In­ter­na­tional Pet Travel Tips

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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:

http://mvdirona.com/2010/06/cruis­ing-with-cats/

Spit­fire on deck in French Poly­ne­sia.

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