Flying Your Pet to China

5th January 2018


OMG what a hassle, but yes, it is possible! I am extremely happy that I took the trouble to get my precious Saartje to China. But….it is quite some work and preparation.

So when I left for China, I had to say goodbye to my cat and leave her with my mom. Man, that hurt, but I had to pursue my dream. After a few months my mom had to tell me that Sarah was not getting along with her other cats and that it was best to find a new home… I decided to bring her over to come live with me even though I heard all the horror stories of cats being eaten and hated, but I had to try.

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The flight was a total of 17 hours, with a delay of 5 hours. So from door to door it took us 25 hours to get here. It was a hell, but once again, worth it…. First of all, it is nice to have contact with a vet in the city you want to bring your pet to. Tell them when you are flying and that you might need help at customs.


1)      ATA approved and flexible cage, that fits under the seat in front of you, or when travelling as cargo, also IATA approved.

2)      Rabies free certificate. Meaning that 3 months in advance you need to do the test in your home country and get proof.

3)      Maximum of three days before you fly, you need a medical examination from your vet.

4)      Pet passport

5)      Microchip with certificate with the number

6)      Ticket for your pet. (mine was 75 euros for her, 500 for me to China)

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Make sure:

1)      You have water and some food for your pet to give during waiting or transit time.

2)      You don’t feed them just before you leave. You would be embarrassed and have a horrible smell for the duration of the flight if they use the cage to pee or poop.

3)      You book the ticket for your buddy, since they will try to get you more space or a seat a bit separated if possible. Also, there are only a certain amount of pets allowed per flight.

4)      To be prepared that everybody wants to look inside the cage and can scare the crap out of your pet. Also very mean and annoying people who think it’s ridiculous you bring your cat… (person next to me on the flight was allergic, she got another seat and me, extra room, mwoohaha!)

5)      You don’t drug your pet. They need to be fully conscious to regulate the pressure in their ears. If not they can get health problems with blood pressure etc.  Feromones in the cage can help. It’s a natural way to calm them down.

6)      To try to relax yourself. Animals are very sensitive to your own feelings. When I was sleeping during the flight she didn’t give a peep and I guess slept herself. There is nothing you can change or do at this moment, so just go with it and hope for the best!

7)      You know about quarantine in the city you go to. In Chongqing there is no quarantine, but I heard Shanghai and Beijing are different stories…

Good luck bringing your best friend over to China. For me it was the best decision ever. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you have the same plans

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By Nancy Kotvis
Welcome to my blog: (Dumplings and Dragons ~ Adventures from China)

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