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All you need to know about international travel with a Bengal Cat

International travel with Bengal Cats is complicated, and it is essential to know pet import regulations of the country you are travelling to before making travel plans. Bengal Cats are hybrid cats, and many countries do not allow the import of hybrids.

What are Bengal Cats?

Bengal Cats are hybrids; they are the result of a cross between the Domestic Cat and the Asian Leopard Cat, which is a small wildcat found in Asia. It is a new breed and was recognised by The International Cat Association in 1986.

Bengal Cats are intelligent and inquisitive and have a beautiful wild coat with striking stripes and spots. Bengal Cats are not very far removed from their wildcat ancestry, and therefore are considered to be on the wild side compared to other domestic cat breeds.

Will my Bengal Cat face import restrictions?

When travelling with a Bengal Cat, your cat’s filial ratings determine whether he or she will face import restrictions while travelling to a different country. Filial ratings or F is a term used by breeders to specify the number of generations your cat is from his or her wildcat ancestry.

An F1 Bengal Cat is the first generation offspring from a wild Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat. F1 cats are half-wild and half domestic. These cats are only used for breeding and not sold or raised as pets. Most countries will not allow the import of F1 Bengal Cats.

An F2 Bengal Cat is when an F1 female is bred with a male domestic cat. F3 Bengals are the offspring of an F2 female bred with a male domestic cat. Similarly, F4 Bengals are when an F3 cat is bred with a domestic cat. Bengals cats from F4 and F5 generations are raised as pets. Most breeders do not sell cats from F1 to F3 generations, and cats from these generations are usually prohibited from entering most countries.

Several countries such as Australia, EU, Singapore and Hong Kong only permit the import of Bengal Cats that are five generations or more removed from the Asian Leopard Cat. In other words, you can travel with your Bengal Cat if you can provide documentation in the form of official pedigree papers that prove that your cat is an F5 hybrid or more.

You will have to furnish official documentation for your cat, going back at least four generations to be able to travel with him or her to a different country.

How can I travel with my Bengal Cat?

When you are transporting your Bengal Cat to a different country, the process to follow will be specified by the country that you are travelling to. Import regulations change from country to country, and they vary depending on the origin and destination countries.

Most countries in the world mandate import regulations such as:

  • Vaccinations: Make sure your Bengal Cat is up-to-date with all mandatory vaccinations such as the rabies vaccine, feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. Some countries might insist on other vaccinations such as chlamydia, feline leukaemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, Bordetella, etc. An updated vaccination record is one of the basic requirements for international pet transport. More importantly, it is a good idea to ensure that your Bengal Cat’s vaccinations are always current.
  • Microchip: A microchip is a minute identification device that is implanted under your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. A microchip has details of your pet’s breed and vaccination status, health records and ownership details. An ISO-compliant microchip is one of the mandatory requirements of international pet travel.
  • Crate training: Bengal Cats can get a little feisty and temperamental due to their wildcat ancestry. It is imperative to acclimatise your cat to his or her travelling crate before international travel. Buy an IATA-compliant travel crate ahead your date of travel and crate your Bengal Cat to become comfortable in the crate. Make sure the crate is large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lay down comfortably. Crate training is an important travel preparation process, and it goes a long way in making your pet comfortable during the journey.
  • Pedigree documents: Your Bengal Cat’s pedigree documents are vital; they are often the difference between being allowed or denied entry into a country. Make sure your pet’s records are authentic and prove that your cat is an F5 hybrid or higher.
  • Other import requirements: Different countries have different import regulations, and they are more often than not, very complex and time-bound. An accredited pet travel agency can assist you with the pet relocation by helping with the documentation and veterinary regulations required for that country.

Travelling abroad with your Bengal Cat?

Relocating to a different country with your Bengal Cat can be challenging because of the documentation, import regulations, health tests and more. In such a scenario, make your pet transport a stress-free and comfortable experience by reaching out an experienced pet transport agency to handle the move.

If you are planning to move abroad with your pet Bengal Cat, contact us at Petraveller for a detailed pet travel itinerary and much more.