Is it possible for me to bring my 18-month-old cat from Thailand back to my home country, Austria, in Europe? If yes, what do I have to do? Who do I have to contact? And how much it would cost me? Thank you in advance.
– Ross and Nicole, Bang Tao
Dear Ross and Nicole, thanks so much for your question regarding the process for taking your cat from Phuket to Austria. And thanks for being very responsible people. All too frequently, foreigners relocating from Phuket simply dump their dog or cat on the street because they think it is too complicated or costly to take the animal with them. In fact, the process is very simple and inexpensive:
• Your cat must be microchipped. This is a simple process that can be undertaken at most veterinary practices.
• Your cat also needs to be vaccinated against Rabies. This process takes around four months, so it’s best to plan well in advance. A sample of your cat’s blood is sent off to a laboratory in the EU for analysis one month after the vaccine has been given. Providing your cat has developed antibodies, he or she can travel to Austria three months later. There is no need for your cat to spend additional time in quarantine in Austria. Phuket Animal Hospital or Talang Veterinary Clinic are examples of vets clinics that take care of this entire process for you.
• Your cat can travel to Austria in two ways. You will need to buy an appropriate crate for both options. If returning on the same flight as you, your cat can travel as accompanied baggage. Remember to check that the airline you fly with allows cats in the hold.
If not travelling on the same flight, the cat can be sent as cargo using a cargo agent such as Skytrade, who are based at Phuket airport and are very experienced in sending animals by this method.
The total cost is based on the size of the crate and for a cat the cost is not much different to the cost of taking accompanied, though if travelling more than five days after yourself may be classified as commercial import, which could involve some customs duty in Austria.
• The total cost of getting your cat to Austria, including microchip, vaccines, blood test, cage and flight is around B20,000.
For anyone looking to adopt a cat or kitten in Phuket, please visit the Soi Dog website, here. The Soi Dog Foundation currently has an overflow of cats and kittens all waiting to be adopted into loving homes. There are no costs involved for potential adopters. Interested people can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
– Martin Turner, Marketing Manager, Soi Dog Foundation