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Sending the kitten overseas (to Russia).

#1
Hello!
In short: I'm from Russia, and I want to buy the savannah kitten from the U.S. Is it possible?

In long... Let me start from the point of describing my current location. I'm live in the edge of my country, in Vladivostok city. As you can see from the Wikimapia's map, the distance from me to Moscow (the only city in Russia where several savannah breeders are) is equal 6421.4 km (3990.1 miles). It's not much less then the distance to the USA's west coast which is 7695.5 km (4781.8 miles).

The second thing I should to mention is that there is no one savannah breeder (and, as far as I know, even owner) near me. Near is less than 2000 miles around. So, IMO, buying the kitten from the US is not so mad idea for me. I've spoke with one of the US reputable breeders, and she adviced me to look at Europen catteries... But, in fact the EU/UK is not much closer to me than the US.

So, I have a number of questions:
1. Is it possible to buy the kitten in the US and transfer it (somehow) to me at Vladivostok?
2. Is it OK for the kitten to travel so far?
3. Has anyone here such an experience of delivering the kitten to such faraway locations?
4. Is it a good idea at all?
5. More personal question: would you agree to send your kitten so far. (It does not mean that I'm going to buy it, I just want to see your personal / subjective opinion on this all).
6. How much may it cost to deliver the kitten here from the US?

I've read in Russian feline-related forums, that users bought kittens around the world. They said that it's a trivial routine to deliver the kitten here, but I want to see the independent opinion from the other side.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#2
It may have been me that advised buying in Europe, I know I did email someone with that recently. I had no idea how far your city was from the rest of Europe though!

One question, if the kitten WAS to be shipped to you, what flight would it take? I'm assuming there is an airport in Vladivostok but where do the flights come from? Are there any direct flights from there to the US?

Yes it is possible to buy your kitten in the US and have it shipped to you, but shipping internationally is more difficult and more expensive. The cost might vary, some are experienced and will handle the arrangements themselves, while others prefer to use a shipping service which is reliable but expensive.

It's not ideal for the kitten to have such a long trip but mostly they survive. I think you might expect to have to give the kitten some time to recover from such a trip and be patient with them.
You might also consider flying to the US and bringing the kitten back with you to make sure all goes well, this would be easier if it were an F5 or further kitten so that there weren't CITES permits and inspections required.
 

Wyldthingz

Savannah Super Cat
#3
Many breeders don't want to ship internationally because of all the paper work etc. To say it is a trivial thing is not quite correct. It is very complicated- many permits and documents must be done correctly to ship the cat. It will run about $1500 to $2000 in US dollars just for the shipping fees, vet visits, and permits. If you plan to breed, it may be worth the time for you to come to the US to hand carry the kitten back with you. You will still need all the necessary permits. I know there are a few breeders in Poland and Russia that are producing litters. It may be simpler to get one within Europe.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#4
Hi Nada,

Welcome! Glad you are finally able to post ;)

we have many experienced breeders here who can answer your questions.
 
#5
I THINK the reason why you will see buyers saying that it's not a big deal shipping is because typically, they are not buying Savannahs! Sphynx breeders ship internationally all of the time- and Sphynx are imported into the United States constantly from Russia and other countries. BUT Savannahs are a lot trickier simply due to the paperwork and hoops that need to be jumped through from what I understand.

So in this case- although you would think you are comparing apples to apples, it's apples to oranges (or moonshine to vodka- ROFL)
 
#6
It may have been me that advised buying in Europe
Yes, Brigitte, you are! Thank you again for your help!

I had no idea how far your city was from the rest of Europe though!
Yes, Russia is a very big country. Sometimes it's much simplier (and closer!) to go abroad than to the neghbour province (Kray or Oblast, as we call it) :))

One question, if the kitten WAS to be shipped to you, what flight would it take?
I have no experience in sending or receiveing kittens, so I really don't know. According to the Internet, there are no straightforward flights from the U.S. to VVO, most options have 1 or more stops. Here are some examples: 1, 2, 3


Are there any direct flights from there to the US?
I'll try to contact the airport service and ask them. Will post the answer here, ASAP.

You might also consider flying to the US and bringing the kitten back with you to make sure all goes well, this would be easier if it were an F5 or further kitten so that there weren't CITES permits and inspections required.
I think, I need to read more about CITES. Thank you for the search keyword :))

---
It will run about $1500 to $2000 in US dollars just for the shipping fees, vet visits, and permits.
Thank you for the numbers, Wyldthiingz!

I know there are a few breeders in Poland and Russia that are producing litters. It may be simpler to get one within Europe.
As I've wrote before, the Europe is not much closer to me than the U.S. I'think it'll be a nice option to buy the kitten from Asia (Japan, China and Korea are close and easy-to-go countries for me), but I don't know any breeders here. I tried to do some wen-search (in English and Russian), but there was no success.
----
Hi Nada,
Welcome! Glad you are finally able to post ;)
we have many experienced breeders here who can answer your questions.
:))
Thank you, Paige, for the welcom and for this excellent resource!
----
I THINK the reason why you will see buyers saying that it's not a big deal shipping is because typically, they are not buying Savannahs!
What is the big difference between the Savannahs and other breeds in the deal of shipping? CITES permission or something else?
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#7
Nada, I believe there are a couple of breeders in China and there are definitely some breeders in russia!
 

Wyldthingz

Savannah Super Cat
#8
Cities isn't too expensive but it takes a month to a few months to get the permit. There is also the USDA paperwork, and the visit from a Fish and Game inspector prior to the flight. Other types of cats don't need it. The fish and game inspector that I had to have come said "Yep, looks like a domestic cat to me!?"
 
#9
Paige, I'm trying to contact one of the Russian breeders now. The problem is that there are quite a few breeders in Russia.

Some of them are not in my price range (one cattery starts their prices from $13 000 [YES! It's the beginning, some kittens are priced about 20 000 USD and even above]). Of course, that cats might be excellent, but I simply cannot afford one of them!

The other russian breeders produce savannah that I can not distinguish from the bengals: the cats are square-headed, short-legged and long-bodied. They are very beautiful too, but I want another type. In short, I want a savannah, not a bengal :))

And there are only a few breeders that do not belongs to one of the groups mentioned above. I keep searching.

As for chinese (or other asian) breeders and catteries... Still no luck. I don't know none of that asian languages, so the probability to find anything in that areas isn't very high.

The fish and game inspector that I had to have come said "Yep, looks like a domestic cat to me!?"
LOL! What a scientific method!:)) The inspectors are not so different in our countries :))
 

Wyldthingz

Savannah Super Cat
#10
I don't blame you!
If you do import, best to find a male and female kitten that are about the same age (unrelated) that can be shipped together. That way, they have each other 4 company, you will save on shipping, and you can get two cats that will be ready to breed at the same time. I guess you need to decide which generation you plan to breed and can afford before asking around too much.