Expat Life

Bringing ‘Whiskers’ abroad? A few tips.

Latest and final episode of my series called expatriation. Last not but not least…. How to bring your four legged-companion abroad?

For people like me, the expat life would not be complete without taking every single member of the family and that also means my cat. I was raised with dogs, horses, a tortoise and when I started to live on my own, the very first thing I did was to get MY cat, Muesli.

My Move to London

Muesli would travel with me absolutely everywhere, and when I moved from Paris to London, he was definitely coming along. And that was not a simple thing to achieve then!

I had to proceed by the book according to the Pet Travel Scheme requirements (PETS), waited six months before being allowed to travel to the UK with my beloved cat. And that was not all! I had sold my car – clearly not needed in London and definitely way too expensive. Eurostar only accepts guide and assistance dogs (so not an option either). I finally opted for the ferry where I had to leave my cat in the car… That was really painful for me, but at least he was moving to England with me and he did not seem to care as much as I did about the means of transport.

The journey was quite nice actually. My only biggest worry was the dreaded and pivotal moment when Muesli’s passport was checked. I had been told by my French vet that she, unfortunately, had had to collect a few ‘clients’ that had not passed the exam with flying colours obviously! I must say I felt I was back to teenagehood, feeling my whole life was about to crash down if the word uttered was a ‘No’. But fortunately, the word uttered was a ‘Yes,’ and a whole new life started for the two of us.

And now a few tips

First and foremost, ask your vet what the requirements are depending on the country you live in and the country you are about to move to. You can also check all regulations on the country’s official government website or local associations.

If you are moving to the US, bear in mind that you have to comply with the federal laws as well as the state regulations. They may vary state to state. You may need to contact the state you are interested in to find out what their regulations are.

Regarding the UK, the PETS requirements I mentioned above have eased up a bit since my move, fortunately. Bear in mind that I am writing this article in August 2019. That means that we do not know for now whether there will be a deal or no-deal Brexit. The British government has warned that in the case of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit, travelling with a pet between the UK and Europe would require a four-month preparation at the very least. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, that will mean a whole new bunch of requirements since the UK will become an ‘unlisted country’.

If you’d like more pieces of advice on how to work abroad, being a carer abroad, how to settle in, I offer a few tips in other articles and of course way more by contacting me! I would be more than happy to share my experiences with you and guide you along the way.

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