I receive many inquiries asking whether or not it is feasible to adopt a cat or kitten which a tourist has found while on holiday in Cyprus. Most of the questions concern the costs involved and the time table to make it happen. Hopefully the following details will give you an idea if this is workable for the cat you have in mind.

Firstly, the kitten must be at least 16 weeks old to be accepted for the flight with any airline. All animals going to UK must fly as cargo as a requirement of the British Government regulations concerning the import of animals.

I work in concert with other rescue organizations across Cyprus who send cats and dogs monthly on what is called a “Freedom Flight” organized by Chrysiis Kakofengitou. This Royal Jordanian plane departs Larnaca at 4:30 AM for Maastricht Holland on a Sunday morning. Occasionally it is diverted to Cologne Germany, an event that has only a minimal impact on the delivery times. The pets are processed and moved into the vans of professional pet moving companies and then driven to the entry point of Folkestone England from Calais France via the Eurotunnel. Following a check of all documents the cats, dogs, kittens and puppies are scheduled to various drop points along the motorways nearest the adopters homes. Each route is assigned a van number and via Facebook Messenger group chats are established for each van and driver. In this way you will be able to track the arrival of pets into the hands of their adopters along your corridor and compare the timings with that of the “published” timetable shared before the route had commenced. It is an exciting time and some adopters form friendships with one another having taken litter mates from the same births or simply because they met through this process.

In order to get your cat ready for this journey, the first steps are getting the cat to Dr Nick Antoniou in Chlorakas and begin the vaccinations and microchip/passport steps. The time sensitive feature of this concerns the rabies vaccination which must be a minimum of 21 days prior to the flight. The injection will be done the same date as the microchip is inserted and the passport is registered in the database held by the Government Vet Services of Cyprus. Clearly there is no way to “fudge” this date as whatever is in the database is under review with the airline and the import review upon arrival at Folkestone.

I will try to outline the costs as follows, however all figures are subject to change. The biggest factor in calculating the grand total is whether or not your cat shares a crate with other cats as the airline portion of travel is charged “Per Crate.” Obviously when sending kittens, the litter mates easily share the bedding within a larger crate as siblings without any fuss. However, if you have found an adult cat at a hotel it is unpredictable to assume if she will happily settle for the many hours in her pen if she must share.

Here is a list of costs:

Two injections of cat vaccine (guards against “cat flu”) spaced 28 days apart: 40 euros

One injection of rabies vaccine: 20 euros

One microchip: 20

Passport booklet: 3

Spay surgery for females: 45

Neuter surgery for males: 25

Purchase of Crate: 40

Document to be exported (and enter another EU country): 10

Document to enter UK with an IPAFFS number assigned: 10

Airline flight: 270 euros if alone in crate, 300 if sharing with one other, 330 if sharing with two others. In the latter cases you would pay your share, the half or the third.

Ground transport: currently this fee is 190 GBP PER animal.

All travel fees are paid directly to Chrysiis on the Monday, six days prior to the flight. Typically this is a PayPal transaction using the “Friends and Family” designation. You will be informed of the exact amount at the appropriate time. All the veterinarian charges are paid to Fishing for Felines including cost of the crate which comes from his supplier. I will also collect from you the amount for the documents which I will personally apply for on Friday just before the flight happens on Sunday morning. I will drive the cats and kittens to the airport on Saturday night where the check in is processed. (Dogs between 10 PM and 12 Midnight followed by cats from 12 Midnight to 1 AM.)

In the meantime, the cat will need somewhere to stay until the date of the flight. Sometimes I can accommodate this but generally you would hire the services of a cattery to hold her until the Freedom Flight date. I will help you with ensuring she is seen at the vet for the injections and microchip on the right schedule.

In order to begin the process I will need your full name, address, postal code, email address and telephone number. You will be responsible for changing the registration of the microchip to your home details. Guidance will be provided on how to go about this in the chat on Messenger.