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Summer 213

Nervous Cat

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We are moving to Australia next year and I am in two minds about shipping our cat over too. He hates going in the crate, even for the two minute journey to the vets. I feel bad putting him through the process of shipping and quarantine. Has anyone had any experience of shipping their nervous cat over? 

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Some owners would rather die than leave their cat behind, and if that applied to you, then I'd be saying, "lots of people transport a nervous cat, and although it must be an horrible experience for the cat, they do get over it, so he'll be fine in the end."  

However, the very fact that you've said you're in two minds, means you have the option to leave him behind - and if that's the case, I would leave him.  If there is a loving home he can stay with in the UK, then putting him through 24 hours of hell and two weeks of anxiety would just be selfish.  Secondly, his air fare will cost far more than yours, and migrating is already an expensive time, so leaving him will take some stress off your budget.  And finally, as you may already know, some Australians can be quite anti-cat so depending where you end up, he may have a more restricted life than he does in the UK.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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5 hours ago, Summer 213 said:

We are moving to Australia next year and I am in two minds about shipping our cat over too. He hates going in the crate, even for the two minute journey to the vets. I feel bad putting him through the process of shipping and quarantine. Has anyone had any experience of shipping their nervous cat over? 

He will settle down. My cat is funny, when she is going to the vet i put her in the carry case for the car journey and cries and cries all the way there in the car. Then when we get to the vet and she has to come out, she comes out and then tries to hide from the vet by going back in the carry case.

I believe your cat will be upset for the first hour and cry but will then settle down and go to sleep. He is not going to cry for 24 hours.

I couldn't leave my cat behind if it was me. When we came to Australia I was 13. My mum made me leave my cat behind and i think i always resented her for that.

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Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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The crates are surprisingly large with room for the cat to stand comfortably (or at least the one our cat arrived in was).  Like Parley, we couldn't have left ours behind and she was 13.  Lived until she was 21.  At the time, she had to do quarantine, when we picked her up a month later she'd been well cared for and was healthy.

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Have a chat with Bob from Petair. 
‘I have imported wild cats and kittens (Asian leopard Cats) that have hated being crated but once settled they tend to fall asleep. Once they arrive they can be nervous for the first 24 hours but then slowly come around. 
‘Unless your cat is remaining in the same home environment they are going to be stressed anyway trying to get use to new owners/home and new smells etc. So unless your cat is elderly or medically unwell then I would bring them with you. 


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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On 08/01/2021 at 08:00, ali said:

The crates are surprisingly large with room for the cat to stand comfortably (or at least the one our cat arrived in was).  Like Parley, we couldn't have left ours behind and she was 13.  Lived until she was 21.  At the time, she had to do quarantine, when we picked her up a month later she'd been well cared for and was healthy.

Did you ever get another cat after that one @ali


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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6 hours ago, The Pom Queen said:

Did you ever get another cat after that one @ali

No we didn't Kate,

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On 07/01/2021 at 20:50, Marisawright said:

Some owners would rather die than leave their cat behind, and if that applied to you, then I'd be saying, "lots of people transport a nervous cat, and although it must be an horrible experience for the cat, they do get over it, so he'll be fine in the end."  

However, the very fact that you've said you're in two minds, means you have the option to leave him behind - and if that's the case, I would leave him.  If there is a loving home he can stay with in the UK, then putting him through 24 hours of hell and two weeks of anxiety would just be selfish.  Secondly, his air fare will cost far more than yours, and migrating is already an expensive time, so leaving him will take some stress off your budget.  And finally, as you may already know, some Australians can be quite anti-cat so depending where you end up, he may have a more restricted life than he does in the UK.

I don't think it's a given that it would be "24 hours of hell and two weeks of anxiety". To suggest the decision is selfish is maybe a little strong and based on little evidence.

I'm planning to bring my cat to Australia this year, and part of the reason is that he is a timid house cat, and we feel that rehoming him could be more difficult for him in the long run then the journey and quarantine. We love our cat and want the best for him. My mum thinks it's financially ridiculous to bring him with us, but then, she forced me to leave my two cats behind in NZ when we moved from there to the UK when I was a teenager. That was traumatic for me, and for my cats. Indeed, one of them ran away from their new owners and travelled over 10km and was found hiding under my old bed in my old house (my step-dad was still there at the time selling the house)!

I think an owner knows their own pet, and their own circumstances better then anyone. And they will be the best judge of what decision to make. Ultimately, if you can afford it, it's not about the money. It's incredibly emotional, and there is a lot to weigh up. I don't think anyone makes these decisions lightly, or out of selfishness. 

I think in general, attitudes of Australians and British towards cats, or dogs, or any pet for that matter, is roughly similar and inconsequential in terms of a factor to consider. 

 

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5 hours ago, bicek said:

I think in general, attitudes of Australians and British towards cats, or dogs, or any pet for that matter, is roughly similar and inconsequential in terms of a factor to consider. 

As the slave of 3 cats I agree with everything you have written except for your last sentence.  There is definitely anti cat sentiment in Australia because of the impact of roaming/feral cats on the native wildlife.  Some councils now make it illegal for cats to roam outside their own property at all.  So be prepared for that and either keep the cat inside or organise a cat proofed fenced area of your garden.  This is desireable for the cat anyway as it keeps them safe from cars, dogs, snakes and anti-cat humans who would trap them.

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28 minutes ago, Skani said:

As the slave of 3 cats I agree with everything you have written except for your last sentence.  There is definitely anti cat sentiment in Australia because of the impact of roaming/feral cats on the native wildlife.  Some councils now make it illegal for cats to roam outside their own property at all.  So be prepared for that and either keep the cat inside or organise a cat proofed fenced area of your garden.  This is desireable for the cat anyway as it keeps them safe from cars, dogs, snakes and anti-cat humans who would trap them.

We have a house cat so that wouldn't be an issue for us. We feel strongly about protecting the wildlife, and the breed of cat we have is better suited to being indoors (British Shorthair). The average life span of an outdoor cat in the UK is 2 years (!) due to road accidents. 

What area do you live in, can I ask? I grew up in Perth and don't remember any noticeable anti-cat sentiment there. And I mean, above the normal level you might experience anywhere. There too is the issue of cats killing birds here in the UK. Also because people live so densely here in city areas, there is an issue with large numbers of cats in small areas, territorially speaking, but also the amount of fouling that goes on. As I said, our cat lives indoors, so this has never been a concern for us. Except for all the other cats that leave "presents" in our garden 💩😽

With all that in mind, I still wouldn't let other people's opinions of cats in general affect whether I brought my pet with me or not. Australia is a huge and diverse place; where one might choose to live will vary massively, and therefore so will the immediate environment and the people/neighbours etc. It just seems too wide/random a variable to factor in with any certainty. But I would definitely recommend keeping cats indoors, and that's a good point 👍

Edited by bicek
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24 minutes ago, bicek said:

I grew up in Perth and don't remember any noticeable anti-cat sentiment there.

Before I start, let's remind ourselves that the OP said they were "in two minds" about bringing their cat. So they're not the kind of cat owner whose cat is their fur baby.  it's not going to be a trauma to leave their pet behind.

Attitudes to cats have changed substantially in the 30 years I've been in Australia.  Some states won't allow you to have a cat unless you have a cat run. Melbourne Zoo has run a big campaign on the damage done by cats, and there have been similar campaigns elsewhere. Inner city cats in Melbourne still roam, but out in country areas people are much less tolerant and there have even been cases of poisoning. 

Having said that, I wouldn't let it influence my decision either, unless I had a cat that was accustomed to roaming and would be unhappy kept indoors or in a run.  In which case, I'd feel that the cat would choose its territory over me, and I'd find someone who could offer it that kind of life.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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6 hours ago, bicek said:

To suggest the decision is selfish is maybe a little strong and based on little evidence.

Perhaps selfish is the wrong word, but you can't deny that if you bring your cat, you are doing it for you, not for the cat. In your case, leaving the cat will cause you a trauma you can't cope with, so you have to do it.  But you can't anthropomorphise and say the cat would be heartbroken to be left behind, because it's highly unlikely.   Dogs yes, cats much less likely. 

The great majority of cat breeds are far more attached to their territory than they are to their owner.  Just look at how stressed they get if you move house, even though you are still there. Just look at the number of cats who "adopt" neighbours, to the point where they go to court about who owns the cat - the cat has its territory and simply chooses the most comfortable den, regardless of who the people are. 

The OP's cat will have the stress of moving to a new territory whether they go to a new home or stay with the OP.  But if they stay with the OP, they'll have the stress of moving to a new home PLUS the stress of the journey and of quarantine.  If, as the OP says, they are genuinely "in two minds", then I'd say it is a no-brainer to leave the cat behind.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband granted UK spouse visa March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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Thank you all for the advice and I am glad that your cats were okay travelling.

Kiwi (the cat) is my fur baby and he is big of part of the family. Whatever we decide is best for him won't be an easy decision. 

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12 hours ago, bicek said:

We have a house cat so that wouldn't be an issue for us. We feel strongly about protecting the wildlife, and the breed of cat we have is better suited to being indoors (British Shorthair). The average life span of an outdoor cat in the UK is 2 years (!) due to road accidents. 

What area do you live in, can I ask? I grew up in Perth and don't remember any noticeable anti-cat sentiment there

I'm in Tasmania (Hobart).   As Marisawright mentioned, attitudes to cats have changed over the last few decades in Australia.  Extinction of native species (for all sorts of reasons) is a very real problem here and people have become very aware of the damage done by free roaming cats.  However that won't be an issue for your house cat.

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18 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Perhaps selfish is the wrong word, but you can't deny that if you bring your cat, you are doing it for you, not for the cat. In your case, leaving the cat will cause you a trauma you can't cope with, so you have to do it.  But you can't anthropomorphise and say the cat would be heartbroken to be left behind, because it's highly unlikely.   Dogs yes, cats much less likely. 

The great majority of cat breeds are far more attached to their territory than they are to their owner. 

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I kindly ask that you don't target your comments in such a personal way, or put words in my mouth 🙂 

Your comments are a sweeping generalisation, and not fact. Thank you for your opinion though. 

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On 20/01/2021 at 09:31, Marisawright said:

Some states won't allow you to have a cat unless you have a cat run. 

Which States are you referring to ? NSW ? Victoria ? or did you make it up ?

My cat still goes outside and catches the odd mouse. But she is 11 now and doesn't catch as much as she used to.


Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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On 20/01/2021 at 19:08, Summer 213 said:

Thank you all for the advice and I am glad that your cats were okay travelling.

Kiwi (the cat) is my fur baby and he is big of part of the family. Whatever we decide is best for him won't be an easy decision. 

I think you will have a lot of regrets and guilt if you leave him behind. So be selfish as Marissa puts it and who cares what anyone else thinks.

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Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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On 21/01/2021 at 19:55, Parley said:

I think you will have a lot of regrets and guilt if you leave him behind. So be selfish as Marissa puts it and who cares what anyone else thinks.

The only way we'd have left ours behind would have been because the vet said it was in her best interest not to fly.  He had no reservations so we brought her.  As said in previous comments, she was in her teens and we got many more years of her companionship.  Totally agree with you Parley

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We brought out two cats over to Queensland from North Yorkshire, and despite our anxieties our cats were cared for beautifully during every stage of their huge journey, and whilst they were in quarantine they were so well looked after and cared for.   Eventually they were flown from Melbourne to Brisbane, and when we went to pick them up, it was so good to see them in their shared cage on the back of a little truck being driven to the pet collection office.   They love their life here, they have a big garden so no need to roam, they love laying in the sun, it is very rewarding to see how well they settled down in Australia.  So I would say bring your fur baby.   I know its costly, but its worth it.

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My cat also don`t like travelling. I think you can add some toys and bedding mat to the crate: familiar scents will be calming. Also you can make a part of the crade darken, where the cat can hide from strange and loud sounds. Use calming spray or drops to make you cat not to be nervous. Think how to take a little bit water & food for trip.

And one more important point: check your cat`s veterinary passport and all the papers & conditions of airline company. Some companies admit transportation in the aircraft cabin (for example, if your cat has low weight). Good trip to your cat! 🐱

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