International Pet Travel Tips
For traveling with pets, we recommend Where There Is No Pet Doctor by David Lavigne. We bought it mostly for medical purposes, but it turned out to have an excellent section on preparing a pet for international travel. For example, from it we learned that the microchip Spitfire had was U.S.-specific. Countries such as New Zealand now have scanners that will read a U.S. chip, but the scanners in many countries won’t detect it. We got Spitfire an international chip to be on the safe side.
Most countries we visited wanted to see the paperwork recommended in the book, but so far only Hawaii, Vanuatu, and New Zealand have cared to scan the chip. After a couple of scares where a veterinarian’s scanner malfunctioned, we bought our own scanner, a Datamars Micromax. It’s good insurance for just over $100.
Cat litter can be a problem both to stow and to obtain, particularly in the South Pacific. The Tidy Cat Breeze System takes up little space compared to standard clay litter and doesn’t track or produce dusty footprints. We can get three to four months out of a bag of pellets and a week out of each pad—we left Hawaii for the South Pacific with about a two-year supply that doesn’t take up much space. We stow used pads inside a plastic container in an outdoor locker and dispose of them ashore.
You can find more tips on cruising with cats here:
Spitfire on deck in French Polynesia.