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Importing or Travelling with Domestic Cats - Three months of age or older from countries not recognized by Canada as being rabies-free

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

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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

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

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.

Certification Requirements

Cats from countries not recognized by Canada as being rabies-free may enter Canada if they are accompanied by a rabies vaccination certificate.

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

List of recognized countries

Rabies Vaccination Certificate

The rabies vaccination certificate must:

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:

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 the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure the animal's rabies vaccination is current and the animal description matches. The CBSA will also visually inspect the animal to ensure that there are no visible signs of illness.

The current fees for this inspection are:

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

Any applicable taxes or duties are calculated by the CBSA.

In certain cases, a shipment will need to be inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Additional fees for the cost of the CFIA inspection will apply.

All fees must be paid at the time of inspection.

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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