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Taking a cat to the UK from China


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I will probably be taking a cat from Shanghai to the UK in the summer of this year.


According to the information provided on the UK Government website, a "Pet travel: third country certificate" which is needed to track micro-chipping and immunisation of the animal can be issued by official veterinarians in all third countries (third countries being those that are not exempt from these requirement, for example China). However, I don't think my local vet here has anything like this, and is also not able to micro-chip animals.


Does anyone have any experience of this? Is it enough just to print the form off the net, or does one actually require and officially issued form? Any idea where chipping can be done in Shanghai?


Long shot, but maybe someone has done this. Thanks.



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Ask your vet first. He might know more than you think. When I took my cat and dog on the train recently they had to be inspected by their vet and issued "pet passports." Then we took the pets and the passports to the local customs inspection where they were given more tests and the passports were stamped for approval. I haven't taken the pets overseas, but friends who have told me the process was similar, you will just have to go a step further and get the form for the UK also printed, filled out, and stamped.


You shouldn't have to get them microchipped; that might just be an "if they are microchipped" thing. 

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The cat does have to be micro-chipped because it needs to be identifiable that it has been vaccinated against rabies.


The problem is knowing what the official documentation needed is. There don't seem to be very clear guidelines online.

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Yes, I'm bringing my cat from China to the UK. Any definite advice would be appreciated. There seem to be a lot of steps to take and I don't want to miss out on something important, otherwise kitty will be stranded in Shanghai when I return in the summer.

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A friend of mine is taking her two cats to UK (from Shanghai) and this is what she has to do:

Since UK has pretty strict regulations, the whole process takes around 4 months. There are three things that you need to take care off: the microchip, the vaccination (rabies and two more) and a blood sample (the blood sample is afterwards sent to Europe and you need to wait for a while, 3 months I think). 


In Shanghai, there is one official government pet clinic called Shenpu (their website is all in Chinese, but you need to go to the head office which is on 565 Xujiahui road). Shenpu will insist that they are the only authority for all three, (but actually, only the rabies one really really needs to be done there). If you have a vet that can do the other things for you (Shenpu is a governmental institution so they can be a bit difficult), stop by Shenpu first to buy their vaccination booklet.


The easiest way is to get everything done in Shenpu (some of the staff does speak English, and you'll meet foreigners there so you can ask them too). You need to get the vaccination first, then wait for a month, then the blood test.


I hope that helps.

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Wow, thanks for all the info, everyone. I wasn't expecting to get this much of a response! mandarina, is the "vaccination booklet" the "Pet travel: third country certificate"? That is the part that I'm really concerned about at the moment, because if the documentation isn't correct, then the micro-chipping and rabies immunisation are wasted.

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Hi there


I have taken a cat from Chengdu, China to the UK, and I have two other friends who have done it too. It's hard work (and very expensive) but not impossible!


First, you need to get the microchip - and it must be compliant with the readers they use in the UK. You can try to get a friend to buy you one from the UK, or source them in China. Make sure they're the right ones.


Once the microchip is in, you can get the rabies jab.


Now the forms say these must be done and signed off by government approved vets. But we used a Canadian vet in Chengdu. It's actually not important to be done by gov. approved, because the government approved centres will not do it. At least, they wouldn't in Chengdu.


The blood test is the tricky thing, because you need to send it abroad, and you can't send liquid/blood in China! Also it needs to be a cool temperature to be stable - winter is best time to do it. I have a contact in Shanghai who will take care of the customs to send to the UK from Shanghai. PM for that!


Once you get the blood test form from the UK lab, you are pretty much there. Phew, you passed!


You need to get the pet passports, and stuff from Chinese quarantine centre. You also need to take the cat there to get permission to travel before it flys.


Note - you can't fly with an animal in cabin into the UK - it must go in cargo. My cat went KLM via Amsterdam (with a stay in the pet hotel there). It was expensive. Another girl I knew went cabin to France and back overland from there.


Also be warned that I had to pay an agent to make the booking with the airline, and that cost SO much. Different airlines have different rules, probably. But I had to use an agent with KLM.


Also be aware if the cat goes in cargo, sometimes the cargo has problems, and it isn't safe. So my cat's travel was delayed a few days. If possible, don't travel on the same day, unless someone else can take care of your cat if that happens.


You also need to pay someone to pick up the cat to clear customs at the UK, you can't collect yourself in Heathrow. I can give you a provider for that.


If you PM me I can send you copies of the forms I prepared to send along with the cat. My cat made it through! Yours can too :)

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I don't know exactly how the booklet is called (it's blue with silver letters, if that helps). I'd suggest that you stop by Shenpu one day, they'll tell you what you need. Or, if you prefer to be treated in a more polite and respectful manner, I suggest the clinic Beck&Stone. They are pricey, but my friend was really happy with them - they installed the chip and took care of the vaccination (except for the rabies!) the blood test (and sending the samples for Germany, I think). They also offer discounts for strays, so that's extra points for them.


My friend is also using an agent, and like Fran mentioned, they are insanely expensive, but they do all the paperwork for you. Yes, you have to go through cargo. Also, I've heard people say that it's easier to fly through Hong Kong (apparently it's less paperwork), but my friend opted for a direct Sh-London.


Also, don't forget to buy the right kennel - Petmate, number 200 (middle - it's pretty big for a cat, but that's the regulation). You can buy it through taobao. 

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  • 3 months later...

Hey all,
I'm currently living and working in Harbin and have a Chinese Empress, I want to make her an English Queen...
Firstly, thanks for all the info so far, especially since it's recent (I know the quarantine rules changed for UK).
I myself would be looking at Harbin to Heathrow, I understand it's going to be 'very expensive' but the closest I can find online is a Daily Mail story about a girl who paid about £2500 

I don't think the price is CRAZY but I certainly am for considering to pay it, I'd be thankful if anyone could throw out some numbers so I can get an idea?

Obviously a huge part of that is the flight I'm wondering how much more it'd be for a cat than a person?


Any breakdown of cost would be MUCH appreciated!


O/P -- I LOVE than picture of the Money Cat! I shower 麻辣屄 in with Pink Mao's all the time haha!!

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A quick follow-up...


I've been sorting this out at Shenpu, as suggested by previous posters. There are always lots of foreigners with dogs and cats there, so I guess they are quite used to all this, or so one would have thought. However, the staff do not seem to be all that clear on the regulations and procedures for each country. For example, for the UK, a blood sample needs to be taken at least one month after the rabies vaccination and sent to a lab in the EU somewhere. This is supposed to be done by the vet, but Shenpu does not offer this service, and gave me the choice of using their recommended agent (at a cost of 2500 yuan just for sending the blood sample) or giving me the sample and letting me send it myself. However, I contacted the UK authorities and they said the sample has to be sent by the vet - it should not be given to the owner of the pet. In the end, I decided to go with the agent, because I didn't want to take the risk and hassle of dealing with the sample myself (blood samples cannot be sent by post, and as far as I understand, also cannot be sent by courier out of China, so I would have had to take the sample in person). I am waiting for the paperwork now from the agent, but I must say, it doesn't seem like a well-organised operation. The vet took the sample and said they would pass it onto the agent, but all they gave me in return was a generic invoice with an old date and reference number, rather than a proper receipt. So now I'm just waiting and hoping everything goes smoothly, otherwise poor kitty will be stranded in Shanghai.

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Did anyone here go to Shenpu and then move their cat / dog to the uk?


I am worried about the iOS standard of the microchip as at Shegpu clinic the microchip is ISO: 9001 however on the  ISO 11784 or ISO 11785.







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