Holidays with your cat

When it comes to travelling abroad with your cat, there are some essentials to get sorted in advance. Use this essential travel checklist to get organised in advance.

If you’re heading off on a family trip and can’t bear to leave your furry family member behind, don’t fret: you can take your cat abroad with you, so long as you’ve made the necessary arrangements in advance.

In general, taking your cat abroad is a lot more straightforward than bringing a dog on holiday, though rules vary depending on where you’re going and which company you’re travelling with.

In general, your vet can help with many of the requirements for taking your pet away, and you can also contact DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) for advice:

Telephone: 0370 241 1710 (+44 (0)370 241 1710 outside the UK). Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm UK time, closed on bank holidays.



Travel checklist

So, if you’re considering taking your feline friend abroad, ask yourself:


Has your cat got a pet passport?

To take your cat overseas, they need their own pet passport. You can get these from most vets. They’re essentially a summary of your cat’s medical history and proof they’re healthy.

You’ll need to sort this at least five weeks before you head away.


Are their vaccinations up to date?

Make sure to book your cat in for vaccination boosters before you go.

Cats can travel freely within Europe if they’ve been vaccinated against rabies as well as being microchipped, but requirements for vaccinations differ depending on your destination.


Does your cat deal well with travelling?

Consider whether your cat will fare well travelling abroad or whether they’d be best checked into a cattery for the duration of your trip.

Cats may wander in search of their home, and they may also encounter other cats which could lead to territorial issues. Not to mention the fact they could find flying or driving long distances unnerving.


Put aside time for quarantine

Though it’s not the case with every country, in many places cats will legally have to go through a short period of quarantine upon arrival. It’s important to factor this time into your travel plans.

If you’d like to apply for a pass to skip quarantine on the way in and out of your destination country, check out DEFRA’s Pet Travel Scheme, and make holidaying with your cat even easier.


Have you cat-packed properly?

Just like humans going on holiday, cats will need certain things to make their travel and stay more comfortable for them. These may include a favourite toy or scratching post, their own blanket from home, and some food they are familiar with.

It’s also essential to bring plenty of water and a water bowl for your cat for the trip.

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