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Old 27.03.2007, 21:44
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Importing a Cat to Switzerland

We raised a premie cat and now he's grown into a real character and a good member of our family. When moving to ch, should I plan on bringing him, or what complications will I have? Love to hear your input.
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Old 27.03.2007, 22:07
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Re: Importing a Cat to ch.

We brought our cats and we're glad we did. Import is easy...you just need to make sure you get shots up-to-date, etc.

This link (http://www.bvet.admin.ch/einfuhr/002...x.html?lang=en) should give you everything you need. There's also a phone number on the site that you can call to confirm you've done everything you need to do prior to arrival.

Make sure you coordinate with your airline to make sure your cat can travel on the same flight as your family (in cargo unfortunately). It's easier if you can do it this way as you can then go to get the cat at the airport before heading on your way to your new home.

Also, you might consider looking into a pet travel agency that can help coordinate your travel. A quick Google search might find a few to talk to.

Import is relatively easy, but the vet at the arrival airport will want to check the cat out, check documents, etc. so that process will add about 2 hours at the airport after arrival.
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Old 27.03.2007, 23:19
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

We also brought our cats over with us and couldn't have imagined leaving them behind. We were a lot more restricted coming from the UK, as only certain airlines carry live animals, so make sure you check that out.

We also opted to arrange the travel of our cats through our cattery (who regularly export/import animals) as we were going into temporary accommodation and didn't want to displace the cats again so quickly, and since it was serviced, didn't want to take the chance of them escaping/being scared by strangers. We had them fly over a week later when we moved into our apartment. It was great, because we were settled, our furniture had arrived, and all the cats familiar things were there, which helped them settle in. Getting through all the paperwork and stuff took time, but wasn't a problem for us, since we had set aside the whole day for collecting the cats, and we weren't doing it right after we were exhausted from moving either.

Good luck with your move!

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Old 28.03.2007, 10:10
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Hi
We moved here with our two cats. We shipped them on their own from LA to NYC in cargo, to stay with relatives for a couple of months, then flew with them from NYC to Zurich via Atlanta with them in the cabin.

As others said, the Swiss are very cool about importing standard domestic pets, but they need to have their rabies shots and I think they need to be chipped (that's what we were asked about upon arrival, though they didn't ask us for proof.)

One thing I learned in this, in spite of anything else they may suck at, Delta airlines as far as I know is the most animal friendly american airline in terms of service, price, and regulation. I think they had some problems with animal shipping a few years ago, if that's teh case, they have clearly worked on it.

Oh and DON'T transit through the UK if you can; they have a slew of really awful regulations regarding animals.
Cheers
L.
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Old 28.03.2007, 10:31
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

We brought ours in the cabin from Chicago direct to Zurich with Swiss Airlines. It didn't cost much and the cats were probably much less stressed being with us rather than in cargo. We drugged them a little bit and this also helped.

At customs, they didn't even look at our paperwork. They only asked where we flew in from and let us go so you may not have any delay at all!!
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Old 28.03.2007, 10:42
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Cinders - how long ago was that? When we first moved here from the US in '97, the same thing happened at customs as our cats travelled as normal baggage in the hold. They were more concerned that they weren't new cats and subject to VAT/duties!

We then moved to London for a few years and then returned to CH last year. The procedures are much more formal now for importing cats/pets so we had to go through the whole airport vet process.

Also, most vets don't recommend you drug your cat when flying though this applies to a greater extent if they are flying in the hold/as cargo. The temp in that section while regulated might vary more than in the normal cabin so they need to be able to regulate their own body temp accordingly. I'm sure your vet in LA will give you some guidance.
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Old 28.03.2007, 10:53
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

We flew here in March '05. It was funny how easy they were on us at customs considering the time & money we spent to get the proper documents!

By the way, does anyone have a vet recommendation in Zurich for getting the "good health certificate" required by the US? We are moving back to the States in September and our only experience with a vet here was awful! Thanks!!
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Old 28.03.2007, 11:02
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

I like our English-speaking vet in Adliswil, just a short drive from central Zurich.

Dr med vet Andreas Hagen
Zürichstrasse 1
8134 Adliswil
Main: 044 709 06 66
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Old 28.03.2007, 13:26
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

We have a really nice Vet in Zurich, Höngg. Its about 5-7 mins from Escher Wiess platz.

www.tierarzt-buechler.ch/ This is the web site and I would highly recommend them as they are really nice and treated our cats many times.
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Old 28.03.2007, 19:17
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

We recently brought our dog to Switzerland, and it was no problem at all. As the others have mentioned, you will need to have your cat's shots up-to-date (I think you have to have them done more than 30 days prior to your trip and no less than 1 year), and you'll need to have a vaccination certificate. After speaking to the vet 3 times, calling the airline, looking on-line, etc, nobody seemed to know anything about this "Health Certificate" that was required, so we decided not to worry about it. Finally, I called the vet 2 days before we left to see if we could get an extra copy of our Vaccination Certification, and the person who answered said that I must come in within 10 days of moving for this Health Cert. They basically just weigh the animal, take her temp., etc. But make sure you get one!

You will also need to have your cat micro-chipped, as the others said. Keep in mind that not all chips can be read here. (Our dog ended up needing to have another one impolanted).

No one checked her at the airport, nor did anyone ask any questions about her at customs. I'm not sure if it's the same with cats, but we needed to register her with our canton, and she had to go to the vet to have her chip registered. And while i doubt you'll be traveling to other countries with your cat (although you never know!), she'll need to have her own passport with her vaccination info (available from a vet).

Also, if your pet cannot travel in the cabin with you, rest assured that there are very tight regulations about animal cargo, and your cat will be absolutely fine (but freaked out!).

Hope this helps, and enjoy your move to Switerland!
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Old 15.06.2008, 14:33
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Updated link for rules from EU for Cat & Dog Import.

http://www.bvet.admin.ch/themen/0161...x.html?lang=en
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Old 15.06.2008, 14:55
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

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We raised a premie cat and now he's grown into a real character and a good member of our family. When moving to ch, should I plan on bringing him, or what complications will I have? Love to hear your input.
We brought our cat with us from the US (giving her up was not an option ). She had all her vaccinations (rabies is mainly what they're concerned with) and the health certificate signed by her vet in the US. At the airport, when we went through the metal detector/X-ray, I had to remove her from her cat carrier, which got sent through the X-ray machine and I carried her through the metal detector. She traveled with us in the cabin (on Swiss, in her carrier, which was stowed under the seat) and when we arrived in Zurich, we literally breezed through Customs (I had to practically beg the officer to look at her paperwork). There were no problems at all, everything went smoothly, and we found a very nice vet near where we live.

If your cat is high-strung, I would suggest giving him a tranquilizer. Ace Promezine, I think, is what we got.
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Old 15.06.2008, 15:01
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Has anybody any tips for driving with your cat (6 or 7 Hours)?

We will make our final moving in trip with moggi on 24th June (probably hot), I am worried that the vet will not give her a sedative for that long.
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Old 15.06.2008, 15:11
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Hiya,

Just reading how smoothly your cat arrived into Switzerland has really smoothed my frazzled nerves. I have three gorgeous and very special maine coon boys to move to Switzerland later this year.

Did you have to pay any taxes or customs costs when you arrived, I am not sure who I am supposed to contact to let them know the cats are staying permanently? Any advice would be much appreciated. I wasn't aware the cats could stay with you throughout the flight. I have organised their move with a pet travel agent so not entirely sure what happens really.

Best wishes

a very nervous owner Jo
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Old 15.06.2008, 15:24
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Hi Jo,

Ooo, you have Maine Coons? Are they show cats? I'll bet they're beautiful.

From what I recall reading, there was supposed to be a customs fee of 50 SFr or something for each cat, but they didn't charge me. I was kind of surprised. As I said, I had to practically beg the customs guy just to look at her health certificate. He didn't even look in the carrier So I don't know if he was just being lax or what. Same thing happened on the flight, BTW. It was my understanding that I was supposed to pay @ 100 SFr to bring the cat with me on board, but the agent at the check-in desk didn't charge me anything (despite my mentioning twice to her that I had a cat with me).

As far as them traveling in the cabin, there may be limits on how many cats are allowed in the cabin at any one time. Check with the airline you'll be flying with (or will you be driving over from the UK?)

Once you bring them into the country, I think it's presumed that they're going to be staying. So I don't think you have to notify anyone. If they have or will have chips, then I believe there's some sort of registration required. Otherwise, as long as they've had their jabs and you've got their paperwork, you should be fine.

Best of luck to you!


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Hiya,

Just reading how smoothly your cat arrived into Switzerland has really smoothed my frazzled nerves. I have three gorgeous and very special maine coon boys to move to Switzerland later this year.

Did you have to pay any taxes or customs costs when you arrived, I am not sure who I am supposed to contact to let them know the cats are staying permanently? Any advice would be much appreciated. I wasn't aware the cats could stay with you throughout the flight. I have organised their move with a pet travel agent so not entirely sure what happens really.

Best wishes

a very nervous owner Jo
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Old 15.06.2008, 15:42
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Hi,

Yes we show them over here but I will be taking a year off until I have grasped the language and have my family settled into schools etc.

I have one more boy to have his rabies shots and after that I will be getting the passports done, the cats will be moving permanently so once we are over there won't be any need to move them anywhere else.

You have made me feel so much calmer about it all. I have been a total wreck sorting everything out and thats just the cats lol.

Thank you so much

Joanne
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Old 15.06.2008, 16:02
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

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Has anybody any tips for driving with your cat (6 or 7 Hours)?

We will make our final moving in trip with moggi on 24th June (probably hot), I am worried that the vet will not give her a sedative for that long.
Good thing is most cats like to sleep a lot during the day so unless you're travelling at night I'm not sure why a sedative would be necessary. We've done similar lengths of journey with two cats and no problems or need to drug them. After all the cat will be with you in not entirely unfamiliar surroundings. Here's some tips:
1. Let you're cat do it's stuff before you set off. But for heavens sake don't let it wander off or you may have to wait a long time for it to come back, especially if it thinks you're taking it to the vet. Ours used to run a mile if it caught a glimpse of the carry basket.
2. Put your cat in a decent sized closed carrier. Don't allow your cat freedom to move about the car when you're driving. If you're worried about it stop the car to take a look.
3. Make the carrier warm and familiar with it's own blanket etc. This not only makes it cosy but protects kitty if you have to brake. Put it's favorite toy in if it has one.
4. Take plenty of water and make sure if it's hot and you have no aircon that the car is well ventilated in the back. Challenge is not getting the basket soaked so you probable have to stop every hour to offer a drink out of a dish.
5. If you take a coffee break (and on a six hour plus journey you should) and decide to leave felix in the car on a hot day remember to keep a window open.
6. have a change of bedding to hand in case of "accidents"
Good luck.
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Old 01.07.2008, 18:56
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

We've moved two cats from Zurich to California and now we're doing the reverse (but starting from Portland, OR this time).
Plane travel isn't super easy with cats but it is totally worth it!
I can't imagine leaving my cats behind.
Good luck.
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Old 01.07.2008, 21:43
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

Just to update: Success!!!

We moved last Monday. Mimi was chipped, clipped and given a complete check up & a new pet passport in the morning (old one was here in CH already - don’t you hate efficient packers?), as she was already drugged from the chipping, a mild sedative 1/2 tablet was given one hour before journey set off in the afternoon.

The journey was actually no problem (8 hours in total), there were a few mild wet accidents, but in the end she was ok and now all settled in.

So it was a daunting journey, but in the end proved to be OK for both of us. Many thanks to everyone for all of the advice.


Rob, Michelle & mimi
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Old 07.07.2008, 23:56
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Re: Importing a Cat to Switzerland

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Ah that's good, you don't want anymore worries, must be stressful enough worrying about all the cats you've rehomed in the past and wondering where they are and how they are getting on. Well at least you got your cash back so you could afford your current cats!
oh dear that doesnt sound right does it
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