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Old 28.10.2012, 17:31
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Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

Hi All,

please could you give me your advice and experiences regarding importing pets into switzerland from the UK?


I've searched the forums and the latest threads are a few years old at least so wanted upto date advice.

Have just got my cats rabies vaccinated with an approved vet. She'll be issueing their pet passports next week. They're already microchipped and I'm just about to update their regular vaccinations with the same vet.

So here are my other questions:
1. Do they need to be treated with Praziquental for tapeworm before entering Switzerland?
2. Does Switzerland have any weird rules regarding their import I should know about?
3. Do I need to have them registered with a Swiss vet before I travel and enter the country?
4. Do I have to use an approved courier for their transport? I was planning on taking either the eurotunnel/ferry to France and then driving across and into Ch?
5. Do they have to be in baskets of a certain size for transport, or is anything that gives them enough room to move arnound in OK?
6. Did you give them anything to settle them? My vet is against valium/diazapam. What about herbal remadies, any advice please? My cats are super neurotic and skittish - even the trip to the vets in the cars sets them crying constantly and getting themselved into a state :-/

thanks for your advice, much apprecriated.
Heather xxx
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Old 28.10.2012, 17:48
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

We imported ours via Luxembourg 12 months ago, where we lived before Switzerland, but the entry rules don't differentiate on UK vs other EU.

I've answered your questions below, but for such a long journey (both for you and your cats) I think I would consider stopping part way and putting the cats into a cattery for the night. This gives them a break from the car and a chance for a litter tray.

1. Do they need to be treated with Praziquental for tapeworm before entering Switzerland? NO

2. Does Switzerland have any weird rules regarding their import I should know about? NOT AS FAR AS I KNOW. I HAD ALL THE PAPERS (PASSPORT, VACCINATION PROOFS) WITH ME. THE BORDER CUSTOMS MAN WANTED ONLY TO KNOW HOW MUCH THE CATS HAD COST AND HOW LONG I HAD THEM
...ANSWERS "NOTHING, THEY ARE RESCUE CATS" AND "ABOUT 9 YEARS" WERE ACCEPTABLE, AND HE DID NOT WANT TO SEE THE PASSPORTS/PAPERS

3. Do I need to have them registered with a Swiss vet before I travel and enter the country? NO

4. Do I have to use an approved courier for their transport? I was planning on taking either the eurotunnel/ferry to France and then driving across and into Ch? NO. WE MOVED OURS BY CAR...BUT THAT WAS ONLY 5 HOURS.

5. Do they have to be in baskets of a certain size for transport, or is anything that gives them enough room to move arnound in OK? ANYTHING IS FINE...BUT ITS A LONG DRIVE FROM UK....WILL THEIR BLADDERS HOLD ON THAT LONG??

6. Did you give them anything to settle them? My vet is against valium/diazapam. What about herbal remadies, any advice please? My cats are super neurotic and skittish - even the trip to the vets in the cars sets them crying constantly and getting themselved into a state :-/ NO, THEY TRAVELLED WITHOUT MEDS. CAT 1 DECIDED TO SLEEP THROUGH THE WHOLE THING, CAT 2 DECIDED TO MEOW ONCE EVERY 5 MINUTES BUT DID NOT SEEM DISTRESSED, JUST ANNOYED TO BE IN HIS BOX.

(sorry for the SHOUTING....just trying to show my answers in a different way from the questions)
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Old 28.10.2012, 17:50
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1-4: no

5: should be big enough to turn around in

6: I didn't but my cat didn't travel so badly, try rescue remedy and maybe just prepare yourself for noisy cats.
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Old 28.10.2012, 17:52
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

I agree with everything heckenhocker said.

The only think I would add, is that, last time I checked, the rabies shot needed to be at least 1 month old.
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Old 28.10.2012, 18:21
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

From BVet, the official rules for importing a cat (or dog, or ferret), in an easy-to-follow format:

http://bvet.bytix.com/plus/dbr/default.aspx?lang=en
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Old 28.10.2012, 18:31
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

When we took our two cats from the UK, we had them microchipped and vaccined. We travelled by car, stopped mid way in an hotel which I recommend you do as effectively it is a long journey for them and I don't know if they can hold their bladder for so long but just to avoid them the pain that might go with it. Once in the bedroom, we provide them with a litter, they miawed a little but they slept well anyway and we did the rest of the journey the day after. They miawed a lot while in the car but it is understandable, nothing to worry about. When we arrived in Switzerland, we didn't get checked. Once here I had to take them to the vet for different things, I didn't have their vaccinations book with me but he simply asked a few questions and that was all.
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Old 28.10.2012, 18:42
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

We brought to dogs by air from the UK a few months ago. The customs guys didn't even look at them. We had the pet passports, but didn't have to show them.

Good Luck
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Old 28.10.2012, 19:22
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

Thats absolutely brilliant, thanks very much guys!! xxxx

Good to know, I've been worrying in case there was anything I might be missing. I know the Swiss like their forms

We're planning on stopping somewhere around the halfway point in a pet friendly motel....any recomendations Lola007?

We'll have our two young boys as well as the cats, so we'll all need to break it up. I'm planning on putting the littler trays out in the hotel bathroom for them, and also stopping our campervan half way along each day and putting out a tray for them. Our male cat has problems with his bladder, so don't want to exacerbate that by making him hold on too long. :-/

JanerMacP how do you give Rescue remedy I've never used it? Am I right in thinking I can just buy stuff from boots for them, doesn't have to be a veterinary prep?

I spoke to my Vet, and looked and the Defra website. Animals can travel 21d after their rabies vaccine, and their passport is issued after two weeks. We're going in December, so well outside this range thankfully.

Really appreciate your help xxx
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Old 28.10.2012, 20:27
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

We stayed in a campanille hotel, I don't remember where but if you find one, they are very comfortable and not too expensive.
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Old 28.10.2012, 20:53
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Thats absolutely brilliant, thanks very much guys!! xxxx

Good to know, I've been worrying in case there was anything I might be missing. I know the Swiss like their forms

We're planning on stopping somewhere around the halfway point in a pet friendly motel....any recomendations Lola007?

We'll have our two young boys as well as the cats, so we'll all need to break it up. I'm planning on putting the littler trays out in the hotel bathroom for them, and also stopping our campervan half way along each day and putting out a tray for them. Our male cat has problems with his bladder, so don't want to exacerbate that by making him hold on too long. :-/

JanerMacP how do you give Rescue remedy I've never used it? Am I right in thinking I can just buy stuff from boots for them, doesn't have to be a veterinary prep?

I spoke to my Vet, and looked and the Defra website. Animals can travel 21d after their rabies vaccine, and their passport is issued after two weeks. We're going in December, so well outside this range thankfully.

Really appreciate your help xxx
For the stuff that I used it was a liquid and I just put it on their paws and they licked it off. They might have a pill, but the liquid is much easier.
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Old 28.10.2012, 21:12
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

Thanks JaneMacP & Lola007 xx

Will definetly get some rescue remedy and look up the campanile hotels. I'm sure there aren't many places that take pets other than campsites so good to know.
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Old 28.10.2012, 21:40
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

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We stayed in a campanille hotel, I don't remember where but if you find one, they are very comfortable and not too expensive.

I found this one near Rheims, which I reckon is approximately half way down on our journey, it looks very decent and will accept pets! I was envisiging having to go somewhere yucky in order for the cats to be accepted before your recomendation, but this is a really nice place. Thanks for that. x

http://www.venere.com/hotels/reims/h...-reims-taissy/
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Old 28.10.2012, 23:05
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

The Campanile hotel should be fine for your cats. It is a chain, and we use it when we go to our house in the south of France. They are all pretty well the same, I think, fairly basic and small rooms, but clean and comfortable. Our cat always complained bitterly for about the first half hour or so, then slept, but I would advise taking along a towel, or cleaning cloths just in case of accidents, as it can be pretty fragrant if something happens...!
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Old 28.10.2012, 23:39
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Re: Advice on importing my cats into Switzerland

thanks Cactus Flower. Yep was planning on taking along some dettol surface spray, cloths and erm odour removing solution!!!
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