Moving to Mexico with a Cat and no Car

I've been looking around the forums for an answer to the various parts of my questions, but I don't seem to becoming up with exactly what I want to know. When I move, I won't be bringing tons of stuff- just my clothes, a couple of mountain dulcimers, some knickknacks of sentimental value, and my cat.  I won't have a car by that time, so I won't be able to drive - at least not myself.

I've been looking into flying in with , my cat (and worrying about how to move the other stuff later), but that seems complicated too. Delta won't do pets direct anymore to Mexico, so they tell you of pet shippers to use, but what I've seen in the forums that can be expensive. AA will fly them, but there are so many temperature restrictions that I wonder if it will be possible fit into one of their temperature restrictions windows (no temps over 86F at either end, and nothing lower than 45F.  Gotta have spring at both ends, it seems.

Well, to cut to the chase, has anyone flow into Mexico with a cat, and if so is there anything to know, watch out for, or consider?  Am I missing any other means of moving to Mexico on land if I don't have a car of my own? 

I talk to

Hello cat lover.  In 2006 i came from Houston to Cancun to explore the coast. When I found what I liked I ask a pet company to send my two cats. During summer months, the airlines have an excuse, which is strange to me, because I have flewn pets from around the world.
Needless, after months my two cats arrived and I did not realize I had to use a broker to take them out of cargo.  That was not a nice experience.
That is too long to explain.  May be things havr changed.  I was told then that I should ahve travel onboard with the cats, and with their health certificate, I would have on arrival spa vet from Cancun airport arrival look at them. So, beware of what a pet company can tell you. Oh yes all is okay at departure.  All over the internet you will find what are the health requirements for the cat.  Normal things that you are used to but some vaccination and health certificate have to be done so many days prior departjre.

Thinking of purchasing a car in Mexico. There are restrictions depending on your immigration status.  So it not all that easy.  Once you arrive in Mexico, how will you travel with a cat?  Without a car? Are you flying in directly into your destination.

As your personal effects.  Will you have then in your suitcase?
If you are on a tourist visa on arrival, customs might ask you why are you bringing all that stuff.  Not knowing what it is, difficult to give an opinion.

France Launia in Chetumal, Mx

A friend just flew from Cancun to Utah with a cat--no problem, the cat was allowed in the cabin with her (in an approved carrier) and there didn't seem to be much restriction. There are airlines that welcome cats and small dogs in the cabin and I personally wouldn't take a pet if it couldn't be in the cabin with me. I think she flew Pioneer. I'll look it up and correct myself if I'm wrong.

Jet Blue has the best pet policy, but I don't know where you're headed so that might not be a good choice.

Oh my, the pet brokers seem a fright. I hope I can avoid them. I like the idea of bringing the cat with me onboard, though I am not too sure how much my fellow passengers will like it. lol 

I will be living in Winston-Salem, NC, until I make the move, but because I will be trying to avoid connecting flights, because of the cat, I will probably have to rent a car and drive down to Atlanta or up to DC or Baltimore, though I hate to travel in opposite directions if I can avoid it. At this point, the plan is to fly into Leon (Guanajuato will be my initial target for the first 1/2 year at least), though if my initial destination changes between now and then (I will know after a few months).

As for a car, I was not really planning on buying one in Mexico (my car here is a lease, and will be back to the dealer when I go), so I figured, I would rent a car in the initial day from airport to initial housing. I plan to do a prep trip to get things set up before bringing my cat. 

Babs, JetBlue and Pioneer fly to Mexico? I didn't know that, though I am not sure that will help me where I am.

Oh, and LTS, initially,what I bring will depend on whether I go in initially as a tourist or with a temp residence permit. If the former, then I would bring less initially - just the suitcases, one mountain dulcimer, and the kitty.

Important to remember is your "arrival in Mexico. Immigration" for you and for the cat? Health certificate. Important to call the Mexican consulate and ask them question and again to the airlines. Never be happy with one answer. Depending on where you go in Mexico. i live in
Chetumal Mx, south of Cancun.  It is always easier to fly into Belize city that is only two hours drive away. Belize needs a permit for the cat that can be done online BAHA Belize.
I see people here giving advise for the return to USA.  It Is completey different.
For instance my two cats. A pet travel co sent them to Cancun but on arrival I had to pay a broker to customs clear for 300 usa dollars  and I could not get a receipt so going back to customs at cargo, I could not take my cafs out.  I had to soend the night in Cancun to negotiate. The cats stays in their box all the time. Of course, you mention taking your cat on board next to you, but the arrival has to be extremely well prepared by yourself as I advised above. If you have a lot of things, personal effects, and a cat and a tourist visa to acquire, I feel it is a lot at the same time. So in conclusion it could have been simpler for one and could  be complicated for another.  Such as tourist visa stamp on arrival.  Most got they 185 days,  but my expeirence had been different. Well dressed, looking fine, and being elderly I have had only one month allowed when my husband further in line got his 185 days.  There was no way to tell the customs officer that I did not understand.  Same in USA, when a customs officer decides, there is mowing and crying about it.
I would suggest. Make your trip alone. Then once you have decided exactly what you want and understand the lay of the  land make another trip.  May be it is worth it.

Probably won't help. Jet Blue, like most of the other small airlines (Frontier, Volaris, etc.), flies into Cancun and México City.  The smaller ones are more pet friendly, though.

Where are you relocating to in Mexico? I have a Mexican friend in San Miguel who regularly drives pets across the border, with and without their owners. He moves people, pets and their belongings across both directions all the time. One option, again depending on where in Mexico you're going, could be to ship your belongings with a mover who is experienced in cross border moves. The use of a customs broker is a good idea. You and your cat could fly domestic to the a city within Texas and my friend could pick you up. If you have  small enough load, you could ship your things to the same city in Texas and he can take your things across the border in his Suburban. He's quite experienced in that aspect of moving including the most painless ways of getting your things through customs. If this seems like something you would consider message me and I can get you his information.


The car idea sounds good, might be costly though. I am wondering about buses in Mexico, the normal way to get around if you dont have a car. I am not sure they allow animals on board. Otherwise, if for instance you decide to use a cat friendly company that only flies into Mexico City, then you have to get to Guanjuato. The usual way would be to take a bus, no problem. But with the cat??? I was going to suggest going by bus across the border, but then I was not sure about the bus policy. I have never seen animals that I can recall on the buses and I have taken a thousand or so. Well maybe not that many but  a lot! So driving sounds good. Good luck!

Tried to send you a message, got a note saying you had disabled private messages. **** for suggestions on birding, good climate, music, etc.

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If  some people.   want to keep secrets what is the point to be on social media and make exchanges. after all its. Free for us and we should let everyone else be fit our knowledge.

Babe, your earlier post about the Cancun-Utah flight reminds me of round trip I took last fall between Dallas and Leon on American Airlines. On the outbound flight a couple had a Golden Retriever flying with them. The dog just slept on the floor beneath their feet. I'm told they claimed it as a Comfort Dog or some other assistance dog. I was amused as this was just a ruse for getting the dog on the plane rather than crated in the luggage hold.

My surprise at that event was surpassed by the return to Dallas. A different couple using the same trick boarded with a Great Dane! Go figure.

There are legitimate comfort dogs--you can't tell just by looking why they are needed. I'm sure they had some sort of paperwork to prove the dog was necessary. But airlines do allow cats and dogs below a certain size to fly in the cabin in approved crates. It's awfully stressful for an animal to fly in the hold.

A Great Dane on the airplane! Amazing! :) I would love for dogs to be on flights...for me, all dogs are comfort dogs!

But a....Comfort Cat??? :)

With cats, I think we are their comfort creatures.

Hahah that seems to be true! :)

Babs G., I just came back to this post of yours and tried to figure out why it was you could not send me a message. I think I have fixed the settings now, though you may have lost track of your suggestions for me by now. Sorry about that.

Thanks, Gstuartw. Sound interesting, though I don't know if it is the way or not, but I will message you to find out more. I am not sure where I will end up. I am in the process of investigating locations. I've been to Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo, SMA and Zacatecas. Will be checking out Tlaxcala, Puebla, and Oaxaca next (though Oaxaca is a bit far down from the places I'd like to travel between once there.  Plan also to eventually check out Tepic, Jerez (Zac) and maybe Morelia. Time is getting closer though, now at the 1 year to 1.5 years point for the move.

I saw your message regarding your friend bringing animals across the border. My GF and I are retired and going to San Miguel for 5 weeks to check it out. If we are happy in that area we plan to move there but I have 3 tiny yorkies ([at].5 lbs) and 2 cats and she has 1 yorkie. We also would like to bring small household goods and boxes of clothing and sentimental items. We currently reside in California but could have someone drive our things to Texas if he is still doing this. If so, could you let me know and some idea of cost. thank you. Carole

Hi Stuart,
Your info about flying to Texas and having your friend drive us (my dog and me) to San Miguel is interesting. I'm moving from Utah to San Miguel in August of this year which will require 2 flights just to get to Juanahunto (sp). Then I will have to hire a car to San Miguel. The trip would take around 12 hours which is too long to have a dog in a crate. Can you tell me more about getting through customs with your friend? How could I be sure he's legit and that he'd actually meet me? It sounds too good to be true, but it would be a great help to me.
Thanks for the info!

Hi Carole,
I, too, am moving to San Miguel this August and I have a dog which makes my 2 necessary flights unreasonable. So, I'm also interested in Stuart's friend who could drive us from Texas to San Miguel. It would be perfect, but I'm nervous about driving over the border with a stranger. I've also asked Stuart for more info.
Have you spent time in San Miguel yet and, if so, how did you like it? I'm 65 and would love to meet you when we all get there. It would be nice to connect with you. If you go before I do, could you give me tips on where to rent, or not to rent, a place? I'm moving site unseen so could use some eyes on the ground.
Good luck to you.😊

justann9 :

I'm moving from Utah to San Miguel in August of this year which will require 2 flights just to get to Juanahunto (sp). Then I will have to hire a car to San Miguel.

Why 2 flights?

Have you looked into flying into Queretaro. The cost maybe higher, but the distance from Queretaro to SMA is less than Leon and Mexico City. About one hour driving time to SMA from Queretaro.

You could have one of the shared van services deliver you to SMA or you can rent a car at the Queretaro airport.

I live in SMA, so if you need any additional help please feel free to contact me.

Hi: does your friend still take cats into Mexico?  I'm moving to Puerto Vallarta with my 92 year old mother on July 1, 2018 and need someone to take my there for me,

Thanks, Liz


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I would greatly appreciate your friend’s name and number. I have an older Boxer and I would like to be transported with my old boy to Guanajuato city Maybe within the next three or four months.
Thank you for your kindness.

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