So, you’ve decided to take your kitty across the U.S. or to a new country. Maybe you even intend to board a plane or cruise ship with your kitty. Congratulations on picking the best travel buddy you'll ever have!
But, do you need a passport for your four-legged kiddo? If so, what is it and how do you get it? Keep reading to find out!
What Is the Kitty Passport?
Before we continue, let's be clear. There is no passport specifically made for cats, but there are travel documents designed specifically for pets. You can quickly see why it's nicknamed a kitty passport by people who travel with their cats and use them.
Kitty passports serve as proof that your kitty is healthy and has received all their shots. Some products do exist that organize this information neatly for your pet, but you really don’t need this.
Why Do You Need a Kitty Passport?
Unfortunately, pets have a strong likelihood of bringing pests and diseases into the regions we visit. Rabies is a primary concern, especially for countries that—unlike America—have successfully eradicated the disease.
Virtually all countries will require some documentation for your kitty. However, some are stricter than others. For example, the EU Pet Passport is a real thing. That is the actual name of it and it requires authorization from a licensed veterinarian in a member state of the European Union.
When Do You Need a Kitty Passport?
When you travel across state lines, law enforcement officers can ask for paperwork for your pets. This is extremely rare, but it can happen. The states you visit also have their own regulations about the paperwork you need to “import” animals into their jurisdictions. This does include traveling with cats and dogs.
Even so, when we went to the vet to get my health certificate for interstate travel, he said it was unnecessary. Instead, he gave me a full checkup and provided proof of all my vaccinations.
Then, when we returned a year later to get my kitty passport to move to Mexico, the vet told us that the same proof of vaccinations should get us across the border.
So far, no one has checked my paperwork, but people with dogs seem to get checked. If I go further south in Mexico, SENASICA will complete a physical exam.
How Can You Get a Kitty Passport?
How you get your kitty passport will depend on what you need it for, where you’re going, and what the rules are there. You will need to coordinate with the decision-making authorities to determine who is authorized to give you health documents that can serve as a passport for your cat.
More often than not, you will need to get this information from the vet. Other times, you might need to get this upon arrival, following a physical inspection, or completing a quarantine period. Always seek advice from multiple sources and err on the side of caution so Mister Whiskers doesn’t get deported!
How Much Does a Kitty Passport Cost?
The cost will vary widely depending on the requirements of the regions you intend to visit with your cat. USDA endorsements for health certificates, for example, cost anywhere from $38 to $200-plus.
So, how much did we pay? On my first pre-travel vet visit, we paid $178.45 in Georgia. This included the cost of vaccines, deworming, tranquilizers to sedate me for the trip, and my rabies paperwork.
We paid $172 for my California vet visit before Mexico. This included the cost of vaccines, a stool sample test, and my rabies paperwork.
We "renew" annually.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my carrier. Next time, I’ll share more information about how to pick one for your kitty and why my missus chose this one.
Want to give me a treat? I’m taking donations for catnip and tuna! 😺
About the Creator
I adventure full-time with my missus in her FJ Cruiser. Airbnbs, tents, RV living—we do it all. Come find out how to adventure with your kitty, or just see what I've been up to on the road. Meow!
I love pledges and tips for tuna and catnip!