How to Exit China With Your Pet

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Image via Pet world shop

I’ve been wanting to post this for a while now. It’s almost a month since I’ve moved here and it’s been the usual madness of beginning a life from scratch in a new place, this time with a cat in tow.

Prior to moving, I found little information that was any help at all. Even the vets would encourage you to spend a fortune to pay a relocation pet agency to do the work or pay under the table money to do it illegally across borders. Post-settling, I find out that it’s more than twice the price if you hire the agency to do it and you still have to deal with the stress of trust.

* Please note that this is for a cat moving from Beijing to Hong Kong, every country has their own import rules, so the paperwork isn’t entirely the same. Your best bet is first to ring the airlines to inquire about live cargo and call the country’s “Live animals agriculture department” to inquire about import/export rules. They should have all the paper work should you do this yourself and not via a pet relocation agent (which I did)

Smudge arrived safe and sound with the aid of World Care Pet. Here’s a breakdown of the fees:
1.Rabies and Tri Cat injection Rmb200.00
2.Microchip Rmb200.00
3.Export inspection Rmb1000.00
4.Apply export permit and health certifiate Rmb500.00
5.Cat cage: Rmb650.00
6.Travel pad: Rmb48.00
7.Apply export permit from Beijng Customs Rmb500.00
8.Customs clearance charge at Beijing airport Rmb1,000.00
9.Termina handling charge Rmb200.00
10.Airfreight from PEK-HKG Rmb43.5/kg x chargeable weight ( up to cat’s cage dimension)
11.Our admin fee in Beijing Rmb2,000.00
12.Est. HK Destination agent charge HK$5,500.00
13.HK quarantine fee for cat HK$42.00/day x 120days.

1.According to HK gov. regulation, all of pets move to HK must fly as manifest cargo, check-in baggage is not allowed.
2.If you want to carry the cat as baggage to HK, then you need fly to Shenzhen or Guangzhou, after that by Train to HK. (the illegal route)

There are several other ways to do it illegally, including flying your pet via Malaysia for a 7 day quarantine or to the US and then direct to HK, none of these are legal. Best to fly your pet into Hong Kong and do the 120 days quanrantine where you can visit your pet daily. Be sure to book the quarantine kennel in advance as places are tight.

After much research on moving your pet within asia, the alternative and more cost effective way of moving your pet is to contact the airlines directly and book your pet a live cargo spot, fees vary depending on weight and airline companies. Just make sure your vaccination papers are all up to date. Before a pet leaves Beijing and presuming all over China, they have to do a health check within 7 days of flying out. In my case, I had to fly out first and the cat got on the flight out 3 days later.

More details on flying via Cathay, Malaysian Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

A different set of rules apply for pets flying out to/from the US and Canada and you can take small pets as carry on baggage. It’s much less of a hassle.

Tip for getting your pet ready to check in. Freeze the water in the tray, so it will slowly melt throughout the flight so you won’t end up with a wet pet when you arrive!

Moving your dog out of China to Australia via a pet relocation agency would cost a minimum of 100,000RMB, as the pet has to be quarantine in a 3rd party country before entering Australia.

Kiki Chen
World Care Pet Transport LLC
Tel # (86 10)8459 3008, 8459 2858, 8459 3096, 6431 0199
Fax #: (86 10) 8459 4198
Cell:(86 )15010398158


  1. Eva
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 19:38:39

    That is so intense! And so many fees, too! Glad your kitty made it safe and sound though :)


  2. baobabs
    Mar 19, 2011 @ 04:14:36

    hi eva! thanks for the note, was quite a journey for the kitty and me but we are safe and happy in our new home :)


  3. jill
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 18:04:44

    You state that if you take a cat to Canada in the cabin of the plane it is EASIER. Can you please tell me why it is easier – what DONT you need to do


  4. baobabs
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 19:02:29

    hi Jill,

    I completely understand your anxiety and frustrations as I was in your shoes last year.

    Hope you got my email, just received a comment from you last night. sorry i am not of further help. I don’t know the nitty gritty of bringing a cat into Canada but all the talks I’ve been to says bringing cats to North America is the easiest. I was busy stressing and focusing on my energies bringing Smudge to Hong Kong and did not note the exact details for Canada apart from head vet Mary Peng saying bring her cats from China to North America was the most hassle free process.

    It’s best you drop her an email – I’ve send you the full details yesterday. She’s the professional who can best advise.

    Unlike moving the pet around in Asia,
    1. don’t need to hire a pet relocation agent for a min of 20K rmb to shorten the quarantine period as you fly the cat via another country
    2. don’t need to check it in as live cargo as you take it on board
    3. don’t need to explore alternative ways to fly the cat to shorten quarantine time
    4. you may not need a microchip – best to check

    you need to
    1. check with the airline on the size and weight/ type of your cat carrier as you’re carrying on
    2. all the shots – you should check on the Canadian side if there are extra shots they need, but the basics are

    – rabies
    -temperment shot

    I did all this at the vet ICVS, prices for microchips etc all fluctuate so the prices are a gauge from Jan 2011 when I moved the cat.

    3. what quarantine rules Canada has?

    Please email Mary, she has certain documents for different countries import rules that she can share with you. I only have the Hong Kong one where I moved my cat from Beijing.

    hope this helps!

    Also found the contact for the Canadian import rules for domestic cats:


  5. Giselle
    Jun 06, 2013 @ 01:45:53

    We spoke on the phone earlier. I’m looking for a cargo agent to send my puppy to the U.S. from Beijing.


  6. Lori Larsen
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 12:09:59

    Oh im glad i found your site..i have been asking around as to how i should do this..I need to take my cat home to the it the same process?..Can u pls give me step by step details of what i should do to be able to take my little kitty with me?..and of course the total estimate of expenses and fees..

    much appreciated
    Lori (dongguan)


  7. bilbaobab
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 19:33:10

    Hi Lori,

    Great that you are taking your cat home with you!

    The breakdown of most part of the fees is above in the post including vaccinations, microchips etc and the step by step you need to do before leaving China.

    The rest I paid the pet relocation agent to deal with, so it’s best you email the pet relocation agent Kiki directly as different countries have different import laws and costs. kiki.chen[at]

    Alternatively, call the airlines that fly to Philippines and inquire about live cargo and then they should be able to advise on import rules. You still however have to get the cat vaccinated etc in China and pay export fees. This is probably the most cost effective way if you have time for the paperwork.


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    Jan 24, 2015 @ 00:05:59

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