Pet Travel Scheme and Savannah Cats

F1 Savannah cats
F1 Savannah Cats. Photo: Kathrin Stucki. These cats would not be within the ambit of the EU pet travel scheme
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This page covers the requirements when travelling with a Savannah cat in the EU and the information relates to all wild cat hybrids (see list).

There are special rules relating to the Savannah cat in respect of the European (EU) pet travel scheme. This is because the Savannah cat is a wild cat hybrid.

There were some changes to the EU pet travel scheme on 29 December 2014. I won’t go into the changes here because they are quite extensive but the scheme that people know about remains essentially the same and it can be looked up on the Internet. I briefly cover it at the end of this article.

A new EU regulation (law) created a clearer definition of ‘cat’, ‘dog’ and ‘ferret’. The only species to which the pet travel scheme relates are the domestic dog, the domestic cat in the ferret. The reason for this clarification of definition is to make sure that wild animals are not transported under the EU pet travel scheme.

The wild cat hybrid is a difficult pet to classify because from the perspective of the authorities and scientists the cat falls between wild and domestic and if your pet is a wild cat hybrid such as a Bengal cat or Savannah cat and indeed the Wolfdog, the pet owner has to seek advice from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency before travelling. Incidentally, this complication with the high filial wild cats is found in America too with respect to creating laws to deal with them fairly.

I sought advice on this matter on the telephone by calling the Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 03702411710. The helpline is open from 8 AM to 6 PM Monday to Friday and closed on bank holidays.

The lady who provided me with telephone advice, Evelyn, was very clear and confident and stated that the pet travel scheme relates to F3 (third filial) Savannah cats downwards (F3-f5 and lower) but does not apply to F1 and F2 Savannah cats. It is up to the veterinarian who issues the pet passport to assess whether the cat is an F1 or F2 and of course the registration documents from the breeder will clearly indicate what filial the cat is.

Accordingly, you can see that the application of the European pet travel scheme depends on the amount of wild blood in the Savannah cat, or indeed any other wild cat hybrid (and there are many nowadays).

The F1 and F2 wild cat hybrids are treated as wild cats and therefore the owner of these cats would have to seek a licence from the authorities who deal with the importation and transportation of any wild species and I will leave it to that person to investigate this as it is beyond the remit of this article.

EU Pet Travel Scheme in Brief Outline

When a person enters or returns to the UK from another EU or non-EU listed country their pet needs to meet with the requirements under this scheme which includes a microchip, a rabies vaccination, a pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate and, for dogs only, a tapeworm treatment certificate. An approved transport company and approved route must be used unless the person is travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

A veterinarian will issue the required papers.

When a pet and their owner enters the UK from an unlisted country an additional document is required which is a blood test. The veterinarian must take a blood sample 30 days after the rabies vaccination. In addition, dogs need to receive a tapeworm treatment. The pet owner has to wait three calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before travelling.

This is it in outline only and travellers are advised to go to the government website’s relevant page and to proceed from that point onwards.

Associated: the law on owning a wild cat hybrid in the UK.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

8 thoughts on “Pet Travel Scheme and Savannah Cats”

  1. I have an F3 Savannah. She is fixed. My doctor has told me that I am not to travel anywhere overnight without her. She alerts when my blood sugar starts dropping towards coma numbers. I adore this cat and I will never sell or give her away while I am alive. My problem is that I would like to go back to the UK for 3 or 4 weeks before I am too old to enjoy it. I am currently 74, so that means I need to travel in the next year or two. Can I bring my service cat with me and bring her home without her having to go into quarantine in either direction? I would not let out of whatever room I rent in the UK! I don’t even let her out here at home in Texas! She is just too precious to me! Thank you for your help!

  2. My cat is very healthy and fixed so she can’t have kittens. Would that fact allow me to take her to the UK? She’s saved my life enough times now that I don’t travel without her.

  3. I have an f3 Savannah cat. She is a service animal. I have diabetes. My blood sugar drops to 60, and occasionally lower, when I’m sleeping. So far, she has been able to wake me when that happens. Because of that skill, I am reluctant to travel without her. My doctor has written a letter stating she is a service animal because of her abilities. Would I be allowed to travel to the UK for a last vacation with her? I lived in Great Britain in my early 20’s and would like to go back for a few weeks before I’m too old to travel there again. So far, she has saved my life three times, so I prefer to keep her with me while I am sleeping. She does walk on a leash if that helps, and is awesome with children and adults.

    1. Dinah, I forget the exact details but they are involved. And of course travel now with Covid is also involved. The link goes to the government’s website. It is possible:

      Then there is the issue of your F3 Savannah, an exotic pet as they are described. I have a page on that which may help! Click the link or copy and past it below:

      Good luck. There are 3 issues: Covid travel which will resolve gradually, the pet passport issues and the wild cat hybrid issues!

  4. I think it’s good that they’ve added clearer definition regarding the transportion of hybrids.

    It may have been done in part to make it more difficult to traffick small exotic cats for for the pet trade. I know when “Asheras” were transported into the Netherlands the authorities suspected they might be endangered cats protected by CITES. Further DNA testing confirmed they were F1 Savannahs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow it link and logo

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

I welcome and value comments. Please share your thoughts. All comments are currently unmoderated.

This blog is seen in 199 of the world's country's according to Google Analytics which is pretty much the entire world.

Scroll to Top