Sunday, 20 July 2008

So How Do You Get Four Cats To Berlin?

Some time soon we're going to have to solve the logistics of transporting four cats across a 1000km of Europe, when the furthest they have been in a car has been a few miles and that was traumatic enough.

We can't fly them over and we want to sell our cars (which are too small for four cats in their carriers) before moving, so the options are:

1. Rent a large estate car or small van in the UK, drive down to the tunnel and go over on Eurostar, drive up to Berlin. Offload the cats and drive the car back to the UK. Fly over to Berlin from the UK. The problem with this is all the driving and flying.

2. Rent a left-hand drive estate car in Rotterdam, bring it back to Hull on the ferry, drive down to our place in England. Load up the cats, drive down to the Eurostar pick-up, drive up to Berlin. Leave rented car in Berlin. The problem with this is the cost of a rented car that you are able to leave at a different location from where you picked up, and the time to get to the ferry and the crossing (which may be rough!). Good practice for driving in a left-hand car mind.

3. Persuade a friend or relative in the UK with a large car or van to pick up us and the cats and drive down to Eurostar. Share time at the wheel up to Berlin. Friend drives van back. The problem is finding a gullible very kind friend or relative with time on their hands. It would be an experience for them though!

4. Trade our cars in here for an estate-sized car and drive the cats through the tunnel to Berlin. The problem here is we don't want to be stuck with a car in Germany (running, taxing, repair costs etc) and are planning on using just local transport once over there. It would also be awkward selling a right-hand drive car in Germany.

5. Rent a car in the UK, drive over with the cats on Eurostar etc. Meet removal van in Berlin. Removal people have brought along another guy who we pay to drive back to the UK and return the rental car for us. Here the problem is persuading the removal company to take this on, and our trust that they will get the car back and in one piece.

6. abandon the cats with the RSPCA This is not an option!

The timing of all this with moving out of our UK house and meeting the removals van in Berlin could be a nightmare!


  1. Why not transport them by air? I admit it would take two trips, but I carried my cat from America. He had to have a special bag, and special papers (welcome to Germany), but he was at my feet the whole time and there was no problem.

  2. It's all a matter of comparative costs really; there isn't the equivalent of Eurostar connecting USA to the mainland continent of Europe (that I know of!) and you don't have the budget airlines or cheap ferry services. You also have only the one cat - we have four little darlings to herd.
    I don't believe that BA or Luthansa let your little bundle of fluff to sit with you either - they have to go into the hold and you can just imagine them crying and you are not there to comfort them.
    The cheap flight airlines from the UK to Berlin don't let you take animals at all. Jeez, you are lucky if they'll let you take a book to read!


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