How to bring a pet into Costa Rica: Simplified

Okay, so a while back I was having kittens (pun intended) about bringing Asia into Costa Rica. Mostly because I simply could not seem to get a straight answer from anyone about the proper process. It was driving me batty.

So, to anyone bringing in their (small) dog or cat (this might also work for rabbits, but don’t expect success with gerbils or hamsters or any form of rodent; and it’s a one-way trip for all birds, you can’t take them out again) into Costa Rica, allow me to present the (current) process. It’s really easy.
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Enroute with the cat

Well, we’re on our way. I was up until almost midnight last night packing. Was originally thinking three bags, but went down to two. Which is good, because apparently I’d have been denied the third bag. As it stands, the backpack was overweight by three lousy pounds, so I got stuck with an extra bag fee and an overweight fee.

Where the heck did all these fees come from? It even costs me $100 to get the cat on the plane. Three and a half hours later, I’m in Houston, with a cat in a bag. Tried letting her out at the “Pet Relief Area” over in Terminal B, but all she wanted to do was hide in the tropical plants. I’m not even sure if she relieved herself at all.

Lunch was at Ruby’s, while Asia watched people go by. She’s been exceedingly good, and hasn’t had one freak-out as a result of all this. Whether or not she’s still in one piece when we get to our hotel in Costa Rica is another question.

Bringing my cat into Costa Rica

We’re bringing Asia with us. Not the continent; she’s our cat. We don’t want to part with her. She’s a wonderful pet and truly part of the family. She was our first baby before Mi Niña Pequeña came along. Giving her up is just not an option.

Getting her through the border is the trouble. Mostly because there is no de facto source of information on how this is done properly. What I have found is confusing and very contradictory. For someone who is going to be spending 12 hours with an annoyed kitteh (LOLCat spelling) — she might be stuck in that cage the entire time — I need to know that getting into the country isn’t going to kill her.

Or me.

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