Posted by: Sarah | July 3, 2011

Transporting Your Pets To Norway

Last week we said goodbye to our beloved cat Merlin.  He went missing two weeks ago and we’ve been searching all over for him.  Last Wednesday I thought we should check under the house again and that’s where we found him.  It seems that he died of a heart attack on the day he went missing (16th June).  As any pet owner will know, coming to terms with the loss is tough. 

Merlin – I dedicate this post to you.  We miss you so much xxx

When we moved to Norway 2 years ago we brought our two cats, Merlin and his sister Chloe, with us and as such went through the custom requirements involved when moving pets abroad.  If you’re thinking of moving to Norway and bringing your furry friends with you then make sure you start the process 4-5 months before you plan to move. 

Here’s a quick guide on bringing your pet with you from an EU country along with some lessons learned.  If you’re bringing your pet from a non-EU country the rules are much stricter – check this website:

  1. Visit Your Vet:  They will know the rules and procedures involved in moving a pet around the EU and will get the wheels in motion.  They will also help you apply for a pet passport and will make sure your pets vaccinations are all up to date!
  2. Microchip Your Pet:  If you haven’t already done so you will legally need to microchip your vet.   It’s all very modern these days and instead of reading  the animals name, they will scan them.  It’s a routine procedure and can cost between £25 – £30.  Make sure you use Petlog because they use an open system.  This means that once you’re in Norway, you can register the microchip number with – the local pet registration system.
  3. Start The Rabies Vaccination Procedure:  This can take time since the animal will need to receive a series of vaccinations prior to departure.  From what I remember this wasn’t cheap but it is essential.  Your pet can’t travel without this proof. 
  4. Arrange Transportation:  The best way to do this is through a pet transportation company.  We used Airpets Oceanic.  They’re based right next to Heathrow and are specialists in pet transportation.  They arrange all the documentation,  book the flight and organise transfers.  They will also supply the transportation box.  You can’t use a normal pet box.  It has to be an EU spec wooden construction with paper at the bottom.  We upgraded Merlin and Chloe to a ‘small dog’ box since the cat version looked a too tiny.  Merlin and Chloe flew British Airways from Terminal 5.  They flew at 7.30am and were in our arms by 1pm the same day. 
  5. Obtain An EU Pet Passport:  This is fairly straightforward.  You don’t have to add a photograph but I did for fun.  It helped.  The day before the flight we noticed that Merlin’s rabies certificate said he was a dog…not a cat!!!!  We had to get an emergency note from DEFRA.  Check the documentation over and over before you leave. 
  6. Book Your Pet Into Kennels During The Move:  It just takes them away from all the disruption of having your house packed up and doesn’t stress them out.  The pet transportation company will also be able to collect them…for a fee of course.


  1. Which Airline did you use?

  2. so sorry to hear about your cat passing.

    we are due to move to norway soon and would appreciate any information regarding airlines that will take our cat, costs etc.

    thank you.

    • Hi Hjorgunn – thanks so much for your comment. Still coming to terms with Merls passing away – still have tears. I’ll email over some information about the costs as we kept a spreadsheet for everything. We used British Airways which was organised by AirPets – I think that is their preferred carrier. Not sure where you’re moving from but a local pet shipping company can probably give you a good recommendation. I think Merls and Chloe travelled in a better class of travel than we did! :-)

      • Hello,

        I am moving to Norway with my husband as well and we have two loving babies we would not dream of leaving behind. we will make the move from Canada to Norway. Could you please send me the spreadsheet, as well as information on how you made the move?

        ps: i am truly sorry about your Merls :(


      • Hi sanaria – thanks for your comment. I know what youre going through with the move. Let me see what i can dig out and email across. Sarah

  3. Hi both,

    Your blog is amazing. I just stumbled across it at work, but I’m finding it such a lovely read.

    My case is slightly different. I am from Norway, but moved to England 4 years ago for Uni and then work. Although I love England, I miss Norway very much. My boyfriend, on his part, is very keen on moving, so I suppose in a year or so we’ll too be in Norway.

    Which brings me to the initial question I wanted to ask you: In regards to bringing your pets from England to Norway – is there no pet quarantine?

    Thanks again for sharing everything on your blog :)


    • Hi Elin – great to hear from you and glad you enjoy reading the blog. In answer to your question about quarantine…no, you don’t need to put pets into quarantine if they’re coming from the UK. You do have to get all sorts of injections and certificates for them, get them transported properly and get a passport for them but they can be delivered to your door on the same day they fly. Our cats left on a 7.30am flight with British Airways from Terminal 5 (all sounds very posh) and then were in our arms at 1pm the same day!

  4. Thanks for the great website
    I have just recently discovered that we are relocating to Oslo next January with my husbands job,
    I’ve never left the UK (other than on holiday) and although I am happy to do it and am reasonably excited I am also quite petrified at the same time……

    We have four much loved young cats, two of which are particularly soft and spoiled (the youngest two), They are both very nervy around strangers and both go nuts on small journeys t the vets (which isn’t very often) and seems to take them weeks to get over it!, so god knows how they are gonna cope with all this,
    And that”s before I’ve even worried about the rabies vaccination, which Ive heard are extremely risky and also very uncomfortable for the cats,
    Ive even had a friend tell me that she knows someone who’s cat died of shock after a rabies vaccination, I am so scared of all this,
    I really dont want to lose my cats, I have never been able to have children due to infertility so here I am at 46 and these cats are like my babies, I know that sounds utterly bonkers but they are!,
    I don’t want to lose my cats, and I dont want them going through any pain/stress, but at the same time I have no option, sigh
    Can you please help me get my head around all of this
    Thanks so much in advance

    • Hey Lisa – Sorry for the delay in writing back to you. First of all I know exactly what you’re going through. I felt the same when we found out that we would be moving. I wasn’t prepared to leave our little furry family behind but I never thought I would be able to go through with it and cope. I don’t remember the rabies vaccinations being a problem. I think they have a series of injections before they leave. Chloe now has a rabies top up every year (otherwise we can’t get her back into the UK without quarantine, should we wish to move back). I called several transportation firms before going with the one we went with – that’s because they were close to Heathrow and had a strong agreement with British Airways. I upgraded their box to give them more room but they were separated by a wire screen – they could see each other but were kept apart. The said they would need to do this for transportation. My gorgeous boy Merlin was a very nervy cat – I loved him to bits. Chloe (Eliot’t cat) is streetwise but Merlin was a big softy and didn’t cope well with stress, but he made it! What I liked about the company we went with was that we got them up there the night before (they need to be there for final flea checks etc) and then they put them on a flight at 7.30am and they were with us by 1.00pm so the travel part was really easy and quick. They were pretty terrified when they arrived – I won’t lie – but they quickly settled in and after a couple of days it was just like we had moved house…not moved country. I can’t tell you how many times I cried before we left for fear that something would happen. There is some risk with transporting animals but when I spoke to the transportation company they told me that this was just a short flight and nothing to worry about. It’s the long flights to Australia (and apparently they transport many cats to Australia) – they are the tricky ones because the distance is so far. I really hope I’ve helped to give a realistic view having been through it myself.

  5. Hi, although this is being written in 2012, I do know how difficult it is to cope with an animal passing.
    My question for you is rather long winded!so apologies! We have 4 dogs, 2 african grey parrots,a senegal parrot, 2 cockatiels,3 budgies and 4 hens and 3 bantams, the dogs are microchipped but do not think you can microchip birds!
    Any advice on bringing them to norway would be appreciated!

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Hi Wendy – I don’t think you ever get over your little furry friends passing away. Chloe has now adjusted to life without him so we’re happy for that. Wow, what a family you have. I’m really struggling to know if you would have any issues bringing them over. Best to contact a pet transportation company as they have transported all kinds of animals across the world so they’ll know the rules. I recommend the one we used. They were awesome.

  6. Got our shecat ready to travel to Norway, and would love doing so, were we to find one home where landowners were fine by me and my wife having a cat. I love being in Norway, but do people expect pet owners to abandon their pets like that?

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