How our cat made the trip

Aka: Furrballs with wings

Let me start by saying that bringing our cat (Matilda) to Costa Rica has been easier than expected. I was a bit worried about how she would cope with almost 20 hours in the transport box which was the estimated time from door to door, traveling from the Netherlands to Costa Rica. But she did just fine. Most of the stress for her was before boarding the plane: putting her in the box at home (first pee); train to the airport (second pee); going through security (third pee) and then an extra bonus fourth pee when we came out of the plane…but still did not let her out.

Fortunately, we were traveling with a large stash of baby crib pampers and wet towels, so I could change the wet pampers immediately, thus avoiding any uncomfortable smell in the plane and making sure that she was standing on a comfy dry bed at all times.

During the flight, we placed her
extendable transport box (see my blog on traveling with pets) on the floor and as soon as the security belt was off, we opened the extension net of her box, thus doubling the size of her space. We had booked two chairs with extra leg space and it paid off. We could stretch our legs comfortably and have her box with the extension open

The extension also allowed us to place a small container with water (which she did not drink) and food (which she ate partially) and to give her the insulin shot when the time arrived. And to pet her every now and then 😉

Going through customs in Costa Rica was easy (May be too easy). After all the struggle and stress in Europe getting the veterinary official certificate, in Spanish and with all the required official stamps…the custom official barely looked at it (or at least that is my impression). But hey, one might go through a less lenient custom official who would definitively look at the details. So, better be safe than sorry.

Also, we had no problem getting in with all the insulin and the 800 insulin syringes for the entire year.

When we arrived at our new home, a bag of cat sand and a scratcher were already waiting for us. I had ordered them one week before through We just needed to open our foldable cat litter box (see photo below), place some sand…and she was settled. She immediately went for the water and the toilet and then relaxed. Pura Vida!

So, here are some tips from our experience
– Make sure to bring enough pampers with you
– Try to fit her/his favorite blanket or basket in the transport box
– Bring a small container for water (if needed)
– Order whatever supplies you need online some days in advance so that they are there when you arrive
– Bring a foldable cat sand box or order one before hand. This is one of the first things that she used.
-Place some water in the transport box. The air gets very dry in the plane and they also get dehydrated.
– Bring some food for the first days, particularly if your cat is on a special diet. Finding specialized food might not be that easy (more about this in another blog)

Final note: we used a very generous amount of Feliway in her basket just in case. But judging from the amount of stress-induced pee, I am not sure it worked. But yet again, we have no basis for comparison and no way of knowing how the trip would have gone if we hadn’t used the Feliway.