A couple of things you should know if you’re thinking about doing it yourself:
- It’ll cost you. No matter what, you’ll need carriers, up to date rabies shots and certificates as well as microchips inserted. Oh yeah, and collars with tags, wee wee pads, little bottles for water, a few toys…. And whether you can bring your pet(s) on board or have to check them with the luggage, there are all kinds of fees. I think I paid $250/cat, just to check them. That’s one way, mind you.
- It’ll cost you less if you don’t take what the vet says at face value. My NYC vet told me I couldn’t take my cats to France without an absurdly expensive battery of rabies tests. I double checked with the French Embassy and found out she was wrong. I won’t speculate on whether it was greed or stupidity that caused the mistake, because either way it’s unforgiveable.
- Of all the airlines flying from NYC to CDG, I found Air France to be the most pet friendly, offering the clearest understanding of their rules regarding pets. They also seem the most understanding of my anxieties.
- If you have to check your pets with the luggage like I did, when you see them in their carrier at the other end will be one of the happiest moments of your life. You’ll have one last hurdle…getting them through customs. I had my paperwork ready, but we just got waved through. Maybe I just looked too pathetic to bother.
The truth is, the anticipation of it is worse than the actual experience (well, I can’t vouch for my cats). But it is a shame it costs so much. Every cat should see France once in their life.