In the event that the UK leaves the European Union with a hard Brexit by which I mean without an agreement with the EU then the pet travel arrangements change completely.
The UK would be treated as an unlisted country. That’s a technical term but what it means is that cat owners in the UK will have to go through all the hoops and hurdles required of any other country to take their cat out of the UK into another EU country. It’s horribly complicated, I am sorry to say.
The cat should be micro-chipped and then vaccinated against rabies. In order to achieve this you will need to contact your vet at least four months before travelling and you can get his advice at the same time.
In addition to having your cat micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies you will need to get a blood sample from a European Union approved blood testing laboratory. This is to prove that the rabies vaccination has been successful.
You will also need to wait three months from the date of a successful blood sample before travelling.
In addition, you must take your cat to an Official Veterinarian no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate. ‘Official Veterinarian‘ (OV) is the term used to describe a private practice veterinarian who performs work on behalf of the EU member state. I think it best to telephone your veterinarian to find out who are qualified to describe themselves as Official Veterinarians.
The blood test is only required for the first time you travel to an EU country with your cat provided that the rabies vaccinations are kept up-to-date with boosters.
The pet health certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue into the EU, for four months of onward travel within the EU and re-entry to the UK for four months after the date of issue.
When you arrive at the EU country of your destination you will have to pass through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). You will have to produce proof of micro-chipping, the rabies vaccination and the blood test referred to above together with the cat’s health certificate.
On subsequent trips to the EU you can rely on your blood test and up-to-date rabies vaccination but you will need a fresh health certificate for each trip to the EU. To get this you will have to take your cat to an Official Veterinarian no more than 10 days before you travel. When you see the veterinarian you will have to provide proof of your cat’s vaccination history and a successful rabies antibody blood test result.
When you return to the UK from your trip within the EU countries you must have one of the following documents: an EU pet passport, the EU health certificate issued in the UK referred to above or a UK pet health certificate.
I would certainly advise doing more research on this and the best place to start would be to talk to your veterinarian. Also you can go online to the government’s website to read more about this.
It’s horribly complicated, I know.