Importing or Travelling with Domestic Cats - Three months of age or older from countries recognized by Canada as being rabies-free

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Please note that:

  • Domestic cats entering Canada do not have to be quarantined.
  • Cats do not require a health certificate or import permit.
  • Canada does not require a waiting period between the time the animal is vaccinated for rabies and the time the animal is imported into Canada.

These requirements apply to:

  • animals entering Canada permanently
  • animals in transit through Canada on their way to a final destination
  • animals entering Canada for a temporary visit

In addition, these requirements apply to:

  • animals that were originally from Canada and are returning to Canada from a rabies-free country
  • animals leaving a country that imposed quarantine, if the cat leaves before that quarantine period is completed.

Important:

Check that these are the correct requirements for your cat (other requirements).

Certification Requirements

Cats may enter Canada if they are accompanied by rabies certification. This means they must have a

  • a rabies vaccination certificate; OR
  • a veterinary certificate declaring that the cat originates from a country recognized by Canada as being rabies-free.

The United States of America and Mexico are not rabies-free.

List of recognized countries
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Ireland (Republic of)
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin (Netherlands Antilles)
  • Saint Pierre et Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sweden
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
  • Uruguay

Rabies Vaccination Certificate

The rabies vaccination certificate must:

  • be written in English or French;
  • be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
  • identify the animal (as in breed, colour, and weight);
  • state that the animal is vaccinated against rabies;
  • indicate the date of vaccination;
  • indicate the trade name and the serial number of the licensed vaccine; and
  • specify the duration of immunity (otherwise, it will be considered valid for one year from the date of vaccination).

The European Union pet passport is an acceptable alternative to the rabies vaccination certificate as long as all the required elements are included.

Veterinary Certificate

The veterinary certificate must:

  • be written in English or French;
  • be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
  • identify the animal (as in breed, colour, and weight);
  • state that the animal has been in the exporting country since birth or for at least six (6) months immediately preceding shipment to Canada; and
  • be accompanied by documentation from a competent government authority, stating that rabies has not occurred in the country of origin for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the animal's shipment to Canada.

A competent government authority refers to a veterinary agency or other government agency that manages a country's animal health and welfare situation, as well as handles the responsibility of veterinary certification for the purposes of international trade. The document can be either:

  • a letter issued on the competent government authority's letterhead, which must be dated, stamped and signed by an official of the competent government authority in the country of origin; or
  • a letter by the licensed veterinarian who issued the certificate, which must be endorsed by the competent government authority.

Animals That Are Not Certified

If a cat does not meet the import requirements for rabies certification, owners will be required, at their own expense, to:

  • have the animal vaccinated against rabies within a specified period of time; and
  • provide the vaccination record to a Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

Additional Information

Advance notice of arrival is not required

There is an inspector on duty at all times at points of entry into Canada.

Air Transport

Cats may require additional documentation when flying. Please check with your airline to determine whether you meet its requirements.

You should be aware of the companion animal container guidelines issued by the International Air Transport Association.

Inspection fees, taxes and duties

Cats imported into Canada will have a documentary inspection by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure the vaccination is current and the animal description matches. During this visual inspection, CBSA ensures that there is no visible signs of illness. In certain cases, dogs and cats imported will require a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection for which CFIA inspection fees apply. The fee must be paid at the time of inspection.

The current fees are:

  • $30.00 + tax for the first animal in the shipment; and
  • $5.00 + tax for each additional animal in the shipment.

If the shipment does not meet Canada's import requirements (even if the animal is being imported from the United States), the animal will be ordered to undergo vaccination against rabies within two weeks of its arrival, and the following fees apply:

  • $55.00 + tax for the first animal in the shipment; and
  • $30.00 + tax for each additional animal.

Any applicable taxes or duties are calculated by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Microchip or tattoo is not required

Canada does not require a microchip or tattoo identification for pet cats.

Pet Food

Personal imports of pet food from the United States are allowed under specific conditions.

Personal imports of pet food from other countries are prohibited.

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