will mean extra organisation. But with today’s modern car carriers, vaccinations, pet passports and cat papers to travel with, all make it much easier to take your cat abroad. As long as you organise everything in good time and are confident your cat can cope with the journey, then you and your feline friend can look forward to a great trip together.

How can I take my cat on holiday?

If you are planning to travel with your cat within the UK, then it should be reasonably straightforward. You just need to make sure the accommodation is pet-friendly, your cat is microchipped and you are confident they will be happy in their temporary surroundings. There are some things you can do to make sure your cat has a safe, happy and comfortable trip.

Check whether there will be other pets in case your cat doesn’t get on well with other animals.

Until you find a local supply of food, water, treats, litter trays and litter, make sure your cat has everything they could need for the first few days.

Take some of your cat’s familiar items such as bedding and toys with you to help them settle in.

Attach a temporary ID tag to your cat’s collar that clearly displays the address of your destination and emergency contact numbers. Your cat should wear this for the entire duration of your trip.

What cat papers to travel do I need?

The first thing you will need to do is check the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website to find out the exact entry requirements for the specific country you’re planning to go to. If you will be heading to Europe for instance, cats can travel relatively freely as long as they have been vaccinated against rabies, microchipped and have a valid pet passport.

You will also need to follow the Pet Travel Scheme entry rules. Your vet will be able to give you a pet passport for your cat which will include up-to-date information about your cat’s health and treatment to prove they are healthy. They will also be able to recommend any preventative treatments for the specific area you will be going to and ensure your cat’s rabies vaccination is up to date. Some countries also ask for a health certificate from your vet 24-48 hours before you travel.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Can my cat travel after Brexit?

If you plan to travel with your cat to any EU country after Brexit, you will need to know how this changes pet travel. It’s recommended that you start preparing at least four months before you travel if you hope to travel with your cat after Brexit. If there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit, current EU pet passwords issued in the UK will likely no longer be valid in the rest of the EU.

How can I travel with cats long-distance?

Cats tend to be home lovers and can become stressed when travelling anywhere else. It’s not recommended that you travel with a cat under 3 months old, an elderly cat, a cat in poor health or one that is pregnant. It’s important to make your feline friend as comfortable and relaxed as possible for the journey, especially if you will be travelling for a long distance.

Cat carriers

The most crucial piece of luggage for any long journey with a cat is the cat carrier. If you will be travelling with more than one cat, give each cat their own separate carrier. Your cat will need to stay in the carrier for the duration of the journey, so make sure it’s large enough, easy to clean, strong and secure. Put in some soft bedding, catnip treats and any favourite toys to make it feel comfortable and safe. Place an appropriately sized litter box inside the carrier or move your cat to a separate carrier for toileting every couple of hours. Don’t forget to take bottles of water and a non-slip bowl.

How to air travel with a cat?

If you plan to visit a country outside Europe with your cat, travel requirements for your pet will vary depending on the country. Make sure you check the latest information before you travel. You will need to let the airline know well in advance if you will be taking your cat with you. They will advise you on what you need to do so you can get your cat through the airport. Make sure you ask about where your cat will be for the journey, although this may likely be the in the cargo area. You should also find out about the regulations for your cat carrier, how often food will be given and whether there are any specific requirements regarding medical conditions or age of your cat.

Can I take my cats onboard a plane as carry on?

Each airline has different rules when it comes to accepting cats onboard a flight. Some airlines are happy for you to bring your feline friend in the hold, or even in the cabin with you if small enough. Some may charge a small fee. However, some airlines will only accept support or guide animals onboard the flight.

Try to avoid your cat travelling in the luggage or cargo hold if at all possible. If you want your cat to fly in the cabin with you as carry on, then you will need to contact the airline directly well in advance. There is often a limited number of pets that are allowed to travel in the cabin during a flight.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Enjoy a purrfect trip

Sometimes a trip away doesn’t feel right unless you take the whole family with you and that includes your pet cat. Trips away with your cat can be a fun way to bond with your feline friend. But it’s crucial that you plan ahead to ensure you know the rules and regulations of cat travel and to make it a happy and comfortable trip for your pet.