Originally Posted by amoeba11
These posts have been great. My family
and I are living in Nova Scotia
and about to leave for a 6 month adventure sailing the Caribbean
. We love our kitten and hate to leave him with friends this winter and are looking into taking him with us. I have some questions to those with experience...
1) What are the immigration requirements for the cat... does he require the microchip? Import
permits into certain countries? We will have all the vet papers and insurance
of a clean bill of health.
2) If the cat remains on the boat (which he will - no intentions of bringing him ashore) do we still need to go through with all the documentations?
We plan on visiting St. Maartin, Bermuda
, St.Lucia, Dominica
... these are the major ones we plan to visit and possibly some nearby.
3) Kitty litter - readily available in these countries?
First and foremost - if the cat has not lived on a boat before there is a good chance he will suffer sea sickness
(just like humans do) and really not be very happy. Cats have the same problem with motion sickness as humans. For 6 months, it just might be better for the cat that he stay "home" with a local family.
- - Animals
, especially cats do not travel well in the east-west directions. My previous cat was raised in Delaware near Philadelphia and when I took him to St. Louis he was sick and unhappy for almost a year. Vets could not find anything physically wrong but as soon as I move back to Delaware he was healthy and happy again. North/South movement does not seem to have the same problems as I took him next to Florida
from Delaware and he remained healthy and happy.
- - Of the islands you listed some like SVG/Bequia and St Lucia
are obnoxious about bringing in animals
. Usually a stay-on board cat is not a big problem, but in some islands they will not allow you to dock
the boat or take a marina with any animal on board.
- - Airline travel with animals can be also very frustrating and downright expensive depending upon the country. Flying in and out of Trinidad with a pet off your boat requires a month of paperwork and about US$500 worth of fees
and permits. Although regulations
and laws exist in all the countries you will encounter local customs
officials who do not know their own regulations
and will give you a world of hassles.
- - If you are chartering a vessel and are not on your own vessel then bringing a pet is probably prohibited.
- - Complete medical
records, shots up to date, and international vaccination records for animals is kept right along with boat documents and our own passports. In 3rd world island countries a little "extra" to the agriculture official eases the problems of pets
- - But seriously, consider the pet first - if he is not acclimated to life on a constantly moving, pitching, rolling and smashing, crashing vessel sailing the oceans and you have systems/procedures to fish
him out of the water
when he falls overboard
- then leave him home.
- - All that said, there are a large amount of boats in the Caribbean that have pets on board. But we are traveling for years, not months - so the pet is "family" and we put up with the hassles and procedures as necessary to keep the "family" together.