Expat Life

Taking pets to Australia

A grey, sleeping cat. On taking pets to Australia.

This is my cat and I’m going to miss her so much while I’m away. I’d love to take her with me, but taking pets to Australia is no easy task.

Australia has strict import conditions to minimise the risk of exotic diseases being introduced. My cat meets most of the requirements for entry such as being an appropriate breed, from an approved country, at least six months old, and having been continuously living in the country of export for a minimum of six months. She would need a microchip implanted, which is easy enough, and have all the proper vaccinations, which she does.  Then it starts to get complicated.

The Department of Agriculture oversees the import of pets. After applying for a permit, if approved, I’d have to locate an Official Government Veterinarian who would perform a rabies vaccination and Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT). Provided the test result is satisfactory, the pet can travel 60 days after the blood sample, but enters quarantine in Australia for up to 120 days. 180 days must elapse from the date that the blood is sampled before the animal can be released from quarantine in Australia. On the bright side, the longer you wait to travel after the blood test, the shorter the quarantine. Waiting 150 days to travel means my kitty would spend 30 days in¬†quarantine, which is the minimum period.

There are significant costs associated with taking pets to Australia. Aside from vet bills, bringing a pet to Australia costs more than a standard airline ticket for any other member of the family, and they can only enter through three airports (Mascot Airport in Sydney, Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne, or Perth Airport). Plus, the cost for a cat’s individual quarantine accommodation for the minimum period of 30 days is approximately $1000.

All that aside, I just couldn’t put my cat through the stress of a 25-hour journey spent in a crate, most of it in the rear of a plane with no food, and then quarantined for 30-120 days. It deeply saddens me to think about leaving her behind, but she’ll be healthier and happier staying with my mom in the home she’s known for more than 10 years.



  • I’m so sorry you cant take your fur baby with you! But I totally understand … Being as old as she is, that just would not be fair! You are a very good “pet” to your cat master! LOL She will miss you but it definitely is for the best! Hugs your way! My heart has a little tinge. I have cats and it would be hard to leave them behind! <3

    • Cosette

      Thanks, Gypsy!