I have three cats: Marble, Dapper and Thumper. When I leave for the US next week Marble is going to be coming with me, while the other two remain in the Philippines to keep my wife company. Obviously, you can’t just show up at the airport with your cat and expect to hop on the plane. It takes some preparation and that preparation began today. The process for taking a cat out of the Philippines and into the US is mercifully painless compared to how hard it was to bring my cats here from Singapore. I’m going to write up another comprehensive guide to exporting cats from the Philippines to the US later, but for now I thought I’d share this.
Part of getting Marble ready for her trip was getting her clean and presentable to minimize the chances of her being deemed unhealthy during the inspection at the vet for a health certificate. She was overdue for a bath anyway. In fact, all three of my cats were overdue, so yesterday we forced them to endure a good scrubbing.
Marble gave us the least trouble with her bath, though she was the only one to inflict damage. I have a nice new scratch on my left foot from her trying desperately to evade the water we were pouring on her from a dipper.
Thumper never stopped struggling during her bath and wound up looking like a drowned rat by the end of it.
Dapper wasn’t too bad during her bath, but she was the noisiest. She made sure we knew how pissed she was by continuously growling. She even hissed at us once. I thought for sure she was going to turn into a whirling ball of claws and shred our legs, but we escaped without injury. The cats kept jumping up onto the bed while they were still wet. They usually do that, so we decided this would be a good day to wash our sheets and just left the new sheets off the bed until after they were dry.
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the horror of giving their cats a bath, but ours aren’t too bad. I think the reason for that is that we’ve gotten them accustomed to it. We typically give them baths about once every two or three months, sometimes more often depending on how quickly they get that nasty greasy feeling on their fur.
Today, Marble went on a big adventure. She didn’t seem too thrilled about being in the carrier again, after the fiasco that happened at Changi Airport a few months ago.
Overall, she was pretty behaved as long as she could see us, though she didn’t care for the tricycle ride. I don’t blame her. Sometimes riding those tricycles can be a little stressful for me too. At first, she kept looking around to try to find a way out of the carrier, but eventually settled into a corner and just looked at us with pleading eyes.
The actual visit at the vet wasn’t too hard on her at all. We took her to the Our Lady of Assumption Dog and Cat Clinic in Antipolo. Ya… like I’ve said before, religious terms and phrases are everywhere in the Philippines. Her booster shot was pretty quick and didn’t seem to bother her too much. I was surprised at how behaved she was.
Something that concerned me about our visit there was the type of shots they had available. In Singapore, our cats got a Fort Dodge Felovax 4 in 1 shot and a rabies vaccination. The next shot they were supposed to get was a booster for the 4 in 1. The vet didn’t recognize it though and after placing a call found out that the 4 in 1 isn’t supplied in the Philippines at all. He said it’s because those types of problems aren’t present in cats here. I don’t know about that for sure. Maybe they’re just not treated here. Hopefully this won’t cause me to run into a problem of her having to be quarantined in NYC until she gets a proper booster shot.
Regardless, she got her panleucopenia booster and we’ll be picking up her health certificate tomorrow to take to the BAI in Manila for her export permit. They do 1 hour processing on the export permit and it’s supposedly free. Not bad! So far, from what I can see, the total cost for exporting a cat from the Philippines to the US is about 230 USD. Of course, I have to stay in a hotel in Manila the night before my flight and I’ll need to find one that will allow me to have her there, so the price difference might up my total cost. We’ll see how that goes. I need to start calling around to hotels tomorrow.