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As we’ve now had the opportunity to clear into two different countries with our cat Samantha on board, I think it’s an appropriate time to follow up on my post How has having a cat changed your boating life. Coincidentally, the two countries that we have had to deal with, Trinidad and St. Vincent, are both known to be very strict when it comes to dogs. In fact, I think that most cruisers with dogs tend to give St. Vincent and the Grenadines a pass because of this. In spite of that, even though we indicated on all of the required paperwork that we had a cat on board with us, not a word was said by any agent. Of course, we were’t going to press the issue if the agents themselves didn’t care to, but it did surprise us that both countries seemed to ignore the cat altogether. Let’s hope that we have the same good fortune in the future.

Amazingly, many of these islands still use carbon paper for their official documents. It’s seems a bit ironic when we witness the agents checking their Facebook accounts on their laptops and smartphones while we’re filling out the forms.

Of course no one’s concerned about our little cat!


  1. Wait, no wine and spirits? Can you not bring it in with you? Or did you just say “no” to make things go more smoothly?


  2. Interestingly neither Grenadines nor Tobago questioned the fact that we had ticked 2 dogs on the forms & we left it at that. Even more amazing was the French couple at Charlotteville who went up to the customs & Immigration building to clear in with their 2 dogs!! I asked if there was any problem & they looked at me as if I was insane – I’m not sure if they were aware of the ‘rules’ or just felt that they don’t apply in their case! Obviously no-one had said anything to them….

  3. We have had 2 cats with us since 2003. They stay on the boat. We have never had a problem ( we just add confined to boat) except in Antigua.|These cats get their annual check up and health certificate in St. Maarten each year, so that we have papers just in case they need to be presented, but we haven’t had to do that either except for Antigua. This was in 2008 and we haven’t been back since. We left without checking in. We have heard that depending on where you check in in Antigua now a days cats are not a problem. Good luck.

  4. Bequia at least had the forms and the question to ask. At Barbados it was a complete shambles and very questionable Customs practices. I was asked to purchase three bottles of Absulute vodka duty free by Customs as part of my check in. My friends were asked to purchase wiskey by Harbour clearance.
    Make a choice – deal with a place where they consider or the alternative?
    Where in Admiralty Bay are you?
    Harry on Malua – Aussie boat

  5. Heres wishing you both a Brilliant Christmas and a Happy healthy and Very Successfull New year :o)) Rob

  6. Hello everyone,
    We are heading to Bahamas, any problems there? I checked with the Bahamian embassy and they forward it to complete an agriculture form for our cats, I was wondering since our cats they have all up to date vaccinations and health card if this is really necessary….thank you!

    • Hi Claudia

      Cats are seldom a problem anywhere as they typically don’t go ashore. You might want to search this site though to see if there are any references to that:

      Also, be aware that the fees for cruising permits in the Bahamas were recently increased, not that that would stop us from going. We loved the Bahamas.

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