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Quarantine - Cats - Questions

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Trudi
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Quarantine - Cats - Questions

Postby Trudi » Wed, 15 Nov 2006 2:29 am

Hi,

We are relocating to Singapore pretty soon and I have some questions regarding the relocation of our 2 cats and maybe somebody can help me with this.

- If you bring two cats, will they be seperated during quarantine or can they stay together?

- How will they have to stay in the quarantine station? Means, are there rooms where they are staying or do they have to stay in cages ??? I know that might sound funny to some people but cat owners can surely understand my worries :? :cry:

- What is the best way to make the flight not that bad? Anybody experience or recommendations if it is better to take them on board (if possible) as hand luaggage or to check them in as "luaggage"? :o

Many thanks for your help and answers

Trudi

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Postby MoTokyo » Thu, 16 Nov 2006 3:53 am

Hi Trudi,

I currently have 2 cats at the AVA quarantine facility, and yes they do allow friendly pets to stay together. If they fight or harm each other, they will be separated or so I've been told. I would not recommend placing them in the outdoor facility, it is best to have them stay in the air conditioned facility. The humidity, mosquitoes, torrential rainfall and sounds of howling dogs will probably be more than most cats in a strange and unfamiliar place can bare, which is why I recommend the AC facility.

Request a room facing the outdoor area if possible. They have 2 rows (maybe 12 per side) in the air conditioned facility for cats, with the outdoor-view seemingly smaller than the rooms facing the wall. A trade off I suppose.

The size of the room is around 3 1/2ft. wide, 6ft. depth and maybe 10ft. height with glass windows on either side so cats can watch each other. All rooms also have a top ledge for cats to sleep on, it is around 1 1/2ft. depth.

The AVA Website says all items brought into these kennels may be destroyed after the quarantine stay but so long as the cats don't appear sick, they'll release any items you place in the kennels after their quarantine period. I placed a cat bed, scratching post, and blanket on the ledge for my cats. They also allow you to bring your own food and will feed based upon the animals time schedule / diet.

While expensive considering the mandatory placement, the facility is well run and staffed with friendly personell. Additionally, the quarantine area for cats is sound-proof so they won't hear dogs (air conditioned rooms only), and classical music is played non-stop during the daytime. My cats were frantic the first couple of days but quickly settled in afterwards.

It is very important to reserve a room for the cats at the earliest possible date as the facility has a lot of pets moving through quarantine and you wouldn't want your cats to be in the outdoor facility !


Flying -

If you're flying for more than 4 hours, I don't think any airliner would allow you to place the cats onboard. This being the probable scenario, it is best to book available room for your cats well in advance as most planes only have 2 or 3 kennel slots in the luggage compartment per flight. Not to worry though as the area should be climate controlled and well separated from the luggage compartments. When I fly with cats I usually stop their food intake 6 hours before the flight and water-3 hours prior to boarding.






The process explained from A-Z for anyone interested:


If you're importing the cats personally and arranging all of the paperwork, I can explain the process quickly as it took me a bit of legwork to figure everything out. The process is a lot easier than it seems :

1. Each cat will need 2 separate vaccinations (3 + 2) consisting of the 5 listed on the AVA Website. The vaccinations must be completed between 2 weeks - 1 year prior to export. They will also need to be microchipped with an ISO standard tag. 3 days prior to export, each cat needs an anti-parasite pill and have flea drops placed on the scarf of their neck. The latter requirement is solely to protect your cat from other cats in the facility.

2. Have you vet place the vaccination information (and date), microchip number, name, color, age, parasite medicine information and flea-drop information on one form with their accreditation or clinic name.

3. Reserve a room for your pet at the Sembawang Quarantine Facility. Then apply for an import permit through the AVA Website after the cats have been vaccinated & microchipped (processing took around 1 week - I applied 3 weeks prior to export). You can list more than one pet on the same application. Once they've processed the paperwork and the permit is paid for online (credit card), print out several copies of the permit for later use.

4. Call the airline you're flying with and ask them if the country you are leaving from requires an export permit. Japan did and I almost missed my flight as I spent 2 hours in the quarantine facility at Narita Airport. Luckily I had all of the original documentation from the veterinarian (actual vaccination records, microchip record + 'veterinarian form with all the info').

5. Cut off the food and water as listed above before flying, and be sure to have a hardshell case to protect the pets! For those with a little time on their hands before leaving, stay up all night and keep the pets up with you. That way they sleep directly through a long flight.

--

6. Once you have landed in Singapore, head down to the "Lost & Found" area and let them know you have pets waiting. They will direct you to a room around the corner from where you will be asked to sign a few forms and present your 'veterinarian form with all the info'. They will also need a copy of the permit you paid for through the AVA Website. This process took maybe 10 minutes total. Ask whomever you speak with to write down the address of the Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine Facility (CAPQF).

7. After they process the paperwork, they will transport your pets to the CAPQF. If you are carrying a lot of luggage and would like to quickly visit your animal after the flight, ask for directions to the luggage storage area at Changi Airport. Drop your luggage off there and hop in a cab with the directions to the CAPQF. The ride takes maybe 15 minutes. Have your passports ready as you and whomever you are with will need visitor tags to enter the freight terminal. They will hold onto the passports while inside the freight terminal but not to worry as Singapore is a very safe country and everything is handled professionally.

8. Once at the CAPQF, they will make copies of the 'veterinarian form with all the info', ask you to sign a form and then you will be able to see your pets. At this facility, they will receive a rabies vaccination, be inspected by a veterinarian and if all forms are in order, will be sent to the quarantine station the following day. On your way out of the CAPQF, they will ask you to obtain a GST-exempt receipt for your pets at the gate where you first obtained your visitors pass. You can obtain the GST-exempt receipt from a large white-block building directly behind the stall where you obtained your visitors pass.

The officer asked me how much the cats are worth, I said, "Nothing, I like my pets and that is why I brought them." Since both of my cats look mixed, I wanted to claim 20, he said 200$ and I wouldn't get taxed. Fair enough. If you want to declare your pets into the hundreds or thousands for insurance purposes, expect to be taxed on their value. Keep the receipt he gives you. The Sembawang Quarantine Facility (SQF - where the pets are quarantined for 30 days) will need it to move your pets through the freight terminal without paying tax.


9. Voolah. That is the entire process explained. Call the Sembawang Quarantine Facility the following morning to see if your cats have arrived. When visiting your pets by taxi, it is probably best to use a map obtained from someone at CAPQF. Taxis are not familiar with this facility but they do understand where "Khatib Camp" is, which is right down the street from the quarantine facility. --- Khatib Camp --- AVA Plant Quarantine --- AVA Animal Quarantine --- Stop Light




Visiting Sembawang Quarantine:


For those on a budget :

If you are interested in saving a few bucks and so long as you have been to the Sembawang Facility at least once by taxi (to familiarize yourself with the area), take the RED LINE MRT to Yishun Station (nothern Singapore). At Yishun, ask the information counter where you can board the 171 bus. The 171 will take you all the way towards the facility which is only 5 stops from Yishun Station. The easiest way to remember the stop is to look to your left while moving towards the quarantine facility in the 171, and hit the STOP button once you see "Khatib Camp". Can't miss it.

Walk maybe 3 minutes further up towards the stop-light and there will be a large sign for the Animal Quarantine Station on your left.

Going back to Yishun - Walk towards the stop light, cross the street and walk in the opposite direction you came from towards the bus stop. The 171 going the opposite direction or 169 will take you directly to Yishun Station.

I figured that out this weekend with my wife as the 171 picks up in front of Newton.


For those not on a budget, it's still really cheap :

Taxis to the quarantine facility only cost 10$ excluding pickup fee to go from Newton to Sembawang

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Postby trufflehk » Thu, 16 Nov 2006 8:47 pm

Thanks MoTokyo. Your message is very comprehensive.

I will also move to Singapore with 2 cats in a few months. I would like to ask a few questions.

1) When you visit your pets in quarantine, can you touch them and play with them or just look at them from window?

2) I would like to use the service of pet-moving company to handle my cats' moving. Is it better to use a company from the home country or use one from Singapore?

Please help if anyone knows the answer. My cats are like my sons and I want to make a good plan for them.

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Postby MoTokyo » Thu, 16 Nov 2006 10:31 pm

Hi trufflehk,

When visiting your pets at quarantine or the initial Changi Quarantine Facility, you are allowed to enter their room and pet them. As you might guess from the dimensions listed above, it's a bit of a tight squeeze at the Sembawang Quarantine Facility but there is still enough room to bounce a ball or swing a cat toy around.

As for using a pet service to handle your cats, I can't make any personal recommendations but I can say the process is really simple so long as everything is listed in detail. The steps I listed above are the exact same steps you could pay someone else to take care of, but all together I didn't spend more than 6 hours handling everything (from vet work in Japan to Sembawang).

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Postby Trudi » Tue, 28 Nov 2006 9:31 pm

Many thanks for all your help and answers :) That was really great help !

According to our travel agent we might take them with us as hand luaggage but we decided not to do so. I know how one of the two can scream when he is on my car and I think the other passengers on the flight would probably freak out :wink: :o and it's a twelve hours flight.

I still feel quite bad due to the long flight and quarantine but leaving them here would be even worth :-|

Has anybody had Siamese/oriental shorthair cats in quarantine and, if yes, how did they handle this time (ours are very very sensetive and clingy) :oops:

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Postby trufflehk » Sat, 09 Dec 2006 10:52 am

Hi Trudi,

Please share your experience of traveling with your 2 cats.

I've got one Oriental Shorthair and one Scottish Shorthair. But they are too panic to go outdoors, I will go to Singapore to settle down first and have my brother to take care of them. I still haven't decided whether to take them to Singapore or not as I am afraid they may suffer too much stress and go crazy (one of my cat already torn off a nail when I brought him to vet for vaccines and microchip)

I'd like to know any experience of shipping cats in cargo. Thanks.

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Postby Trudi » Mon, 11 Dec 2006 5:54 pm

No prob, I will let u know our experience once we are in Singapore. We booked a flight on 01. February :D

What experience did you make (side effects) when the cats received the Clamydia Psitacci vaccination? We finaly found a supllier here, but it seems to be very contested due to the side effects :(

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Postby trufflehk » Fri, 15 Dec 2006 4:00 pm

My cats have just got microchip, rabbies and the necessary vaccines, it's already 3 weeks after the vaccinations and they look normal. Only when the vet put in the microchip, my poor skinner domestic shorthair cat screamed because of scare and pain (I thought). The big fat Scottish Shorthair did not feel it at all during vaccination.

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Postby saidean » Sat, 13 Jan 2007 5:49 am

I brought my cat from the UK to Singapore in 2004 so the info might be a bit dated... nevertheless hope it's useful.

In terms of flight, do book well in advance with the flight company, alerting them to the fact that you'll be checking in a cat as well. Now when flight companies check in the cat, they consider them as 'excess luggage' weight, and will charge you accordingly. I think only one or two airlines allow you to fly with your cat in the cabin (Lufthansa and a japanese airline i think) but most major carriers don't allow that, especially considering how allergenic cats can be.

Definitely get a hard case cat carrier. I have a ragdoll (big 5kg cat) and i shipped him in a carrier big enough for a mid-size dog. That way the cat has space at the back (plenty of padding/towels/his favourite stuff, all scented with his scent) for him to sleep without being too close to the front.

Get a reputable airline company, one that has done plenty of pet transport in the past. Call them and ask them if they do this often. I've heard of horror stories by friends who said that they had one pet died during the flight because the captain was not alerted to the fact that there was a pet in the plane, and did not switch on heating in the cargo section for it!

When you board the plane, the first thing to do is remind the cabin crew to alert the captain that your pet is in the cargo hold, and to confirm it's in the same flight as you.

I actually had some water in one of the hamster drip bottles for the cat, but according to my airline (Singapore Airlines) they supplied the cat with a bowl of water just before takeoff.

The vet in the UK strongly recommended that I do not sedate the cat, because if the flight gets turbulent and the cat is drugged out, he may not be able to balance himself and get injured during the flight.

It was a long gruelling 24 hour journey for the poor thing: from home outside london to heathrow to checkin to cargo hold to singapore changi airport to animal control - 24 hrs before we saw him again (flight was 12 hrs), but because he came from the UK there was no quarantine (whew). and we could bring him home right away. He settled back in quickly enough :)

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Postby MARIJE » Fri, 19 Jan 2007 1:36 pm

All the post are for me also very helpful. We will be relocating with 2 Burmese cats and they are like babies to me. My problem is finding a temporary place to live. We are traveling from New Zealand so they don't have to go in Quarantine. But As long as we don't have our things from New we will be staying in a temporary apartment. But we cannot find a Serviced Apartment where they allow cats. Can anyone help me with that.

Thanks
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Cat moving companies

Postby PickwickLi » Sat, 20 Jan 2007 3:38 am

trufflehk wrote:I would like to use the service of pet-moving company to handle my cats' moving. Is it better to use a company from the home country or use one from Singapore?

Please help if anyone knows the answer. My cats are like my sons and I want to make a good plan for them.


Trufflehk, you can use a company based in your home company, who will handle the exporting, and they will usually coordinate with a company in Singapore, who will handle the import into Singapore. That way you are sure you have met requirements on both ends. Be sure the company you choose has transported pets to Singapore before.

Our cat is being transported next week by a pet-moving company. They will send him on a KLM cargo plane, with a break in a regular kennel in the Amsterdam airport. Personally, I think this is better than sending him in the luggage compartment of a passenger plane, because the staff for cargo planes are used to handling live animals (climate control is always there, they are good about getting him on/off the right planes), and he is not a second thought along with the luggage. Of course, it's also much much more expensive than for him to travel as luggage...but worth it, I think.

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Postby saidean » Sun, 18 Mar 2007 4:12 am

To trufflehk...

apologies for not responding via private messaging - but i'm tagged a newbie on the forum and hence can't reply back to you until i've done more postings or something lol

In response to your query, yes i found Singapore Airlines to be very professional but bear in mind the following caveats:-

1. I dealt largely with the SIA cargo office in London Heathrow where my cat was exported from. I barely had any significant contact time with the Singapore cargo side of things, except to fill out the paperwork once I landed in Changi, and then rushing off to the Quarantine area to pick up the cat (who was by then waiting in a cage, and looking very grumpy).
2. Get in touch with the people dealing with animal exports in Hong Kong's SIA, and speak to them personally. Get a name and always talk to that person, and sound quite anxious. I think them knowing that they have someone who cares for the animal will add an extra level of care on their side. I found that to be true of SIA Cargo Heathrow where the lady who helped me was very very nice and did a lot to allay my anxieties.
3. Remind the crew when boarding, before boarding etc etc that you have an animal in the flight as well, just to make sure everything is okay and the cat's onboard!

I think there was nothing more nerve wrecking than during take off and landing, when i thought my poor cat will be traumatised but he survived the flight and was very grumpy when he was finally let off the cage.

A big plus - when we brought him into his new home, I'd already gotten some of his stuff transferred over earlier, and they were there ready for him so he knows his scent and is less alienated by new place/new smells etc. We shipped his favourite rug in ahead of time and had it laid out in our bedroom... i think he liked that - plopped right on it and stretched all out :)

Then he started to meow very demandingly for his food. we knew then, he was alright after the gruelling flight.. :) Gave him buckets of love in the ensuing week just to let him know we didn't do it on purpose :)

good luck with your cats!!

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Postby seasider » Sun, 18 Mar 2007 9:53 am

I haven't moved a cat to Singapore but I have adopted 3 kittens here, and would strongly recommend you consider the following.

Once you get here, get your cats microchipped (if they are not already) and have them vaccinated against rabies. If you have this done, then have the blood test to check it's effective, keep up the vaccination once a year along with their usual boosters - it MUST be within the timeframe - and your cats will have a Pet Passport.

If you do not do this, and have to move on, they may end up spending six months in quarantine.


(Trudi - a Northern Soulgirl??? Well I never. Keep the Faith. ;) )

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Postby trufflehk » Sun, 06 May 2007 9:06 pm

Thank you for all of you here. I finally transported my 2 kids to Singapore. They are now in Sembawang Quarantine station.

I used a local agent and the local agent consigned to Pet Movers. I travelled with the cats (in luggage compartment) by SQ. Once I was on board, I asked the cabin crew to inform the captain that there were cats in the luggage compartment and asked them to make sure the ventilation there was alright. The cats travelled safely to Singapore (by 5:30pm) but I did not get to see them as the Pet Movers said they were kept in restricted area in Changi Airport. They called me at around 9pm to confirm both cats were OK.

I went to visit them in Sembawang Quarantine Centre, it looks very clean and new. The staff there are very friendly and every time I visit my cats, Roy (one of the staff who looks after the cattery) updates me my cats' status. They are also very good to arrange both my cats stay in the same cattery room. My cats settled down after 4-5 days.

I brought their own dry food for them so that they don't need to get used to new food there, give them their used blanket and scratching post, so they are fine there. Just a bit sensitive when someone talks loudly in the cattery area.

Again, I learnt a lot here and thank you for everyone's help in sharing information and experience

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Postby minminwong » Tue, 09 Oct 2007 9:53 pm

The info you have all shared has been great. We're looking at a possible relocation in two months and I've been frantically searching for more info on the quarantine facilities, what to do and what not to do. Also looking at using a pet relocation company for the additional assurance!

Like most of you, we have two Himalayans who need to be together. He's more docile, she's well... female. They both are indoor cats and hate being in a box. So when we relocated from Dubai to Bangkok earlier this year and had them in the cabin, you can imagine how stressed they were!

Really not looking forward to the 30-day quarantine period but after reading all your comments, I'm a bit more relaxed now.

If you have any further reassurances, I'm all ears!
MinMin


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