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bringing our cats to Morocco

27 September, 2011

A little over a year ago, The Husband flew from Chicago to New York to Casablanca with one of our two cats.  A month later, he repeated the process with our other cat.  They squawked a bit and on the second trip, after flying from Casa to Errachidia, they were hassled a little because we did not have an actual passport for the cat, but other than that, the act of transporting them to live with us in Morocco was definitely worth the little bit of work involved in bringing them there.

Our cats have since been on four or five other flights and we have never had any problems with paperwork or space issues on air crafts, l-Hamdul’Allah.

Tomorrow, I begin the process for preparing our cats for their journey from Chicago to Warsaw, and after we’ve gone through it, I’ll be able to speak to how it was and how it compared to preparations for traveling to Morocco.

I scoured the interwebs quite a bit for info on bringing pets to Morocco from the United States, found a number of sites that mentioned requirements for traveling with your pets, and thought the USDA APHIS International Animal Export Regulations and the US Dept of State’s Pets and International Travel sites were the most reliable.  I also saw a few sites willing to sell you forms that somehow make the process easier, and after talking to my vet and seeing the forms they have access to, think the pay sites are a waste of money.

Thankfully, Royal Air Maroc allows small pets to travel in the cabin with you.  My bebes are not cargo and I’m not okay with treating them as such.  Pre-departure planning was a little stressful for me because RAM only allows five animals per flight and does not accept reservations for pets, so you just have to show up in New York and hope for the best.  You also have to pay a ticket fee of 150 USD per cat, their carrier has to fit under the seat in front of you, and the combined weight of the carrier + animal cannot exceed 10kg per the RAM website.

In order to travel, the cats had to be in good visible health, up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, and have a certificate of health signed by your veterinarian and stamped by a USDA-approved vet as well.   The airlines also impose a 1:1 ratio of cats to humans, meaning one human cannot take more than one cat, even if they buy an extra seat.  This is why Ninja had to kick it with his Aunt Christy for a month.

Aside from making sure the pet ticket was purchased, no one really asked to see any papers for the cats.  I’m hoping our trip with the bebes to Warsaw goes as smoothly!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. The Mother permalink
    10 October, 2011 06:10

    Mookinstein’s face looks like “Woodstock’s face” the little yellow bird in the Peanuts cartoons.

  2. 26 April, 2012 13:31

    Hello,
    Thank you for this post! It has provided me with a lot of useful information. I am currently living in Morocco but returning home to NYC to pick up my cat. Can you tell me approximately how long it would take me to complete all the paperwork necessary to fly with him.

    Thank you

    • 26 April, 2012 13:57

      Hi Elizabeth,

      The most time-consuming part of the process, for me anyway, was getting an appointment with both our vet and the USDA vet. If the offices in your area are busy, you may have to wait longer to get an appointment, but other than that, it’s really just a matter of having each vet fill out the paperwork.

      It was a quick, easy process for us. I hope you’ll be able to say the same thing too! Good luck with bringing your cat over!

      Cheers,

      Tracy

  3. Jesse permalink
    29 May, 2013 09:50

    Thank you, your post is very helpful. I do have a question: ‘How did you handle the cat having to do his business on the 8 hour flight to Morocco?’

    • 1 June, 2013 13:47

      Thanks for your question. I’ve been meaning to write a post about the logistics of traveling with our cats, so I think I’ll get to that in a little bit.

      The short answer is that we pay attention to our cats’ behavior, and when they start crying like they need to use the bathroom, we take them to the plane lavatory, unpack the litter box that fits into Ninja’s carrier, and set the litter box onto the lavatory floor. I’ve found this to be pretty successful, but sometimes someone needs to go at an inopportune time (like during take off or landing), and then they end up going in their carrier. We plan for this to happen and are prepared with plastic trash bags, paper towels, cloth towels, and hand wash gel.

      Good luck to you as you prepare for a flight with your cat!

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