Moving to Indonesia sounds exotic and exciting. Of course you want to take your whole family, including your cat. But is it safe to move your favorite feline to Indonesia? That might depend on your exact destination. Certain areas of the country such as Bali have more restrictive rules about importing pets, so before you do anything else, be sure your kitty will be welcome to join you.
There are a number of things to think about to make sure your cat’s move is, indeed, safe – before you leave your current home and after you arrive in your new home.
Many Indonesians keep cats and other animals as pets. However, if you’re moving from the US or the UK, you will find some distinct pet-related cultural differences. For one thing, pets in Indonesia are not usually pampered the way westerners tend to treat their cats and dogs. On the other hand, you’ll be happy to know that cats are more readily accepted than dogs, because many Muslims believe dogs to be both unclean and dangerous.
Weathering the weather
It’s hot and humid in Indonesia, something your cat might not be used to. If she is a snub-nosed breed or has long hair, she may have an even more difficult time acclimating to her new home. But give her time, and she should be fine.
Heat and humidity can play havoc with pet food, too. If your cat is used to “dine anytime” food service, stop that practice. Establish specific meal times, because leaving uneaten food exposed can attract insects or rodents as well as germinate harmful bacteria. Never feed her raw meat or unwashed veggies. Refresh her water often, too.
Protecting your cat
Just like other places around the world, Indonesia has its share of dangerous pests, parasites, and wild animals that are not pet-friendly. Fortunately, you should have little trouble finding a veterinarian and pet stores for medical care and supplies as well as everyday needs and toys. Maintaining her routine will help your feline acclimate faster and remain safe, well-fed, and happy.
That said, you will want to keep a close eye on your cat once you arrive. Pets are viewed as meat sources in some parts of Indonesia – not only cats, but dogs, rabbits, rodents, and snakes. That doesn’t mean you won’t see cats on the street. In fact, Jakarta boasts a population of feral cats that have become something of an institution. They are easily identified by their unusually short, kinked tails. Over the years, many people have speculated (sometimes wildly) about why Indonesian cats don't have tails.
There is a much less amusing type of wildlife in Indonesia that you’ll want to be aware of. As a pet parent currently living in the United States, for example, you probably don’t give much thought to critters such as frogs. Even if your cat is adventurous enough to capture one and pick it up, the frog is the one in danger. No so in Indonesia. Seemingly harmless frogs have extremely poisonous skin. Just picking one up can be lethal for your kitty.
Proof of health
Indonesian officials want to keep their country safe, too. That means ensuring your cat doesn’t bring any unwanted pests or diseases with her. Every country has somewhat different requirements when it comes to pet import documentation, so you will have to learn exactly what you need to move your cat to Indonesia. In a nutshell, that will include:
- USDA veterinary health certificate (or equivalent if you’re moving from a country other than the US)
- Current rabies vaccination
- Rabies titer/OIE-FAVN blood test (a lab test that confirms the rabies antibodies are functioning properly in your cat’s bloodstream)
- Possible additional vaccinations – cats must be immunized against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukokemia
Obtaining most of these things involves a specified timeframe, but the timeframes differ. And the blood titer test can take months to incubate in the lab. Do not wait to find out what you need to do and meet with your cat’s vet to get started. Even with all the proper documentation, your kitty will probably face some time in quarantine as soon as she arrives in Indonesia.
Our pet relocation experts here at Pacific Pet Transport can help you unravel these details to ensure your cat has a safe, comfortable move to Indonesia. We can even do all the work for you. Hmmm. Now there’s a smart plan.