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Old 31.05.2021, 07:59
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Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

My wife has already looked into the flights and the main how to's of relocating our cat to Switzerland (Geneva) later this summer. We are flying from Japan and normally use ANA, but she's determined that our boy Wally can fly codeshare on Lufthansa in the cabin with us.
This is all great but I have other questions:
What to expect in Switzerland?
More specifically...
How are people regarding pets over all?
Is it possible to rent with a pet?
The first few days... experiences from folks who've done it.
Long term pet care/pet sitters, are they available? How much do they cost?
Any additional information... especially the Geneva area ... and actual experiences flying long haul with a cat.
Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 31.05.2021, 08:45
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

Here are Lufthansa’s rules. https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/travelling-with-animals

To be allowed in the cabin the cat and their cage can’t exceed 8kg. Also airlines limit the number of pets in the cabin, so I recommend you book early mentioning the cat. First come, first served.

With Lufthansa you will transit either Frankfurt or Munich. If you have a choice I would choose Munich, somewhat calmer. But Frankfurt should be OK.

You will enter the Schengen Area at the German airport so have all your documents available at that passport control, but also have them ready at Geneva should they ask there.

If you have an opportunity to fly Swiss via Zurich that may be easier as you enter Switzerland without transiting a third country.

Good luck.
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Old 31.05.2021, 08:57
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

I've never flown with an animal of imported one so no help there..

But I wouldn't worry about rentals with a cat.. Animals are generally well accepted, everybody has a cat, they all come to my garden to poop and spray.

Seriously, unless you are looking at furnished rooms or something unusual, almost all rental accommodation will accept cats. When we first got a dog we check out the contract and checked with the landlord. No restrictions and no requirement to even ask - only thing is that obviously you are responsible for any damage and you may need to check your insurance covers animal damage.

Edit > Pet sitters are plentiful too.. Loads in Geneva area.
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Old 31.05.2021, 09:07
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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You will enter the Schengen Area at the German airport so have all your documents available at that passport control, but also have them ready at Geneva should they ask there.
They will be importing the cat into Switzerland, so it must be declared at Swiss customs. Which means flying into Switzerland during business hours - or based on a recent thread it causes all manner of problems.
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Old 31.05.2021, 09:20
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

We flew Lufthansa with three cats from the US to here ... they were lovely during the whole process and the flight attendant informed us there was a camera where the kitties were held & checked in with us during our journey to let us know how they were. If it is possible, I would try and bring your cat on board, but be prepared it may not be pretty. Do not give the cat any sedatives as this can cause health issues ...

Cats are very much appreciated in Switzerland and we are even famous for the special little "cat ladders" in apartment buildings:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...%20than%20dogs.

You will find that some landlords do not accept cats, but it is far easier than having a dog.

Best wishes on your journey! Make sure you check the passport/vaccine requirements for entry - there are even some companies who offer support for importing pets professionally.
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Old 31.05.2021, 09:27
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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They will be importing the cat into Switzerland, so it must be declared at Swiss customs. Which means flying into Switzerland during business hours - or based on a recent thread it causes all manner of problems.
Customs at Geneva will be open even for intra-schengen flights. All passengers leave by the same exit which has green and red lanes. OP should take the red lane and declare the cat.


https://www.blv.admin.ch/blv/en/home...frettchen.html
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Old 31.05.2021, 09:42
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Wow. Thanks so much.
We know the Lufthansa policies - my wife is meticulous regarding such things. Currently our only option is through Frankfurt (many flights have been canceled), but all of this information is helpful.
Good to know that the Swiss are pet lovers overall. Wally is an indoor cat (cats are treated poorly in Japan if outdoors - in our neighborhood for every kindly person who (unfortunately) feeds strays (causing more feral animals), there are stone throwing kids and scooters aiming at the animals), and only heads outside on a leash with my daughter or wife generally.
I grew up with cats and never would have thought to travel with one... but this guy adopted us and over my protests (and surprise that people do it), he'd be joining us. I'm not heartless, my daughter's best friend's grandparents love our cat and take him in while we travel, and would have him in a heartbeat. My wife and daughter convinced me, I thought the poor guy would have needed quarantine, but apparently not. I though he'd travel in cargo, but apparently not.
This seems doable!
I'm also looking for any experiences with flying (I know all animals are different) and how folks did it. I'm also scouring the pet and cat pages of the internet, but welcome suggestions.
And I promise, Wally won't be spraying or pooping in your garden...
Again, many thanks!

I also see some Nyon folks here... that is the area where we will likely be looking to live. Will certainly look forward to housing advice (we are hoping for a house or a place with a garden) in the future... as we say in Japan "よろしくお願いします" (look favorably upon us, we will appreciate your help).

Any suggestions for vets and pet supply places in the area will be welcomed too!

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We flew Lufthansa with three cats from the US to here ... they were lovely during the whole process and the flight attendant informed us there was a camera where the kitties were held & checked in with us during our journey to let us know how they were. If it is possible, I would try and bring your cat on board, but be prepared it may not be pretty. Do not give the cat any sedatives as this can cause health issues ...

Cats are very much appreciated in Switzerland and we are even famous for the special little "cat ladders" in apartment buildings:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...%20than%20dogs.

You will find that some landlords do not accept cats, but it is far easier than having a dog.

Best wishes on your journey! Make sure you check the passport/vaccine requirements for entry - there are even some companies who offer support for importing pets professionally.
Thanks! My wife is already making sure that he can be in the cabin - but your experience is reassuring. We won't sedate but will be getting him a Thundershirt and possibly some kitty Xanax (we've heard about some short term relaxers - not sedatives) for the most stressful parts of the trip. Japan is not helpful with this... but we may beable to get some from a vet elsewhere.

Last edited by roegner; 31.05.2021 at 11:57. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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Old 31.05.2021, 10:02
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

I’d suggest getting the pet carrier ahead of time and getting him used to spending time in there.
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Old 31.05.2021, 10:09
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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I also see some Nyon folks here... that is the area where we will likely be looking to live. Will certainly look forward to housing advice (we are hoping for a house or a place with a garden) in the future... as we say in Japan "よろしくお願いします" (look favorably upon us, we will appreciate your help).

Any suggestions for vets and pet supply places in the area will be welcomed too!
We even have Japanese friends in the area ..

We're very multicultural
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Old 31.05.2021, 10:16
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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We even have Japanese friends in the area ..

We're very multicultural
My wife has a Japanese friend in the area too... I wonder if the same family. We live in Hiroshima currently (which at 1.5 million folks feels like a small town compared NYC and Jakarta, where we were before), but as I'm originally from a tiny village, Nyon will probally feel great.
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Old 31.05.2021, 11:52
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

I don't have a cat but flown with my dogs many times long haul, so thought I'd give my two cents: get your cat very used to the soft-carrier if flying in-cabin, or the hard-case transport box if flying in the hold area before your trip. On top of peeing pads, placing a soft something with your wife or daughter's smell on it.

I've done both in-cabin and the hold area (in the past, I was flying SQ which did not allow in-cabin so I had no choice) and my dogs were fine either way, but yes, I'd totally prefer in-cabin too!

Switzerland is the most animal friendly country I have lived in my life, so don't worry. Also, it's easier to find a place to rent with cats than with dogs if it is unfurnished. Bring the cat food that will last a month or two, until you find another brand here that your cat will like.

よろしくお願いしますandお疲れ様are such convenient Japanese expressions  ちなみに私も日本人ですが、チューリッヒ在住です
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Old 31.05.2021, 13:52
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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With Lufthansa you will transit either Frankfurt or Munich. If you have a choice I would choose Munich, somewhat calmer. But Frankfurt should be OK.

Can't comment on Frankfurt. I hate the place and avoid it as much as possible.

But the one time I flew with a cat from Munich they were really great.

There was a separate security gate for people with animals, in a separate and quiet room. The staff there to every care not to stress the cat. It was absolutely lovely.
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Old 31.05.2021, 14:25
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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Here are Lufthansa’s rules. https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/travelling-with-animals

To be allowed in the cabin the cat and their cage can’t exceed 8kg. Also airlines limit the number of pets in the cabin, so I recommend you book early mentioning the cat. First come, first served.

With Lufthansa you will transit either Frankfurt or Munich. If you have a choice I would choose Munich, somewhat calmer. But Frankfurt should be OK.

You will enter the Schengen Area at the German airport so have all your documents available at that passport control, but also have them ready at Geneva should they ask there.

If you have an opportunity to fly Swiss via Zurich that may be easier as you enter Switzerland without transiting a third country.

Good luck.
I highlight the bolded comments above. Definitely book your in-cabin slot for your cat asap.

If I were you, with a pet, I would not transit through Germany. I'd fly Hiroshima-Haneda with ANA/then Narita-Zurich with SWISS. The process at Zurich airport is very easy: go to the red "to declare" exit and present your cat to the customs staff with all necessary documents, get the stamp and you are good to go. Zurich airport is not big, and you can very easily transit to the trains where you can take a scenic train trip to Geneva. Swiss trains are very nice and clean so you will be comfortable and see more of this beautiful country that you will call home for a while.
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Old 31.05.2021, 14:28
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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I don't have a cat but flown with my dogs many times long haul, so thought I'd give my two cents: get your cat very used to the soft-carrier if flying in-cabin, or the hard-case transport box if flying in the hold area before your trip. On top of peeing pads, placing a soft something with your wife or daughter's smell on it.

I've done both in-cabin and the hold area (in the past, I was flying SQ which did not allow in-cabin so I had no choice) and my dogs were fine either way, but yes, I'd totally prefer in-cabin too!

Switzerland is the most animal friendly country I have lived in my life, so don't worry. Also, it's easier to find a place to rent with cats than with dogs if it is unfurnished. Bring the cat food that will last a month or two, until you find another brand here that your cat will like.

よろしくお願いしますandお疲れ様are such convenient Japanese expressions  ちなみに私も日本人ですが、チューリッヒ在住です
妻は日本人です。 彼女や娘も流暢です。 私は少し日本語を話します。

Thanks for the welcome and the advice. Glad that Switzerland is pet friendly!
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Old 31.05.2021, 14:31
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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and you can very easily transit to the trains where you can take a scenic train trip to Geneva. Swiss trains are very nice and clean so you will be comfortable and see more of this beautiful country that you will call home for a while.
I agree with this advice.

I always book 1st class when taking my cat on the train. Less noise and activity to cause any sort of stress.
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Old 01.06.2021, 00:34
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

I'd recommend (clicker-)training for carrier ASAP, the more relaxed cat is now, the better. Any carrier until you get the flight approved one is better than waiting.

I was researching plane vs car for mine when the time comes, and decided on car. However, I picked few tips for both, which this vet succintly explains:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB01fo_h1eA

For 'anti anxiety' as opposed to sedation, I've seen zyklene being recommended. I got Sedarom (in Germany, but I also could buy it on amazon, so check that?). This things are to be taken in advance to build it up in the body.
For our 4.5 kg cat, vet recommended starting a week before the trip and not stopping until we see he's settled down in a new place.
For test, 3 days before test, 3x a day.

Also, no matter if sedation or relaxation - TEST it before.
Some cats might react completely the opposite of relaxed and you want to find that out asap so that you can find something else.

I have one cat that's completely fine with whatever, and another who hates cars (meow per second or two, sad/whining type, so far only tested with taxi and 10 minutes, not fun :/).

It seems he has to look outside, we're testing the idea with harness now and he reacts significantly better but now he wants to go all over the car, which isn't good either. Next step is testing sedarom and box again. They both like their boxes, they're their common napping places, and second thing they do when returning from the vet is go back in it to nap (first thing is to grab some food).

Easy way is to put boxes, put a lot of blankets to be cozy, and throw treats in there I can't recall if we had to put them more than twice before first nap take place, probably not.
But - stuff it if your cat generally like soft places. Many people whose cats don't like transport boxes forget to make box inviting.
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Old 01.06.2021, 08:58
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

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I highlight the bolded comments above. Definitely book your in-cabin slot for your cat asap.

If I were you, with a pet, I would not transit through Germany. I'd fly Hiroshima-Haneda with ANA/then Narita-Zurich with SWISS. The process at Zurich airport is very easy: go to the red "to declare" exit and present your cat to the customs staff with all necessary documents, get the stamp and you are good to go. Zurich airport is not big, and you can very easily transit to the trains where you can take a scenic train trip to Geneva. Swiss trains are very nice and clean so you will be comfortable and see more of this beautiful country that you will call home for a while.
You can also fly Zurich to Geneva on Swiss, bags checked through from HIR to GVA. While the 3hr train journey will be a scenic journey coming at the end of a long-haul flight it may not be that enjoyable, particularly as you are responsible for your suitcases and Wally. While Swiss trains are comfortable they are not the Shinkansen.
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Old 01.06.2021, 19:13
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

Just like Island Monkey and blacky say, put some treats inside or a favourite blanket inside the travel box well in advance, it really works.



I can understand you want to get the travel with Wally just right... but don't delay on searching for a place to live, this could be the hard part. You'll get something eventually but it's often a big headache for first time arrivals, unless their company or an agent is arranging everything, がんばって
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Old 01.06.2021, 21:03
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

Every cat is different.

We never sedated ours but we taught her to like her carrier.

When she was a kitten we always gave her treats in the carrier.

Now she just lies in it here and there, and has no trouble being moved around in it.
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Old 02.06.2021, 07:15
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Re: Cat flying Lufthansa from Japan

Thanks for the advice everyone.
I just posed the fun question to my wife “how do we get Wally from Hiroshima to Tokyo and where will he stay?” as Japan is not nearly as pet friendly as other places. I want to avoid using a pet shipper as much as possible, but we may have to. At least for Japan.
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