Q:We are moving to Central America in the fall with our cat, Katrina. What do we need to know?
A:The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture has a website to help you: aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel.
The APHIS Pet Travel website explains the regulations governing pet travel between states and between the US and other countries. It’s easy to determine what’s necessary to move Katrina to her new home: Simply visit the website, choose your destination country from the drop-down menu, and click view requirements.
The destination country determines what regulations apply to importing an animal into their country. So, just to be sure, contact the consulate of your destination country and your airline to see if any additional requirements apply.
The next step is to accustom Katrina to traveling in her carrier. Start now by feeding her there, and add a fluffy towel or bed cushion to encourage her to sleep there. Spraying a comforting pheromone—like Feliway—in her carrier, and take her for rides in the car so she learns to relax during travel.
_Editor’s Note:_Traveling with pets can be both stressful for you and your furry friend. To help alleviate the stress, here are some useful tips for traveling with your pet by plane, train or automobile.
If she has any medical conditions, your veterinarian can advise you about the additional care she’ll need while traveling.
Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at email@example.com.