Monday, July 29, 2013

Take your Cat from Canada to Spain

Moving your entire life to Europe is stressful enough as is. Imagine doing it with a cat! The paperwork, the vet appointments, the expense.... I am currently working out the details to move my cat from Canada to Spain, and I hope the following steps help you prepare for your move:
1) First determine if your cat has already been microchipped, and had its rabies shot AFTERWARDS. Having the rabies shot after the microchipping is very important. An alternative to a microchip is if your cat was tattooed, but it had to have been done before July 3rd 2011, before a rabies vaccination, and be readable / easily identifiable.

2) If needed, book an appointment so that the microchip and rabies shot are done 21 days or more before your flight. You cat can enter the EU only after 21 days have passed.
  Note that even if you're getting a microchip now, but your cat has already had a rabies shot, you have to get the shot again after the microchip is implanted. Same day is fine. The type of rabies shot you need is the one that lasts for 1 year.

3) Check the calendar and count 10 days prior to your flight. Within those 10 days, you must go back to the veterinarian, get a tapeworm shot, and have them sign forms from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. For Spain, there is an English and Spanish form. These forms can be emailed to you, just contact your local CFIA; the vet's office may have their phone number. Make an appointment to have the vet sign first, then have an appointment to go to your local CFIA and have them endorse those forms. The fee for endorsement is $20 per pet. After the forms are signed, you have 10 days to enter Spain. The employee at CFIA recommended I get the forms signed around the 7-day mark, because if 10 days passes you have to get new forms.

4) Your pet is good for Spain for 4 months. After, if you wish to leave the country with him/her, you have to get a pet passport from a Spanish veterinarian.

It was reassuring to speak with a knowledgeable person at CFIA. Reading all of the websites on my own was confusing; it's always nice to get the information from a person who knows.


  1. Excited to hear about your adventure! My husband and I are also in our mid-30s and planning to head to Spain next year with our two dogs. Would love to hear how the pet experience goes! Good luck with your new adventure -- even though I'm sure there will be struggles but also lots of fun and at least you know you're beginning an adventure many would love to take and should be proud of that!

  2. Glad you´ve chosen Spain; it´s a wonderful, amazing country! What region are you heading to?
    To be honest, I wish I´d tried harder to find a good home for my cat in Canada. The person I dealt with at British Airways made things difficult for me, and I often felt sad while flying, for the crap my cat was going through. In the end we made it through fine, it was just very stressful.