Do cats need a passport to travel? This is the question that most pet owners ask themselves before vacationing out or moving abroad. Today, we’re going to look at the circumstances that will require you to have travel documentation your cat and other animals, to ensure that your pet has the right papers and can breeze through customs.
Your cat will need a passport if they are traveling to the UK from an EU country. (list of EU Countries) The requirements for entering or returning to the UK with your cat include: having a rabies vaccination, your pet is microchipped, having a cat transport carrier.
Of course, every country has its own requirements, so you’ll want to make sure you do your due diligence before visiting a specific country.
Can Cats Have Passports?
You can get your cat passport from certain EU countries as well as other countries in the UK that require them. Before getting a passport, you will need to make sure that your kitty is up to date on their vaccinations, including their rabies test, and they will have to be microchipped.
The microchip must be inserted at the same time as the rabies vaccination, otherwise, they will have to be vaccinated again. When traveling to the UK, they require rabies vaccination for a minimum of 21 days before the travel date.
What Is A Pet Passport?
Unlike a passport for a human, a pet passport includes a record of all your furry friend’s vaccinations and other medical procedures. It’s important because it acts as evidence that your cat, dog, or other animal is fit and healthy to travel to the country you are visiting.
Having the right documentation can prevent you and your cat headaches at customs. Not to mention, you can avoid your cat quarantines.
Can I Take My Cat Abroad?
You can take your cat or dog to visit all UK and EU countries, as well as other countries, including Argentina, many nations in the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand, I’d recommend checking the full list yourself on the Gov.uk site.
You’ll be required to have all original documents, not photocopies.
How Much Does It Cost For A Cat Passport?
A Pet passport can cost around £60 which equates to around $77.88 USD. However, you will also need the following:
- Rabies vaccination or booster: £32.60 or $42.31 USD
- Microchip: £112.60 or $146.13 USD
Every vet has different prices, so the prices will vary depending on where you take your kitty.
How Do I Get My Pet A US Passport?
There are 4 main steps to getting your furry friend a passport:
- Research and confirm the requirements, based on the country and method of travel you’ll be using.
- Visit your vet to make sure that your cat is up-to-date on all the necessary vaccines and procedures. (don’t forget the microchip)
- Get your pet’s travel certificate by the USDA. (United States Department of Agriculture)
- Make sure you understand what you need to do to return to the US.
Step 1: Research Requirements
Every country has its own specific regulations, so make sure you know what your furry friend needs to travel to your destination country.
Don’t forget to research what the airline requirements are as well. Some airlines have stricter requirements than the country you’re visiting. For example, most airlines will require your pet’s health certificate to be issued no more than 10 days before your travel date.
When traveling with a cat by plane, you need to know which airlines allow International travel with a pet.
Here are the pet travel requirements for the major US airlines that allow International travel with a pet:
Make sure you understand how to prepare your cat for air travel, to ensure you both have a great flight.
Step 2: Visit Your Vet
As soon as you know what Fluffy needs based on your destination and the airline requirements, it’s time to call your vet. Here are some common procedures that are required to travel abroad:
- Microchip or tattooing for identification
- Rabies vaccine (at least 21 days before travel date)
- Flea, tick, and parasite removal
- Sedation for travel (discuss this with your vet)
Step 3: Required Certifications
Once your kitty receives a clean bill of health, ask your veterinarian for a health certificate and a copy of their medical records.
Some countries and airlines will require you to have the certificate endorsed by the USDA. Make sure you give yourself enough time to mail and get it returned before your departure date.
Here’s a list of local USDA veterinary services in different states. Find the closest one to you and contact them if you have any questions regarding traveling abroad with your cat.
What If Your Pet Doesn’t Pass The Requirements?
If your pet isn’t in the best of health or is elderly, you may want to talk to your vet about traveling with them. International travel can be hard on pets.
I know you don’t want to leave your cat behind while traveling. But sometimes it is better to leave them home to avoid feline anxiety that can make your cat miserable.
Make sure you’re making the best decision for your cat.
Step 4: Coming Home
If you’re planning on bringing a cat into the United States, make sure you buy them a round trip ticket. Most pet fares are one-way only, so you’ll need to pay it twice.
Ask your veterinarian what is required for you and Fluffy to enter back into the United States. They will be able to tell you what is required to ensure you don’t get stuck in customs.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Cat Passport?
Pet passports can be issued within 24 hours Monday to Friday. However, it takes a lot longer to get your kitty the required vaccinations.
Start the process at least 3 weeks before your travel date. This will ensure that you have plenty of time to get all the requirements and take care of any issues that you may encounter along the way.
What About Pet Insurance?
Now that Fluffy is ready to go, it’s important to make sure your pet insurance policy is valid overseas. Check the website and contact customer service.
If your current policy doesn’t cover International travel, ask them if you can extend the coverage by paying an additional premium. You may even have to buy another policy, but it will give you peace of mind knowing your cat is covered.
Don’t forget to look for the closest vet in the country you’ll be staying in. It’s worth looking at the prices they charge for emergency visits and other medical expenses.
Vet bills will vary from country to country, so make sure that your pet is covered in case anything should happen.
If you think getting a passport for you is hard, it’s harder for cats, dogs, or ferrets. As long as you give yourself enough time to get everything put together, the process should be extremely straightforward.
Once you’ve completed all the steps, your International travel requirements should be met. Now it’s just time to sit back and relax because your pet is now set for travel.
References and Further Reading
Future of Vaccinations – What You Must Do to Take Your Cat or Dog Abroad
Gov.UK – Animal & Plant Health Agency