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Emigrating with kitties

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
As some of you will know by now, I am emigrating to New Zealand in July this year. I have four cats to take with me, two ginger kittens and a 6yo cat who I'm sure will take it all in their stride.

However, I have an 11yo Birman who has become quite frail in the last two months and only comes off her bed to eat and use the litter tray. She had bloods taken earlier this year and they all came back fine and she took an aneasthetic ok as well so I'm assuming her heart and lungs are fine too. She is very sensitive to the cold - bizzare considering all that hair - and I wonder what people's opinion is as to whether she would cope with a 24 hour plane ride to New Zealand.

I have contacted the Birman rescue to see if they can find her a retirement home, but am still confused as to whether she may or may not find the journey too much. What do you all think? I would like to take her with me, but want to think of her needs.

post #2 of 25

I don't know what to say really! Perhaps your vet would be best able to tell you what to do! It sounds to me that she may be too distressed but where there is a will there is a way! I guess it's a matter of doing whats best for her not you (as I know you really want her with you) So a toss up! Will the trip be more stressful or will having to go to a new home be worse? I can't answer that! I hope you will get some advise! I am trying to put myself in your shoes and it's almost impossible to say!

I hope the right answer will come your way!
post #3 of 25
Just follow your instincts and feel what you need to do with your furbaby. How do you feel about taking her to NZ with you?
I received your email, but please excuse the delay in replying, I am terrible with replying to emails, but it is still in my inbox and I will reply asap. Im sorry.
I hope everything will be okay with emigrating to NZ - do you need information about emigrating to NZ? I know that there is a website that gives you advice on it, somewhere on the web - I have used it to find how to move hubby there - my dad is going to get the papers for him and get them done over here before we arrive so that we have no problem getting in.
Take care Diana!
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support guys, its appreciated!

We've already had to whittle the cats down from 7 to 4 (Suzy is one of the four), so you can imagine how heartbroken I am. We've decided that the cats we purposely went to get and made a committment to are coming, but that leaves three strays that need somewhere to go.

Bonnie the kitten we found on the street last November 5 (bonfire night) has been taken to the RSPCA today while she's still small and kitten-like to give her a better chance at finding a home. Bel, the big black kitten from my friend Traci will be going back to the home he originally came from to live with his mum. That leaves Shadow who has been back and forth from our house about three times with prospective owners. He's so grumpy, he's hard to home! Again, the RSPCA have come to the rescue and if he's not homed by me in May, they will take him into the shelter.

I really, really, want to take Suzy and have visions of her lying in the NZ sun enjoying the warmth. I think I will take the vet's advice nearer the time as to whether they think she'll cope. I would just hate it if she died enroute! But then, if I can't find a retirement home - what then?

Hopefully, someone will come forward...

post #5 of 25
Is Suzy a placid cat? Do you think you could find her a home with a nursing home? I have heard that they like to have older cats with them as it is good therapy for older people. Just an idea.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hmm, that's an idea, but I can't imagine a nursing home having her because of all that fur! She's not much of a lap cat either, preferring to sit beside you!

I'm just really hoping that the Birman rescue might be able to come up with something.

post #7 of 25
Hi Diana,

You have had this wonderful cat for how long? Does you vet feel she can make the trip, can he prescribe something for her that will stop her from stressing out. How much will you miss her if you do find her a home, and how much will she miss you? At her age, I would take a chance and take here with me if the vet feels this will work. I would keep her near me if I could, even paying extra to keep her under my feet at all times. Then you have to think about quarantine, because don't they have to be quarantined until vet checked after x amount of days? Those are the type of questions that come to my mind reading your post.....I don't know if I have helped or not, or just created more questions for you.
post #8 of 25
Diana, here is the info about transporting your animals to NZ.
They are the only services in NZ that will do this.

NZ animal services
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi Hissy, we've actually only had Suzy for a year when I picked her up out of the rescue kennels because she looked so frightened and scared - an old lady like her needs to be looked after in a warm, safe environment, not a noisy, cold kennels. She took a while to settle in, get used to us, but gradually came to trust us and relax. Over the last two months, I have noticed a gradual decline in her general movement - not her health, just that she's really slow and prefers to sleep. I wondered about sedating her, but the shipping company doesn't recommend it in case it delays someone noticing that something has gone wrong.

I want to take her, don't get me wrong, I'm just in a quandry over what's best for her. Thankfully, there is no quarantine between the UK and NZ. She has to remain under house arrest for a month, but we'd have to do that with the cats anyway!

I'm coming round to the idea that if the Birman rescue find a home, she'll stay, but if they don't, she'll come to NZ and I'll just have to risk it. My mum suggested putting her to sleep, but I don't think I can bring myself to do it. She's just old, there's nothing wrong with her!

Kellye, thank you for the information. We have three shipping companies over here in the UK who are currently vying for my animals! They will remain here in the UK until I have a house and then will be able to bring them straight off the plane to home.

post #10 of 25
If you decide to transport her I think a sedative would be helpful, just something to make her drowsy not out like a rock! This will greatly reduce stress. In fact, I'd recommend it for any cat that's flying. Have you checked with the airline to see if you can carry her on with you? Many airlines these days will let you, in fact I had a cat next to me the last flight I was on. She was in a sherpa bag under the seat! But mom was there to comfort her when she started stressing!

I'm sorry you're having to make this decision because I know how torn you must feel right now, but I am sure that you will make the right choice when the time comes.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi MorgansMom,

Yep, I have tried to see if I can get them in the cabin, but that is prohibited and they have to travel as cargo!

post #12 of 25
I have a question about emigrating with pets - you all know I want to move back to NZ also and I was wondering, if a pet is in a plane for a very long amount of time, how do they use the litter or whatever if they are in a cage? Wouldnt they be all dirty and smelly when they arrive at their destination?
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
They have two choices - they either hang on or go in the box they're in! Could mean a pretty smelly package!

I think that 9/10 the animal would hang on. I think that if the plane has a scheduled stopover (Asia for me, South Pacific for you), they offload the animals to check on them, stretch their legs and let them do their business! I've been watching Airport (a TV programme about London Heathrow Airport) and they have been offloading animals even for an hour stopover.

post #14 of 25
I don't have any advice, since I have never been in this situation before, but I just wanted to say I hope everything goes well!
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Suzy has been offered a retirement home!!!

She will be going to live with a couple and their 12 yo son. They have previously had persians in the past and are looking for another long haired cat to love. Big thanks goes out to the Birman Rescue who were crucial in finding these people and doing all the homechecking for me.

Suzy will be going to visit them in February and she will be staying to see if she settles well. If not, then I've still got time to think up another solution!

post #16 of 25
Oh that is wonderful news, but I am sure you are going to miss her so much! If it all goes well, will they keep in touch with you?

Also, Happy birthday for yesterday!

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey Kellye,

I will miss her dreadfully, I'll miss all of the ones I can't take with me! The family have said that they will keep in touch over the email and send pictures every now and then to let me know she's ok.

They sound delightful people. Who would be dedicated enough to find an obscure rescue organisation and then ask to take on such an old lady?

post #18 of 25
That is true! I am really happy for her. How is the planning on moving to NZ going?
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
So much to organise, so little time...

Have had quotes in for the animals, still have to find them somewhere to kennel until we can call them to NZ. Have had Pickfords give a quote for removing and storing the furniture.

Now all I have to do is have my baby (due end of April), sell the house and then we can go!

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Trying to see if this will work. Its a link to pictures of Suzy cat!

post #21 of 25
OMG she is sooo pretty!

post #22 of 25
Pictures as requested Diana! I hope this is what you meant!

Diana's Suzy
post #23 of 25

Suzy Again
post #24 of 25
And Last Photo Of Suzy!!!
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thankyou Leslie,

Now people can see why I want to take her! This home does sound wonderful though. They have passed a homecheck already through the Long Haired Cat Club, but I will be taking her there personally to see for myself. Of course, no-one can take as much care of your kitties as you, can they...

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