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Old 21.11.2012, 21:21
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Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

Hi all,
My husband and I are moving to the UK next month and will be bringing our 22 year old cat. We have decided on driving to Calais and then taking the car on the tunnel train. The cat travels well and has her UK/EU pet passport, chip, etc. Her current rabies vac is set to expire on Dec 20 so that should be fine as well (at her age we would prefer not to put her through an unnecessary new vac).

I would love to hear from anyone who has brought a cat or dog INTO the UK on this route (and out of as well though it is not as directly applicable!). What was the experience like? Should we be concerned about the fact that her vaccine expires in a few weeks- maybe days from when we are entering? I have been over the DEFRA website extensively but the only numbers are 21 days after vac related.

Input and personal experience welcome- always nerve wracking bringing her across borders- especially the UK. This is likely to be her last move.
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Old 21.11.2012, 21:25
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

Not sure if they have changed their rules in the last 18 years, but when we tried to bring our cat over via the Eurotunnel, there was a big sign in Folkestone stating that no pets were allowed in vehicles on the train.
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Old 21.11.2012, 21:32
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

Yep, they have changed them.

Still no pets on the eurostar though!
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Old 21.11.2012, 21:33
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

No no Paddy - it's absolutely fine. We always used the Tunnel when our dog used to come back and forth with us- and then for the big move with our elderly cat. You just have to arrive in plenty of time and as you approach the EuroTunnel, you'll see a slipway on the right which takes you to the pet office where they check the passport, the microchip and the vaccination, worm and tick treatment (signed by Vet) - and then on to the Tunnel. Just make sure you allow plenty of time. We usually stay overnight at the Kyriad Plage Hotel which allows pets, with car parking spaces next to the room. Ask for a room at the back.

Please get a larger crate for the cat, and not just a cat carrier- so it can have a tray, food and water in with it. Our elderly cat (Pudding) was absolutely fine after the first 10 minutes.
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Old 21.11.2012, 21:49
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

Then I stand, sit and squat corrected.

Thanks for the updated info.
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Old 22.11.2012, 10:46
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

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Please get a larger crate for the cat, and not just a cat carrier- so it can have a tray, food and water in with it. Our elderly cat (Pudding) was absolutely fine after the first 10 minutes.
When we brought our then four cats over (~2001) we put a large rabbit-type cage in the back of our Volvo estate, with litter tray and dry food. Toyed with the idea of a water dropper, like what you'd use for rabbits, but decided just to stop every couple of hours instead. They all absolutely hated any trip in a car, and this was no exception. We did discover, however, that completely covering the cage with a blanket to avoid any external visual input calmed them down quite effectively.

Coming from the UK we weren't at any point asked any questions - just went straight through as per normal.
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Old 22.11.2012, 18:49
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

The rules for entry to the UK eased at the beginning of 2012 and cats now no longer need any additional treatment before entering the country. Providing the rabies jab has not expired, just pitch up at the PETS checkpoint on the right before checkin (having booked and paid for an animal), they will scan the chip, check the pet passport and that's it. The crossing itself is a 35 minute piece of cake.
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Old 22.11.2012, 19:00
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

Where are you moving to? Providing it is somewhere we can easily pick up the crate to return here to CH (we like to keep it just in case) - I could lend it to you. We regularly go to Surrey and East Leicestershire.
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Old 22.11.2012, 19:53
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

And another point is that it might be prudent to check the microchip!

We took our dog back and forth and several times people were refused entry as their microchip could not be found.
Some people even had their own readers

Best to check with your vet that it is easily detectable.
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Old 22.11.2012, 20:54
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

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Where are you moving to? Providing it is somewhere we can easily pick up the crate to return here to CH (we like to keep it just in case) - I could lend it to you. We regularly go to Surrey and East Leicestershire.
Thanks so much for the offer- we are moving to York. She is actually leash trained though and we stop for bathroom breaks so probably will justuse her favourite travel bag (open inside an enclosure so she can get out easily to stretch if she likes but not distract the driver). She is a good traveler- 16 states and 5 countries now. She is happy as long as she is with her people.
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Old 22.11.2012, 20:58
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

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And another point is that it might be prudent to check the microchip!

We took our dog back and forth and several times people were refused entry as their microchip could not be found.
Some people even had their own readers

Best to check with your vet that it is easily detectable.
Yes, we have the vet scan it every time we visit to be sure it is still in the right place and scan-able- apparently they can shift around! We will go to the vet here one last time to get a health certificate (unnecessary but we are paranoid) and have them check it one last time!
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Old 19.12.2012, 12:28
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

Hello!

Please could I also add to this; we are planning on driving from Switzerland to catch the Euro tunnel back to Blighty with our 2 cats.
The process with Eurotunnel seems straight forward- checking cat in, getting cat looked over, hopping on Eurotunnel.

My question however is if anyone has had any experiences driving through the boarders from Switzerland?
I have had zero experience of this and have been told horror stories when travelling with pets regarding the boarder police.

Is it simply a case of paying a fee at the boarder or do they check the car?
Bear in mind we plan on taking back a few possessions such as suitcases of clothes, a home PC , x2 TV's, the cats of course, their belongings, all our documentation (which since being in switzerland is now a trunkfull)...you get the jist...the car will be full.

Thanks so much in advance!
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Old 19.12.2012, 12:55
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

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My question however is if anyone has had any experiences driving through the boarders from Switzerland?
I have had zero experience of this and have been told horror stories when travelling with pets regarding the boarder police.
In 12.5 years I have never yet been stopped going *out* of Switzerland. Even seeing a French border guard/customs person would be novel

I always go Basel, Colmar and up through France
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Old 19.12.2012, 15:58
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

Update!

So we have now arrived in the UK- took the cat via the eurotunnel on Saturday. The experience was completely EASY- no problems at all, and I really couldn't believe how painless it was!! By far the most simple cat-immigration process yet.

We drove from Zurich through France- no border checks at all. When we got to Calais we followed the sign for the pet check in- you must do this prior to checking in the car.

Pet check in was great- there was no wait at all, we went straight up to the counter, passed over the pet passport (they didn't need to see a vet letter or anything, just the passport), the lady scanned the kitty THROUGH the travel bag (didn't even have to open it!) and we were given a paper to display on the dashboard. THAT WAS ALL. The whole process took less than three minutes and was completely stress-free.

No one else stopped us or asked anything about the cat. The people ahead of us in the queue had a large lab in the back of their car and no one stopped them either. Simple.

The only additional warning I would add was that our kitty got extremely car sick (vomiting) on the train portion of the Chunnel journey, as did I. Sitting in your car means that not only are you rocking from side to side as normal on a train, but you are also bouncing up and down in the car due to the suspension. It was awful and thank goodness it only lasts for 35 minutes...

Overall the experience was one of the more pleasant travel experiences we've had with the kitty, and she hasn't suffered any adverse effects from it so all is well. Good luck with your trip and if you have any further questions feel free to ask!
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Old 19.12.2012, 16:08
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

We drove to England with our dog (a cocker spaniel) via the Eurotunnel in July and had no problems at all either at the border or the tunnel itself.

The dog was checked at the Pet Control Building (clearly signposted before check-in) in just a few minutes and that was it.

The Eurotunnel website is very helpful for what is required and what you have to do. Essentially, the dog needs a passport, microchip, valid rabies injection and a tapeworm treatment.

The tapeworm treatment "must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours (1 day) and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before the dog's scheduled arrival time in the UK." This was checked in Calais.

Useful links can be found here:

http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets...with-your-pet/

http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller-info/pets/

http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/travell.../pets/pet-faq/
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Old 19.12.2012, 16:29
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

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Update!

So we have now arrived in the UK- took the cat via the eurotunnel on Saturday. The experience was completely EASY- no problems at all, and I really couldn't believe how painless it was!! By far the most simple cat-immigration process yet.

We drove from Zurich through France- no border checks at all. When we got to Calais we followed the sign for the pet check in- you must do this prior to checking in the car.

Pet check in was great- there was no wait at all, we went straight up to the counter, passed over the pet passport (they didn't need to see a vet letter or anything, just the passport), the lady scanned the kitty THROUGH the travel bag (didn't even have to open it!) and we were given a paper to display on the dashboard. THAT WAS ALL. The whole process took less than three minutes and was completely stress-free.

No one else stopped us or asked anything about the cat. The people ahead of us in the queue had a large lab in the back of their car and no one stopped them either. Simple.

The only additional warning I would add was that our kitty got extremely car sick (vomiting) on the train portion of the Chunnel journey, as did I. Sitting in your car means that not only are you rocking from side to side as normal on a train, but you are also bouncing up and down in the car due to the suspension. It was awful and thank goodness it only lasts for 35 minutes...

Overall the experience was one of the more pleasant travel experiences we've had with the kitty, and she hasn't suffered any adverse effects from it so all is well. Good luck with your trip and if you have any further questions feel free to ask!
Yeah I made this trip for the first time in May this year with my dog, and I was surprised about how easy it was given all the prior stories about bringing dogs to UK.

Was still peeved at the cheek of charging to have a pet in the car though. A car is one price, no matter how many people, but put a dog in that car and your have to pay a fee. Its not a lot but principle of the matter.

Do you have to stay in the car? Granted not much to do out, but I remember getting out the car just to strestch legs and fetch more beer from boot. Cant remember whether it was mandatory to stay in the car.
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Old 19.12.2012, 21:38
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Re: Experience taking a pet on the Eurotunnel?

[/QUOTE]Do you have to stay in the car? Granted not much to do out, but I remember getting out the car just to stretch legs and fetch more beer from boot. Cant remember whether it was mandatory to stay in the car.[/QUOTE]

No, you don't have to stay in the car, but you are not allowed to stand between the cars and there is not much room on the sides. There are emergency toilets and not much else. I think the car sickness problem might have been exacerbated by the fact that we were on the top tier.

I think the animal has to remain in the car the whole time though.

Last edited by bluegreen; 19.12.2012 at 21:41. Reason: added more info
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