Cat On An Overseas Trip – Part IV: Animal Quarantine In Malaysia

Saturday morning dawned early (March 1) for Schubert, a grey, shorthaired house cat. The alarm buzzed madly at 6 a.m., waking his human friend, who seemed to be in a great hurry to get up. Schubert ambled around her, gazing upwards intently until he was given a pat on the head. She even reached for the catnip flavoured treats this morning and he got three – they are never handed out so early! Then, as he was just done crunching up the last piece, his human friend walked him into a blue carrier bag, zipped it up, slung the bag (with Schubert in it) over her shoulder, and walked out the front door of the house in Rockville, Maryland, where a friend’s Hyundai stood parked waiting for them.

What Schubert didn’t know, was that he was about to fly for a total of 24 hours, on a journey of 17, 599 kilometers (10,936 miles) westward across the contigouos United States, and later, over the Pacific Ocean. A trip that most humans have never even embarked on, and those that have, dread it.

And he made it! But before he could join his human friend to start their new adventure in this strange and humid land known as Malaysia, Schubert had one final thing to sit through: seven days of quarantine.

**Before I go on, I should mention Hong Chow, a gentleman whose dog went through a similar journey as Schubert. When Hong Chow found a lack of concise and useful information on bringing one’s pet from abroad to Malaysia, he created a blog, ‘Import Pets to Malaysia’ and wrote a long post to address that gap. Thanks Hong! You’ve been able to help many confused pet owners like myself.**

Quarantine station details:
Address:
Jalan Pekeliling 4
6400 KLIA,
Sepang, Selangor
(Same route to go to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT.) Jalan Pekeliling 4 is shortly past the F1 circuit and is a rather sudden left turn at a traffic light. Watch out.)

Phone Number: 03-8787-2379
Fax: 03-8787-2378

Opening hours:
Mon – Thurs
10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Friday
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Weekends & Holidays
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

There are fees involved and I’ll cover that later.

Parking & Registering
At the end of Jalan Pekeliling 4, you’ll see the entrance to the quarantine station (see the first picture below.) You won’t be allowed to drive in, except to pick up your pet on the last day of quarantine.

You need to register for a pass at the MAQIS office before entering. Bring valid ID for this purpose. Towards the right of the picture below, there is a road that leads to a car park (parking lot) of a complex, and there are two offices related to quarantine. The one you want has a gold sign above the door. Hong Chow’s blog has a much better description (and pictures) of finding the right office.

When you have your pass, you can either leave your car in the car park, or drive it back out and park next to the guard house. The guard will let you in once you’re registered.

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KLIA quarantine station. Guard house is on the left. MAQIS headquarters is towards the right of this gate. Go there to register and get your pass. Then come back here and register with the guard before entering.

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This is the door of the office you get your pass from. Shoes have to be removed prior to entering, and remember to bring valid form of ID!

Entering the Quarantine Station
Normally, one shouldn’t have to explain how to enter any location, but there’s a bit of a back story here. I was told that awhile back, some “hooligan” pet owner whose pup had just four days to go in quarantine, decided he would grab his dog, stuff it into his nearby car and make a run for it. Quarantine officers tracked him down and had to threaten police action before he consented to bring the dog back.

Since then, pet owners have not been allowed to drive into the station compound. In order for us pet owners to get to our fur babies, we have to do this:

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Up the uneven incline till you get to the uncovered drains. Drains are shallow and narrow, but one side is steeper than the other. Try not to slip when you cross.

Yes. Panjat bukit (Climb the hill.) I’m not kidding.

At the top of the hill, you’ll see long, one storey buildings with curved light green roofs, and each one is named “rumah kucing 1,” or rumah anjing 2″ and so forth. Rumah = House. Kucing = Cat. Anjing = Dog. Every “rumah” is pretty far apart, separated by wide roads for vehicle access.

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The Visit
I booked Schubie a room with a/c, which are very limited in number and clustered together in “rumah kucing 3,” the first building I searched. I wasn’t expecting more than one cat building, hence didn’t think to ask for a specific building and room number. They didn’t venture to give me this information either. It was easy enough to find, but it’s best to ask when you get your pass.

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Entrance to the cat building is on the side.

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Gates and doors aren’t locked. You can let yourself in, but I suggest you latch the doors once inside.

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Corridors are secured with fencing. It’s clean and spacious.

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After poking my head into every a/c room along the corridor, I found Schubie in room 11, the second last room in the block. If you don’t want to sit on a cold hard floor, bring a stool.

Things to keep in mind: Litter and food can be provided at extra cost to pet owners. Litter boxes are provided free and cleaned daily. Food & water are also refilled daily by a caretaker. Bedding is not provided. Oh, and unless you don’t mind sitting on the floor, bring chairs.

Schubert was sitting with his chin on his paws when we found him. He was inside a steel cage that was inside a Very. Large. Room. I understand the desire for added security, but the place was definitely designed for one cat or one cat family per room, to allow them to roam about within the perimeters. Now that the pet is confined to the steel cage, (one cat per cage if it’s a family in one room) the space seems so wasted, and cats can only run about when owners visit and let them out. I don’t think it’s the same for dogs. Does anyone know?

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Why am I here? It’s so BORING…

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…but at least it’s clean, cool and private.

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Litter and food can be provided at extra cost to pet owners. Litter boxes are provided free and cleaned daily. Food & water are also refilled daily by a caretaker. Bedding is not provided.

After fussing with Schubie for a bit, he began getting curious about the outside. I didn’t see any harm in letting him out to explore the corridor, so we did just that.

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After all the excitement of jet setting halfway around the globe, Schubie’s lost some weight.

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Outside every room is a tap, presumably for baths or refilling water bowl.

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Little cat in a lonely concrete corridor world.

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Other cats were getting excited as Schubie made his way along the corridor. See the bengal in the middle cage? It was meowing, pacing and pawing at the bars.

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Schubie enjoyed his little stroll but flopped down when we arrived outside his room. Must have been feeling hot!

So for seven days, this is where your pet will be. You can visit as often as you want or can. A week passed relatively quickly, especially since I filled the days that I didn’t visit with other activities — it helped take my mind off Schubert in quarantine. (Or perhaps, unlike me, you’re cool as cucumber and aren’t worried at all. More power to ya. 🙂 )

Home Free!
Finally, seven days were up and Schubert was FREE! Although I arrived at 10:30 p.m. on Friday night, I was allowed to pick him up on the morning of the following Friday, which is excellent! After you settle the fees at the office, someone will accompany you to your pet’s room. At this point, you’re allowed to drive in. The accompanying officer will most likely be on a motorbike and he will meet you at the room itself.

Quarantine fees breakdown:
Customs Handling & Exam – 65.00
Animal Hotel – 55.00
Quarantine (7 days) – 79.00
Food – 21.00 Optional
Litter – 21.00 Optional
A/C Room – 50.00 Optional
Caretaker – 20.00

I can’t guarantee these numbers won’t be different if you hire an agent for the entire process. If it’s a huge concern, you should ask them exactly what you’re paying for.

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Enter on the left side, where the puddle of water is. I believe it’s some sort of sanitizing procedure. Guard will open and close these gates for you.

And that’s all she wrote! Schubert’s epic journey across the globe was done. He can now look forward to enjoying a new home, new family members, new friends, hugs, treats, kisses and nice warm nap weather all year around.

What a life.

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My attempts at a perfect celebration selfie. These will have to do.

Want to learn more about bringing your pet to Malaysia?

Check out previous posts in the Cat On An Overseas Trip series:
Part I: Travel Accessories
Part II: Essential Documents
Part III: The Journey

I wrote this from a USA perspective, and while requirements for another country might be a little different, you may find parts of my experience useful. If you’ve done this journey with your pet and want to share your experience, please do so in the comments section.

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2 Comments

  1. Schubert seems so nonchalant, like yup, here I am, on the other side of the world, I suppose this will do.

  2. Pingback: Cat On An Overseas Trip – Part III: The Journey – Shermian Lim

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