Ages ago, when we first started traveling with Ty and Buster, we shared our tips for traveling to Canada with dogs. Since then, we’ve noticed that a lot more cats are traveling with their families – and that’s purr-fect! To make your next trip across the border a little easier, we want to share these tips for taking your cat to Canada.
If you’re traveling with a kitten who is less than three months old, he or she is not subject to the import requirements and no documentation is required.
If you’re traveling to Canada from the United States (or any other country not on this list that Canada considers rabies-free) and your cat is at least three months old, he or she must have a rabies vaccination certificate that meets the following requirements:
Domestic or pet cats may enter Canada if accompanied by an original, valid rabies vaccination certificate, which is issued by a licensed veterinarian in English or French, and which clearly identifies the cat by breed, color, and weight, and which states that he/she is currently vaccinated against rabies.
This certificate should indicate the trade name and serial number of the licensed rabies vaccine used, and the duration of validity (up to three years). If no duration is indicated on the certificate, the vaccine will be considered to be valid for one year.
Other items to note: there is no waiting period imposed between the time your cat is vaccinated for rabies and the time she enters Canada, microchip or tattoo identification is not required for pet cats, and cats do not need a health certificate or import permit to enter Canada. However, if you are arriving by airplane, your airline carrier may request additional documentation.
Domestic cats will receive a documentary and visual inspection by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure that the rabies vaccination is current, the animal description matches, and the cat shows no visible signs of illness. Pets arriving from the United States are subject to an import inspection, but are exempt from inspection fees. The inspection fee for pets traveling from other countries is $30, and if you are traveling with more than one pet, the inspection fee for each additional animal is $5.
If your cat’s documentation does not meet Canada’s import requirement for rabies certification (even if the animal is being imported from the United States), you will be ordered to have him/her vaccinated within two weeks of arrival, and the inspection fee increases to $55 for the first animal and $30 for each additional animal.
Pet owners traveling to Canada are allowed to bring pet food and treats (limit of 20 kg, or 44 pounds), as long as all of the following requirements are met:
Upon your return to the United States, your cat will receive a visual inspection at the border and may be denied entry if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. If a cat appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner’s expense could be required at the port of entry.
Cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination for importation into the United States. However, some states require vaccination of cats for rabies, so it is a good idea to check with state and local health authorities at your final destination.
Cats are great travel companions, and many love being included in the travel plans. We hope your trip across the border to Canada goes smoothly for all the members of your family!
Driving across the border to Canada with your dog? We have a special blog post just for you!