Can I Bring My Cat to Canada

Can I Bring My Cat To Canada

What are the requirements for travelling into Canada with your pet cat?

Are you moving to Canada? Or maybe you have purchased a cat and need to ship it.  Or you are just wanting to travel and need to enter Canada.

Yes, you can bring your cat to Canada.  Depending on the country of origin there are different regulations.  There are no quarantine requirements in Canada.    Cats under the age of three months are exempt from these regulations. 

Domestic Cats are amazing pets and do not need to be quarantined,  nor do they require an import permit.  Canada also does not have a waiting period between the vaccination for rabies and the import date.  It is a must however to have a rabies certificate from a vet when entering Canada.

Basic Overview of Pet regulations and requirements.

We start with a basic overview of the main things you need to know for your pet.  This will also act as a table of contents, so if you need to skip ahead you can.  This way you can get the information that you need.  Each of the parts in this post is discussed in greater depth below.

Of special note is that advanced notification of arrival is not required.  There is always a proper officer at the border.  Pet entry in Canada is a pretty simple process but you want to make sure that you have all of the documents you need.

  1.  Pet Microchip or tattoo.  Is getting a microchip an essential requirement? There is no requirement for a microchip or tattoo.
  2.  Vaccinations.  There are a number of countries that Canada considers rabies-free.  See the list here. If your Cat is from a country that is not on this list you will need to get your vaccinations done.
  3.  Rabies.  A titer test is not required for entry, but a health certificate may be required.
  4.  Cost.  Cats entering Canada will be inspected unless they are coming from the USA.  This inspection is 30$ for the first animal and  5$ for each additional animal.
  5.  Are you going to travel with your pet by air?
  6.  Travelling into Canada by car?
  7.  What are the requirements if I am just travelling through?


In the past travelling with a pet, especially a cat was a much tougher deal.   I remember as a kid travelling with the dog was something that we did quite a bit but we never travelled with the cat.

More and more people are travelling with cats, in fact, more and more people are doing all kinds of things with their cats.  For example, take a look at this item for sale on Amazon.  Its a Cat carrier stroller.  And, it’s one of the most popular items.  If you want to check it out or get one click on the image.  Or click HERE

A couple of things have happened.  One of those things is that the internet has made getting a pet from an international breeder much more realistic.   The other big thing is that more people are travelling more often and desire to take their pets with them.

Importing a Cat into Canada

So you want to import a Cat to Canada?

Let’s look at the big things that are required.

If you are looking for a place in Vancouver you can check out these great little properties.

Does entering Canada require a microchip?

Canada does not require a microchip for cats.  There is also no requirement for a tattoo.

Vaccination Requirments

Cats entering Canada that are over 3 months old will require a rabies certificate.   There is a list of countries that are exempt from this, you can find that list here.

The USA is not on that list, so if your cat is coming from the USA you will need a rabies certificate.

The following information is directly from the Canadian import Website.

rabies vaccination certificate

  • 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 for entering Canada

  • It can be written in English or French;
  • It must 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.  Canada Website

If your cat is not certified you will be required to get the tests done at your own expense and provide documentation to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency within a specified timeline.

Is there a cost for entering Canada with a pet?

The Canadian Border Services Agency will inspect your cat when it arrives at the border.  This inspection is to ensure that your animal appears healthy and matches your vaccination and vet certificates.

In certain cases (especially from countries other than the USA) will incur a 30$ fee for this inspection.  If you have multiple cats, each additional cat is 5$ on top of that.

If your pet does not pass the visual inspection an additional inspection by a vet is required.  It will be at your own expense.

Entering by Air?

If you are entering Canada by Air there are a number of things that you need to consider ON TOP of the things listed in this article and on the Government of Canada Inspection website.

The primary thing that you need to check is the regulations and policies with the airline that you are travelling on.  You can check out our other article called shipping cats by air, that goes into this in more detail.

You can also check the companion pet carrier guidelines by clicking on the link.

Travelling by Car?

Most of the information contained in this article will cover what you need if you are travelling by car through one of the border crossings in Canada.  You can also read about medicine to calm cats for travelling. 

One of the things that you will need to consider is pet food.  Depending on how long your trip is you may carry cat food in the car with you.

Travellers entering from the USA may bring into Canada a personal import of pet food (limit of 20 kg) if the import meets all of the following requirements:

  • The pet food or product must be of United States origin and be commercially packaged.
  • The pet food or product must be in the possession of the traveller at the time of entry from the U.S.
  • The animal that will eat the imported product must accompany the traveller at the time of entry.
  • The imported product is fed only to the animal that accompanied the traveller into Canada.

What if I am just entering or going through?

Yes.  However, all of these requirements are exactly the same regardless of the purpose of the cat crossing the border.  Even if your cat is “Canadian” and returning home, the regulations still apply.

The recommendations given on reflect the current regulations.  I update it as much as possible.  Noncompliance may result in the need to make arrangements to put your pet into quarantine at your expense.  You may also be forced to return your pet to the country of origin or euthanize your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the country you are visiting.

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