In September i will be moving with my spouse to Japan! Okinawa to be exact so there is a TON of things i need to do in order to prepare for this journey because Baden and Yoda are most certainly coming!

if you have any advice on how to make this as smooth as possible im all ears. i have never flown with a pet so im incredibly worried that something could go wrong.

here are some questions i have.

1. what crate/size have you used to go overseas? i keep reading different things and im not sure about which crate would work

2. anyway for my cat to ride in the cabin with me?? if not what is a crate he can use? i cant find anything on google for cats

3. know of a site that ships pet food internationally? 

4.....anything i should know about before i go?

you can probably tell im stressing out lol but im trying to get all the facts down as there is still plenty of time to prepare.

any advice is welcome! 

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Best wishes on your new adventure! I know most domestic airlines allow a cat or small dog in a carrier. I would think it best to practice with your cat regularly before you go so it's used to traveling in the carrier. You will have to contact the airline for their rules and costs. Amazingly they often charge extra for bringing a pet under your seat.

I'm not sure about the air travel, but because Japan is a rabies-free country there are a lot of regulations, especially from North America. This includes microchipping of a given type, vaccination, a 180 day waiting period, rabies titer and a bunch of forms. You may not be able to get these procedures done at a normal vet. So, plan ahead. This is to prevent them being quarentined at the airport for the full 180 day waiting period. Good luck!

Here is the offical Japanese website about the process (in English):

http://www.maff.go.jp/aqs/english/animal/dog/index.html

http://www.maff.go.jp/aqs/english/animal/dog/pdf/guide_nonfree-en.pdf

thank you so much for the links! they are very helpful. you were right though, cant be done an my vets office, it has to be done by the base vet. im going in today to over the their paper work and get them started. i just hope this goes as smooth as possible 

The airline will give you their regulations for pets, both for cabin and for cargo. Each airline is different to some degree.  Generally the crate has to be an airline approved crate in which the dog can stand up and be able to turn around.  There may be seasonal periods in which they do not accept animals because of weather (too hot or too cold). For the cat, consider getting him used to a crate and shipping him like the dogs (not in the cabin) because he could meaw loudly non stop and cats do poorly, as far as I know, when sedated.  I have used a product for our cat by Pet Naturals of Vermont called calming chews and it helped our cat on cross country trips.  If you choose to do this try it out beforehand at home, so you can gauge his reactions. Petco carries them.  Best wishes.

the more i thought about it, your right about just putting him in cargo with baden. all he will do is cry and 12 hours is waaaay to long to listen to a cat yowl lol from what i was told i cant use any sort of calming meds because they will be going a long while without food/water (they give them some when we land) and they dont want anything to happen. such as messes or death.

For what it's worth, here's a blog post & video about bringing pets to Japan.  In this case it's from Korea to Japan, but they do a good job explaining their experience and the general process to get things in order.  I hope you will enjoy living in Japan!

http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/travelling-with-pets/

Wow! What an adventure!

Please keep us up to date on what happens. I also have considered returning to the expat life (having grown up overseas but spent my adult life in the US)...but do not want to give up my doggy pals for the privilege. Will be very interested to hear what your experiences are.

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