Author Topic: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats  (Read 569 times)

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Offline farmgirl

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Hello,
We're an American family but my husband has dual citizenship (American/Irish).  We're in the process of working on our EEA Family permits and plan on relocating to Colchester (for schooling) in August.

We have found a rental home; unfortunately they don't accept pets.  As everything else about the rental is ideal, and we can leave our cats back at our home (which we'll be renting out to good friends) we'll just worry about getting ourselves over to Colchester and settling in.

However, assuming we settle in and like being there, we'll want to eventually bring our cats.  So, we'll need to find a pet-friendly home to rent (easier to do when we're there versus here).  The more difficult part is that we have five cats.  We may opt to not bring them all, but would probably like to bring at least three.  From the limited research we've done, it seems like if we go with a pet courier service, it can be extremely expensive.  I would like to find out from others what options we might have.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 05:27:40 PM »
Bringing animals in through Europe is supposed to be much much cheaper.  You can fly them into Paris or Amsterdam, then transport to the UK.  It's hard for people to do this when initially moving, as they aren't set up in the UK.  But as you'll be doing it later (after you have a place to live and a car and such), it should be do-able.

Something to look into anyways!

Offline farmgirl

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Re: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 06:04:30 PM »
That is a very interesting idea to look into!  That's for that tip.  Do you know much about this, or how I might go about looking into it?  Yes, once we are set up and settled, we can tackle this. 

The thought is that we make sure we are happy first and want to stay for more than a year, before we subject our cats to a move. 

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 08:12:17 PM »
I only know about it from reading a few people who have done it on here.  The big advantage is that the animals do NOT need to fly as cargo.  Therefore they can fly either in the cabin under the seat or as a checked item, reducing the cost by easily $1000 per animal.  Best to contact the airlines that have a flight route you like and ask them the details.  You'll still have to clear the animals for the UK which is a few hundred ££, but you can have a huge savings on the flights themselves.

Offline farmgirl

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Re: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 05:17:58 PM »
Where is the best place to find information regarding what vaccinations are needed, chip ID, etc. and what the timeframe is for this?  We will head over to Colchester without our cats; the home we are renting does not accept pets.  We'll have a 10-month lease, which should give us plenty of time to settle in, and figure out next steps.

One of the things we are contemplating is whether we should do all the vaccination updates now, before we leave -- even though it could be 1+ year before we could get them over to England.  We're just trying to minimize what someone else would have to do on our behalf. 


Offline BertineC

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Re: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 08:20:10 PM »
Hi there -

Couple of things to comment on here as we did something similar to you (moved, left the cats with family, sorted out our living arrangements, etc)

1) We moved over and left our kitties (Martin and Midge) with family in Sweden while we moved to London (no jobs, no home, three suitcases). That was three years ago and we are only just now getting them back in May. It took us that long to get jobs and move up the housing ladder and find a place that would not only accept pets but was right for them too. 10 months should be a good amount of time as you aren't in London, but give yourself a little cushion.

2) You could "half courier" them - as in you fly them hold baggage into Paris/Amsterdam and have a courier port them in a van over the Channel door to door while you take the train or a connecting flight. We are using Animal Couriers to drive our kitties door to door Stockholm to London for a very reasonable price specifically to avoid the UK pets as cargo rule. They run a channel service from Paris CDG (and possibly from Amsterdam, but not 100%) with delivery to your home in the UK. Maybe give them a call or drop them an email for more info.

3) Vaccinations/chips etc. Our cats are practically Cyberkitties with the number of chips in them. Their US chips could not be read in the UK/EU so we had to rent a scanner and bring it with us. We got them rechipped in Sweden (when they got their EU passports) so if they did get lost here it could be read. You can buy EU-standard chips online in the US and have the vet implant them. Vaccines I think its only up to date rabies and the lot, which can happen any time.

The vet/USDA paperwork is the pain in the ass though. Search on here for my long post about our drama, but essentially they have to have a vet visit/check up, the vet fills out the USDA paperwork and then you have to have an appointment at the USDA office to get them to stamp it. The pets MUST TRAVEL within 10 days of that paperwork being completed.

The vet has to be  USDA certified but they cant send you a list for whatever reason, so call up your vet and ask (I suspect most of them are OK to do this).

Hope this is helpful - ours came through the flight just fine, but we will see how they settle into a new life in the Big City and not living the outdoor life of riley in Sweden!

Offline farmgirl

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Re: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 08:31:27 PM »
Thank you -- this is really helpful information.  I would appreciate any other information you can provide; I will search for your information on the vet/USDA paperwork, but if you can find your posting and send me the link, that would be great too.  I'm wondering where the USDA offices are located.

We will be in Colchester, a city of about 175,000.  We will have to wait and see how we all settle in and if we can find a suitable place for our cats.  We have five, but would consider bringing a maximum of four (one belongs to the property and is probably too old to make the trip).  We have friends and family members that say they want to come and visit us the following summer, so we are (already) scheming a way to have them bring a cat or two.

I like the "half courier" idea.  What did it costs you to do that?  Otherwise, we could rent a car and meet family/friends wherever they land and then transport them back ourselves, if that is a possibility.

Did you give your kitties a calmative or sedative for the trip.  It does seem like a very stressful ordeal for them, which could span a full day or two of travel (they would be coming from the USA).

Offline BertineC

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Re: Planning to relocate to Colchester in August 2017 - have cats
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 11:01:03 AM »
For the half-courier process I can't give you a definite sum but I can give directional because of the Stockholm stop. We flew Chicago - Stockholm on SAS which allows them to ride together in a single crate. They had a large dog crate so had plenty of room, which I lined with a large super absorbant pad just in case of an accident (dryfur.com has all you need for pet travel). Not every airline will allow pets to fly together, so that may be something worth checking.

Chicago - Stockholm: SAS was SUPPOSED to charge us $600 to fly them, but I had to pay it at the airport and the check in agents were more thrilled with the cute kitties than remembering to charge me. I realised over Detroit we were never charged!

Stockholm - London: Animal Couriers quoted us £750 total for both, riding in a shared, specially outfitted pet taxi door to door (a 2-3 day trip). You would have to email for a channel quote, but I cant imagine it would be much more than a few hundred a pet.

For the flight, most vets will not sedate the pets and ours weren't at all. They were fine, if a little confused, at the other end, though I did worry about them all night. Overall they were in the crate for about 14 hours door to door: 2hr drive to Chicago, a few hours at OHare (we had to take them out so they could scan the crate - make sure you have a leash or some way to hang on to them!) and they were put in a baggage room before being loaded on last minute to the plane in the heated hold. 9 hour flight, hour at Arlanda, 1 hour drive to our destination where we had a litter box set up and ready to go.

What we DID do was ensure to take them on car trips so they got used to traveling together and riding in a moving vehicle. Now they love riding in the car, and I think that helped ease any anxiety for them. However, I really didn't want them to go through the anxiety of a flight (not to mention the cargo costs) so the road courier was the best option.

Every state has a USDA office, but this lays out all the information (much better than when we did it!) -

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel