I am bringing Stoney (Stoner), my kitty, overseas to Norway with me from the United States. There seems to not be a list of what to do in order to be able to do this out there on the interwebs so I thought I really ought to post the list I am creating as of what to do.
********* This list will be added to over time when I find more information. **********
- Research your tickets (don’t purchase yet) and what the airlines say about pets. This is the page for SAS airlines for example. They may have restrictions such as size of the carrier or breeds allowed. In my particular situation it was suggested to get the carrier ahead of time. It needs to be a soft carrier big enough for Stoner to turn around in with a max size of 40 x 25 x 23 cm/ 16″ x 9.8″ x 9″. Did I mention there is a cost to bring a cat? Yeah, you’ll need to pay up but it’s worth it.
- Research the USDA requirements for cats on their website. They will have information for step 6 of this list. This will also give you an idea of the time you need to get your kitty ready. Hint: You cannot leave in just a couple days from now!
- Book your tickets. Do your research for the tickets and go ahead and purchase them but purchase them leaving yourself time to get your cat ready which in some cases could be months. Read through this list entire list first to see what you must do. Try to pick flights with the fewest stops and lay over time. See how much luggage you can bring on the plane. Your cat may be your carry on! I will be looking into being able to bring an extra carry on. SAS airlines said to call them 24 hours after booking a flight to tell them I’m bringing Stoner. Refer to the information page on your airline’s website.
- Research what countries you stop in require for animals. Prepare any questions you have and flight information. There may be only so much room for animals on your flight so you could get denied.
- Call all the airlines you will be traveling with. Make sure your animal is approved all the way through.
- Schedule a vet visit. You will need a USDA Accredited Veterinarian who will understand what the requirements are for your cat to travel. This may include a rabies vaccine, de-worming or other health needs prior to travel. They will also know the time frames. Here is the USDA checklist for your cat. Ask the vet when you should visit the USDA for endorsement of the health certification. They can also tell you where one is and their phone number.
- Visit the USDA office. I recommend taking a folder with everything possible on your cat- certificate of ownership/adoption, rabbies certificate, health certification. Even pictures of your cat. Make copies of everything in case you need them. Keep this folder with information with you while traveling as well. My experience is that you do not take your cat with you to the USDA office. Be on time as the wait line could get long. (This step will be updated as more information becomes available to me.)
- Once you are approved, make copies. Yes, I will say that again. Better to have too much information on your cat than not enough.
- Special additions: Get a harness and leash for your cat as they will need to be taken out of their carrier for Security. Have a break-away collar with their name, your phone number and the address of the final destination attached to them. Carry photos of your cat, and yourself with your cat in case anything happens. Bring a bag of kitty food/can and get a bottle of water INSIDE the airport. Bring small bowls to be able to feed your kitty. The stewardess may be able to feed your cat on the plane. Also attach your name, your cat’s name, your phone number and address of the final destination to the carrier.
- YOU ARE READY TO TRAVEL.
If everything goes as planned, I will make a post on how everything went regarding travel with Stoner.