Details you need to know or maybe you never thought about...
I have a friend in Russia whom I have known for several years. How? Well, a few years ago I picked out a kitten to buy from her. When it came time to put the kitten on the airplane, I didn’t have the money for the kitten’s ticket. Olesia preferred that I take a kitten when I could rather than to return the money and when it comes to foreign exchange, sending it back may not amount to what I sent over and so forth.
This was before the Chinese Corna Virus got out. It is too bad I didn’t find the money at the time because air flight alone was far cheaper than it is today. When I finally got another job, I had it for only nine months and along came covid. Once again I was laid off! Maybe God is suggesting that I stay home?!! Now life is more complicated and everything more costly. The last kitten she sent over cost $1000 to fly. When an animal comes into New York JFK Airport, it has to be registered and that is another cost!
Are you about to ask why from Russia yet? Oh good! I am about to tell you. When I first looked into breeders in the USA I looked for the “look” that I wanted. Then I read about all the requirements that some very particular breeders wanted to be met if one purchased from them here in the USA. So I contacted a couple of breeders in Russia and chatted with them. Here in the USA, one has to get on a list and wait. If not, one has to wait for the birth date and quickly put a down payment on the kitten in a race against another buyer. Lastly, there are US breeders who bought their breeding pair from Russia so if you become very familiar with the different cat faces, there are different looks from chiseled to a bit more rounded that can be bought here and the price is based on that look pretty often. In Russia, the newer breeders sell their kittens for a little less, and as they learn what is highly desired, their prices go up especially if they have a very special look that many people want. The law of supply and demand is everywhere! No big deal to most, but I wanted a certain look and I didn’t want to wait a year. Thus I bought from abroad without a terribly long wait for baby delivery! Without the competition and with options for the look I wanted. Furthermore, the breeder from whom I wanted a kitten, lived out beyond Texas, I needed to fly to Austin, rent a car, drive to their house, and be sure to bring along plenty of cloth towels for mess clean up, etc. On top of that, the price for one kitten which had the look I really wanted was going to cost me $3000. just for him alone! Never mind the airfare, car, gas, food for me & probably motel? For $3000, I could get the look that was what I wanted along with its plane ticket. I just had to go to New York to get it. On top of that, I simply loved the “adventure” of driving to the airport.
I am awaiting word from Olesia before I put any further information up. I have heard that a lot of people have cut down on kitten production. I myself still want one more from her, albeit I am waiting for a female with the “split-face” line of color right down the middle of the nose look! Waiting in these times is OK for me! Money is not spreading around well and as you all know, gas is even expensive! A kitten cannot come across the border before four months of age and they will have shots due for their age, wormed, rabies shot (?), and identity chipped, the paperwork that says this is completed comes with them. I have gone to the JFK airport many times for cats. So depending on your location, I may be able to deliver for an additional cost. I live in the Philadelphia area. Otherwise, you will likely go there yourself or request another airport. There is now an additional fee to be paid to the Border agent. Last time I paid it was $150.00. One always has to be prepared for unexpected costs like this in these crazy days of the last three years.
One more thing you need to know. These kittens have never left their secure home of familiarity and siblings. They are sent on a train to Moscow. All flights to the USA come out of Moscow. The breeders have “couriers” that they work with. The courier gets paid too to pick up the kitten/s at the train stop in Moscow. Depending on when they arrive there, they may stay with the Courier for 24 hours until ready to be seen at the airport. There is a Veterinarian at the airport who checks the health of the kitten and its papers. If the kitten is stressed enough by now, it could be starting to get a cold. The courier will let Olesia know and she will give you the option of not receiving the kitten. You will not get a refund for the travel cost to the airport though if you say no to sending the kitten. You can almost count on a kitten having a cold in the winter weather. However, this can be easily dealt with when the kitten arrives. You will know the flight date in time enough to make an appointment with your vet. for the new kitten to be seen almost immediately. The trip in the air is 10 hours long. Aeroflot flies out of Moscow. Because of covid, flights do not leave Russia near as often as they used to because the people there have also been restricted in their movement. They too work from home. It is my guestimate that your kitten can be crated for three days and depending on how long a ride to your home from the airport it could be day four. The Courier will keep out the kitten cage if the kitten has done its business, but, when the kitten is placed on the plane, the cage door must be tied shut to ensure no escape. I have had to cut nylon ties. I tell you this because I take a litter pan and clean water with me to the pick-up spot. In-flight, I have found, the jostling of the crate can knock food into their water bowl or water into their food bowl! Depending on the age or meticulousness of the kitten, it may hold its pee or poo hoping for a litter pan. I picked up two Kurilian Bobtails and they both got right into that litter box and promptly relieved themselves! It has not been the case with most of the rest! I take with me paper towels, wet ones, and the terry-cloth towels that are sold in the automotive department of Walmart for polishing or cleaning cars, which are the most wonderful thing! If a kitten is wet from its own pee, I can clean out the cage, lay in these towels and the kitten is dry in the three-hour ride home. My final point is that these kittens are clearly stressed for such a long couped-up ride. Upon arrival it is NOT the time to stress them further with handing, introducing other animals, and giving full reign of the new territory. Know you are excited, but… unless this kitten is stressed by being in a dark quiet place, I put them in a dog cage with a loft I make with just a lightweight board on two cross member pieces of wood secured through the cage bars. I put the litter pan, (dollar store dishwashing pan will do) a clear small bowl of food, theirs or if none, your new food, and clean water. a soft blanket, towel, cloth, whatever for comfortable stretching and curling up in. and cover that cage with a sheet in a quiet room, (not particularly isolated!). Depending on the personality of your kitty, she/he may want to stay more in the back as you lift the sheet at the front of the cage to start the introduction to its new home. Their curiosity will tell you how fast to move along. I have started my cats out in a single room to make sure they return to the litter box! This reminds me of another interesting thing! The Russian gals let their cats pee in the bathtub, the shower and some put paper into a cardboard box and the young ones learn to use a litter box this way! I have rarely found poo in the tub! Only in cases where the boy was so sick, and I was glad it was the tub that could be cleaned so much easier than the carpet!