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Moving with 2 Cats from Singapore to UK

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have received a job offer to work in the UK (near London). If I take it (and I think I will), I will need to move my cats from Singapore to UK. It's about a 13 hours direct flight.

Now the difficulties. UK is extremely strict with the import of pets. I have already given them Microchips and the rabies vacs. On 01.09. they need to go for a blood test after which they can only enter UK after 6 months (if the test is successful). This means they need to go into quarantine or remain in Singapore until they are allowed to enter the country. I will most likely move mid October so you can see how long they'd normally need to go into quarantine.

I have checked facilities in UK for quarantine and they are very small and very expensive. And I could only visit once a week as I would work 5 days a week and they are only open Saturdays on weekends. Does anyone have experience with putting their cat(s) into quarantine for that long?

I am thinking of leaving them with my bf in Singapore as he will only be moving to UK in March/April next year. We have been living together the past 3 years so the cats know him well, but once I move, he will be moving back to his parents before he comes to UK.

So I am not sure what the best option is at the moment. I'm leaning more towards leaving them in Singapore for the time being, though they will be in a new house with unkown people. My bf works full day so I'm not sure how the cats will take it. I'm a bit afraid they'd dart out the door and run off.

Now for the move itself. UK has rules on how they are transported as well. They need to fly cargo and there are only few carriers that I am allowed to use. British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong), Emirates (via Dubai). Of course I'd want to get the direct flights on British Air or Singapore Airlines. Does anyone have any feedback to the 2? I heard Singapore Airlines, though they offer excellent service to passengers, are not good with pets. Any experience?

As for the crates to use. I have one big sturdy plastic carrier, suitable for a medium sized dog. Can I put both cats in one carrier? I think they may be more comfortable travelling together. But then again I'm afraid they may injure each other...

What do I generally need to prepare them for flight? I heard I should not give sedatives as it could be dangerous for them when they are unmonitored.

I really appreciate your input. The flight is really long and I know it's heaps of stress for them. Unfortunately, UK pet import requirements don't make it any easier.

post #2 of 11
forget the job - but, then - that's just me

sorry I can't offer more help - the ordeal sounds horrible for the cats, even staying with someone else for a length of time sounds horrible for them
post #3 of 11
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link. Seems like noone has had major probs so far.

Unfortunately it doesn't answer the question on if I can put them into one carrier. Can anyone give advice? I'd really like them to be together.

The quarantine facilities are not bad in UK, they are just small. But the care is superb from what I heard - well at least the expensive one is not bad, it's just the 6 months that are scary and I'd rather leave them in a bigger house with my future inlaws than having them to be in a 6 sqm room in the quarantine station.

Any further feedback on experience would be welcome

post #5 of 11
For putting them in one carrier, you will need to ask the airline. I know some insist on only one cat per box. My friend moved hers from the US to the UK, and British Airways would only take them in two boxes. I would leave them with your bf - it will be less traumatic for them than quarantine, however good it is.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I first had the problem that the cats couldnt stay with anyone in Singapore and would have to go into a tiny boarding home here or the quarantine in UK. I was devastated. Most of the catteries here are small cages of 2 cubic yards - it looks terrible! The biggest I saw as a room of 6 x 12 ft. but that's also small for cats that are used to 900 sqft of living space.

But now we found the best solution for the 2. I am sending them to Germany first. I'm there on vacation staying with my parents and will receive them personally when they arrive at the airport. Then the two acclimatise and settle in while I am around them in the new environment. Then they stay with my parents for the half year before they can enter the UK and I can visit them from Germany every 2 weeks
Any my parent's place is really nice and big.

After the 6 months I can just drive them to UK with no quarantine.

Wish me luck! I am still scared that the flight will be really tough on them
post #7 of 11
That's great!!! I do think you really did find the best solution!!!
for your and your babies!!!
post #8 of 11
What a relief for you to have this option. Im sure with love around them your baby cats will settle in.
Congratulations on the new job, hopefully the time will fly by and you will have your babies there right beside you in no time.
post #9 of 11
only mine's domestic: from the mainland US to Hawaii last year.
Unlike other states in the mainland, Hawaii is very strict on bringing pets - Ku Ku had to be in quarantine if I didn't prepare anything before hand.
Also, because of the quarantine regulation, pets are NOT allowed in-cabin from/to Hawaii at all. She flew with me on the same flight but she was in cargo...so yes, I do know how you worry about your babies.

Regarding flight & other info, here's some sites I recommend:

Hope the waiting's over fast & your babies will be there with you sooner
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your well wishes! I drove them to the boarding house today. During the ride in the car I assured them that they are not on the way to the vet but rather for a holiday adventure. I told them they will meet a lot of new cats (at the boarding house) and people and should be friendly at all time

The boarding house are also the ones sending them off and they will prepare everything necessary. They have a good track record and in general seem really pleasant and nice. I'm sad I won's see how the two will adapt as I will be flying off tonight.

I can't wait to meet them at the aiport next week Friday! I really hope all goes well. And in Germany they will be well taken care of by my parents. My mom even has a friend who is a vet but specializes in cats. So it should all go well! I'm still nervous and sad.

I'll update you once I collect them from the airport next week!

post #11 of 11
Yes please keep us updated. Good luck with everything

With the kitties and with you
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